The Gospel of Luke

This devotional is written by Filip Vanderheyden. Filip is feeling blessed having found a home at St Mary's after many decades in the faith wilderness...

Luke 22:1-6

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

22 Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, 2 and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. 3 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. 4 And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. 5 They were delighted and agreed to give him money. 6 He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.

Reflection

This is arguably one of the defining passages in the bible; the moment Judas decides to turn his wicked plans into action, breaking two of the commandments in the process: 'you shall not covet' (the lust for money) and 'you shall not bear false testimony' (betraying Jesus) (v4).

The priests were active participants in the grand conspiracy despite washing their hands of any active involvement leading towards Jesus' fate. They achieved their desired outcome of eliminating Jesus (v2) by offering bribes to Judas (v5). Thus, they think they can hold onto their power and righteousness in the eyes of the public. How they must have been pleased with themselves for devising such cunning plans...

Fast forward 2000 years and one might wonder if we have learned anything at all...From politicians to church leaders, to corporate executives, to...well...me, possibly all of us, actually...whilst our circumstances may differ, all of us have at some stage been the victim or driver of office politics, the conscious hiding of unpleasant truths or the manipulating of family relationships or friendships...

In my corporate HR role I am expected to consider both the needs of employees and the organisation whilst taking decisions that are fair, transparent and consistent. I certainly don't always get it right...Every time I silently witness destructive power and politics at play, or I am being consciously economical with facts for fear of employee reactions, or I influence someone to advance a self-centred agenda etc., there is a bit of Judas' weakness in me...

'Father, we pray to You and ask that You guide us in our daily personal and professional behaviour and decisions. Fill us with Your truth, remind us of Your love and compassion so that we in turn treat our family, friends and colleagues with the respect, love and transparency they deserve. In Jesus' name, Amen.'

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