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.
The Passover celebration was approaching and the religious leaders and priests were trying to work out a way to kill the ever popular Jesus. This passage of Scripture tells us that the religious leaders were afraid of peoples’ reaction to their plan and the need to keep it quiet, even secret. Jesus was loved and he proposed a new way a living – a way of living that was different to what the religious leaders of the day proposed. Jesus influence was growing and the religious leaders’ was diminishing. The status quo was being challenged and the religious leaders felt threatened to the point of wanting to permanently remove Jesus.
It is also interesting to note that when it came to “Jesus” the religious leaders were more concerned about how they would look in front of others than how they would look in front of God. After all it was God’s son they were plotting to kill! There would be crowds at the Passover as families gathered to celebrate – that’s a lot of reputation to lose!
Satan then entered Judas and he approached the religious leaders about handing Jesus over to them at suitable time, ie. a time away from the crowds. Judas was promised money and it seemed like a win/win situation.
To me this was a reminder about giving greater credence to God’s reaction than mans’. Is it more important to look good in front of others than God? Reputation can get in the way of embracing Jesus.
Dear God, help me to esteem being right before you over being right before others. Help me to place the highest value on what you think and not on what others may think. Amen.