Day 20 – A friend betrays Jesus
Jesus had chosen 12 special friends. These men travelled with him everywhere. They saw what he did. They heard what he said. One of these men was called Judas.
The Passover was a special feast. The Jews remembered how God had rescued their families from the country called Egypt. In Egypt they were slaves.
In the feast of unleavened bread, the Jews remembered how they left Egypt. They left in a hurry. There was no time for the yeast in their bread to rise. Bread like this is unleavened.
Bible reading: Luke 21:37–22:6
Judas agrees to catch Jesus
These were dangerous times. The religious authorities considered Jesus like a criminal. Because of their jealousy, they had been waiting for a long time to arrest him and kill him. But they feared how popular he was with the crowds. So they were extremely happy when Judas came to them and offered to betray Jesus. As one of Jesus’ followers with responsibility for the little group’s money, Judas knew that Jesus often went at night into the Garden of Gethsemane. And so they could capture him there without a riot.
Why did Judas do it?
Judas had deliberately allowed the Devil to enter his heart. The religious leaders said ‘Very good! We’ll pay you for this.’ Why did Judas do it? There have been endless guesses. Was it just for the money? Was he disappointed that Jesus was not going to save them from the Romans? We shall never know. But the message is loud and clear.
A serious warning to us
You can be a follower of Jesus, enjoy his company, have his help during troubles, go to church and read the Bible for years, as Judas had done – and still decide to go away from him. A tragedy, but it happens. Judas’ story is a serious warning. Jesus’ followers are called to stay loyal to him through good times and bad times.