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

37 Every day Jesus was teaching people in God's Great House. Each night he went out of the city and he stayed on the hill that is called the Mount of Olives. 38 Each morning he returned to God's Great House. All the people were going there early in the morning to hear him.

Luke 22

Judas agrees to catch Jesus

1 The Passover festival when the Jews eat flat bread was coming soon.

22:1Flat bread is bread which has no yeast in it. We can read about the Passover meal in Exodus 12.

2 The leaders of the priests and the teachers of God's Law wanted to kill Jesus. They were talking together about how they could do this. It was difficult because they were afraid of the people.

3 Then Satan began to live inside Judas Iscariot. Judas was one of Jesus' 12 apostles. 4 He went to the leaders of the priests and he talked with them. The police that worked at God's Great House were also there. Judas told them how he could give Jesus to them secretly. 5 They were very happy and they promised to give him money for this. 6 So Judas said that he would do it. Then he waited for the right moment to help them to take hold of Jesus. He wanted to do it when the crowd was not there with Jesus.

Luke 21:37-22:6 EasyEnglish Bible (EASY)

Reflection

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.