Dreams and ambitions. Unmet Expectations. Judas was a revolutionary following His Messiah; but, after years of following Him, this great teacher and healer was becoming more and more hated by the religious organization - and now He was going to be killed. This Messiah was not going to rise up and overthrow the Romans. And, potentially those that followed Him would be arrested. It did not seem worth it to follow Jesus anymore; it was not going to profit him. Why not just get out, protect Himself from being arrested, and make a little profit at the same time. He could then just move on, and maybe even serve God in another way.
Thirty pieces of silver – how much was this worth? It was the price for a slave (Exodus 21:32) or equivalent to about four months of work for a public worker. It was a ‘reasonable’ amount of money, but not enough to make one wealthy or provide enough money for the rest of one’s life. It has been suggested that potentially at an earlier point in Jesus’ ministry, when Jesus was more popular and potentially harder to catch, one could have sold Jesus for much more. So, why now? At this point, it seemed more valuable to Judas to just get what he could and get out. Judas’ dreams and ambitions for his life, and for what this meant in his context of following God, had not been met. His trust in God collapsed. Thirty pieces of silver seemed better than this.
Have we become discouraged in following God? Have we taken thirty pieces of silver instead of trusting God?
Following God may be full of our own unmet expectations, and change in our dreams and ambitions. Trusting God will be difficult. But, God is merciful. Judas had the opportunity to repent and revoke this, but he did not. We still have time to not follow our own paths of unbelief, to not accept whatever the meager thirty pieces of silver are that we feel are valuable. May we choose to trust God, even if His ways may not meet our expectations or if His plans differ from our goals and dreams.