Why Did Judas betray Jesus?
Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. We all know him more as “Judas the betrayer” rather than “Judas the Apostle”. However, the point that we should always reflect upon is – Judas, who was also with Jesus, just like Peter and all the other disciples, what made him betray Jesus? If Jesus had breathed the same Holy Spirit into him, just like he did to the other disciples, why did he give up Jesus to the Jews and the Romans to be persecuted and crucified? Surely, these questions must have bothered you some time or other. However if we look into the life of Judas, with whatever mention of his actions is there in the Gospels, we will notice few traits of his which made it very obvious of him to betray Jesus.
Let’s look at 5 points that justify the reason for him to betray Jesus.
For Judas, the world and its possessions meant everything. If we look at the mention of a lady in the Gospel who anoints Jesus with oil and washes his feet, and see how Judas reacts to her act of “wasting” the extremely precious and costly oil and spending it on Jesus, we can figure out how concerned he was about money. For Judas, money was everything. He basically sold Jesus in return for those 30 silver coins. Greed had made him blind to the fact that someday this same greed would make him do the worst mistake of life for which generations after generation till human civilization will last, every mouth will call him a traitor and a betrayer.
Inability to understand Jesus
Judas ever understood Jesus. His words could never pierce into his heart. He could never accept the fact that Jesus was not going to be a warrior who will be slashing throats to win Jerusalem, but rather win souls back into His Father’s kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, all his miracles and his teachings, and his following were nothing but a preparation for a revolt against the Romans. Just like any other common man, Judas too thought that Jesus would free them from Roman oppression. Thus in order to be a part of the upcoming king’s ministers, he always laid back with them and followed Him.
Lack of Repentance
Judas could still have returned to Jesus if his conscience would have been alive. But, he was so engrossed with the worldly affair that he completely gave up his conscience to Satan. Even when Jesus, in front of all the disciples said that the person to whom he is going to give the piece of bread to eat, that same person is going to betray him- still Judas did not feel that pain in his heart. It cannot be that the thought of giving up Jesus to the Sanhedrin was a thought which appeared to him moments before the Last supper. He kept the thought of disliking Jesus slowly but gradually in his heart, and Jesus too knew his heart even before Judas knew. Thus, despite realizing that Jesus knows about his plan, still, he did not choose to surrender. Rather, he went on with his plot to get Jesus arrested and thus made him get crucified.
Possessed by the Satan
The moment Judas ate the bread that Jesus gave him to eat during the Last supper, Satan entered inside him. We all know this from the Gospel. But why did Satan enter into him? Didn’t Jesus give him the bread of life that he was talking about? Yes, Jesus did give him the bread of life that he was talking about recently, but Judas received that same bread of life in an unworthy manner. Thus, that same holy spirit that entered into everyone also entered into Judas, but his heart could not hold it. He was filled with malice and filth. That was the place reserved for Satan, and thus Satan came to reside in his home- Judas’s heart. Needless to say, now Judas was no more in control of himself. He did what-ever Satan commanded him to do. Finally, he gave Jesus that “kiss of betrayal”, something that Jesus never deserved. Through that one kiss, Judas completed what he was “supposed to do”.
Hypocrisy and Luke-Warmness
Judas betrayed Jesus also because he was a hypocrite. Have you ever seen a person in your surrounding, who tells others the difference between right and wrong, and then goes back into his house and beats up his wife and children being drunk? That is exactly what Judas was. In front of others he was also a part of the twelve disciples. Those disciples who would one day become martyrs for the sake of spreading the Gospel of Jesus, Judas was a part of them. Imagine, Judas also being a martyr for the Gospel? I wish he could be that. But Alas! He chose to follow the world rather than be with God himself.
Judas was just like any other Luke-Warm Catholic. Someone who is also in presence of the Lord, but never really appreciated his true presence. We disregard Jesus present in the Most Holy Sacrament, we fail to pay our due respect, we fail to receive him in the Eucharistic celebrations every Sunday. But imagine Judas who was with the living God, ate with him, went everywhere with him, saw him walk on water, and witnessed how he raised people from the dead- all of that, yet kept on choosing to remain luke-warm. He always tried to find out profit from everything he did. Judas was the cashier of the entire group. He used to keep the money and was responsible for the expenses. But that should not have distracted him from Jesus.
Unless we detach ourselves from worldly affections and temptation unless we choose to give Jesus the first place in each and everything we do, unless we try to do things the way Jesus would have done, eventually we end up becoming like Judas. Judas received the same holy spirit from Jesus just like the other disciples did. Judas was one of the chosen ones. Because of Judas, we get to say the ’12 Disciples’- he completed the group. Yet, he ended up doing this massacre, only because he could never see the soul of Jesus. He could only find consolation from his words based on the oppression of the Romans on the Jews. He could never look beyond that.
What do you think about Judas? Why did he betray Jesus?
State in the comments below.