Sermon session

Sold Out

Session #150 Sold Out

Scripture Matthew 26:14-16

Summary As a disciple, leaving all to follow Jesus, Judas was sold out for the King and the causes of the kingdom. Who would have thought that Jesus would finally be sold out by one initially sold out for Him? How does one start out sold out only to end up selling out? Through Matthew 26:14-16, we will learn about Judas: the man, the motive, the price and the prophetic point.

 Introduction

Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. 16 So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him. Matthew 26:14-16

The name Judas means ‘praise’ or a confessor of Yahweh. In this teaching, we will learn about how Judas who started out being sold out for King Jesus and His kingdom end up selling out.

The Man: Judas

Judas was an apostle, one of the twelve personally chosen by Jesus (Matthew 10:2-4, Mark 3:13-14).In Matthew, he was always associated with the betrayal of Jesus (Matthew 10:4; 26:14, 25 & 47; 27:3). He was also the treasurer, seemingly
trustworthy and very caring for the poor but was neither (John 12:5-6).

Although Iscariot may refer to Judas’ family name, it can also be interpreted as “man of Kerioth” referring to Judas’ place of origin. Kerioth was a town located in the far south of Judea. If this is accurate, then Judas had the distinction of being the only disciple from Judea, in the southern part of Israel. The Gospel of John indicates that Jesus spent His first year in Judea, with little known fruit (John 1:11). Judas’ betrayal of Jesus would make complete Judea’s rejection of Jesus.

The Motive

Judas went to the religious leaders and offered to deliver Jesus to them for a price, (Matthew 26:14-15). Judas’ motive to sell out Jesus is not clear to us from the Scriptures. The following may be possible triggers. Judas might have already been
getting more disappointed with and felt more deceived by Jesus as He is not the Messiah he expected – the conquering king that overthrows the foreign powers and restore Israel to her former glory. Judas was also discredited openly before
everyone (Matthew 26:6-13) and that might have opened the way for demonic direction and push to make a deal with the religious leaders to sell Jesus out.

The Price

In Matthew 26:15b, ‘they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. If converted to denarii, it works out to about one hundred and twenty denarii or about three month’s salary, a windfall for most.

However if it refers to thirty shekels of silver as in Exodus 21:32, then this price takes on a totally different significance. According to the Mosaic Law, if a slave is accidentally killed by one’s animal, the compensation for this loss is thirty shekels of silver. The leaders were only prepared to pay the price of a slave. That was what Jesus was worth to them and to Judas. Yet, what appeared to be a pathetic figure was actually a prophetic fulfilment of Zechariah 11:12. To understand this, we need
to consider the prophecy in Zechariah 11:4-14. First, God has Zechariah playing the part of a faithful but rejected shepherd, clearly a picture of the Messiah as the good shepherd. Then there is the dismissal of three bad shepherds which refers to the
religious leaders who rejected the good shepherd. In return, he gave them up and asked for payment and they paid him thirty shekels of silver – the price of a slave.

Sarcastically, God called it the lordly price and asked Zechariah to throw the silver into the house of the Lord, to the potter. This prophecy was fulfilled when Judas later threw coins into the temple; and they used it to buy the potter’s field, where Judas hanged himself (Matthew 27:3-10). In this prophecy, there is also the breaking of two staffs to represent the breaking of the Mosaic Covenant and the breaking of the nation of Israel. Both happened after Jesus’ death and resurrection.

The Point

The price point was a prophetic point. Embedded in the text of three verses is the prophetic fulfilment of judgement against Israel for rejecting and crucifying the Christ and of the subsequent scattering of the nation by the Romans.

It is about God’s sovereignty and Man’s responsibility again. Judas’ offer and the payment of thirty pieces of silver fulfilled the prophecy of the rejection of Jesus the Messiah. While Judas looked for a good kairos to betray Jesus, he also moved with
God’s kairos (Matthew 26:16). Judas decided when and how; yet his timing was perfectly in sync with God’s timing – Passover – when the Lamb of God will be handed over to be crucified. God can and will use every misalignment to be aligned to His purposes. But Man will still be held responsible and accountable for aligning or not aligning with Him.

No one starts out wanting to be like Judas. Yet, it is too easy to end up like him, selling Jesus out for thirty pieces of silver, or even less. Let us consider these three questions to help keep us stay on track:

Is Jesus just a slave to do our bidding?
We need to be convinced that the truth is that Jesus is the Master and we are His slaves. We need to know the real Jesus and not one of our own construct. We need to align to Jesus and be mindful of the schemes of the enemy (2 Timothy 2:26). If we are not convicted of this truth, we can easily sell Jesus out for the price of a slave or even less.

Are we in it for Messiah or for Money? Are we in it for God or for gain?
Judas was not the first to sell out for a price and personal gain and he would not be the last (Numbers 22:7, 2 Kings 5:26-27, Genesis 37:26-28). Today, the prosperity gospel remains attractive to many. Jesus teaches much about money and declares
that one cannot serve God and mammon at the same time (Matthew 6:24). This warning is for every believer. The safeguard is godliness with contentment (1 Timothy 6:6). Our trust is not on money or what we have but must always be in God
(Philippians 4:13).

Will I be responsible to align with God’s sovereign plan?
Alignment is not just going to church, doing the ‘Christian’ thing. Judas was with Jesus, went on mission with Him, saw the miracles and still remained misaligned with God’s purposes. God is moving forward and His kingdom is advancing. Our
responsibility and priority is to participate through our God-given kingdom assignments, checking alignment and moving with Him and His kairos. By grace, we will do our best by His empowerment; resting in His divine sovereignty, In the end, despite God’s sovereignty, we are still personally accountable.

Conclusion

How does one start out sold out only to end up selling out? Fundamentally, it is about knowing Jesus, the Person of the King and the Purposes of His kingdom. This frames our expectations and expressions of how we love and serve Him. Clearly,
Judas had many misalignments that opened his heart to the devices of the enemy.

No one wants to be like Judas but we can learn from him. If you were in his shoes, what would you have done differently?