Mark 14:1, 10-11
The chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him.
Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
The Pharisees knew in order to get to Jesus, they had to get someone who knew him. Enemies must know the patterns and habits of their prey, and who better than a friend – a friend who is willing to act like an enemy.
It’s interesting that Mark gives no motive for why Judas would do this. We speculate it was greed or misguided zealousness, but they are merely speculations for Mark gives us no specific motives.
When it comes right down to it, he really didn’t need a motive. Humanly, we want there to be a clear-cut motive, one highlighting the wretchedness of Judas. It makes us feel better if we think he’s a hardened killer or some sort of deranged psychopath. But the truth is the motive doesn’t matter here. The motive has no bearing on the fact that he betrayed his Lord. A motive wouldn’t justify him or condemn him anymore than he already was. The worst part is, as much as we’d outwardly deny it, we are all Judas. We’ve all screwed up. Be it misguided intentions or blatant disregard for doing what’s right, we all commit the crime, and no motive in the world would change anything.
But fortunately for us, it’s not our motive or intentions before the sin that changes anything – it’s Christ’s actions after – his justification that saves us. Left to our own, we’d rapidly spiral downward ultimately crashing, but His love and grace keeps us afloat.