Continuing our simple Sunday reflections in the Gospel of Mark. This week 14:10-11 and the sudden introduction of Judas’ act of betrayal.
In 10:1-2 the chief priests and teachers of the law were seeking to arrest and kill Jesus without causing a public uproar. Here Judas is seeking to betray Jesus and so two parties’ interests meet. ‘External’ opposition is joined by ‘internal’ betrayal. Judas would have opportunity to arrange a surprise arrest out of sight of the crowds.
Mark’s sparse text gives no real hint as to Judas’ motive. Money is promised as a reward but it is not clear if this was just a ‘bonus’ or the actual reason. Had Jesus’ upside kingdom message deeply disillusioned him?
Whatever the truth, Judas acts out of ruthhess personal self-interest in utter contrast to the immediately preceding beautiful act of selfless devotion by the unnamed woman.
One sacrifices Jesus to his own agenda, the other sacrifices the most precious thing she has for Jesus.
One resorts to lies and subterfuge, the other to risky and transparent vulnerability.
One chooses the route of power and violence, the ofter of service and love.
10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. 11 They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.