Part 4: No Way Out

But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

John 12: 4-6

Judas was desperate to find a way out. At the moment that meant getting out of Lazarus’ house. The dinner in Jesus’ honor had devolved into a bunch of sheep bleating over a shepherd who was about to lead them off a cliff–only like real sheep they were too blind to see it.

He was growing desperate in other ways too. Jesus had changed his life–if you counted ridicule, ostracization and death threats. But Judas had seen few signs of the peace, prosperity and prestige they all had been promised when Jesus first started talking about establishing his kingdom.

He knew Jesus was a good man and even a great teacher, but he had long ago given up on the notion that he might be their promised Messiah.

Skimming a little from the purse was Judas’ payback–at least that’s what he told himself the first time. After that it had gotten easier.

Maybe it was the hypocrisy of it all that had gotten to him tonight. On one hand Jesus himself had no where to lay his head most nights (Matthew 8:20). He and his followers regularly lived with hunger, poverty and rejection. And yet, Jesus apparently had no issue with this woman pouring a year’s wages onto his feet?

Judas’ cheeks burned with anger, shame and resentment over Jesus’ rebuke–for simply stating the obvious–while he said nothing to Mary:

“It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

John 12:8

He was finished. His only thought now was on getting out. At this point, at least the way he saw things, he really had no choice. If he didn’t help the Jewish leaders rein Jesus in, he would get them all killed. And so from then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over. (Matthew 26:16)

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out.

1 Corinthians 10:13

Read all of “A Story Told in 5 Parts”:

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 5

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