Would you sell your friendship for thirty pieces of silver? This may seem like a ridiculous question, but it is not to someone who has experienced the selling of a friendship for a lot less.
In Jesus’s day, thirty pieces of silver were significant enough to have the purchasing power to buy a field for the dead. See Matthew 27:6-7. However, it did not have the power to justify a wrong or make things right. The chief priests and elders sought to kill Jesus, and that help came in the form of Judas. Judas agreed to set Jesus up for the silver, and that was the beginning of the end of a friendship. Later, he regretted his actions, but the plan was already in motion. Instead of going to Jesus to see if he could restore the friendship, he made a decision that would permanently end his relationship with Jesus. See this week’s bible study lesson on the main page.
Now, looking back several years ago, I remember an incident from college that led to the beginning of an end to a friendship. I had been friends with a couple of other young women whom I thought were like myself – ambitious, ready to take on the world after college. However, I discovered that we had a key difference. I wanted to do it the right manner, and they were willing to do it in an underhanded manner. I should have known prior to this incident, but this particular incident opened my eyes to whom they truly were as people.
One day, they invited me to lunch. We chose a restaurant we liked. We went in, sat down, ordered our food, and had a great conversation. Everything seemed fine. We get our checks, and they stand up to leave as if they are going to the restroom. I paid for my food, but they never came back. I realized they were running to the car. Yep! They were dining and dashing. They signaled me to run. I had no reason to run. The manager came running out of the restaurant. He was shouting for us to get out of the car. By this time, he had enough identifying information, so a getaway was not optimal. These two ladies asked me to go back into the restaurant with them. I refused, as I had paid for my food. Eventually, they were forced out of the car, and mercifully, the police were not called. They paid for their food, and we were banned from the restaurant. Yes, they had the money they needed. They simply chose not to pay. That was the beginning of the end of my friendship with them.
Was the end of our friendship worth their cheap efforts to keep a little extra money in their pockets? Sure, some people would say they were struggling college students, but that excuse does not fly here. Their parents were readily able to provide for them, and even if they were not, I was taught that you don’t steal from others. This is what they chose instead.
Judas had everything he needed. Jesus shared it all with his disciples. They were not in want, they saw the miracles, and they participated in miracles themselves. What was so important that Judas would want to sell his friendship with Jesus for thirty pieces of silver? I warrant nothing. In life, there are intangible aspects that could never have a physical price tag like a great lifelong friendship and for Christians eternal life. Again, I ask, “Would you sell your friendship for thirty pieces of silver? Would you betray your closes friend for some temporary pleasure? Would you ___?” You fill in the blank. As the end result of the silver, what you are truly purchasing is death. I implore you to use wise judgment in determining the worth of your relationships – especially your relationship with Jesus. Thirty pieces of silver or however much it would be worth today is not worth the pricelessness of the intangible/spiritual aspects of life.