The Love of Money Killed Jesus

By Pastor Mark Tanious

This is Wednesday of Holy Week, historically known as Spy Wednesday. This is the day where Judas and the religious leaders hastily broker a financial deal to have Jesus arrested and killed.

It is on Spy Wednesday that we find these ominous words:

“Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?’” (Matthew 26:14–15). “When they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money” (Mark 14:11).

The religious leaders had been looking for a way to capture and kill Jesus (John 11:53). They finally found their man. What was the price to betray the innocent Son of God? Thirty pieces of silver.

The love of money killed Jesus.

Of course, there’s more to the story. Ultimately, you and I killed Jesus. It was our sin that put him on the cross. But, the act that would hand him over to be tried and killed was rooted in greed. Judas was a lover of money, that’s why he would often help himself to the disciples’ moneybag (John 12:6).

The bottom line is, if you love money you can’t love God. Jesus doesn’t mince words, “You cannot serve God and money” (Matthew 6:24). Can you see why Jesus taught on money more than any other topic? “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).

So what can we do? The author of Hebrews exhorts us:

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5).

How can we keep ourselves from the love of money? First, find contentment in what we have. Do you have food on the table and a roof over your head? You’re actually doing very well. Contentment is the counterattack to greed. When we resist the urge to acquire more stuff we reject the lie that more stuff can make us happy. Contentment with what we have is actually quite freeing. We learnt to trust that God is a good Father who gives us what we need (Matthew 6:32-33). More is not always better. Believing this frees us to enjoy what we already have.

Second, we find a promise in this verse, “for he said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” As the presence of Jesus becomes our greatest treasure, the grip of greed will be broken. The greatest gift God could give to you is his Son of infinite worth. So, yes, Spy Wednesday is a sad day—a day where the love of money was on full display. But, it also led to God’s showing us on the cross that we are his greatest treasure. When we truly see Jesus making us his greatest treasure, he will become our greatest treasure.

God is with you Christian. You have the embodiment of joy and peace and hope. Let’s cherish him. He will never leave us nor forsake us.

*This blog was originally posted on 03/22/16