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The Spirit of Prophecy Volume 3

The scribes and priests now counseled together how they might take Jesus without raising a tumult among the people; for many of those who witnessed his mighty works believed him to be the prophet of the Most High, and would have been greatly incensed at any attempt upon his liberty. So the dignitaries decided that open violence would not be good policy, but that treachery must serve their purpose.

Judas, one of the twelve, proposed secretly to betray Jesus into their hands, by leading them to one of the Saviour’s resorts for prayer and retirement. In this quiet place they could make sure of their prey, for there would be no multitude to oppose them. Judas, ever greedy for gain, made a contract with the priests and rulers to betray his Master into their hands for thirty pieces of silver. The Lord of life and glory was sold to ignominy and death by one of his disciples for a paltry sum of money.

The heart of Judas had not suddenly grown thus base and corrupt. His love of mammon, like any vice which is left unchecked, had daily grown stronger, until it overbalanced his love for the Saviour, and he had become an idolater. His mind had become debased by covetousness; and a man who is enslaved by avarice is in danger of Judas, with the rest of the twelve, had been privileged to listen to the teachings of Jesus, and to witness his acts of sacrifice for the benefit of men. He had noted his forbearance and patience; that when weary, hungry, and pressed upon by the multitude of poor and afflicted, he had pitied their cries and turned none away unrelieved. Judas had seen him perform miracles in giving health to the dying and joy to the despairing. He himself had felt in his person the evidences of his divine power. But when men reject light, and blindly follow their natural inclinations, they are led into darkness, and the plainest facts are unheeded. Judas was naturally avaricious, and he had fostered this evil propensity until it had become the ruling motive of his life.

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