Wages of Sin
A continuation in our study of the Gospel of Matthew: The Messiah of Promise
1 When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. 2 And they bound him and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate the governor. 3 Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, 4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” 5 And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. 6 But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money.” 7 So they took counsel and bought with them the potter’s field as a burial place for strangers. 8 Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9 Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, 10 and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.”
Here we have another case of regret, yet it appears to end differently than Peter, but why is that so? Is it possible to be sorry for sin, but not repentant? Is it possible that we can be sorry because of the anguish it causes us, but not sad that our sin offends God? There is a form of repentance that is motivated by fear of judgment, but not love for God. True grief and repentance leads to loving God and works that demonstrate the heart (See 2 Corinthians 7:10; 2 Timothy 2:25 cf. Hebrews 12:17).
If Judas had a godly sorrow, it would not lead to his suicide, it would lead him to Jesus and His grace and mercy. That’s where Peter went in his regret and sorrow. Judas wanted Jesus to be something other than what He was, and when He didn’t come through, he betrayed Him, sold Him out so he could capitalize on Jesus’ popularity. Money and power was his Achilles heel, even though he had spent 3 years with Jesus. How easy is it to hear the words of Christ year after year, and take nothing away from it.
- In what way(s) was Judas’ grief different than Peter’s?
- Why did that matter?
- Do you think Judas is in heaven with God? Why? Why Not?
- What is the significance of Jeremiah’s prophecy in this passage?