Reflection: Love of Money
Judas Iscariot was infamously known for his love of money. But do you know that it’s his lust for mammon that led him to a garden variety of sins including lying, collusion, betrayal and despair?
First, he lied. He lodged a complaint with Jesus over the use of very expensive ointment, worth roughly one year’s wages, which he argued should have been sold and the money given to the poor. But such a theologically sound and politically correct argument can flow from a twisted motive. We are told that Judas didn’t actually care about the poor, but was a thief, and as keeper of the money bag, used to help himself to it (John 12:4-6).
Second, Judas colluded with the religious leaders to capture Jesus. He was turned because of his love of mammon. Third, he betrayed Jesus to gain blood money and sealed it with a kiss on the cheek to mark Jesus in front of the Roman soldiers. Fourth, rather than repenting of his sins like Simon Peter and going to his Lord, Judas was filled by despair and took his own life.
The story of Judas is a sober reminder to every Christian leader that our intensive service in God’s work and even proximity to God are not reliable indicators of faith in God himself. Three years of up close and personal encounter with Jesus meant that he had the finest teaching and most solid evidence he ever needed to follow the greatest leader alive. Yet his heart was so inextricably entangled with craving for money.
We might be well and truly immersed in God’s work, but are we truly serving him or Mammon?
Prayer: Father, none of us wants to be remembered as a greedy Christian yet, like Judas, that’s how we often secretly live their lives. Help me to live and serve you daily not out of love for money, but love of Jesus.