December 1, 2013
The 1972 Stanford University “Marshmallow Experiment” is legendary. A single marshmallow was offered to children (ages four to six). However, if the child could resist eating one right away, he/she was offered the promise of two marshmallows later. Among other things, the experiment observed how long children could resist temptation. The one-marshmallow-now kids outnumbered the two-marshmallow-later kids. Go figure.
If the marshmallow experiment had been done on the Twelve, Judas would have been in the “one marshmallow now” group. He couldn’t keep his hand out of the cookie jar (John 12:6). Judas didn’t just sell out Jesus by betraying Him for thirty pieces of silver; he sold Him out long before then.
His betrayal of Jesus was no spur-of-the-moment decision. He betrayed Jesus each time he helped himself to the money bag. While most of us can’t imagine pick-pocketing Jesus, we shortchange Him in a hundred different ways.
- We rob God of the glory He deserves.
- We rob God of the sacrifice He demands.
- We rob God of the priority He seeks.
And we’re not the only ones.
Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of stew. Samson sold his secret for a one-night-stand.
Ananias and Sapphira sold their integrity for a % of real estate. Judas sold his soul for thirty pieces of silver.
What were they thinking? And the answer is…they weren’t. Nothing is more tempting or illogical than sin. And Satan knows it. It is temporary stupidity with eternal consequences. It’s not worth it and we know it. Yet we do it. We sell out for a little now when we can have so much later. By the way, the silver coins Judas received were probably sanctuary shekels. It is estimated that such coins may have been worth the current
currency of 72 cents each. That makes a grand total of… $21.60.
Judas betrayed Jesus for $21.60. $21.60! That’s a very low
price-point. Think about that the next time you’re tempted
to cheat on Him. So, what’s your price?