I’ve often wondered why Judas betrayed Jesus. What was his motivation? Judas was the treasurer of the disciples, and I’ve heard preachers elude to his greediness, but I’d never seen it in scripture for myself.

As a writer, I often deal with character motivation. The why of an individual’s action.

To me, simple greediness wouldn’t be a strong enough motivator to betray one you love, admire, and have seen perform many miracles. But anger can propel men to do stupid things.

Was Judas angry? Why?

In Matthew 26, when the woman came with the Alabaster box and anointed Jesus feet, the disciples (including Judas) had indignation (anger). The perfume is assumed to be very expensive. They wondered, why wouldn’t this be sold and the money given to the poor.

Jesus rebuked them. Harshly. Not only did he tell his disciples to leave the woman alone. He praised her actions and prophesied that wherever the gospel would be told, people would know of her good work.

He never said this about the disciples.

So let’s recap and look for Judas motivation.

1.      He didn’t understand why? He thought anointing Jesus feet was a waste of money. He didn’t know Jesus was about to be crucified.

2.      Judas probably didn’t like to be publicly chastised. (No one does.)

3.      He possibly could have been jealous of Jesus’s praise for the woman’s work.

4.      Judas had the bag. He had control over the money. Did he want it for himself?

The power of suggestion here doesn’t give us Judas’s exact reasoning, but it gives suspicion enough to make his next actions supportable, even though he’d seen Jesus do many miracles in the three years he’d walked by his side. Did anger motivate Judas to betray his Lord?

What motivates my characters? What motivates me? Anger at not understanding God’s reasoning? Embarrassment for being wrong in times past? Jealous over another’s good works? Greed?

Or love for my savior?
What’s our motivation? Why do we do the things we do?
The Bible says we should work out our own salvation with FEAR and TREMBLING. I think it’s good to examine our motivation from time to time.
Am I angry at God because I don’t fully understand the work that he is doing? Do I sit down and pout when I discover that I don’t know everything that I thought I did? Do I work for God just to say that did more than other Christians? Or do I write for money and fame?
I used to be angry at God for not allowing me to grow up in a Pentecostal family. But now, I understand that my childhood experiences better serve the call He has on my life.

I confess that I hate being wrong, but I’m learning that I don’t have to be right all the time.
As for jealously, unless you count Amazon rankings, I don’t have a problem with this. Years ago, I had access to large amounts of money and that didn’t make me happy. But fame? Some people have a fear of failure. I have a fear of success. I’ve seen many great men and women of God fall after they reached a pinnacle of worldly acclaim. That’s why I try to live a life pleasing to God. I don’t always accomplish this goal, and I sometimes fail, but I’ll keep trying because I don’t want to be a Judas. I want to finish the race God has set before me with humility.

What motivates you?
Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of Whatever It Takes, the second book in The Whatever Series now available in print and ebook.

Bridgett Henson

I am a sinner saved by amazing grace. I use both written and spoken words to help kindred souls see their own beauty through God's eyes in hope that they will accept their Happily Ever After as provided by Jesus Christ. I've authored 3 books in The Whatever Series, and am a book coach with Empowered Publications.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.