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Convenient Betrayal

And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them. 11 And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him. ~ Mark 14:10-11

Conveniently: with ease; easy; comfortable; easily acceptable and easily accessible. Doesn’t take a lot of effort.

The phrase “conveniently” recalls the Sanhedrin’s hope to arrest Jesus in the absence of the multitude.

And he promised and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude. so they would not cause a riot. ~ Luke 22:6

After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. 2 But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people. ~ Mark 14:1-2

Judas was known, well known, to the men who followed the Savior. As a matter of fact, he walked the same dusty roads of Judea and sailed the same stormy Sea of Galilee with the disciples and Jesus. He was one of their friends. And here he was seeking a way to conveniently betray the One he had referred to as Master.

What was the “convenient” way Judas chose to betray? With a kiss! In Bible times, it was customary for people to greet each other with a kiss. There are four places in the New Testament that refer to the “holy kiss”— Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26. In each instance, the Greek words denote a kiss which is sacred—physically pure and morally blameless. It was a common custom in most nations for people to kiss each other at a meeting or parting to display their love, sincere affection, and friendship for each other. The kiss is called “holy” to distinguish it from a sexual one and from a hypocritical and deceitful one. But we know this kiss was none of those things.

Judas sought the impossible because there is no convenient way or time to try to get rid of Jesus. And we know that what he thought was a convenient betrayal turned into dire eternal consequences.

In the same way, it is never convenient to betray Jesus it is never convenient to receive Jesus. When you receive Jesus as your Savior and Jesus moves into your life…other things must go. You cannot have Him and keep hate, our biases, our lusts, our selfishness, our greed, our sin. I think of the rich young ruler and I think especially of Felix and Drusilla in their meeting with the Apostle Paul.

And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. 25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. ~ Acts 24:24-25

Paul was sharing the gospel with an official Felix and his wife, Drusilla. Paul has three points to his sermon: righteousness, temperance (or self-control) and the judgment to come. Three reasons why they should repent and believe on Jesus Christ.

Felix trembled. He was terrified. Conviction from God gripped his heart. Paul saw that and offered the remedy of Salvation – but it was up to Felix to receive it. And what did Felix do? He procrastinated. He said when I have a convenient time, I will call you.

The most convenient time for a lost sinner to be saved is right now.

Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. ~ 2 Corinthians 6:2b

Felix had a “take it or leave it” attitude toward God’s Word. And though he knew he was a sinner he refused to break with his sins and obey the Lord. He had a foolish attitude toward God’s grace. The Lord had been long suffering toward him but he would not surrender. Felix was not sure of another day’s life but yet he procrastinated.

The best time to trust Jesus Christ is NOW! And the best time to tell others the good news of the gospel is NOW!

Today let’s think for a minute about our own hearts. Concerning our own convenient betrayals of Jesus Christ.

  • Has it grown increasingly convenient to stay home from the church even though the Word tells us directly not to forsake assembling together?
  • Has your personal prayer life and your Bible study and your worship started to disappear?
  • Have things crept back into your life…attitudes, habits, sins?
  • Do you keep silent at things in our country that are wholly against the Word of our God?
  • When you see someone in need can you turn away or cross the street?
  • Have your soul-winning efforts become confined only to times, places, people …when, where and to whom it is convenient for you to share the Gospel?
  • Have you heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ and turned away from Him or said not today?
A life of convenient betrayal is in complete contrast with a life of complete surrender and commitment and obedience to Jesus Christ. But both begin first with a thought or a conviction and then with a choice and then a series of choices that you act on. You chose Jesus Christ as your Savior and that choice leads to life eternal. You chose to reject Him and you will find yourself with the same consequences as Judas Iscariot. Once choice leads to LIFE eternal in Heaven; the other in an eternal hell.

How can you be saved? It’s very clear in the Bible: belief in Jesus as the one who bore your sins, died in your place, was buried, and whom God resurrected on the third day. It’s Christ’s blood and resurrection that assures us of everlasting life when we call on Him as our Lord and Savior.

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved.” ~ Romans 10:13.

“Whosoever” includes each and every one of us.