Matthew 26: 14-16
“Then on of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What will you give me if I betray him to you?’ They paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him (NIV).”
Why Is It Always About The Money?
People of faith have such an uneasy relationship with money. I suppose it’s for the same reason Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit in the movie “Lord of the Rings” who is chosen to bear the ring of power over the earth, wavers between feeling love, protective violence, and hatred for the ring! Money in our world is power; power to fund great good or evil. Enough money can even tempt us to believe we have so much power that we don’t need God for anything.
Judas reminds us of such dangers. He hands Jesus over to his killers for 6 weeks of pay, roughly $6,000 for today’s worker earning $48,000 per year. Though there are several other potential motives for Judas to turn Jesus in, the gospels clearly focus on money, and money, as we learn from Jesus, reveals what the heart loves.
Money is not evil in and of itself. It is only paper and metal! The use of the power money symbolizes is what is good or bad, and that use is determined by what the human heart worships. If we worship the power of money there will never be enough. The love of money will become a black hole which will suck goodness, joy, and beauty out of life. When our hearts worship God, money will be gratefully directed to daily needs of loved ones and others in true need, and our decisions will be life giving.
How is our use of money an act of worship to God this Lent?