Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous
man who gives way to the wicked.
Judas was one of the twelve apostles who walked with Jesus. By all appearances, he seemed like a man who loved and served the Lord. But then in a moment of doubt and weakness, he gave way to temptation, accepted money from the chief priests in Jerusalem, and so he led guards to the Garden of Gethsemane to identify the one whom the leaders wanted to capture and kill.
At the very moment that Jesus is taken prisoner, Judas must have realized the enormity and irreversibility of his craven act of betrayal. Instantly, he must have felt the awful darkness of despair enter his soul. It did not take long for Judas to be overwhelmed with hopelessness. He tried to return the thirty pieces of silver to the priests, but they refused to accept the blood money, and so he left. Soon his overwhelming despair led him to hang himself (Matthew 27:3–5).
One of Solomon’s proverbs says, “There is a way that seems good to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” Judas must have justified his act of betrayal with all kinds of high-minded reasons for taking the way he chose to go. But in reality, he betrayed the One he loved, and that realization must have come upon him when he felt there could be no forgiveness for what he had done. Sometimes our own reasoning is not enough to save us from making fateful decisions. It is dangerous to lean on our own understanding. Depend on the Lord to show you the better path.
—Eric Kampmann, Signposts