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Easter Reflection #3 by Neil Robinson

#3 – Wealth is meaningless

“What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you? So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver.”               

Matthew 26:15 NIV

As a creature of habit, every night when I go to bed, I place loose change, car key and house keys in the shallow wooden bowl on my bedside table and each morning I return them to whichever pair of trousers I am going to wear – UNTIL coronavirus lockdown! I have not disturbed the loose change for a week since I last went shopping for food. What are these pieces of metal for? They cannot change the enforced restriction. They cannot allow me leisure experiences. Before anyone jumps to make suggestions let me say that I fully understand the hardships and poverty that for many has been greatly enhanced by the coronavirus pandemic. That is why I have used the term wealth rather than money in the title as a concept. There is no ability to even bribe this virus to go away and as we are daily reminded it affects high and low, rich and poor with no discrimination.

The desire for money, wealth and power seem to have invaded the Judas Iscariot we hear so little about in scripture. John relates that Jesus called him “a devil” earlier in his ministry but Luke uses the term “became a traitor”. We can only surmise that Jesus did not fit the image of Messiah that Judas had in mind and if we put that alongside his love of money and power we see what motivated his actions. Thirty pieces of silver was a considerable amount of money, enough to buy a slave (or Judas) and it became used to buy a field which is an easier amount to appreciate today. But what did Judas get out of it, certainly not the wealth and power he thought. All he got was guilt and remorse “and hanged himself”. He achieved nothing of any monetary value and despite being with Jesus for all that time he sold himself to evil. 

We may not have so many of the usual outlets for our money and that may give us reason to review our finances as part of the re-ordering of society due to coronavirus. Let’s pray that we make decisions which do not fill us with guilt or remorse when we realise what we have done or not done.

“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?”