And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus Luke 22:4 (NIV)

Shortly after Jesus finished washing the disciple’s feet, Judas Iscariot quietly left the room. My hosting duties complete, and with nothing better to do, I decided to follow him. To this day I don’t know why I did it. His leaving aroused no suspicion among the disciples, and if anything, they probably thought he was off to purchase supplies or perhaps to take some money to the poor.

Descending an exterior staircase he slid into a narrow alleyway at the back of the house. We were near the Dung Gate. Looking neither to the left or right he headed off in the direction of the temple. I had to hustle to keep up. He was walking at a fast clip and it was no easy task staying out of sight, yet staying close enough to not lose him as he wound his way through the shrouded streets.

Nearing the temple he stopped outside the house of Caiaphas, the high priest. After pausing in the outer courtyard to exchange a few words with the officers of the temple guard, he went inside. Watching from the shadows, I was struck by the clandestine and conspiratorial nature of the whole affair. What possessed him to visit the high priest, of all people? It didn’t make any sense and, with the officers of the temple guard in the courtyard, there was no way I could get close enough to find out what was being said. Then, as luck would have it, a priest appeared at the door and summoned the officers.

Moving furtively I slipped across the courtyard, edged around the back of the house, and peeked in through a window. Judas appeared to be involved in some kind of negotiation. I caught snatches of the conversation . . . heard Judas telling them how he’d become disillusioned and disenchanted with Jesus. Then something about making a deal, which delighted the priests and officers of the temple guard. I wasn’t really sure what it was all about until I heard Judas mention Jesus’ name and say, “How much will you pay me if I hand him over to you?”

Stepping back from the window I stifled a gasp. I was shocked! Judas was planning perfidy. He was out to betray the Master. Sneaking a final look I saw one of the priests counting out thirty silver coins to seal the deal. I was overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. Returning to the street, I slumped down next to a wall. A few minutes later Judas slinked by and melted away in the darkness.

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