Mark's Gospel

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The Betrayal

(Mark 14:10-11)

Many suggestions have been put forward as to why Judas betrayed Jesus. Some scholars suggest that Judas was impatient for Jesus to declare himself as the Messiah. Perhaps Judas, along with other disciples, mistakenly believed that Messiahship involved an open challenge to Rome, a violent conflict, and the result would be to 'establish once again the sovereignty of Israel' (Acts 1:6). It may be that Judas saw the advantage to himself in this eventuality, envisaging himself as one of those who would 'sit as judges of the twelve tribes of Israel' (Matthew 19:28).

After the incident in the Temple, Jesus would have been instantly recognizable figure in Jerusalem. His movements around the city would have been publicly known. It seems unlikely then that Judas merely betrayed the Jesus' whereabouts and identified him to the Temple police. One theory is that Judas betrayed the fact that Jesus was the Messiah which Jesus had tried to keep a secret among his disciples. This knowledge in the hands of his enemies was fatal to him. It gave the Jewish authorities a capital charge to place before Pilate.

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