Researched Author Sir Godfrey Gregg OHPM, ROMC
Judas, the traitor, when he saw that Jesus was fled, lost the hope of becoming powerful in the world, for he carried Jesus’ purse, wherein was kept all that was given him for love of God. He hoped that Jesus would become king of Israel, and so he himself would be a powerful man. Wherefore, having lost this hope, he said within himself: ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know that I steal his money; and so he would lose patience and cast me out of his service, knowing that I believe not in him.
And if he were a wise man he would not flee from the honour that God willeth to give him. Wherefore it will be better that I make arrangement with the chief priests and with the scribes and Pharisees, and see how to give him up into their hands, for so shall I be able to obtain something good.’ Whereupon, having made his resolution, he gave notice to the scribes and Pharisees how the matter had passed in Nain. And they took counsel with the high priest, saying: ‘What shall we do if this man become king? Of a surety we shall fare badly; because he is fain to reform the worship of God after the ancient custom, for he cannot away with our traditions. Now how shall we fare under the sovereignty of such a man? Surely we shall all perish with our children: for being cast out of our office we shall have to beg our bread.
‘We now, praised be God, have a king and a governor that are alien to our law, who care not for our law, even as we care not for theirs. And so we are able to do whatsoever we list; for, even though we sin, our God is so merciful that He is appeased with sacrifice and fasting. But if this man become king he will not be appeased unless he shall see the worship of God according as Moses wrote; and what is worse, he saith that the Messiah shall not come of the seed of David (as one of his chief disciples hath told us), but saith that he shall come of the seed of Ishmael, and that the promise was made in Ishmael and not in Isaac.
‘What then shall the fruit be if this man be suffered to live? Assuredly the Ishmaelites shall come into repute with the Romans, and they shall give them our country in possession; and so shall Israel again be subjected to slavery as it was aforetime.’ Wherefore, having heard the proposal, the high priest gave answer that he must needs treat with Herod and with the governor, ‘because the people are so inclined towards him that without the soldiery we shall not be able to do anything; and may it please God that with the soldiery we may accomplish this business.’
Wherefore, having taken counsel among themselves, they plotted to seize him by night, when the governor and Herod should agree thereto.
Sir Godfrey Gregg OHPM, ROMC