Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.
There is much speculation of why Judas betrayed Jesus.
Perhaps he loved money. It is revealed that Judas had the group’s money bag and often stole from it.
But if he loved money so much why did he return it to the priests?
One “scholar” believes Jesus asked Judas to betray Him to set the wheel in motion for the crucifixion.
Another theory is Judas wanted to force Jesus’ hand to use his power and abilities to get rid of the Romans, believing He would not let them take Him.
John 6:64 implies that Judas was not really a believer, which I believe.
John 6:70 says Jesus chose the twelve and one was a devil.
Thirty pieces of silver was the price paid to the owner of a slave gored by an ox.
It was a pitiful amount to get for a life. Not much money at all.
The prophet Zechariah was given the same amount as an insult.
Then I said to them, “If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain.” So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter” — that princely price they set on me. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord for the potter. Zech 11:12-13
Zechariah’s thirty pieces of silver and reference to the potter find fulfillment in the Gospel of Matthew.
But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood.” And they consulted together and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Matt 27:6-8
Jesus was betrayed for a paltry amount but many more have betrayed Him for much less.