Matthew 26:14–15, Then Judas.When Yeshua plainly stated that he’d be crucified soon, Judas evidently became disillusioned, since he was expecting Yeshua to be the Conquering King Messiah, not a Suffering Servant Messiah. As the conquering king, it would have been Judas’ expectation that Yeshua would have given the Roman overlords the boot, established himself as the king over the Jews, and thus Judas could have expected a prominent position in Yeshua’s new government.
Because of these false and presumptive expectations about Yeshua’s role as the Messiah, Judas wasn’t following Yeshua for who the Master was, but for how Judas could benefit personally out of his relationship with Yeshua. Judas was a false convert, and a spiritual tare. The church is full of such people including pastors and leaders, and Scripture warns us against them.
The lust for money and power were likely the motives behind Judas’ following Yeshua (after all, Judas carried the money bag for Yeshua’s ministry). When Yeshua predicted his crucifixion, Judas’ incentives for following him suddenly vanished. Judas figured he’d salvage what he could of his unfulfilled expectations and enrich himself, even if it meant betraying Yeshua for money. Judas had come to the conclusion that Yeshua was a false Messiah faker and that he had wasted several years of his life following him, so, in his mind, giving Yeshua over to the Jewish authorities wasn’t an act of betrayal at all, but was an act of civil service to expose Yeshua as a trouble-making fraud. This goes to show that the wicked and a carnal person in his own twisted thinking can justify just about any evil deed and delude himself into thinking he is doing good.
In Judas’ mind, the Jewish leaders had been right after all to reject Yeshua as the Messiah. To them, he was merely a pretender, a deceiver, an agitator and a troubler, and now Judas had come to the same conclusion. When Judas came to this realization, he now found it advantageous to his personal well-being to cast his lot in with the Jewish religious establishment and to make some money from it as well.
In our day, there many Judas-type people who turn away from following Yeshua. Many reasons can be given for this, but it boils down to three things: the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Selah!