In the beginning of Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth, the title-character was a noble general of King Duncan of Scotland’s army, greatly respected by all. However, after meeting three witches who prophesied that he would become king, Macbeth, not seeing how that was possible, as Duncan was king, allowed thoughts of murdering the ruler to linger in his mind, until eventually, he carried out the horrible act, with evil persuading from his wife, Lady Macbeth. Although his intent was hidden at first, the consequence of his giving in to the temptation of bettering himself—much like Judas Iscariot’s situation—was later made known.
Although the Lord Jesus knew the intentions of Judas’ heart, King Duncan had never suspected that Macbeth would betray him. In fact, no one had ever suspected the once-esteemed general, or, for that matter, the disciple of Jesus, to carry out such cruel acts. The displeasure in Macbeth’s heart and his main objective to become king and his thirst for power drove him to take the lives of not only the king, but also those of Banquo, a general in the late-king’s army; Lady Macduff, the wife of Nobleman Macduff; Lady MacDuff’s children; and others. For Judas, the promise of payment for his Master’s arrest was enough for him to hand his Lord over.
Although their motives were different—Macbeth’s was discontent and hunger for power, and Judas’ was love of money—both men are known throughout history as traitors; they both had so much potential in the beginning, but in the end, died as hated, condemned men.
Both stories illustrate the truth of James 1:14-15 when it says, “14But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
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