In the rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar, Judas worries that Jesus' popularity has overshadowed, and put at risk, their mission. He expresses his concern that the Romans will retaliate, endangering them all, and accuses Jesus’ followers of being blinded by their enthusiasm ("Heaven on Their Minds"). The group ignores Judas’ concerns, and urges Jesus on to Jerusalem. Jesus resists, hinting that the future is already set. Mary tends to Jesus as he copes with his followers not understanding the big picture of his work (“What’s the Buzz”). Mary’s attention prompts Judas to confront Jesus on taking in a prostitute with his band of disciples. Jesus chastises Judas, claiming Mary as one of his own, scolding his followers that in the midst of their journey, only she has shown care for him ("Strange Thing Mystifying"). While the group rejects Jesus’ accusation, Mary calms Jesus and encourages him to think less on the worries of the group and the world. When she anoints him with oil, Judas confronts her for spending money on an expensive luxury for Jesus when they could have used the money to help those less fortunate. Jesus reminds Judas that even their work to help others will not save everyone. Making a veiled prophecy of his forthcoming death, he tells the group that they should focus on the time they have with him. The group departs with Jesus close to Mary ("Everything's Alright").
At the Temple, the high priests are concerned about Jesus’ growing popularity and following. They worry he may inspire a revolt against Rome, bringing retaliatory violence and the destruction of their people and way of life. The high priest, Caiaphas, suggests that Jesus must be stopped and the only way to truly control the situation is to have Jesus killed ("This Jesus Must Die"). Jesus and his followers arrive in Jerusalem and are confronted by the priests who demand Jesus stop spreading his message and inspiring others to action. The crowd sings