Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Twelve Minus One - Judas

It is not possible to ignore one who played a vital role in the establishment of the church of the Apostles- Judas Iscariot.

If not for this man’s sacrifice of his own soul we wouldn’t have known if anybody else would have done it. The controversy has always been, was Judas created for this purpose, to serve as a scape-goat for the human race? Some say, “Yes” and brand him a hero in hell fire. Others think he did not really mean to do harm. He was trying to make Jesus hasten the deliverance of the Jews. Nothing can be further from the truth.

   To answer to the former, we need to find out who Judas was and see if he had a choice. One is that he was not the only one bearing that name among the Apostles. So if it were by name, he had a choice. Two, few people know he had the best name among the twelve, the name meant “Of praise” and to amplify this he was chosen under divine guidance after a night vigil (Luke 6:12) and men honored him by making him a money keeper. The latter point was enough to force the other Judas to do what he did. Instead he became a thief (John 12:4) stealing from the public purse, rebel, by rebelling against his master (John 12:4-8), a hypocrite, by interacting with the brethren when he actually meant to betray their Lord. So, he became a devil (John 6:70) because the devil entered him (Luke 22:3)

     Having come thus far, we may ask, “Was Judas born again?” In my opinion he was, but sensuality and love of this world’s wealth dragged him away and took him captive even when he was physically with Jesus and the other Apostles.
    The common denominator for all fools is that they think they are the wisest people on earth (Rom 1:22) Whereas the other disciples were giving away all they had to the poor, Judas was accumulating and perhaps kept a fat bank account. Whereas some of them who were rich were going about with few clothes, Judas was looking flashy with newer ones. It was never thought of that Judas contested for leadership in the group like Peter and John did, because he only hoped to grab enough and quit.

So, he became a thief and a devil and lost his place for another. Judas was in a way typifying the Jewish nation of his day, who as a whole nation betrayed and killed the Messiah sent to them to remain in Roman captivity. Like Judas they received the divine judgment and their temple was destroyed and their place taken by another – the Church.

    Judas committed suicide but that was not the day he killed himself. He killed himself when he yielded to the love of money and made friends with enemies of the church. The rest was only a manifestation. The Jewish temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, many lives lost and the Jews scattered all over the world- in 70-AD, but that was only the manifestation of the rejection of the Messiah more than sixty years ago. They too committed suicide by assuming they can fight through to their freedom from the Roman government, also assuming that God was with them, when the opposite was the case.

   I wonder if you know that the word Jew is a short form for Judah and Judas meant of "Judah.” All point to praise. They were raised to declare the praise of God but they defiled themselves and faced God’s wrath.

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