Monday, June 6, 2011

Judas the Betrayer

Who was known as the betrayer? Judas.

Judas was known as the betrayer. A comment reminding of his treason is even added to his name in Matthew and Mark’s list of the twelve (Matthew 10:4, Mark 3:19). Is the moniker just?

The apocryphal Gospel of Judas purports collusion with Jesus, elevating him to the truest of disciples. Whether taking the apocryphal gospel or the Bible, Judas did not act alone as he was either working with Jesus or Satan. The canonical record is clear that it is the latter (Luke 22:3, John 13:2). Judas’ remorse over the results of his actions supports the fact that Jesus’ death was either not the assumed result of his action or that he was not acting of his own accord.

Based upon Judas’ appearance with the other Jewish radicals at the end of the lists of disciples, there has been speculation that Judas wanted a messianic kingdom, perhaps more than the other disciples as he was the only non-Galileean. Satan tells half-truths more than bold faced lies. If Judas was under the impression that handing over Jesus would usher in the oft mentioned kingdom of God, he would have been correct. If Judas did in fact want a kingdom and it was offered, it would fit Satan’s modus operandi of telling only the attractive portion of the stories.

Did Judas’ betrayal serve any function? It would appear that he only gave away Jesus’ location, a position that Jesus himself noted should not have been hard to discern (Matthew 25:55). Did Judas benefit the scribes in any way?

On a larger scale, for some atonement theories, Satan needed to have some agency in the death of Jesus and Judas does represent Satan’s involvement in the death.

Is it significant that Jesus’ death was an inside job?

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