Some believe that Jesus told Judas Iscariot to betray him.
In the Gospel of Judas, Jesus said, “But you will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me.”
If this is the case, then Judas acted out of obedience and faith in Jesus and he was given the strength to follow through with Jesus’ request. Imagine for a moment being Judas once things had been set in motion and he was outside the loving gaze and light of Jesus. Imagine the torture and suffering he put himself through questioning his actions, wondering if he had acted within the will of God or made a mistake. Imagine the tortured thoughts he experienced as he second guessed his actions under the criticism and hatred of those who had once called him brother, his fellow disciples.
It is so hard to keep our hearts and our heads clear and open to God’s message, and then once we are bogged down with fear of a mistake or acting selfishly rather than within His will, we pull yet further away from Him and our faith is so quickly drained from us.
I think it is in these moments of fear that we have to breath deep, and know our faith is being tested. The moment our faith begins draining from us, is moment that we must hold tight to it and thank God for our current suffering, questioning and lack of confidence in our actions or words. We must continue to reflect even more on His perfect plan and remember that sometimes acting within His will might not be comfortable. If we have stepped off the path, there is a lesson within each step and we must remember that He loves us so much that He will not let us stray far before He begins nudging us back on track.
I said something a few days ago that I so deeply regret, that I can now actually appreciate why some people take a vow of silence. I am not sure if I was on track or off track with what I said, but even through my regret I am trying very hard to be thankful for experiencing these feelings of regret, for the increase in my desire to be pleasing to God (through silence if necessary) and for yet another opportunity to empathize with Judas.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for everything.
I love the song The Hammer Holds by Bebo Norman.
When I first heard this song about a year ago I thought of Judas Iscariot. I thought of the love he must have felt for Jesus when he first met Him. I thought of how fervently he wanted to follow Him, to be good and to care for and help the poor. I thought of the dreams he must have had for himself as a follower, a disciple and a friend of Jesus. He possibly imagined that God was shaping him into a perfect piece of art that would be displayed for all to see. Then I imagined his pain, his sorrow, his despair and possibly the numbness he felt when he realized that God’s plan was not for him to be displayed as a perfect piece of art, but instead God’s plan was for him to betray Jesus, betray the blood of a guiltless man. When I thought of this I cried and cried and cried for this man whom it would have been better for if he had not been born (Matthew 26:24).
Tonight I saw that a friend had taken the quiz, Which one of Jesus’s disciples are you? so I decided to take it too. Guess which disciple I am? Judas Iscariot.
WOW… I was shocked and so sad that this computer quiz calculated that if I had been there 2000 years ago and been blessed beyond measure to be chosen by Him as one of His 12 disciples, I would have been His betrayer. I would not have been sleeping in the garden as He prayed, but instead would have been wide awake leading those blind with hatred and envy to Him, my Love. It would have been me…
Ever since empathizing with Judas Iscariot through Bebo Norman’s song, I have prayed that Judas Iscariot only found the courage and strength to betray Jesus purely out of obedience to Jesus and faith in Jesus. I still pray for this to be true, and my hope lies in the fact that so many things are upside down and turned around from what they seem, our treasure lies not in the bank but in our love, the first shall be last and the last shall be first, the veil is still drawn, the truth is still hidden, but someday all will be revealed… and until then I am praying for Judas.
I just finished reading all four gospels for the first time. Even though I grew up attending mass weekly, this is the first time (at least in my flawed memory) that I have heard of the disciple whom Jesus loved or the beloved disciple.
Who is this disciple? I didn’t realize until I did a few internet searches last night that the question of the identity of this disciple has been under discussion for quite some time, but I always love a good mystery so I have decided to join the scholars in their discussion despite my lack of in depth knowledge. Below are my initial thoughts.
Jesus gives the most love where the most love is needed. Jesus will leave 99 sheep grazing in order to search for 1 lost sheep.
Jesus chose his disciples and he knew all of their fates. He knew they would be hated, despised, persecuted for following Him. He knew most of them would be killed for spreading His message. Jesus loved them all, but of the twelve who needed the most love?
Matthew 26:24 – “The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”
I think Judas Iscariot needed the most love from Jesus in order to survive the self hatred that he would inflict on himself following the betrayal and to survive the centuries of hatred and persecution aimed at him from people all over the world.
Jesus thank you for loving Judas Iscariot so much. I have a feeling that he may be Your beloved disciple. Please help us to remember that we do not know the whole story and that we do not need to know the whole story, but we must love as You love.
Please help me to love Judas Iscariot as you love him.