Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Judas, Another Look

Judas Iscariot, a name that is tied to betrayal. But is there more to Judas than just a money hungry man willing to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver? I'd like to take a another look at Judas today as we continue our Lenten Journey.

Judas was one of the twelve that Jesus picked to be his "elite" disciples. He was trusted with the money (though one would think that Mathew/Levi as a tax collector would have had plenty of experience handling money.) He was with Jesus for His entire ministry, but in the end, he betrays Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. It just doesn't make sense to me that he would betray Jesus for money.

I believe that there is an alternate way of looking at Judas. While this in no way lessens the betrayal, it may shed more light on what was going on in his mind that lead him to betray Jesus. I believe that Judas was a Zealot. The Zealots were a group that were actively trying to overthrow the Roman government. If Judas didn't understand the kingdom as Jesus preached it (and I think the betrayal proves that!) then he might have simply been trying to force Jesus hand. If Judas saw the Messiah as one who would come with military power to re-establish the physical kingdom of David for Jews, then his betrayal was actually Judas' attempt to move the process along.

The scenario would go this way in Judas' mind. I betray Jesus, they come to arrest him, Jesus acts with power to destroy the Roman oppressors and presto! the new kingdom is established. Now, I have no way of knowing what was going on in Judas' mind, but I would like to think that after spending three years with Jesus, he wouldn't simply betray him for the money. I would like to think that the money was a "bonus" he felt that they would be getting for the treasury of the new kingdom.

Of course, we know that Judas was wrong, wrong in thinking that Jesus kingdom was an earthly one, and wrong to betray Jesus. But, if we look at his motives in a different light, maybe, just maybe, we can see Judas actions a little differently. What do you think?

1 comment:

Jeff said...

I believe Judas never embraced the spiritual Kingdom of Christ as the other apostles slowly began to understand. He was also a master at hiding his hypocrisy. It is significant that when Jesus predicted one of them would betray Him, no one pointed a finger of suspicion at Judas. (Matthew 26:22)
His disillusionment over not grasping the spiritual kingdom turned into hate and hate mixed with greed finally turned to treachery. I think his greed had alot to do with his betraying of the Lord. If he would not get a place or satisfaction in an earthly kingdom that would defeat Israel's enemies why not, at the very least, get 30 pieces of silver? Judas is a classic example of how the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Thank you and happy Resurrection Day.