Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Gospel of Judas

Judas Iscariot

Judas Iscariot. You know the story. He betrayed Christ for 30 pieces of silver. He is vilified and hated by millions. About 7 months ago I learned about the Gospel of Judas. It is apocryphal. It was recently discovered, but carbon dates back before 2nd century. (You can find lots about it with Google.) The book is mostly comprised of conversations between Judas and Jesus, and suggest that Judas was actually Christ's most loyal apostle--that he betrayed Christ because Christ asked him to do it. Apparently none of the others were loyal enough to do this.

At least, that's the story.

I'm not saying it's true. But I like it. It's a different side to the story. Ever since hearing it I realized that we just don't know. It is possible that things are not as they seem, especially when it comes to the Bible, which is a not so random sampling of thousands of books that could of have been chosen (by people who had an agenda--all do) and is not translated correctly in many instances.

Again, I'm not saying it's true, but when Christ tells Judas, "That thou doest, do quickly..." maybe he was instructing him that now was the time. Perhaps they had talked it all over earlier and Christ told him to wait for his cue. Maybe Christ orchestrated it all himself.

This story has come up again for me as I have been thinking about Sacred Contracts. Perhaps this was part of Judas's contract? After all, someone needed to do it. The point is, we don't know. We only get small glimpses into other people. Very small glimpses into ancient people. But even our friends and family members--we just don't know. Sometimes it seems that they have gone astray or are walking in strange roads, but I know that there have been many times God has inspired me to do things that form the outside seem totally counter-intuitive or even out of sync with what was "right." Sort of like Nephi begin commanded to kill Laban--but not that dramatic. Obviously, in cases like this, I have asked for multiple witnesses. But when it comes to others, we don't know what their sacred contracts entail and whether their current struggle is from living the contract (and thus will ultimately lead to joy) or being out of sync with it, which leads to frustration.

But I suppose, though we don't know, we could ask. Right? That's how Christ's church was restored in the 1800's. A boy read "If any of you lack wisdom..." and decided to ask of God--who gave very liberally.

So I guess what I'm coming to is that if family members or spouses seem to be betraying us, or if they seem in need of rescue efforts, couldn't we ask God? It seems to me that we can ask him anything with faith and He will give liberally. And there's evidence that it's a good policy to do so, especially when so much is not what it seems.

1 comment:

  1. I discovered your blog by a Google Alert set for “Judas Iscariot.”

    I've been thinking about the Jesus/Judas relationship for about thirty years, and blogging about it for three. I've concluded independently that Jesus instructed Judas to deliver him.

    Prior to, “That you do, do quickly,” Judas was not truly a follower of Jesus, but a devil. (John 6:70) Afterward, Judas followed Jesus.

    The core of the instruction was given in John 13:18 when Jesus paraphrased Psalms 41:9: “. . . he that eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me.”

    The “bread” of Jesus was “. . . to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” (John 4:34) To eat bread with Jesus was to cooperate with him in his work. The one he chose to cooperate with him, that the scripture be fulfilled, was the one who had lifted up his heel against him. Judas lifted up his heel against him when he made the covenant to deliver him (Matthew 26:14-16), after the devil put it into his heart. (John 13:2) The making of the covenant was a trespass against Jesus.

    Jesus responded to the trespass against him by staging the scene of the foot washing. Thereby Jesus told Judas his fault between him and Judas alone (“You are not all clean”), and conveyed his message of forgiveness to him symbolically when he washed the heel lifted up against him. As a consequence, Jesus cleansed Judas of that devil – let no man call unclean that which God has cleansed (Acts 10:15), and he gained his brother. (Matthew 18:15) Judas no longer desired to deliver Jesus. For Judas, the covenant to deliver him became his cross.

    Moreover, when Satan entered Judas the second time (John 13:27), Judas became adverse to the idea of delivering Jesus. (Matthew 16:21-23) In contrast with Simon Peter, however, after Jesus said, “That you do, do quickly,” Judas denied himself and took up his cross, and followed Jesus. (Matthew 16:24)

    The prompting to act quickly was needed for two reasons. First, Judas, under the influence of Satan, was reluctant to act. Second, time was running out. Jesus was in the process of laying down his life with power. (John 10:17,18) The last day had already begun (it was after sunset when Judas went out). In addition to raising up Judas at the last day (John 6:39), Jesus had still to be arrested, tried, convicted, hanged, and buried, all before the next sunset.

    If you're interested, you can read my blog at www.inmyownname.com.