Saturday, May 20, 2006
Regarding Judas. What does scripture tell us?
1. He was an apostle, and presumably (because the text doesn't say otherwise), participated in the apostolic activities - preaching and healing, casting out demons. See Matthew 10, Mark 6 and Luke 9 where Jesus "sends out the 12".
2. Would this imply that he had, at least at that time, faith? Possibly. However, in John 6:70-71 Jesus also says, "but one of you is a devil!" Which would indicate that Jesus was no Donatist.
3. Judas "held the moneybag". He was the treasurer. Apparently there was some degree of trust accorded to Judas - by the other apostles, as well as the Lord himself?
4. Judas was likely seated near Jesus at the Last Supper, near the "head of the table", a place of honor. Thus it would be easy for Jesus to dip the bread (John 13:26) and hand it to Judas. Judas may have even been at Jesus' "right hand", as the right hand was used for eating.
Was this a case of Judas "seeking a higer place at the table" (contra Jesus' parable)? Or was it a case of the Lord honoring Judas or placing him there for some other reason (to make his point? keep your friends close, your enemies closer?)
5. Judas and King Saul of the Old Testament, the only major characters to commit suicide in the Bible. Interesting to note that both are spoken of in terms of influence/posession by Satan/an Evil Spirit. While the Bible doesn't state that suicide automatically leads to damnation, it certainly never paints suicide in a good light.
6. Judas got his feet washed by Jesus in the upper room. He left shortly thereafter. There is some debate about whether he received the Sacrament as it was instituted (I remember one of our seminary parlor discussions concerning this). If anyone has a link to a resource concerning that question, I would appreciate it.