Blogs by John H Bidwell
4/16/2011 5:07:42 PM
This is the time of year, getting near Easter, where we tend to hear about betrayal. Churches will have people read about the famous story of Jesus being betrayed by Judas. Everybody seems to go along with this without question. It is all clear cut, what a bad guy that Judas guy. Jesus may have said every which way that we are not to judge- but hey- Judas = bad.
I have to tell you, this is the time of year I feel especially odd. I am not the only one in this boat, but it is far from packed. The thing is I am very sure this betrayal of Jesus by Judas never happened. Oh I’ve read all about it. I know the descriptions given in the bible where there is mention of this betrayal of Jesus by Judas. I guess if you read about it, you can believe it. But- I’ve thought about it. No way- I don’t believe it.
Now you may think- I must be in the twilight zone. “That’s crazy John- everybody knows Jesus was betrayed by Judas.”
Well, I’m sorry. I am so sure it never happened- I think the people that do believe it are in the twilight zone.
And I’m afraid I find I can not even discuss it without coming across as a stand up comedian.
OK- here goes…
Jesus was a man animated by the very life of God. He was- the perfect lens through which the love of God could shine. He knew the love he had and wished to share that quality of life with others. He taught, he told stories. This is not a context for betrayal. How do you betray that? What is betrayal?
Usually, it involves revealing secrets. Jesus was an open man- he did not traffic in secrets. The only thing secretive was that love is not for show. He did not do good deeds to be seen as good. He did not seek out credit.
So one way Judas could have betrayed Jesus was if people were trying to find out how someone got healed- and Judas blurted it out, “Jesus healed him.”
Jesus was not looking for the credit or glory. But- this is too tame. How could Judas really- really betray Jesus?
If he said, “He’s using antibiotics.”
Whoa- so that’s how it’s done.
That would be a real cool wicked betrayal, but I think we all agree- this ain’t the story.
So what else is betrayal? Relationships.
So we could have Judas- appear to be a disciple of Jesus, but he actually sneaks off and follows somebody else. This is before Twitter, it wasn’t that easy. The disciples all show this sign of a fish and Judas accidentally shows up wearing a crow.
That would be betrayal, but that is not what happened.
No revelation of secrets, no following somebody else.
Where’s the betrayal. Well, it gets bad.
What Judas is going to do is show the Chief priests and elders where Jesus is- and point out which of the men is Jesus.
Man, I feel bad for the Chief priests and elders. This man- who causes a catch of fish so awesome it tears the nets, he preaches to crowds and feeds 5000 people. He raises the dead, he causes a herd of swine to drown themselves, he walks on water- we don’t know where he is.
He healed the blind. I am trying to be kind here. Blind folks can find this guy.
Do you suppose maybe that guy up there preaching on the mountain…could that be him?
These Chief priests and elders are going to have to find some way…hmmm?
They can pay somebody 30 pieces of silver. They put up a wanted poster.
Reward- 30 pieces of silver.
Are we making sense yet?
It does not get better. I am not making this up.
So, Judas will lead the Chief priests and elders to where Jesus is located.
But- they won’t know which man is Jesus.
Excuse me, I need a minute.
Is this another miracle? His knack for blending in to the crowd?
“Just a bunch of fishermen here, don’t know where he went.”
But bad boy Judas will point him out. Judas will find Jesus and kiss him.
Why is it 2000 years later nobody has trouble recognizing Jesus? We see him in bakery products, wall board, tree bark, potato chips…
We even have a Jesus cheese doodle. We can’t stop finding him today.
Suppose all we had was John’s gospel. I like it. In that gospel it is telling this story of betrayal. John Chapter 18 verse 4- they are on the way to find him and… “Jesus knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?
5. They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.
6. As soon as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward and fell to the ground.
My guess here is they had rehearsed the kiss scene and were all thrown off by Jesus improvisation. Jesus is having a hard time getting betrayed here. He has to ask them again, see if they remember who they are seeking.
Judas sure didn’t earn the money in John’s Gospel- just a stand in.
John’s Gospel is written about 95AD- best guesses. Sixty plus years after the events, no post it notes or Bic pens.
Please- look at Paul’s writing. Maybe 15 or 20 years after the event.
1 Corinthians 15. Beginning with verse 3, For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4. And that he was buried, and that he rose again on the third day according to the scriptures:
5. And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
If all we had was the writing of Paul, forget it. He did not know about the Judas betrayal. He has the risen Christ appear to the twelve.
Later this Judas story gets invented and Gospels get written and they have Jesus appear to the eleven.
What am I missing?
I will tell you what I do like about the Judas story. It is inserted into being in the first Gospel to be written, Mark. This early quality has it closer to the people and events. I find a more authentic feeling in the story as is appears in Mark.
Mark 14:18 And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me.
19: And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I?
These, are Jesus people. Humble, and seeking the truth. No judgment, no blaming. Nobody blurted out, “It’s got to be that Judas guy- remember that crow?”
The only one we need to set straight…is us.
All else is in God’s hands. Who are we?
If you ever find yourself against anyone, maybe someone who you think betrayed you, try to get Jesus against him too. Good luck with that.
Look at all Jesus had to say in the Sermon on the Mount. It really blows me away every time, every single time. This elevator is going up, and it is taking everybody with it.
John H. Bidwell
More Blogs by John H Bidwell
Betrayal - Saturday, April 16, 2011
Lent - Tuesday, April 05, 2011
Burning Question - Wednesday, March 16, 2011
The Wonder Of It All - Monday, March 14, 2011
The Truly Poor - Sunday, March 13, 2011
Eye contact - Friday, March 04, 2011
Language barrier - Wednesday, February 09, 2011
Pregnant pause. - Saturday, February 05, 2011
Edited blog - Friday, January 28, 2011
The True Nature of Dreams Explained. - Thursday, July 29, 2010
The Guys Lose - Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Observance Of Easter - Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Nobody Cares - Friday, March 19, 2010
Longevity - Monday, February 08, 2010
How To Start A Donnybrook - Thursday, February 04, 2010
Halfway, No More - Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Pitfall - Monday, January 25, 2010
Judgment - Saturday, January 23, 2010
The Horrible Timing of my Own Death. - Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Of Time Beyond - Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I Loved A Lesbian - Sunday, December 20, 2009
Men & Women - Sunday, October 25, 2009
Sign on the tree - Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Prejudice - Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Astronomical mistakes - Wednesday, March 21, 2007
February 22 - Thursday, February 22, 2007
Flushed Out - Friday, February 16, 2007
My dog Lucky - Friday, October 20, 2006
Playing God - Friday, September 08, 2006
Signs - Monday, April 11, 2005
T Rex - Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Mind wanders. - Friday, February 25, 2005
Hi tech scale: - Tuesday, February 08, 2005