Sunday, March 4, 2012

Pacifist Charade

Judas: Don't you see, God has given us the task of rallying the people behind Jesus and that cannot be done while he maintains this pacifist charade.
We must convince him to publicly declare his true nature.
Zealot: But how? I don't understand?
Judas: When the Sanhedrin arrests Jesus under false charges, it will force him to reveal his true identity as the messiah.
This will incite the people to rise up in his defense and lead to the very thing the nobles and Pilate fear the most...a city-wide riot!
- Eye Witness: A Fictional Tale of Absolute Truth #1
by Robert James Luedke

The betrayal of Christ has always seemed curious to me. Not much is said in the Gospels about why Judas did it. We aren't given much for motivation other than the now proverbial 30 pieces of silver. But even before this incident occurs in the narrative, the Gospel writers don't speak too fondly of Judas. All four books note when Judas is first introduced in the narrative that he will eventual betray Jesus.

So why would one of the 12 disciples, Jesus' closest followers and friends, decide to turn him over to the authorities? Aside from the aforementioned monetary incentive, both Luke and John assert that Satan entered Judas and instigated the betrayal (Luke 22:3; John 13:2). This poses a question for me: Did the devil really possess Judas to some extent and force him to commit this action, or was this behavior so abhorrent that these writers could only conceive the intervention of Satan himself could cause one of their own to act this way? Like most things I write on this blog, that question may be heretical.

I obviously don't have an answer to this. Here, Robert James Luedke takes some dramatic liberties to flesh out Judas' motivation. In this version, Judas is, to the very end, a faithful follower of Jesus. But he still believes Jesus is a military messiah that will wage a war against the Romans. Judas concludes that Jesus needs a little push for him to remove his pacifist guise and reveal himself as the military mastermind he truly is.

Unfortunately for Judas, this was not the kind of messiah Jesus turned out to be.

So could this be the true motivation for Judas? No one can say. It certainly makes some sense and could be possible, but there is no way for us to know for sure.

But it certainly makes for a good story.

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