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Did Judas Get a Bum Rap?

The above title best describes how I've always felt about Judas.

You've surely read Luke's account:

"Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present."

Luke 22:1-6 NIV

Yet, had the Priests and Teachers been on their best behaviour, they would have sensed "Satan" and practiced the righteousness they professed.

Judas, in my mind was overly strategic, and I have been there!

He was surely devoted, or his skill set and loyalty would not gotten him promoted to Treasurer.

Seems initially, he was high n the pecking order of the team, though obviously wired differently than the others.

I know the feeling from my early days of work on a pastoral team.

He had heard all the threats, listened deeply to this man so admired, and yes like all on the "staff", had witnessed the miraculous! He knew about leadership theory as best understood in his day, thus his network and access to those in power.

Given the personal power that resided in this very practical carpenter's son, causes me to hear him say, "my, what a candidate for King!

Perhaps thinking to himself, "if I could just get him in the right situation, he'll show out, call down a legion of angels, overthrow this wicked Roman occupation and become the King we have all looked for since David. Surely as Peter and others have seen and said, the Messiah."

His zeal got ahead of God's plan, yet as it always seems, played into God's providence.

Imagine his remorse given the possibilities of an even deeper belief system than the average disciple, now forever labeled "the betrayer."

I find the accounts of his death by his fellow disciples telling in their conflict:

Matthew (27:5) cites that he "hanged himself", and yet Luke, in Acts 1:18 reports

"this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out."

I sometimes can identify when I think back on opportunities overlooked by leaders whom I have served, passionately pursued on their behalf, yet caught up in my own zeal. Some of which I am proud of, others where I played or was played the fool!

As I reflect back, now in my seventies, by God's grace, most of my accomplishments and messes, now seem as providence, for all were acted out as best as I know with a sense of "calling."

There is a little Judas in all of us, a little Peter and thank God at times, a lot of Luke and Paul!

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