Did you know that today, Wednesday of Holy Week, is called Spy Wednesday? It is so called because it is commonly accepted that this was the day that Judas struck his deal with the Sanhedrin. And this got me to thinking . . . about Judas. Judas is depicted as the quintessential villian in the minds of most. He’s the villan who is trying to steal the widow’s house. The land barron trying to grab the family ranch. The pimp who sells the bodies of his stable. Images of Judas are usually that of a–well he just looks like a bad and nasty guy. There’s a greed in his eyes that is unmistakeable.
But are we treating Judas fairly? Our knee-jerk reaction is probably, “Well, yeah! He betrayed Jesus for 3 months salary! All he cared about was money!” Isn’t that what we’ve always been told? Well, what if that wasn’t the reason why Judas did what he did? A Calvinist would say it was predestined by God and that Judas had no choice in the matter. The deck was against him from the very beginning! And I know John called him a thief in his Gospel (and a gazillion preachers and teachers)–but it’s an opinion not reflected in the other 3 Gospels. What if. . .mind you I’m only asking What If. . .there was another reason? And what if that reason seemed to make sense, if only to him? What if Judas wasn’t after the money, but for Jesus to assert Himself? Perhaps Judas was simply impatient because Jesus hadn’t asserted Himself as the kind of Messiah that Judas thought He should have been. You know, another King David that would whip the pants off the Romans and send them running away with their tail tucked beneath them.
Is this really impossible? Think about it. On Sunday Jesus road into Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt. It’s right there in the book of Zachariah, chapter 9 and verse 9! That’s the sign that the Messiah has arrived! Then on Monday Jesus purges The Temple of merchants and money changers. Now Judas’ hope is rising! His next step should have been to rally the people together in a new revolutionary war against Rome. But it doesn’t happen. Perhaps Judas was thinking, “What gives? Why isn’t He asserting himself as the next and final King David? He hasn’t made a move towards that. I know, I’ll help Him out! I’ll set up His arrest. He won’t allow that pompous you-know-what Caiaphas harm Him. He will put Caiaphas in his place and begin the new revolutionary war!” But that’s not what Jesus did. And Judas realized he made a mistake–a mistake that he would never be forgiven of, or so he thought; so he took his own life. Does that really fall into the Twilight Zone? The realm of impossibilities?
But what about us? What are our expectations from Jesus? Have we ever been guilty of trying to help Jesus out with His work? To do what WE think He should do? And IF Judas sold out Jesus for those 30 pieces of silver for that reason only–what price have we sold Jesus for? Where have we compromised the Truth for our personal convenience or our desires? Have we tried to justify our actions because we sincerely believe we are right, though we never really listened to what Jesus wants? On this Spy Wednesday, 2022, could it be there is more of Judas in us than we want to think about? Admit to? So, What say ye?