Thursday, April 30, 2015

Are We All Judases?


 We know scant little about Judas and his life, apart from his ultimate treacherous act of betraying Jesus Christ for some silver.

But we do know enough from biblical sources to flesh out a picture of him that will have enough data to show us what kind of person he was.

It might surprise us to learn, since it would appear that depicting him is much like looking at the mirror image of ourselves.

Among the Twelve, he probably was a cut above.  He was not just an ordinary Galilean, he was from Judea and stood most probably above all of them in worldly experience and wit.   And for this, it may be the reason he was given grave responsibilities, like caring for the common purse, which to poor and lowly people counted much for their continued existence.

And everybody else must have thought highly of him.  After all when Christ declared that one of them would betray Him, not one of them offered any suggestion or clue.  Therefore, nobody even guessed that it was Judas.  As a matter of fact, when they learned it was him they were all struck with amazement.

So who was this man?

Scattered references about him can be gathered to learn more about him.

We learn that as an apostle he took on this life with eagerness and zeal.  He followed Christ everywhere and had said enthusiastically that nothing could separate them.  And he must have avowed faith and loyalty to Him in every occasion that presented him with the opportunity.

So what went wrong?

He was disappointed for He was “only Jesus”.  And even more disappointed that the kingdom he preached and promised was “not of this world”.  And even more so, because the kingdom was promised to those who were “poor in spirit”.

We may not be easily aware of it, but aren’t we all like that?  Not necessarily disappointed but blindly pursuing a kingdom that is of this world (temporal pursuits and pleasures) and tightly clinging to material things that invest our spirit with so much baggage.

Consider the plans we make and the associations with other people we join with and treasure, even those that partake of quasi-religious bent.  We are quite devoted to gathering ourselves together to declare our being Christian and Christ-like in focus.  But what have we truly done with regard to our dispossessed neighbors and even with our own personal lives?

On material possessions, a good number of us have barely enough to cling to  the kind of living we have been used to and could bear, but just as numerous are those of us who find our financial situations more than sufficient to pursue the kind of hedonistic living that society does not necessarily frown upon. 

So all of us go about our merry unequal ways the worse for wear from scarcity, or not really feeling surfeit for having pursued so much pleasurable temporal delights.

But “being poor in spirit” does not necessarily refer to the scarcity or abundance of material possessions.  It is more the spiritual nonchalance of one under both conditions so that the dearth or plenitude does not in any way detract from the destined purpose of man’s existence, the pursuit of Christ’s Kingdom.

No, not the temporal one but the one that comes after.





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