Reading: Luke 22:1-13
Everybody Hates Judas
In general, I think Judas gets dealt a bad hand by history. There are interesting theories—not supported by our scripture—around potential alternate versions of Judas’ role. Judas is trusted with the finances of the disciples; you wouldn’t give that job to just anyone. Judas is seated at the place of honor at what would become known as the Last Supper. They didn’t know it was their last supper with Jesus. Surely Jesus didn’t have Judas in the place of honor simply for the convenience of Jesus’ line about dipping from the same bowl. Some suggest that Judas may even have betrayed Jesus at Jesus’ own request, then collapsed with guilt. All interesting, but the gospels in concert hold Judas as the necessary foil to Jesus’ ministry.
It would be bad enough for Judas to fall for the financial bribe, but in verse three, Satan shows up. We haven’t heard from Satan in a while. The appearance is worth noting, because it implies more than earthly conflict is taking place. Jesus’ journey for the remainder of his time on earth has fully engaged the supernatural.
Which, in a way, brings me right back to my beef about Judas. If you’re writing the gospel and are acknowledging the sudden presence of Satan in someone, how could you possibly paint them in such a bad light? Nobody picks on the guy that was possessed by Legion, right? If Satan genuinely possessed Judas, what could he have possibly done about it?
Judas is hardly the central focus of the season of Lent, but what do you think about how Judas is portrayed?
Have you ever participated in demeaning someone for making bad decisions?
It’s not always deliberate—when have you realized that your actions or attitudes are running contrary to the movement of God?
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