powerful message by someone else?



Jesus came to fulfill the Law. I believe we are just beginning to understand what that is all about. I know I left many things out; there is just too much to cover. I just hope I have at least brought you to the place where you can look Judas eye to eye instead of down on him. If I have failed to do that, I hope I have cracked a few doors which at least will keep you from making a final judgment of Judas. I am trying to do this not so much for Judas’ sake, but for your sake. There is much mystery around Judas and even the writers of the New Testament seemed to have different stories about Judas. For example, Luke states the reason the field is called Akel Dama, that is, the Field of Blood, is because Judas fell there headlong and his intestines gushed out. (Acts 1:16, 17) Matthew says the field was called the Field of Blood because the money that purchased the field was “blood money.” (Matthew 27:8)

Another example is found where Mark says, “Now His betrayer had given them a signal, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him and lead Him away safely.” (Notice the word “safely”) “And as soon as He had come, immediately he went up to Him and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi!’ and kissed Him.” (Mark 14:44,45) John gives a different account. “Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priest and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, ‘whom do you seek?’ They answered Him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus said to them ‘I am He.’ And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Now when He said to them, ‘I am He,’ they drew back and fell to the ground.” (John 18:3-6) Mark has Judas immediately kiss Jesus to identify Him and John has Jesus come forward to declare Himself as the “I Am” and knocked them all down. I think with that kind of introduction, they knew who He was. No need for a Judas kiss after that happened twice. Quite a different story between the two.

The next generation of Christians villainized Judas so much that Papias, Bishop of Heirapolis in about 140 A.D., claimed that Judas was so swollen that where a wagon could go through easily, he could not go through; nay, he could not even insert the mass of his head. His genital, were repellent and huge beyond all shamefulness. From his whole body flowed blood mixed with worms. According to this “Bishop” who claims to have known John, the apostle, Judas died in his own place, which, because of the stench, has remained deserted and uninhabitable to the present day. This kind of gross exaggeration to the point of lying is not unusual of Christian circles, ancient or present day.

To summarize, be careful where you place Judas. He did the will of the Father and fulfilled the Scriptures. Peter, who we all love, tried to prevent Jesus’ crucifixion and was called “Satan” by our Lord. Peter, who was not mindful of the will of God, was restored. Was it not Jesus who said, “”For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:50) Be careful about placing Jesus’s brother, Judas, in Christendom’s “hell.” One day you may have to look up to Judas, instead of looking down on him. Peter denied him three times in one night while Judas declared Jesus innocent in front of the High Priesthood. Judas had a very important job in the Kingdom of God. For three and one half years, as a Priest he inspected the Lamb of God as an unbiased man. He was not “one of them” a Galilean. He was the outsider. He did his job perfectly. If Judas really wanted to mess things up, he could have agreed with the High Priesthood and called Him a “blasphemer” who claimed to be the Son of God when He really wasn’t. But Judas declared the Lamb spotless and unblemished, the Perfect Passover. Thank you, Judas, for not only being a hearer of the Word, but also a doer of the Word. Thank you, Judas, for giving the redemption money which purchased the Potter’s field; a place for strangers in the land of Israel and the silver which speaks of the redemption of the family of Adam who sold himself as a slave to sin. You may not like how Judas got that money, but you should rejoice in what it did for you.

I cannot spend more words on this, but I hope these words have you stirring. I hope they have rekindled a desire to study the Scriptures more. Most importantly, may these words cause you to give more freely what our Father has so freely bestowed upon you. . . mercy. Is there more room in your heart for mercy for yourself? If there is, then there is also more room for you to have mercy on others, especially those vessels of less honor in our eyes.

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