Today we take a special look at Judas Iscariot. Who was Judas? Why did he sell Jesus? What do we learn from him?
The gospel of Holy Monday gave us different portraits of Judas and Mary (the one who anointed Jesus’ feet). Six days before the Passover, Jesus was in Bethany having dinner with Lazarus, Mary and Martha. Mary expressed her super generosity by pouring in a pure nard (a very expensive perfume) unto the feet of Jesus and wiped them with her hair. When Judas saw this, he said “Why is this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to the poor?” John the one writing the story commented that Judas said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steel the contributions. Judas was the treasurer and was a thief!
In the gospel of Holy Tuesday during the Last Supper we see again the difference portraits of Judas and Peter. Amongst the twelve apostles, the two of them betrayed Jesus: Judas sold Jesus for thirty silver coins, Peter denied Jesus three times. At the end, Judas despaired and hanged himself while Peter repented and was forgiven by Jesus. Judas had nowhere to go in his greed, on the other hand Peter (according to tradition) went to Mary and asked for help while he was in his grief.
Why did Jesus choose Judas as one of the Apostles
if he foreknew that Judas would betrayed him? It’s because Jesus believes in the inherent goodness of each person. He doesn’t judge us because of the bad things in our resumes. He even chose Judas to be the treasurer and entrusted him the money of the band. Jesus simply believes that in spite of our “bad records” we can still change for the better.
Why did Judas sell Jesus? Because Judas was a thief, little by little he used to rob the common purse of the Apostles. Being used of doing it for the past three years that they were together, that evil scheme had already transformed him into a hungry monster.
It is not important to ask whether Judas was saved or not but rather to learn the lesson from what he did. We are all like Judas. We have inherent goodness in us; we have been entrusted by God with so many gifts, resources and talents. We always have the tendency to feed in the little monsters in our lives like the different addictions that entice us. If we continue feeding these little monsters, we will crave for more until we are not able to control our cravings and one day those monsters will eat us up (this is the lesson we learn from “A Little Shop of Horrors”).
Even if we have done the worst thing, we don’t have to despair. We continue to believe that God loves us in spite of our sinfulness. We hope against hope that we can still change for the better. Yes we are sinners like Judas but we are loved sinners.