The Judas Thing

Here is my take.
Jesus had a lot of followers, not just “the 12″. But there came a point where he was to whittle the group of followers down to the famous 12 Disciples. In Luke 6:12 you can find the passage but pretty much he went up a mountain, spent the night praying, came down the next day and made his choice.

This must have been a difficult task as the Disciples are “special” people that have to have specific personality traits of they won’t fit into the flow of sequence of events. By that I mean, he couldn’t have chosen 12 Macho Rambo types that would have fought to the death to “save” Jesus from his eventual death. Nor would he want 12 super-intellectuals (like the ministers at Nakedvilliany). He needed certain personality types and men that could be teachers and do it his way. Along with that he needed a traitor in the group.

I don’t look at is so much as “pre-determined by God” and that Judas could not escape his fate because God had it out for him. I think about it more along the lines that you have free will to do what you want, but God knows what you are going to do before you do it.

And in a way, I have this power too. I bet that if you put your hand on a hot stove, that you will take it off. I know that you will do this even before you do it. I am not controlling your action and you have free will to leave your hand on the hot stove, I just know what you will do.

So Jesus knew that Judas was the kind of person that, put in the particular circumstance, would betray him. Jesus also knew that Peter would deny him three times and said so before the event.

Jesus knew that Judas would betray him and told the 12 disciples at the last supper. Matthew 26:21 says “and while they were eating, he (Jesus) said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me”. Jesus tells them that the one who dips their hand into the bowl is the one that betrays him and Judas says “Surely not I” (but at this point Judas has already cut the deal to betray him”.

So Judas had the free will to do what he wished, but God/Jesus knew what was in Judas’ heart and what kind of decisions he would make.

Religion itself is a Giant Leap of Faith. You can’t prove it in a laboratory or dig up a rock that has all the answers inscribed on it to prove it beyond all doubt. This, I think, is the design. If it was “provable”, than anyone would be an idiot not to believe. But since it is an act of faith to choose to love and follow God, it is an act by man that is not forced on us.

I guess that God doesn’t want us to love him because of the fancy tricks/miracles that he can do or because scientist in a laboratory have proven his existence thus we should all do it. God wants us to love him like we want to be loved, willingly and by choice.

If you could give your partner (or potential partner) a magic potion that would “make them love you” would you really give it to them? Do you want to be loved because someone is forced to or is made to love you? While it does sound intriguing, I think that the idea would quickly wear on us. We want to be loved for the person we are, warts and all.

And God feels the same way too.

That is why we have the choice to do what we will. But God knows what we will do and loves us enough to give us the choice.

Back to the Trenches…

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