Betrayal | Spy Wednesday 2014

Judas Receiving the Thirty Pieces of Silver; by Simon Bening, Flemish, about 1483 – 1561; Bruges; painted c. 1525–1530;
Judas Receiving the Thirty Pieces of Silver; by Simon Bening, Flemish, about 1483 – 1561; Bruges; painted c. 1525–1530

Spy Wednesday is sometimes treated with an almost frivolous disregard of the betrayal it signifies. We don’t like remembering that Judas played an essential part in our redemption, that sin and betrayal are at the heart of the Christian story every bit as much as grace and forgiveness. We should think again, for we all have something of Judas in us. We all share in his shabbiness — or rather, we all share in his capacity for getting things wrong.

One of the striking things about Judas’s betrayal of Jesus is that I think he thought he was doing the right thing. He was hoping for a Messiah who would free Israel from Rome and usher in a Jewish kingdom of righteousness and peace. He wanted to force the issue and make Jesus take a stand. We know he was wrong, but good people are often seduced by apparently good things. Judas failed to take account of the fact that Jesus wasn’t interested in political power, and therein lies his tragedy. Catherine of Siena worried about Judas’s fate but was reassured by the Lord that there was the prospect of mercy even for him. Perhaps today we might pray for all who have betrayed or been betrayed, for ourselves and for others. We might pray also for Judas, and for mercy on his soul.

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6 thoughts on “Betrayal | Spy Wednesday 2014”

  1. Another question to ponder is ” how Judas’ actions were necessary to fulfill Scripture”. Jesus himself alludes to this in John 13:18. Again in. John 6.68-71

    “Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God..”
    Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!”

    Interesting philosophical question, that evil could be allowed to act in order to fulfill the needs of God..

  2. To be let down by a friend is painful,but to be betrayed by someone you love,must have wounded Jesus deeply, even if he did see this before it happened. To betray with a kiss was utterly deceitful. It is true,I do see something of myself in Judas. Thank God for his grace and mercy.

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