Sunday, March 28, 2010

Judas and Jesus

Today is Palm Sunday and I will speak about the role Judas plays in the great drama which begins with the parade into Jerusalem and concludes with Good Friday. He is, of course, the betrayer of Jesus and has been reviled through the centuries for his treachery.

In preparation I read a relatively recently published book by Susan Gubar called Judas: A Biography. She willingly admits that there is little in the New Testament about Judas as a fully realized human being and only 22 references in all. Still, she offers a fascinating look at the man who is portrayed as a villain for most of church history but is given a more sympathetic treatment by a few. An African American poet, George Marion McClellan wrote a poem called The Feet of Judas with the stanza

If we have ever felt the wrong,
of trampled right, of cast, it matters not.
What e'er the soul has felt or suffered long,
Oh, heart! This one thing should not be forgot:
Christ washed the feet of Judas!

What is your impression of Judas? Villain? Misunderstood? Do we concede that there is a bit of Judas in all of us?


Laurie said...

If Judas had not betrayed Jesus, we would not have Christianity. He is a central figure to the story.
I have always had a wee small soft spot for Judas. I think we all have abit of Judas in us.

IanD said...

Every story needs a villain ...

Deborah Laforet said...

I do think that Judas is very much misunderstood. I wonder if the story needed a betrayer and the one who kept the money seemed like the logical choice.

I always feel sorry for Judas and feel as if it is very easy to blame an individual. When I read the gospels and hear the story of Judas, who betrayed Jesus, Peter, who denied Jesus, and others who just ran and hid, I think about how we can relate to all the characters in the bible, including the villians.

lionlamb said...

I agree with all of you. How does Judas end up bearing all the weight of betrayal. And then there is the pesky question of grace...