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How Did Judas Betray Jesus?


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In the New Testament we read that Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. With all the trouble Jesus had caused recently (at one point they even wanted to take him out and stone him right away, but he disappeared), why did thos arresting Christ require Judas' help? Was it simply that they needed to know where he was? Then why the kiss? Wouldn't they have recognized Jesus without that sign? What exactly did Judas betray? That Christ was some sort of thief, or a murderer, or that he had done something immoral, or he was planning a government takeover?

I've read Judas might have wanted Jesus to "come out," so to speak, as the great Messiah to free the Jews from their oppressors, and so he betrayed in hopes that Jesus would reveal His true identity and throw off the shackles of oppression.

What is the story behind Judas?

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I don't buy the Judas Apologists excuse that he was helping Jesus prove himself the Messiah. John calls him a thief at one point and I'm willing to take his word on that.

I think the kiss was help in the identification. It was night and among a dozen shadowy figures that was much faster. Judas also gave them the location for an arrest. The rulers obviously wanted a quick arrest and trial (probably to avoid public uproar) as they broke many of their own laws by having the trial at night and violating the accused rights in several ways (according to standing law).

Judas betrayed Jesus by aiding the corrupt government in taking him. The crime was blasphemy (for the Jewish Courts) and treason (for the Romans), both of which were untrue. Proclaiming yourself the Messiah is not against Jewish Law.

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I don't buy the Judas Apologists excuse that he was helping Jesus prove himself the Messiah. John calls him a thief at one point and I'm willing to take his word on that.

I think the kiss was help in the identification. It was night and among a dozen shadowy figures that was much faster. Judas also gave them the location for an arrest. The rulers obviously wanted a quick arrest and trial (probably to avoid public uproar) as they broke many of their own laws by having the trial at night and violating the accused rights in several ways (according to standing law).

Judas betrayed Jesus by aiding the corrupt government in taking him. The crime was blasphemy (for the Jewish Courts) and treason (for the Romans), both of which were untrue. Proclaiming yourself the Messiah is not against Jewish Law.

I'm not sure that Jesus ever proclaimed himself Messiah -- though I think he purposely acted out the

expected role of the Messiah in some situations. I think he also had a fairly clear premonition where

the entire "passion" sequence of events was headed.

In other words, I think that he expected to be arrested, questioned, and killed -- and that the actions

of Judas were part of those expectations. Jesus did nothing to stop the final sequence of events that

led up to his arrest.

Rather, he appears to have made sure that the arrest would occur in a relatively isolated place, out

of public view -- away from possibly riotous crowds of Passover pilgrims.

Judas was a close associate -- probably a relative -- perhaps a family member. As such he could

approach very near to Jesus without arousing any hostile reaction from Jesus' protective associates.

As such he could give the middle eastern kiss -- today, a three-time swiping the the face against that

of a friend. All of which served to identify Jesus in a non-threatening way.

Which is exactly what Jesus wanted at that point, I think.

UD

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I always wanted to believe the Judas was a Zealot who was trying to force Christ to use His powers to overthrow the Romans. And the subsequent suicide sort of bolsters that argument.

I don't know about Judas being a thief. We know that hurt and betrayed leaders of the Church in this dispensation often made charges against an apostate which were not necessarily correct. They were words said in anger.

I completely disagree with Uncle Dale that Jesus did anything to orchestrate the events. I think He accepted them, but encourage or cause them? Not at all.

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I think Judas played the role perfectly.

Christ armed his men... who had never walked around armed before and then went Marching to the garden to pray. He played the role of a governmental take over perfectly. Judas went and informed them that he was walking around with an armed posy now. Thus the name given to him. King of the Jews. He had been anointed King. (Kind of Like Joseph Smith).

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I don't buy the Judas Apologists excuse that he was helping Jesus prove himself the Messiah. John calls him a thief at one point and I'm willing to take his word on that.

I think the kiss was help in the identification. It was night and among a dozen shadowy figures that was much faster. Judas also gave them the location for an arrest. The rulers obviously wanted a quick arrest and trial (probably to avoid public uproar) as they broke many of their own laws by having the trial at night and violating the accused rights in several ways (according to standing law).

Judas betrayed Jesus by aiding the corrupt government in taking him. The crime was blasphemy (for the Jewish Courts) and treason (for the Romans), both of which were untrue. Proclaiming yourself the Messiah is not against Jewish Law.

Well Nehor,

Thanks for taking easy choice, that is how traditional Christianity demonized and depicted Judas, in fact Da Vinci was really kind to him when he painted his epic "Last Supper".

The fact is, Judas was no traitor, not even close, if there was a altruistic hero among Apostles it was him and Jesus knew it. He disclosed nothing about his impending crucifixion to his disciples. He basically coerced Judas to betray him taking this role. Judas loved Christ to death he hated the idea but had no choice, somebody had to fall for Christ. Jesus knew that none of his disciples had guts to acomplish this task.

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Well Nehor,

Thanks for taking easy choice, that is how traditional Christianity demonized and depicted Judas, in fact Da Vinci was really kind to him when he painted his epic "Last Supper".

The fact is, Judas was no traitor, not even close, if there was a altruistic hero among Apostles it was him and Jesus knew it. He disclosed nothing about his impending crucifixion to his disciples. He basically coerced Judas to betray him taking this role. Judas loved Christ to death he hated the idea but had no choice, somebody had to fall for Christ. Jesus knew that none of his disciples had guts to acomplish this task.

Wait, you believe in Jesus Christ?

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...Judas loved Christ to death...

Jesus! You've started to believe

The things they say of you

You really do believe

This talk of God is true

And all the good you've done

Will soon get swept away

You've begun to matter more

Than the things you say

Listen, Jesus I don't like what I see

All I ask is that you listen to me

And remember--

I've been your right hand man all along

You have set them all on fire

They think they've found the new Messiah

And they'll hurt you when they find they're wrong

I remember when this whole thing began

No talk of God then--

We called you a man

And believe me--

My admiration for you hasn't died

But every word you say today

Gets twisted round some other way

And they'll hurt if they think you've lied

Nazareth, your famous son

Should have stayed a great unknown

Like his father carving wood--

He'd have made good

Table chairs and oaken chests would have suited Jesus best

He'd caused nobody harm--no-one alarm

Listen Jesus do you care for your race?

Don't you see we must keep in our place?

We are occupied--

Have you forgotten how put down we are?

And our conquerors object

To another noisy sect

And they'll crush us if we go too far

Listen, Jesus to the warning I give

Please remember that I want us to live

But it's sad to see our chances weakening with every hour

All your followers are blind

Too much Heaven On Their Minds

It was beautiful but now it's sour

Yes it's all gone sour....

UD

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Well Nehor,

Thanks for taking easy choice, that is how traditional Christianity demonized and depicted Judas, in fact Da Vinci was really kind to him when he painted his epic "Last Supper".

The fact is, Judas was no traitor, not even close, if there was a altruistic hero among Apostles it was him and Jesus knew it. He disclosed nothing about his impending crucifixion to his disciples. He basically coerced Judas to betray him taking this role. Judas loved Christ to death he hated the idea but had no choice, somebody had to fall for Christ. Jesus knew that none of his disciples had guts to acomplish this task.

Had no choice? You always have a choice. How did he coerce Judas? Lie to him? Couldn't Jesus have just turned himself in? If it was so altruistic why did he kill himself instead of explaining it to the others? Jesus could have penned a note to them saying he told Judas to do it.

Okay, imagine I'm the Messiah and I decide I need to be killed. Do I really need my best friend to pretend to betray me so I can get arrested? Why?

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Your comments seemed to imply you did, that's all.

Let's stick with the subject first, shall we.....

I grew up in Europe, even though I wasn't Catholic, I had to privilege to visit all those magnificient Cathedrals in my youth. Whenever I looked the sad and confused visage of Judas on those Cathedral walls, stained Glass, I wondered...Why?

Finally it dawned on me. I read Kazantzakis. The best book I've read of Jesus and Judas.

Now..Of course I am not qualified to wash this man's foot when it comes to spiritual humility.

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In the New Testament we read that Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. With all the trouble Jesus had caused recently (at one point they even wanted to take him out and stone him right away, but he disappeared), why did thos arresting Christ require Judas' help? Was it simply that they needed to know where he was? Then why the kiss? Wouldn't they have recognized Jesus without that sign? What exactly did Judas betray? That Christ was some sort of thief, or a murderer, or that he had done something immoral, or he was planning a government takeover?

I've read Judas might have wanted Jesus to "come out," so to speak, as the great Messiah to free the Jews from their oppressors, and so he betrayed in hopes that Jesus would reveal His true identity and throw off the shackles of oppression.

What is the story behind Judas?

In all that Christ said to His disciples, there was something with which, in heart, Judas disagreed. Under his influence the leaven of disaffection was fast doing its work. The disciples did not see the real agency in all this; but Jesus saw that Satan was communicating his attributes to Judas, and thus opening up a channel through which to influence the other disciples. This, a year before the betrayal, Christ declared. "Have not I chosen you twelve," He said, "and one of you is a devil?" John 6:70.

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Had no choice? You always have a choice. How did he coerce Judas? Lie to him? Couldn't Jesus have just turned himself in?

I don't think so -- had he just turned himself in, he would have been recognizing the authority of those

he had not previously bowed before. It is one thing to give up coins with the emperor's image on them;

it is another thing to go before Pilate as one who acknowledges Roman authority.

What sort of a Messiah were the masses expecting? Perhaps one who would come in military glory and

make an alliance with the High Priest at Jerusalem. Jesus never acknowledged the authority of the

Temple Establishment, and he had no plans to "turn himself in" to them either.

No -- he was acting out a messianic role, but in a way that very few people expected. In his moving and

speaking, in fulfillment of ancient prophecies, he could not bow to the Temple Establishment, nor ally

himself with it. Rather, he had to work things out in such a way that his being in their power was an unjust

set of circumstances. Thus, he allowed certain things to happen, knowing fairly well what would follow.

If it was so altruistic why did he kill himself instead of explaining it to the others? Jesus could have

penned a note to them saying he told Judas to do it.

I think he was very careful not to engage in a suicide. Although he cast himself in the situation of the

Passover Lamb (see John) -- the Passover Lamb does not commit suicide. Perhaps Jesus DID explain

a good deal of his expected actions to his disciples. The "last supper" identification of Judas as a

betrayer may have been something he had already foreseen and spoken of, at least indirectly.

Okay, imagine I'm the Messiah and I decide I need to be killed.

I doubt very, very much that he was thinking in those terms -- rather, I believe he was looking for

the most evident situation in which to show the injustice of his arrest and humiliation. I truly believe

that his death was a natural consequence of his acting out the Passover symbology in a life-and-death

situation. Not because he "needed to be killed," but because the whole previous notion of messiahship

needed to be turned on its head and played out for all to see (or later hear of) in "real time."

Do I really need my best friend to pretend to betray me so I can get arrested? Why?

Quite likely Judas was Jesus' cousin or brother -- at least he was a close associate, and reportedly

was entrusted with keeping the small amount of wealth the Jesus-follower group then possessed.

He was obviously an important disciple.

Who offers the paschal lamb for sacrifice?

Who offers the unspotted calf for sacrifice on Yom Kippur?

I think that answers can better be derived by that sort of study. Not that Jesus was imitating those

sacrificial rituals "just for show," but because they lay at the most sacred and holy crux (no pun) of

Jewish religion ---- the atonement, wherein man and God are reconciled and can commune together.

Ponder along those lines and you may come closer to finding answers for your questions.

Uncle Dale

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UD, I meant why did Judas kill himself in the way he did if he was acting under orders? I know Jesus would not act out a suicide. Judas did commit suicide.

Getting caught by the police that are hunting you can't be that difficult even if you don't make someone a mole. You don't have to turn yourself in, just walk by the local garrison while talking loudly.

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Had no choice? You always have a choice. How did he coerce Judas? Lie to him? Couldn't Jesus have just turned himself in? If it was so altruistic why did he kill himself instead of explaining it to the others? Jesus could have penned a note to them saying he told Judas to do it.

Okay, imagine I'm the Messiah and I decide I need to be killed. Do I really need my best friend to pretend to betray me so I can get arrested? Why?

Sorry Nehor,

Your conclusions are soo simplistic and juvenile.

Read Nikos Kazantzakis.

It might help.

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UD, I meant why did Judas kill himself in the way he did if he was acting under orders?

The tradition is so strong (repeated twice in the narrative, but with very different details) that I suppose

he did die soon after the crucifixion. How, why and by whose hand, I know not. But I have seen distraught

people who might have killed themselves after the death of a loved one. At least I think that sort of thing

happens now and then.

I also doubt that Judas was "acting under orders." The situation might have played out in any one of a

number of ways, that still would have resulted in his identifying Jesus and feeling terrible afterwards.

I remember being in a car wreck many years ago. It all happened very quickly, but I experienced that

event in "slow motion." It seemed to me that I had a great deal of time to ponder the coming crash,

and to try and think of ways to prevent or alter the impact. As it turned out, I only had a second or two

in which to turn the steering wheel and hit the brakes. But it seemed to me, at the time, that I had a

many different choices facing me ---- but, in reality, any one of them would have resulted in the crash.

I know Jesus would not act out a suicide. Judas did commit suicide.

I don't think so. I think there is a definite difference between an heroic death and self-murder. In an

heroic death, some greater purpose is accomplished, than just the loss of a single life. The person

who jumps in front of a speeding train, in order to push another person off the tracks is not a suicide

in the same way as the person who merely jumps in front of the train out of depression, or remorse,

or self-hatred.

The Christians justify it all by saying that Jesus' death "saved" countless souls. But I do not think of it

in those terms. I think of it more in terms of the guy who stands up and says "I'm Sparticus!" when

the authorities are ready to execute the first rebel who admits to such a thing.

Getting caught by the police that are hunting you can't be that difficult even if you don't make

someone a mole.

My guess is that Jesus could have slipped out of Jerusalem, over into TransJordan, and the Temple

Establishment would have been happy to have forgotten he ever existed. I think they were only

hunting him because he was stubbornly acting out a messianc role, in public, on the most dangerous

day of the Jewish year. Again --- how is it that the Passover lamb is grabbed and butchered for the

holiday events? I really think we must keep that sort of imagery before our eyes as we read the text.

You don't have to turn yourself in, just walk by the local garrison while talking loudly.

But would THAT induce the element of supreme injustice?

Think more of Gandhi's march to the ocean to make salt, under the British colonial noses. Had he been

seized and executed at that moment, he would have fulfilled his purpose even better than in his making

the illegal salt. His purpose was to advertise and demonstrate injustice -- but for a greater purpose

than just temporarily making the colonial masters look brutal and criminal --- for the freedom of many ---

UD

.

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Sorry Nehor,

Your conclusions are soo simplistic and juvenile.

Read Nikos Kazantzakis.

It might help.

You mean I believe the texts we have as opposed to a radical reinterpretation of the text that casts a traitor as a hero based on conversations and decisions never recorded. Instead they were written in the Gospel of Judas (doesn't even claim to be written by Judas) which was written by Gnostics who argue that Jesus taught the true Gospel ONLY to Judas and the other Apostles were clueless as to what the True Gospel was. I haven't read Kazantzakis but I have read the Gospel of Judas and I don't buy it.

I thought that your life-changing confusion stemming from looking at stained-glass pictures of Judas (which probably look nothing like him and attempt to depict emotions no one is sure he had) was more simplistic and juvenile but to each their own in judging that.

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Somewhat part of this discussion, and very fascinating none the less:

During Ramadan this year, my wife and I were invited to the local Mosque to break fast and participate in the evening's prayers. It was very eye opening both for us and the Muslims. I get the feeling they knew very little (if anything) about Christianity. For instance, my wife changed my boy's diaper and the women were amazed that not only was he circumsized, but that we knew of the Abrahamic Covenant.

At one point the talk started up about Jesus Christ. They believe Jesus to be a prophet, and a major one at that. They believe He will return to the earth, just like us, but the do not believe him to be the Son of Man, nor do they believe he died on the cross... They told us that they actually believe the Judas died on the cross in part for betraying him (he tried to get Jesus to use his powers against Rome) and to make up for his sins against the prophet.

It was a most thought provoking night for my family and the family that invited us both.

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John 13:2 â??And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simonâ??s son, to betray himâ?¦.â?

John 13: 26-27 â??Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.â?

I don't think it can be any clearer who was guiding Judas' actions. In other scriptures he is referred to as betrayer and traitor. Perhaps Judas was picked to be an Apostle because the Lord knew what was in his heart and that he would betray him. That doesn't mean Judas' actions were excused or that he was somehow fulfilling some great purpose to bring to pass what must be; rather the purpose would be fulfilled regardless, but woe unto he who brought it about. Judas could have used his agency to not listen to Satan and some other means would have accomplished what needed to be done.

A good analogy is David and Bathsheba. David sinned and lost his exaltation. Nevertheless through this union came the lineage of the Savior. Did the fact that a great blessing eventually came excuse the initial behavior? The Lord can turn any situation to serve his purposes. but that does not justify the wrongdoing.

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John 13:2 â??And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simonâ??s son, to betray himâ?¦.â?

John 13: 26-27 â??Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.â?

I don't think it can be any clearer who was guiding Judas' actions. In other scriptures he is referred to as betrayer and traitor. Perhaps Judas was picked to be an Apostle because the Lord knew what was in his heart and that he would betray him. That doesn't mean Judas' actions were excused or that he was somehow fulfilling some great purpose to bring to pass what must be; rather the purpose would be fulfilled regardless, but woe unto he who brought it about. Judas could have used his agency to not listen to Satan and some other means would have accomplished what needed to be done.

A good analogy is David and Bathsheba. David sinned and lost his exaltation. Nevertheless through this union came the lineage of the Savior. Did the fact that a great blessing eventually came excuse the initial behavior? The Lord can turn any situation to serve his purposes. but that does not justify the wrongdoing.

If we think of the Satan of the Book of Job -- a sort of "original" devil's advocate, but not the source

of all evil, then I can more or less follow your train of thought here.

For me, Jesus and Judas are the opposite sides of a single coin -- both are passion narrative figures

caught up in a great deal of stress and anticipatory tension. Both play out their respective roles in

the greater drama ------> and each is respectively NECESSARY for the other. Their actions inter-twine.

Judas gets the bad press -- but the gospel writers seemingly purposely leave out most of his story.

It is an untold story I'd like to hear one day.

UD

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If we think of the Satan of the Book of Job -- a sort of "original" devil's advocate, but not the source

of all evil, then I can more or less follow your train of thought here.

Indeed, Satan has no power over men unless they give it to him. I do think he can reason very well whether it's with Eve in the Garden or Judas at the Last Supper. I think of the arguments he gave the Savior trying to tempt him to betray himself.

Many of the great traitors in history did not think their acts inherently evil. Benedict Arnold thought he was acting in the best interests of the country. And perhaps as Charity suggests Judas thought he would motivate Jesus to bring forth his heavenly armies and proclaim to the world his Messiahship. Nevertheless history judges such by the consequences of their actions and God by the intentions of their hearts.

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