Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Why Didn't Judas Simply POINT At Jesus?

Because if writers like Kester Brewin and Peter Rollins are half-right, our famous traitor meant to re-join the disciples. He needed a device to betray Jesus without letting the disciples know that he was the traitor.

But I'm running ahead of myself.

Imagine a group of Pakatan folks idling away at Starbucks, seething at the growing injustices in the country, feeling wave after wave of hopeless and despair because nothing remotely like Sept 16 happened. Anwar speaks less nowadays. The I.S.A. remains 'under review'. The Selangor Exco is being unjustly targeted by MACC and the country is going to the pits ad infinitum.

Suddenly one of them has an idea : The only way out is via revolution. The violent, people-driven and justice-restoring kicking down of a rotten door!

If this is true, then what the people need is a SPARK to set everything off. A spark in the form of, say, Anwar being kidnapped by Barisan Nasional goons?

Then again, why wait?! Why not 'manufacture' this precise scenario which would trigger off massive (and I mean massive!) protests, both locally and internationally, leading to BN's downfall.

Break the camel's back once and for all.

In essence, why not "betray" Anwar in order to make his (and the people's) dream come true? Why not wear a pro-BN t-shirt, kidnap Anwar, mess him up a bit and shout anti-Pakatan slogans? And whilst we're at it, why not 'leak' messages implicating someone (anyone!) from the Cabinet? When the government has fallen, why, just rejoin Pakatan. No one ever needs to know it was us.

Here's the thing: Could this be more or less what Judas was up to? Could he have wanted to give that irreversible nudge to the revolution he believed Jesus needed to save Israel? Could he, in fact, be the most committed and pro-active of all the disciples towards the victory of God? Could he be the one who most truly understood that Jesus' mission was one of peace and sacrifice and thus decided to correct his Master's thinking?

Was Judas simply being downright honest in his denial that he was the one to betray Jesus? (See Matt 26:25) His mission wasn't betrayal but fulfilment.

Doesn't this make better sense of Judas' sudden remorse when Jesus was condemned? Isn't Judas' reaction better understood as that of a man shocked by the (totally unexpected) consequences of his actions? Why would a traitor greedy for money who got exactly what he wanted feel sudden guilt? If betraying Jesus was his plan all along, why throw away the money and hang himself? (see Matt 27:3-5)

Isn't it more coherent to see that Judas believed he was doing the right thing by creating a scenario whereby Jesus would be captured thus triggering the revolution that everyone wanted? (You can almost bet 'one of Jesus' companions' was blood-thirsty in his de-earing of High Priest's servant, but guess what Jesus did? see Luke 22:50-52).

The Judas kiss, therefore, wasn't quite an act of evil cloaked in tenderness; it was really a camouflage mechanism so Judas could identify Jesus and deflect suspicion from himself.

Finally, Jesus' words (see Matt 26:52-56) at his arrest also appear cryptically meant for people like Judas who saw no other way to usher in the victory of God apart from violent means:
  • "Put your sword back in its place, for those who draw the sword will die by the sword." (This simply isn't the way)
  • "Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?" (Trust me, if this was the way I can and would've walked it)
  • "Am I leading a rebellion...?" (Have I looked like the kind of guy who would march with swords and spears against the High Priest or Rome?)

Penny for your thoughts - are the above phrases relevant for Malaysian politics, you think?


U-Liang said...

Sure there are!

But for the part on Judas' kiss, its an interesting theory, but I'm still not convinced yet. Jesus did explicitly denounce Judas action as 'betrayal'. Besides, the mental picture I have in mind is Judas leading a bunch of soldiers behind him. Anybody can tell he's up to no good lah, never mind the kiss...

I don't get your illustration too. If PR supporters suddenly go wild and betray Anwar out in the open like the way you describe, won't people straight away call them traitor??? How to join PR back again after the dust settle?

There's a kind of 'reverse psychology' at play here. But one can go on and on playing this "what is his ultimate motive" game and miss the whole point of the narrative: Jesus was very simply, betrayed by someone he chose as a disciple? (And in fact, all his disciples betrayed him finally if you think about it). Something happened to the surviving ones though, after the resurrection...

Alwyn said...

agree w you that greater reflection must be focused on how the King of Kings allowed himself to be betrayed by someone he loved, how that felt, what this means, etc.

on the PR issue, I forgot to add that obviously the kidnappers will be disguising their identity, in the hope of re-joining PR later, once the revolution ends.