A Parable of Judas
He was given one of the finest opportunities in history - a pupil who could learn from the most meek of leaders. He was taken from humble circumstances and given the privilege of position - the treasurer of Jesus' small troupe, that in time he may learn and then instruct in kind.
The pupil was grateful. Nobody begins a commission with the intent of biting the hand that feeds them. He listened, he learned - he was happy. But the devil worked through chinks in his soul. Stealth remains satan's favoured assault. Remember his chat to Eve? “Did God really say that you must not eat from any tree in the garden?").
But the pupil had a flaw (or two); perhaps the victim of past indiscretions or a wounded childhood. The devil looks for holes in the soul - it is his forte.
The assault benignly began; the victim oblivious.
“Listen to the great teacher, pupil,"hints the devil's voice, less than a whisper but more than a thought. He emphasises great in a sneering, mocking tone (which the pupil does not understand). “He talks of love yet there is little for you. See that he favors the brothers. You are last and least. Where is your reward? Your important role rates no mention".
The humble teacher gazes lovingly across at the pupil. This pupil returns a hollow smile and nods, but only doubt and confusion is now received.
Distance has begun; loneliness is planted.
His heart is troubled. Was the look 'love' or 'condescension'? With newfound insight, the pupil decides on the latter. The devil smiles - a chink is now a crack, a good day's work indeed.
“He loves you less," seeds the devil as the days roll by. Soon he needs not to use the word love at all. The pupil grows in dissatisfaction. He looks for signs in the others of any sadness or rebellion - but cannot find it. Annoyingly, all seem to feel valued.
Distance now watered; loneliness is blossoming.
The teacher turns again and smiles. The pupil watches as the others return the emotion. Sadly, he is no longer grateful for being chosen. The pupil feigns a positive outlook; even contributes. He considers leaving - but now he is constrained.
Hate gnaws him constantly. The more the leader loves, the more the pupil hates. The devil wants him to stay. The crack is now a chasm, and a chasm is wide and avialable for many purposes.
“Others know more of his plans," says the devil. “You are out of the inner circle. Look at them smiling. They don't have a clue. Only you understand; only you are worthy; the pupil is more worthy than the teacher. You speak and he does not listen; he does not understand".
Distance now established; loneliness is in full bloom.
This seduced student now decides he is right, and the teacher is wrong. He knows what must be done. Very soon, the last words he will ever hear from the teacher will burn him.
"... but Jesus asked him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" (Luke 22:48)
The pupil turns but the devil has left. The pupil is of no further use to him. Satan has gone to look for chinks in others - perhaps you or me - perhaps another.
But God had a purpose - what the pupil meant for evil, God used for His greatest victory.
The Jews lost their Messiah. God lost His son. And the Son lost His life only until Sunday.
Listening to satan, Judas joined him and lost.
Easter confirmed Jesus has only ever acted out of love for me, any contradiction to this is not of Him.
For it matters who man listens to...
it matters eternally to be able to separate truth from lies...
but most importantly (unlike Judas) it matters to be able to divide good from evil.
That first easter successfully witnessed to all who would look, the division of good from evil is in the crucifixion of self.
The life we choose may not be be the life Jesus died to give us.
Today's Soul Snippet:
"The pedestal of love is righteousness." ~ Michael Cartwright
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