Judas Iscariot: how a descendant found closure on the family’s biggest burden of the ages

Good evening, sir. Why do people call you a sage? Where did you acquire the title?

Is that what brought you here, my friend?

No sir

So what brought you here?

I have a burden. I was told you can help me with it.

What is your burden?

I’m a descendant of history’s biggest villain.

Who gave your forebear, to whom you refer, that title?

I don’t know. It’s what my father said he was called.

Did your father tell you who gave your forebear, the title?

I asked him but he said he didn’t know. He had asked his own father the same question and got the same answer. I don’t want my son to ask me the same question and I give him the same answer.

And you think I have the answer? By the way, why would I ask you if I know the answer?

I was told it is the way of sages to ask questions

Were you told why?

They say when you question the questioner, you give them opportunity to see more clearly their own assumptions.

Mm. You call your forebear history’s biggest villain, what did he do?

He betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ for 30 pieces of silver. And committed suicide afterwards. Please sir, did he go to heaven when he died?

Why do you ask me?

Did he go to hell if you don’t think he went to heaven?

Why do you ask me?

They said you would know

Did they say I have been to either places and returned?

No sir

And you didn’t want to ask them?

One of them told me there are other ways of knowing about a place without actually going there yourself. It was he who asked me to seek out your home, and share my family’s burden with you.

What’s the burden again, if I may ask?

Did our patriarch go to heaven or hell after his suicide?

What do you think?

I don’t know

What kind of relationship did he have with Jesus?

I don’t know

What do the sources say?

They were very close. They shared many close moments together. Jesus trusted him. He kept the purse. Unfortunately, he ‘helped’ himself sometimes, without the approval of his master.

Which was a very bad thing, you agree?

Certainly

And you weren’t burdened by that bit?

I was but I reckoned that if Jesus didn’t dismiss or fire him after the first or second incidents, then maybe he had some use for him but please don’t tell me Jesus didn’t dismiss him because of the prophecy.

Why, you seem to have the answers you seek already? Tell me, what did the prophecy say?

The prophecy said he was going to betray the master

Was his name mentioned?

No

So mathematically, any of the disciples could have betrayed the master?

I guess so. But it was he who did it.

You said they were very close?

So the sources say. The master called him ‘friend,’ just before he was arrested.

Any idea why he used such a term of endearment?

I don’t know. Maybe to underscore their closeness.

Did Jesus love him?

Yes, sir. Very much so. But my heart breaks every time I remember the ‘Woe is he that betrays the Son of Man,’ declarations made by the Master before his death. Do you know something of the part where it is written that ‘it is better for that man not to have been born?’

I do. What comes to your mind when you remember that bit?

Unbearable pain

You said you read the prophecy?

Yes, sir. I did

Was the prophecy going to be fulfilled by man or beast?

Man

And not beast?

Man, sir

So technically, that assignment could have dropped on the shoulder of any man?

Yes, sir

And whoever carried the can carried the woe?

Yes, sir

Which unfortunately, your patriarch chose to carry

Yes, sir (sobs)

Did the woe assume the bearer would go to hell? Specifically, did the woe state that the bearer would go to hell?

No sir

Are you sure?

I checked the sources sir. There is no mention of hell. But I’ve not been able to deal with the part of the prophecy that says it is better for that man not to have been born.

I thought we said whatever man carried the can carried the burden since it was not an assignment for animals or beasts but man?

Yes, sir

So you believe another gentleman may have been the one in your shoes right now if somebody else instead of your patriarch, had stepped forward?

Yes, sir

Apart from underscoring the severity of his action, what else do you think those heavy statements were about?

I don’t know sir

You said they were very close

So the sources say sir

Did Jesus love him?

Absolutely

Did he stop loving him on the night of the betrayal?

I don’t know (sobs)

What do you think? Do the sources give any clues?

Yes, sir. Jesus still loved him while he was being taken away by the Roman soldiers.

You’re sure he loved him?

Positive, sir.

Do you think he loved him while he hung on the cross?

Yes, sir

What is the other thing Jesus offered the world apart from love?

I don’t know sir

You said you have checked the sources

Yes, sir

And you did not see love’s twin therein?

Do you mean forgiveness, sir?

Yes, forgiveness is the twin of love

But they say my patriarch committed the unforgivable sin?

Who is they? The sources?

Not the sources, sir

Who then?

Some people

What people? Did those people say God called his action the unforgivable sin?

No sir

Did you read anywhere in the sources where God specifically called his action the unforgivable sin?

No sir. But why do you ask sir?

Who is supposed to call an action the unforgivable sin, Jesus or the people?

Jesus, sir.

And did Jesus call it that? Did you see it so in the sources?

No, sir. Wait a minute. What are you saying?

What are you thinking? You don’t think Jesus would have called it the unforgivable sin if that is what he did?

Yes, sir

Is the unforgivable sin against Jesus or against the Holy Spirit, according to the sources?

It is the sin against the Holy Spirit, sir. Haa! Sirrrrrrrrr!

If I may quote it exactly, here is how it is written in the sources, ‘Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men…’ (including if you like, the sins of your patriarch) ‘… but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.’

I get it. Wow. I get it! He didn’t commit the sin against the Holy Spirit. He didn’t commit the unforgivable sin. Thank you, sir. Thank you, sir. Oh, thank God. But wait a minute, sir. He committed suicide, he killed himself. They say he went to hell because of that.

Is that what you think?

But he didn’t have time to repent of his wrongs, sir.

Is that what the sources say?

The sources say he was sorrowful after the betrayal. He admitted his wrongdoing but not directly to his master. He went to his paymasters and said he was wrong; that he had betrayed an innocent soul.

So?

Afterwards he went and killed himself, sir. He died immediately, so he didn’t have time to repent of his suicide

What do the sources say?

I am not sure, sir but isn’t only persons who are alive who can repent of their wrongdoings, and ask for forgiveness?

Did you say Jesus loved him?

Yes, sir

Do you believe he did not commit the unforgivable sin?

Yes, sir

Did you say he was sorry for his wrongdoing?

Yes, sir

What do the sources say about followers of Jesus going to heaven?

They are persons who have repented of their wrongdoing

How many persons do you know who have repented of all their sins?

Where are you going with that question, sir?

Aha, you are learning fast. Young man, you must pray for, and seek God’s mercies always. Here’s why: No man can consciously repent of all his sins. For while he must consciously repent of his sins whenever he commits any, the truth of the matter is he does not know all the sins he commits daily.

Is that in the sources, sir?

The sources acknowledge that God does a massive job of cleansing believers from a variety of sins, which because they are not conscious of, they do not knowingly and consciously confess and repent from. Here is how one of the apostles put it in the sources: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.’

Thank you, sir. Thank you, sir. This is so uplifting. I feel so light already. The burden is finally gone. I feel it. Thank you, sir.

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1 Comment

  1. PHILIPPE EMEDI April 11, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    Deep theological thinking, but it surely brings up many questions, brother.

    Please let’s set the record straight. I hope this will be profitable to you and you can take time to consider what I am about to say in light of your write up on Judas Iscariot.

    I think saying that we do not know and cannot determine if Judas Iscariot will go to hell or to heaven is at first the safest answer to give. But as you discern the Scriptures further, you will realize that the Bible is NOT silent on the issue.

    (1) It sounds like a farfetched reason to say that Judas Iscariot was forgiven and went to heaven because his sin was not blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, he was remorseful and brought back the money.

    (2) In fact, why did Judas Iscariot hang himself after if he had truly repented?

    (3) Didn’t Peter who also betrayed Jesus had a choice to harm/hang himself or not?

    (4) Matthew 26:24 says, “It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” This is a hard saying, which in John 17:12 is expressed by the term “perdition” to imply that Judas was lost.

    (5) In fact, in Jesus’ sacerdotal/priestly prayer, in John 17, he says, “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom you gave me I have kept; and none of them is ‘lost’ except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.”

    (6) A Bible commentary on John 17:12 says that Jesus protected the disciples during his earthly ministry (see John 18:9). But Judas Iscariot is distinguished from the rest of the apostles because he was never really one of those given to Christ (18:8, 9).

    (7) To have been a disciple or among the disciples of Jesus does not imply that Judas believed because he had never really been a believer, like Jesus says it in John 6:64-71. And Judas had not been cleansed (see John 13:11).

    (8) Acts 1:18-20 talks further about Judas Iscariot, what the money served for and how his dwelling should remain desolate.

    It is my prayer that this will bring more light to many.

    Be blessed,

    Pastor Philippe Emedi

    Reply

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