Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Judas Iscariot and Jesus

Yung Suk Kim

People are often confused between "in spite of" and "because of." Especially when it comes to a religious life or discourse, confusion is much more serious than usual. For example, in the Gospels, Judas Iscariot betrays his teacher, Jesus. But Jesus overcomes this difficult situation created by Judas (that is the condition of "in spite of") and does not stop proclaiming the good news of God. As a result, he ends up on the cross. But God turns his failure-like crucifixion to a victory, raising him from the dead. Otherwise, we don't say that resurrection (or salvation) was possible because of Judas' betrayal. We cannot condone his evil action. Those who are involved in Jesus' death must be judged. Evil is evil. It won't be justified or condoned in the name of God's love or plan.

Interestingly, the Gospel of Judas Iscariot, a Gnostic gospel, written around the third or the fourth century CE, portrays Judas as a true disciple of Jesus who cooperates with God's plan that Jesus needs to die. In it, Jesus does not even suffer on the cross because he is a spirit. That view is not historical.



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