Judas: The First Liberal


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This is a secular board so the question of the differences between the account in Matthew and in John is not the issue. They refer to the deeper esoteric meanings of the passages. This thread is purely secular.

Consider Mary anointing Jesus at Bethany from the account of John

John 12:

1Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2Here a dinner was given in Jesus' honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3Then Mary took about a pint[a] of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

4But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5"Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages.[b]" 6He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. 7"Leave her alone," Jesus replied. " It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me."

Judas as the first liberal realized that Jesus was robbing the poor to cater to his ego suggested that the nard should be sold and the money given to the poor after of course he deducts his "administration fee." Jesus praises her actions.

I'm curious if the liberals here on this secular board agree with Judas? Do you?
I'm sure you make some sense to yourself. But I would find that worrying.


Apparently I misjudged people here. It doesn't make sense to anyone. But the question still persists. Jesus appears as an egotist wanting to be celebrated and Judas thinks it best to sell the nard and giving the proceeds, minus his administration costs, to the poor. What if anything is wrong with this logic? It seems to express liberal compassion which many here seem to celebrate.
Hmmmm.....Obama says "spread the wealth." Does he follow Judas' lead in this established tradition?
The point is ... Judas didn't get the point.

Some things cannot be measured in monetary terms.

Assuming Judas was not simply a traitor, there is a theory that his actions were intended to force Jesus' hand. Jerusalem was packed with Jesus' followers, and Judas hoped that by instigating a confrontation with the authorities, the crowd would rise in support of Jesus and overthrow them in what would have inevitably been a violent revolt.

That would have obliged the Romans to step in and support their puppet government ... hardly a liberal policy, by any stretch.

I'm curious - if there was no Judas, surely there would be no crucifixion or resurrection??

So without Judas, how would Jesus be able to atone for the sins of mankind?

Or was this a game of numbers - if not Judas, then someone else could be eventually relied upon?

And if all part of God's plan anyway, then would Judas really have free will in the process when he's obviously been:

a) chosen as a disciple despite claims above he was a dirty rotten scoundrel
b) was enacting a plan for the salvation of mankind

Just asking. :)
Hi Brian —

I'm curious - if there was no Judas, surely there would be no crucifixion or resurrection??
Yes ... that is the billion dollar question, isn't it ... and no ... I don't know the 'official' line on that one offhand. I'll have a look.

My personal speculation is this: What occurred happened in the way that it did, because that's the way the world is. It couldn't have happened any other way, because the world is not like that.

And as regards God orchestrating events ... yes, within that prior context. What happened tells us something about the Way of God, the way of the world, and ourselves.

As an aside – the Fathers asked: If Adam and Eve had not sinned, would the Incarnation be necessary for man's salvation?

Well strictly speaking no, as man would not be lost, but then, incorporation into the Body of Christ is more than 'mere' salvation — man can be saved without entering into Divine Union — and it would seem that such was not the deal on the table for Adam and Eve, so in another sense, yes.

The Fathers likewise follow the idea that humanity would have 'matured' and grown into a desire for just such a Union, at which point the Son would become incarnate in the flesh to make such a union possible (as the flesh cannot enter into God), but there would have been an acceptance that did not require crucifixion.

The Passion and the Cross is symbolic of just how much the Father 'suffers', or perhaps is a measure of God's patience, His mercy and His love, in the face of our intransigence.

The passion on the Cross is also symbolic of all our fears ... of death as final extinction, of abandonment, of desolation, of pain, suffering and privation.

But Judas as the bad guy? Let's not kid ourselves, we betray ourselves daily.

And if all part of God's plan anyway, then would Judas really have free will in the process when he's obviously been:
a) chosen as a disciple despite claims above he was a dirty rotten scoundrel
b) was enacting a plan for the salvation of mankind
Just asking. :)
Another speculation, which comes with some theological (but not doctrinal) endorsement, is that those mentioned in Scripture by name are called to a destiny greater than they can conceive. In that sense, although they are free, 'events' conspire to cause them to act in a certain way, and God, knowing their inner natures, draws those to the play of events, according to their inclination to the roles, if you like, that need to be fulfilled.

I would hesitate to say they have no say, no choice at all. It is a fundamental tenet that Mary was free to say no to the angel who told her of the part she was to play. At the very least, when she said 'yes', the Voice of God did not say, "I'm not asking, young lady, I'm telling, and you'll do as you're bloomin' well told!" — that's more like me, talking to my daughters! (Usually, I'm a 'voice in the wilderness', it seems ... women!)

By the same token, we insist on the freedom of man to accept God or deny Him. Our 'yes' is Mary's 'yes' — the very difficult doctrine-in-the-wings of Mary as the co-mediatrix of our salvation (and personally I find it difficult, because it so easily implies deification of the Immaculata) is all about this aspect of human freedom in regard to the Word of God, that man does have a part to play in his own redemption, something that is denied to a greater or lesser degree by the religions of the Reformation.

Jesus knew what Judas must do and helped him do it

John 13:

26Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish." Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. 27As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. "What you are about to do, do quickly," Jesus told him, 28but no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. 29Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor. 30As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.
Night in this case means the loss of the light of consciousness. Judas could not have done it without Jesus help but Jesus allowed him to forget the teaching for the sake of what must be and return psychologically to his dominant dualistic linear mindset which is also the way of the world that hates the teaching ..