A Judas and a little bit hope

By Klaus Döring

The apostle Judas, probably also called Thaddeus or Jude, being a brother of James and Jesus, started as a fervent follower of Christ. Then, suddenly he changed. He felt that Christ didn’t  satisfy his worldly expectations. The church, like Christ, is always loved by its true followers and is always hated by its apostates. Till today – no matter what belief you are in.

Judas didn’t leave the apostolic community to become a Pharisee or a critic  of Christ. He  leaves to become a traitor! Such a traitor will always find fault or a misinterpretation of human teaching. Judas gathered reasons that he, himself, had heard  and witnessed  to justify  his betrayal. Yes, we all also know such people who betray us and sometimes a whole country.

A Jewish mob tried to throw Christ down a cliff, but nothing happened. Soldiers tried to arrest Him, but nothing happened. The Pharisees tried to entrap Him to no effect. It needed a friend to betray Him. He escaped from all, but not from the treason of a friend. “It would have been better for that man if he had not been born!” No such sentence was hurled, for example, to Pilate or Herod.

The lesson for all of us is very clear. A bad politician or one of our neighbors can be the foulest thing on earth. A bad pagan cannot be 1/10 corrupt.

“Do not betray another man’s confidence!” the bible teaches us. But Judases can be found everywhere. Just as fire is not born from snow, so is the seeker after worldly honors not seeking heavenly ones. or have you ever seen the snow catch fire?

The maladroit politician named Judas betrays his voter and elector through beautiful soft promises while corrupting a whole nation. The peace conference member or peacemaker named Judas just gives double standards while allowing at the  same time his jackals and accomplices to kill and injure his own countrymen. The neighbor, who declares how much he loves his family while going on unhindered destroying the environment is also named Judas. Similarities or resemblances with today’s political or economical situations in the Philippines or all over the globe are just really pure coincidences! Believe me!

Nevertheless, Judas’ sins are really not rare. We commit it every day. Someone who has changed his ideals away from the ideals of the church and declares it to the world, anyone who leaves the church or the religious order and proclaims it to the world, “night has fallen on his soul”!

When Julius Caesar was executed, what hurt him was not the stabs of Caius, but the presence of his friend Brutus. We might never know it, but we could be carrying on our lips the kiss of Judas!

Many times I do voice out people’s longing for advice and actions through the institution’s church. There are many. Please allow me to quote Rev. Mariano C. Apilado, United Church of Christ in the Philippines, who had done a first important step already in 2011 by saying:

“Christian hope does never shield people, much less  Christians  from disappointments, hardships and betrayals, nor does it provide neat and ready answers to the world’s problems. Christian hope empowers Christians to take responsibility in the establishment of a government that respects the law and protection of the people and their rights in the struggle for justice and development. … Christian hope is not peanuts for it assures us: there is always a future looking forward to it. Without hope, Christian faithfulness is suspect and without foundation. with this hope, we sing, celebrate and work faithfully and courageously, believing, ‘that we shall overcome’!”


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