Talk About a Bad Rap

In almost every sermon or Christian blog, you always hear about how good Jesus and God are, and how we can come closer to them, but you rarely hear about the bad people in Jesus’s life. I’m talking about Caiaphas, Judas, and Barabbas.

 Barabbas has always been portrayed as a “Crazed Murderer”, even in the movies, like in Passion of the Christ, Barabbas looked crazy and they made it look like it was a big shock that the town would have picked him. This was far from the truth.

Mark 15:6-11

 6 Now it was the custom at the festival to release a prisoner whom the people requested. 7 A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. 8 The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did.

 9 “Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate, 10 knowing it was out of self-interest that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead.

 Barabbas was part of the insurrection that was taking place before Jesus came to town. He was arrested for killing someone in that uprising, probably a Roman soldier. This would have made him sort of a hero, because he was standing up for the Jews. Because if this, Pilot was pitting Hero against Hero, and since, at that time, no one fully understood who Jesus was, or why he was there, it would have been easy for them to pick the one person they knew was fighting for them. I’m not agreeing with their decision, but I know the truth, so it makes it easy for me to make that call.

 Caiaphas was who the Bible makes him out to be. He, and the rest of the high priests, where afraid of what they would loose.

John 11:47-48

47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.

   “What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”

Caiaphas stood to loose his power, standing in society, and lively hood if Jesus continued with his teaching. He, and the high priests, where clouded by satan into thinking of Jesus’s teaching as an attack and nothing more. They were simply defending everything they knew. Since what they knew was greed, and political clout, it was easy to see what Jesus was teaching was directly attacking them, and he was. Jesus would go out of his way to come down on them, only because they were the most lost. They just weren’t willing to give up what they had, so they could hear the truth.

 Judas Iscariot is probably the most hated of them all. The story of a man being invited into the inner circle, trusted, and liked, only to betray them all, for money.

 Matthew 26:47

 47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people.

John 13:27-28

27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.

   So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” 28 But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him.

How could anyone know Jesus, and betray him. This is only done because Jesus was still here and the Holy Spirit was not in Judas, and Jesus allowed satan to take him. I don’t think Judas was trying to have Jesus killed, he was trying to force Jesus’s hand. Everyone thought the messiah was going to ride into town and take over as king, and the Jews would rule the land. Jesus did none of that, at least not in the world as we see it. He did this in the spiritual world. Judas thought that if Jesus was imprisoned he would have to act. He would have to rise up, but Judas never intended things to go the way they did.

Judas wanted Jesus to claim the thrown that was rightfully his. Doesn’t sound so bad, but it’s the fact that he had focused so much on that point that he couldn’t hear what Jesus was really saying. He heard what Jesus told him, and did it his way anyways. Not too much different then us! Huh!

Matthew 27:5

 5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.Acts 1:18-19

 18 (With the payment he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. 19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)

 The way Judas died has been a debate as well, but if you merge the two it gets quite simple. Judas tied a rope around his neck and jumped. When the body is dead it starts blowing up with gases and when the rope, or tree limb, broke his body hit the rocks, popped his belly open, and out flew his intestines. And saying Judas bought the field, is just another way of saying they used his money. For if they used his money, it was legally his field.

 Your Challenge This Week: Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Stop making snap judgment’s about people, you ain’t God!


One comment on “Talk About a Bad Rap

  1. Excellent and very thoughtful reflections on the villains in the New Testament. I too have always thought that these persons have been identified as pure evil when in fact they were just regular people in extraordinary circumstances who reacted very unwisely. The possible exception to poor judgment being Barabbas who was in the way I read it, a revolutionary trying to free his nation from foreign rule. The error in this case was that of the mob who chose him over Christ.

    The suicide of Judas, according to Catholic theology insured his achieving hell even were it not for his gross betrayal. I do not follow that all suicides go to hell. And I will not judge Judas’ eternal fate based on that fact. And I will not judge him as damned for any other reason either.

    That judgment is not mine to make. Not by a LONG shot.

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