Friday, March 13, 2020

Was Judas Iscariot Aware Of God's Plan?

All things were made by God, and without Him was not anything made that was made. (John 1:3)

Everything and everyone are part of God’s master plan.

As one of the twelve, Judas was privy to the things that Jesus showed the twelve:

“And he began to teach them, that the son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.” (Mark 8:31)

Later on, Jesus renewed this teaching:

“For he taught his disciples, and said to them, ‘The son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.’” (Mark 9:31)

Nevertheless, the twelve did not understand what Jesus taught them:

“But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.” (Mark 9:32)

Again, later on, Jesus taught his disciples what things should happen to him:

“Saying, ‘Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the son of man shall be delivered to the chief priests, and to the scribes. And they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles. And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him. And the third day he shall rise again.’” (Mark 10:33,34)

Scripture tells us explicitly that Simon Peter was opposed to those things of God, and, by innuendo, that the others, because they were men, were opposed to those things of God, too:

“And Peter took him and began to rebuke him. But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, ‘Get you behind me, Satan: for you savor not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.” (Mark 8:32b,33)

Jesus gave them a remedy for their spirit of opposition to those things of God:

“He said to them, ‘Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mark 34b)

Yet, Scripture gives us no reason to believe that they understood his remedy for their adversarial spirit any more than they understood his teaching of those things of God themselves.

In fact, we see plainly that Simon Peter failed to understand the remedy, when we read that he drew his sword and attacked Malchus, the servant of the high priest. (John 18:10)

If Peter had denied himself, he would have suppressed his opposition to Jesus being handed over; and he would not have attacked Malchus.

Although Jesus began months before to prepare the twelve for the things of God that should happen at the last day, we have no reason to believe that they knew specifically what Jesus wanted them to do at that day.

And, in fact, Jesus waited until the last moment to orchestrate the specific behavior he desired from them—behavior pursuant to God’s master plan, if you will.

At the last day, Jesus orchestrated the behavior of the twelve so that his saying would be fulfilled:

“Of them which you gave me have I lost none.” (John 18:9)

Of course, the first act of Jesus at the last day was to raise Judas up again, which he accomplished by washing him clean. (John 6:39; 13:1-15)

So, as it happened, the twelve arrived at the last day and not a single one of them knew what Jesus wanted them to do.

Discovering at the last day what Jesus wanted them to do, at hearing the words of his orchestration for their behavior, was for each of them a eureka moment.

Because there was so much work to be done within the 24 hours of the last day, Jesus needed to send Judas as quickly as possible. (John 13:27)

As soon as the sun set to begin the last day, Jesus washed Judas clean—and thereby he cast the devil out of him, which had put it into his heart to hand Jesus over to the chief priests. (John 12:31; 13:1-15)

Then, speaking cryptically so that only Judas could understand him, Jesus himself put it into the heart of Judas to hand him over. (John 13:16-30)

The eureka moment for Judas came probably when Jesus gave him his food to eat:

“Jesus answered, 'He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.” (John 13:26)

In any case, the giving of his bread to the one who had lifted up his heel against him confirmed his previous revelation of whom he had chosen:

“I speak not of you all. I know whom I have chosen. But that the scripture might be fulfilled, he that eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me.” (John 13:18)

Although Jesus prepared his apostles somewhat for the things of God to come, I think mainly that he let them take one day at a time.

Then, each day he gave them their daily bread. (Matthew 6:11)

This is true for those whom he did not lose; and it is true, too, for Judas, the one who was lost, whom he raised up again at the last day. (John 6:39)

I say these things only in my own name.

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