The Spirit of Judas – Among Jesus’ Disciples and Opponents.

Versão em Português

There are people who walk the Way with us, but work with those who oppose Jesus. If linking the Church with to  political parties is sad, what about the attempt to link the Church with to an hostile ideology to the Gospel? Well, we know the result: Judas, in crisis, feels out of place with the disciples, the opponents renew their plans to pursue the values ​​of the Kingdom and the Church continues its glorious mission.

It turns out that Judas is more than a historical individual; it is a spirit, evidenced in biblical times, in the experience of every pastoral leader and in today’s democratic society. “We have Martha, Mary and Lazarus inside us, but if we look closely, we will see that there is also  Judas. Something in us seeks the good part and something kisses its friend while betraying him in the back. Our challenge is to hang the Judas within us. Perhaps, daily” (A boa parte). “Hanging” this Judas within us requires recognizing, confessing and abandoning his practices:

  1. Murmuring, fighting community cohesion.
  • “Moses shouldn’t have planned to get us out of Egypt. Yes, that’s his idea. Now it’s going to get even worse.”
  • “Those who think they are sent by God are insensitive to the precious values ​​of society.”
  1. Demagoguery, offering solutions without considering their cost.
  • “If I were the king, I would hear his cause” (Absalom to those dissatisfied with David).
  • “It is not so important if the indicators point to a high price to be paid in the future, as long as the benefit is immediate, the pain is stopped and the suffering stopped.”
  1. Backsliding, defaming the motivation or methods of altruists.
  • Judas interpreted Mary’s offer of perfume as a mistake, but he did not realize the greed ingrained in his own heart.
  • North Korea’s president says his country is a marvel and the west is chaos.
  1. Critical dysfunction, more easily perceiving the defect on the outside – hell is the other.
  • “Mary should have sold the perfume and distributed the money to the poor.”
  • “If others win but I don’t, it’s better that no one wins.”
  1. Intolerance, hasten God’s time and methods.
  • Peter cuts off a policeman’s ear.
  • “There is no time to pray and reflect and listen to advice; I have to post my opinion immediately; it doesn’t matter if that idiot will be injured”
  1. Corruption, strategically mixing with opponents of the Gospel to create points of complicity.
  • Judas sells his opponents the closeness he had with Jesus.
  • “Don’t be scared of the Church. They don’t even understand each other.”
  1. Deviation – acting boldly against the noble agreement made by the group.
  • Jesus’ followers formed a consensus for the apostles to distribute their goods, but Ananias and Sapphira agreed to withhold a portion of what they had.
  • “Most Christians in Brazil are against abortion, alcohol, homosexuality, etc., but I want to help those who fight this “discrimination”.
  1. Rebellion, to believe in a government that competes with Christ’s.
  • The antichrist uses a political-religious speech to attract the Lord’s disciples.
  • “They have no character, but they are the true defenders of the poor”.
  1. Incorrigibility, resisting change, failing to learn, inflexibility, failing to believe in the grace of starting over, failure to discern.
  • Until death, Judas’ worldview and character do not change
  • “My party has the same purposes as when it was formed”

Once we consider the “spirit of Judas”, we can react positively:

a) Accept the possibility of sin in your own heart. “William Barclay remembers the solemn words which Cromwell addressed to the uncompromising Scots: ‘I beseech thee by the tender mercies of Christ: think it possible that ye may be deceived’” (The Works of the Flesh and the Fruit of the Spirit).

b) Fight the “spirit of Judas”, but not the brother who carries it. After all, “…no one who speaks by the Spirit of God says, ‘Cursed be Jesus;’ and no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). Jesus loved Martha (Luke 10:40-42; John 11:5).

c) Take care of the community. The Judas in each of us is most stimulated in an environment where selfishness is more rewarding than altruism or passivity. If a Judas appeared in Jesus’ team, how many Judas are being formed in our teams?

d) Reinforce your vow not to mix with the world and with the flesh. It is dangerous to minimize the distinction the Bible makes between the Church and the century system. We go into the world to transform it, not to conform to it. Isn’t it striking that the Old and New Testaments end with words that highlight those who belong to God?

“And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not” (Malaquias 3:18).

“The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen” (Apocalipse 22:21).

e) Invest in knowing the look and voice of Jesus. Peter and Judas were sinners, but Peter knew how to distinguish the eyes and the voice of the Lord. It is not possible to know all the fake banknotes, but we need to identify the real one. It is certain that we will err; the question is where do we end up.

Juracy Bahia

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