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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Great (07/06/06)

TITLE: The Moneybag
By Pat Guy


Judas felt the skip of his heart as the clay basin of water nudged his right foot. He could hear the beat of each pulse reverberating in his head; his chest ached with its fast pace. The brush of Jesus’ hand against his ankle startled him and he felt angry. Angry, that Teacher was lowering himself to that of a servant. The urge to wipe the mist above his lip was excruciating, but he resisted, I WILL stay under control. Jesus will NOT know …

The cool stone floor felt hot to the souls of his feet.

His turn was next and anger flowed into something else, something close to becoming … shame. But he rationalized that Jesus’ display of humility was having an affect on them all. The chatter among them hushed as Jesus slowly moved from disciple to disciple. Silence echoed of water upon water as each squeeze of the laden sponge released its excess burden.

This is not acceptable!

Jesus moved the basin to the left of Judas’ feet. Head bent, He reached over into the water, and lifted the weighty sponge with unblemished hands willing to submit to this crucial task. He continued to wash Judas’ feet until they were cleansed from all dust and grime. He wrapped them with His towel until they were dry.

Jesus looked up – their eyes met.

There, before Judas, uncovered and bare was Master/servant, Teacher/carpenter. Wise Lord … humble man.

Judas knew, that Jesus knew. He felt exposed – revealed! The need of a deeper cleansing rushed to the surface and burned his cheeks. A bead of sweat made its path down the side of his face. Shame flowed into something else, something close to becoming … hate. He reassured himself of his elevated importance to the Chief Priests, and to other teachers; those of the law willing to pay for his services. He clutched the moneybag always in his care.

With renewed fervor, he looked down into the grave eyes of a troubled heart. Unmoved, he spoke a silent warning; I can, and I will, do this.

Judas couldn’t hear the reply of Love spoken back into eyes lost to pride and greed. He was already anticipating the events for later that night, relishing the praise … the thirty pieces of silver.

‘When Jesus had finished washing their feet, He put on His clothes and returned to His place teaching the disciples these words, ‘I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master … do as I have done for you … and you will be blessed … as I have loved you, so you must love one another.’

Within hours into the following day, stripped and scourged by Roman soldiers, the hands that washed the disciples feet, were nailed to a cross to cleanse the heart of man.

‘Greater love has no one than this …’*

Judas searched out a quiet place … where he ended his stay, as keeper of the moneybag … forever.*

Based on John 13 (NIV)
*John 15:13 (NIV)
Based on Matt. 27:5 (NIV)

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This article has been read 1374 times
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James Clem 07/13/06
Vivid retelling! Favorite line: Judas knew that Jesus knew.

Amy Michelle Wiley 07/13/06
Awesome story. I haven't read many Bibical fiction from Judas' POV. This was well done. I thought the ending was a tad abrupt, but otherwise stellar.
Mark Anthony Belosa07/14/06
The greatness of Jesus...The greatness of his love... Judas desire for greatness... Well-written and great message.
Laurie Glass 07/14/06
Well written and terrific idea for the topic. I can't imagine writing Biblical fiction, but you've done such a great job of it.
Melanie Kerr 07/15/06
You tell the story in a powerful way. You really portrayed the emotions of the scene well – his anger, his shame and eventually his hate.
Crista Darr07/15/06
I've never contemplated Jesus washing Judas' feet. Wow. This piece exposes the evil raging within the heart of the proud as the humble serves him. Gives me a greater understanding of the verse about ministering to your enemies and thereby heaping burning coals upon their heads - yikes! Extremely well-written piece!
Rita Garcia07/17/06
Wonderful and thought provoking!
Brenda Craig07/17/06
Riviting with emotion. I could feel the intensity. Wonderful job!
Linda Watson Owen07/17/06
Wow, Pat! This takes the reader by the shoulders and stares squarely in the eye! No missing the message here! This line, my favorite, is so beautifully poetic: "...the hands that washed the disciples feet were nailed to a cross to cleanse the heart of man."
Donna Haug07/17/06
Fascinating point of view. Must have been excruciating for Judas. One little note ... "souls of his feet" ... should read "soles". Don't you hate it when those slip by you!
william price07/17/06
Pat, Pat, Pat! Excellent!
Marilyn Schnepp 07/18/06
A glimpse into the heart of a traitor...very nicely done.
terri tiffany07/18/06
Wonderful style! What a beautiful blend of words and emotions. I love how you take a tiny fraction of a moment and build it into such purpose and meaning. Grat job:)
Jan Ackerson 07/18/06
Pat, this is gorgeous, lyrical, almost poetic. You have such a turn of phrase! I almost hesitate to point out two tiny errors: souls/soles and affect/effect. I love the way that you demonstrated Judas' dark emotions--very effective.
Sandra Petersen 07/18/06
Oh, Pat, you have painted a great description of the motivations and emotions driving Judas, and at a point in the Master's walk with His disciples that is rarely explored except in sermons.

The only thing that marred this jewel was two words: you meant 'soles' in the line "The cool stone floor felt hot to the souls of his feet." and you meant 'effect' in the line "But he rationalized that Jesus’ display of humility was having an affect on them all."

That last line was sobering! A masterful entry! Thanks for sharing this!
Suzanne R07/19/06
Excellent ... Judas knew that Jesus knew ... never really thought about that ... great re-telling ... well done!
Jan Ross07/19/06
Wow! My favorite line ... "Head bent, He reached over into the water, and lifted the weighty sponge with unblemished hands willing to submit to this crucial task." How awesome! Well done! :)
T. F. Chezum07/19/06
Excellent job Pat. I loved it.