BETRAYAL: THEN AND NOW
M.Anthony David Swaroop Kumar
Along with the handpicked men, he sauntered in. The Master did not seem to mind. He walked through the dusty streets of Judea and Galilee along with his eleven colleagues. Listening just like them to the most gracious and authoritative words ever to be expressed.
Men and women, of all sorts came to the Master. Some were healed. Some were comforted. But all were transformed by His love. A word, a touch, a pat from the Master changed them completely. He saw all this. Every day of the three and a half years of the Master’s ministry, he was watching.
Yet he was unmoved by all this. He had his own petty agenda hidden from others, his brothers. He volunteered to keep the accounts of the group. He kept the moneybag, mostly filled by the faithful ministering women of the wandering band. Deceptively he dipped into this meager amount from time to time. To fill his own secret cache of money. Was he madly in love with the glint of silver?
Somehow, the most graceful words, the forgiving love and the life-transforming grace of the Master did not affect this one man. He continued to simmer in his own evil egocentric desires.
Till at last an evil hour dawned. He plotted with the enemies to betray, yes betray, his own Master. For thirty pieces of silver, he decided to barter the Master. The most holy life of all time and space, a sinless life of the Son of God, deemed worth just thirty pieces of silver!
At twilight in that awesome garden, he stealthily led a band of the enemies. He led them on till he spied the prayerful Master. Up he sprang with all the cunning of an animal. Only to kiss the dear Master. A sign he had made with the enemy band. A kiss, not of love or caring, a cruel kiss of betrayal!
His name was Judas Iscariot. That was the betrayal of the Lord Jesus Christ, then. And now?
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Dressed in his best clothes, he comes to the Church quite often and listens half-asleep to the sermon. He greets and meets others after Church and socializes a lot. He goes back and enjoys a sumptuous meal at home.
But then, Monday through Saturday, he is different. In fact, he is no different from any of his other colleagues. He goes with the crowd in all his dealings with them. His walk is very different from his Sunday talk. He has a Christian name. And that’s how Christian he is. One only in name!
His friends wonder about him. “He says he’s a Christian. But…How is different from us?” they muse. “Oh being a Christian is perhaps just a Sunday thing,” they conclude.
Week after week, month after month, year after year, he continues to betray the Lord Jesus Christ. His name is……………….
Well you know him. He lives just off the road. Doesn’t he? This is betrayal today.
Another man. He dons the cassock and the surplice and ascends the pulpit regularly every Sunday. A typical professional priest! “It is a job, and quite a good one at that,” he says. He works with clinical precision and with detachment.
“Genesis? Oh a book in the beginning of the Bible which has many myths”, he says. “Was there a universal flood?” asks his parishioner and he says, “Oh no. It must have been a puddle in Noah’s backyard,” says he. “Creation? Isn’t evolution better accepted by Science”, he says.
Another man asks, “Is Jesus the only way of salvation?” He replies, “No chance! All religions and faiths lead on to the same destiny: universal salvation. Mohammed, Rama, Confucius and so on, aren’t all the religious leaders of all time leading us to the same destination? We needn’t be so bigoted as to believe only in Jesus”.
Cruel, but sometimes real. And one, which goes on and on, Sunday after Sunday. Betrayal upon betrayal. A betrayal now. Will these betrayals ever end?
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© 2004: M A David S Kumar