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Topic: Betrayal (02/16/04)
TITLE: Four-Step Journey - To the Judas Tree
By Martha Currington
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“Did Jesus call my name? “Yes, I hear “Judas Iscariot” again! I ‘m going into the mountain with the others!” Jesus is calling me out of the multitude!”
I hurriedly push my way through the crowd. When I get there, Jesus speaks, “ I am ordaining twelve. You will be with me. I have chosen you twelve to send forth to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out devils.” Jesus has chosen me!
The crowd left. We come out and go into a house. People have gathered again, in so much that we can’t eat. Jesus has been teaching and healing, now the multitude finds Him again. “Jesus, you are not at yourself” some of his friends call out. They try to get to Him, but He will not be persuaded to stop his teaching and healing. His mother and brothers come. Jesus says, “Whoever does the will of God, the same is my brothers, and my sisters, and my mother.” Then Jesus teaches by the seaside. I listen intently to his every word.
Jesus teaches the people in parables, revealing His doctrine. Then when He is alone with us , He explains them. Every day we follow Him, witnessing His teaching, learning, and are in awe of the miracles he is performing. Now He’s sending us out two by two. He gives us power to heal and power over unclean spirits. We are to take no provisions, but depend on God. I do as Jesus says. When all of us hear about John the Baptist being beheaded at the command of King Herod, our hearts are saddened. We return and gather around Jesus. We tell Him what we have done and what we have taught. Our master seems pleased.
(Doubt and Greed)
I have been made steward of the money bag. Jesus must trust me, but sometimes I see Him watching me. I wonder, “How much does He know about me? Does He know my thoughts? He says He is the Son of God, and is performing great miracles. “ Why does He want to keep it a secret for now, ... if... He really is the promised messiah?” Is He just practicing sorcery as some claim? No, I can’t think this way!” But,... if... He’s not who he claims, I’ll just use some of the money myself!
I’ m at Lazarus’s with Jesus and the others. Martha is serving. Lazarus is sitting at the table with Jesus. But wait, what’s this? Mary is pouring very costly ointment on Jesus’ feet! Now she’s wiping his feet with her hair! “Why wasn’t this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?” “Leave her alone”, Jesus tells me. Seems He’s not too worried about the poor! It could have been put to better use! “Yes, I’ll find a way to expose Him!
The chief priests want to stop Jesus. I’ll go talk with them!. They seem glad to see me. They are offering me money to betray Jesus, thirty pieces of silver. Now, I’ll have to find the right time, in the absence of a multitude.
We have finished eating the passover meal with Jesus. He’s washing our feet! He is troubled, saying one of us is going to betray Him. “ Does He know?” He gives me a sop, and says, “What you have to do, do quickly.” This is my chance! I go out into the night.
I return with a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, to the garden where Jesus often goes. When I see Him, I call out, “Master!. Master!” I kiss Him on the cheek. I see the hurt look in His eyes as He is being taken away.
What have I done, oh God? I see and hear Him suffering! I have sinned, betraying innocent blood! I must take the money back. It doesn’t help! I am unworthy to live! I cannot, do not, want to live, knowing what I have done! My life is over! I am going to kill myself... today! Now!
And he went and hanged himself.(Matthew 27: 5)
footnote: The redbud, Cercis siliquastrum, from the Mediterranean region, is often called “the Judas tree” because Judas is said to have hung himself from such a tree.
Copyright 2004 Martha J. Currington