Judas has often been portrayed as the foremost personification of treacherousness for having betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. People who are traitorous, deceitful, unfaithful, duplicitous are invariable called or branded as ‘Judases’. Yet, there is a bit of Judas in all of us.
Judas could have been Jesus’ right-hand man. Where Peter was impetuous and even petulant, Judas was the voice of reason and sanity in the group. When Mary wasted precious perfume to wash the feet of Jesus, Judas remarked, “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” Matthew was the tax collector among the twelve, knowledgeable about money matters, yet it was Judas who was chosen to hold the purse strings of the community. I am assuming, he was probably the most educated among the apostles, who were mostly simple and unlettered fishermen and laborers.
Judas was definitely touched and inspired by Jesus, his words and his works. He was a constant follower of this itinerant preacher and was probably the ‘logistics manager’ for this band of brothers, taking care of the arrangement for their food, accommodations, and paying for all their bills. But he grew fearful and his faith began to waver when he saw the stakes escalating too high. The crowds following Jesus were growing. The things they started saying of him were stunning. And Jesus did not seem to care that his was a revolution of rising expectations. Judas, being the the rational man that he is, saw the danger. As Jesus became more famous and his followers grew in numbers, he would be seen as a threat by both the Roman authorities and the Jewish religious leaders. Judas was right. The Sanhedrin plotted to eliminate Jesus. With Caiaphas, they believed that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.
I often waver in my following Jesus when the stakes get too high, when following Jesus means giving some of the things that give me pleasure and satisfaction, when standing up for Jesus means being alone and different. There have been times I have betrayed him like Judas did. Like, Peter I have denied that I even know Jesus Christ.