Scripture describes Judas as a thief (John 12:6). As I think about the small community of disciples migrating around the Holy Land, I can’t help but believe that this little larceny had to become noticeable at some point. And yet Judas was never pushed out of the inner circle.
Some may believe that this is because Christ needed someone to betray him and Judas was chosen for this task. I, for what it’s worth, don’t believe God would set anyone up this way. I believe Judas made this choice himself. If I am right, and Christ did not need Judas to fulfill prophecy, why did he keep him around?
I believe Christ let Judas stay because he loved him as much as he loved the other disciples. Why? Because Judas was more than a one-dimensional character. He was more than a thief and Christ knew this. He was a complicated and conflicted person who loved Christ and yet stole from him and betrayed him during a moment of weakness.
This revelation is important to me because I have always suffered from “all or nothing” thinking. I was either well on my way to being perfect, or I was lost. I was either good or bad. I was either with Christ or against him. My whole life I have suffered from this kind of thinking and I need to believe that there is hope for me as a “work in progress.” Because I am Judas. I sin. I am complicated. And yet Christ still loves me. He has given me an open invitation to live in the inner circle—to be a Christian and beloved of Christ.
In the Bible, the story of Judas ends with his suicide. If he had lived I believe that Christ would have accepted him back into the inner circle. Good news for a sinner and wanderer such as myself. Perhaps you can take heart as well.
Susannah [Susan Peabody] now has her own site. https://christianliberals.boards.net/