Did Judas really betray Jesus? Let's look at this from the 'what the Jews expected from a,and were looking for in, a messiah,' point of view. In this way those who know nothing of Jewish lore, or know nothing of what it is to be persecuted from the time one is born, can gain some insight into a way of thinking which counts first on security of ones own.
A job description for the Jewish messiah might read something like this:
'Wanted, one who can speak in a manner as to draw large crowds to listen to stories of great leadership in combat. A warrior, military man (A MUST), who can help and lead our people to victory over our persecutors and oppressors.'
In this light, I will look into the matter of the new testament claim of the betrayal of Jesus by Judas.
In the time of Jesus there were a miriad of religious and political factions; Sadducees, Pharisees, Essenes(John the Baptist was one),and Zealots. The Essenes were thought to be the source of 'the dead sea scrolls.' Of all these groups, the Zealots were one of two, who wanted to get the kingdom of Israel back by riding themselves of the Romans. Romans were occupiers of Israel in Jesus day. They had taken Israel in the year 63 BC. By the time Jesus began preaching, Romans had occupied Israel for 100 years. After Jesus death Jews killed about three thousand Roman soldiers and did re establish the Kingdom of Israel for about five years. But ,while jesus preached, Zealots knew this; Israel had been occupied for 100 years, and they were fed up with their persecutors.
A small group within the Zealots, the Sicarii(from the latin meaning 'daggermen') carried knives and assassinated Romans or Jews,who were traitors,meaning they had accepted the Romans, and had in essence become roman, and were against the Jews.
It is very possible Judas,whose name was Iscariot, may very well have been a Sicarii. The similarity, and use of the same letters, sets up an interesting course of events. Since the bible was translated, who knows how many times into many lanquages, one being latin, lets take the story of Judas from the view of his being a Scarii.
If he was a Scarii, he would have been an extreme fanatic on the subject of getting rid of Romans, and would have been searching for a Military leader to lead Jews into battle against the Romans. He hears about jesus, and goes to meet with him. He finds a man who attracts huge crowds wherever he speaks. Judas realizes, here is a man who is a natural leader,as many followed him to his speaking places. Judas sees in Jesus an excellent leader for the Jewish rebellion against the Romans. Exactly the man Jews had been looking for, a messiah. Messiah is another word for Leader.
Judas joins those who have been following jesus. And Jesus picks Judas to be a main leader, an apostle. Judas is convinced, this man jesus is the military leader he had been looking for.
He follows Jesus, seeing that he not only heals the sick, but can bring a dead man back to life! What an incredible gift for a military leader to have. Jesus continued his preaching, and his teaching. Judas, after following for 3 years, becomes tired of waiting for their rebellion to begin.
Judas now believes he must push Jesus between a rock and a hard place, hoping he would come out swinging. He does not, and Judas seeks out the Jewish leaders telling them he knows where Jesus prays away from prying eyes. Judas leads them to Jesus in the night, where Judas expects Jesus to start his fight, and it will be the beginning of the rebellion. But Judas is taken by surprise as he watches Jesus, allowing himself to be captured, and taken to jail.
Judas is now completely confused. He was so sure, so certain that Jesus was the Military leader. And then Judas realizes, Jesus is not a military leader, he is a spiritual leader, a preacher, a rabbi. He rushes off to the Jewish leaders telling them he, and they, had made a mistake. He is only a rabbi, but the Jewish leaders ignore Judas, they are tired of Jesus raking up the ire of the romans, who had told them just recently, there was to be no rabble rousing by the Jews, or there would be consequences to be paid.
Judas tried his hardest to have jesus released, but no one paid him any mind. Unable to justify pushing jesus to start a rebellion, only to realize there was never a rebellion in jesus' mind, only the word of God, knowing he, and jesus would both be crucified, Judas takes his life, as he knew the blood of an innocent and good man was on his hands.
that is my blurb of the day
Thank you for reading