Jesus Tried to Save Judas?

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In the Palm Sunday service at Christ the King Presbyterian Church we read from John 12; a common Triumphal Entry passage for Pastors to preach from on this particular Sunday.

As we go through the passages that the Pastor preaches from, I like to reference some of the commentaries I have in my Olive Tree library. One such commentary that I have is the Orthodox Study Bible, which gives commentary from the Eastern Orthodox perspective. In regards to John 12:1-18 it had this to say:

“The other disciples said the same thing Judas said (v. 5), but with a very different motive (see Mt 26:6–13 and note). Judas spoke from greed, while the others spoke from the virtue of charity. That Jesus put a thief in charge of the money shows that by every means He attempted to save Judas: He fulfilled Judas’ lust for money; He allowed Judas to exercise apostolic authority (6:11; see also Mk 6:7); He washed Judas’ feet with the other disciples (13:5); and He allowed him to partake at the table of the Mystical Supper (13:26). Yet Judas could never overcome his greed (see note at Mt 26:14–16).”

There are several things to question in this (like the assertion that Jesus tried to satisfy Judas’s sin of lust with the object of His lust), but what caught my attention the most in this paragraph was the statement: “That Jesus put a thief in charge of the money shows that by every means He attempted to save Judas”. God-the God who created the universe-tried by every means to save Judas-and FAILED. 

God.

Failed.

That’s the direct and unavoidable conclusion of this statement. This really should cause everyone who reads this to take a step back and exam what we think about the nature of God’s saving work and the nature of our relationship as creatures to the creator.

This statement portrays God as impotent. Plain and simple. I know that is not how it would be explained. It would be defended as God not being willing not violate Judas’s free will, so try as He might…only Judas can save himself. Yes, that is what this is saying. Judas is the final author of his salvation since God cannot save him unless Judas lets Him. 

This is not how God’s work of salvation is portrayed in the Bible. When Christ died, He actually accomplished something, He actually saved, not potentially saved. God doesn’t TRY to save, God saves.

And just for clarity, God had always intended Judas to betray Him. The betrayal and the following result of the cross, were not accidents or backup plans-they were decreed. Where do we see this? From the mouth of the Apostle Peter:

Acts 1:15-17 “In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.”

We cannot miss the truth of what this passage is declaring. Jesus chose Judas to share in the apostolic ministry before His betrayal. He was among the inner circle of 12, and yet it was spoken by the Holy Spirit “beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas”. 

Where? In Psalm 69:26, 109:8.

Acts 1:18-20 “(Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) “For it is written in the Book of Psalms,

“‘May his camp become desolate,

and let there be no one to dwell in it’; (Psalm 69:26)

and

“‘Let another take his office.’ (Psalm 109:8) “

This type of exegesis is very odd to us probably, but leaving arguments about hermeneutics aside, it is enough for us to know that since Saint Peter said it with Apostolic authority this is what those passages mean, we know that is what they meant.

Here are some notes from the Reformation Study Bible to help a little with understanding: 

~“1:20 his camp become desolate. Ps. 69:26 is fulfilled in that Judas’s final property purchase was a graveyard, where the dead, not the living, dwell.”

~“his office. In Ps. 109, King David invokes God’s judgment on those who repaid his goodness with evil and his love with hatred (v. 5), as Judas did to Jesus the Messiah. Among the curses on such a traitor was the reassignment of his office, or “position of oversight,” to another (v. 8), as the church now asks the ascended Jesus to do in choosing Judas’s successor.”

We must remember that God had for ordained for the events of the cross to happen, and that means He ordained the means by which they came about. Again, this is affirmed to us by the Apostle Peter:

Acts 4:27-28 “for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.”

Let me be clear about the point of the post:

-The events leading up to the cross where planned

-Judas was predestined to betray Christ (and I affirm it was by his own free will that he did these actions).

-Jesus cannot fail to save:

“And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me (referring to the sheep the Father has given Him in verse 37), but raise it up on the last day” John 6:39

“For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.” 1 Thess 5:9-10

 

Jesus in Paradox

      “Sinners call Him a Samaritan and demon-possessed. Yet He, the true Samaritan, saves sinners who “came down from Jerusalem and fell among thieves”. The demons confess Him, as He expels them, drowning legions of unclean spirits into the sea, seeing the Prince of demons fall like lighting. They cast stones at Him, yet He isn’t taken. He prays, yet hears prayer. He weeps tears, yet makes tears cease. As Man, He asks where Lazarus was laid; as God, He raises Lazarus. He is sold, very cheaply too, for a mere thirty bits of silver; yet He buys the world’s freedom, at boundless cost, for the price was His blood. As a sheep, He is lead to the slaughter; yet he Himself is Israel’s Shepherd, and now the Shepherd of the whole earth too. As a Lamb He is dumb; yet He is the Word, preached by the voice of one crying in the wilderness. He is bruised and wounded, yet He heals every illness and infirmity. He is lifted up, pierced with nails to the tree; yet by that Tree of Life, He brings us back to Paradise. Behold, He saves even the thief crucified with Him, draping the world in darkness as He dies!

“They give Him vinegar mingled with gall to drink. To whom do they give it? He who turned water into wine! He is the destroyer of death’s bitter taste, for He is sweetness itself and the soul’s full desire. He lays down His life, yet He has the power to take it up again. The temple’s veil is rent asunder, for the mystic portals of heaven are opened. The rocks are ripped asunder, and the dead rise up. He dies, yet gives life, and by His death He destroys death. He is buried, but bursts forth again!”

~Saint Gregory the Theologian

*Third Theological Oration Against the Arians, ch 20 as printed in “Daily Readings: The Early Church Fathers” by Nick Needham

Episode 5: Churches and the Bible. Why?

In this episode we talk about the Bible and common myths. Is it full of errors? Yes. What!? Watch and find out!

 

 

Resources Referenced in the Video:

Dan Wallace vs Bart Ehrman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVlapUsHxhg

James White vs Muslim on Reliability of the New Testament vs the Qur’an: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MThl8qxAc2k

Dan Wallace Shorter video on New Testament Reliability: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lEmch2OAhs

Be sure to check out the documentary “The God Who Speaks”. It’s free if you have an Amazon Prime membership!

And check out our website: https://theologybrewers.com. I (Samuel) have done a couple lectures on this topic as well.

Outreach Part 2: More in Depth on The Reliability of the New Testament and also a Christian Theology of “The Problem of Evil”.

This is the second part of the Sunday School class I taught at Christ the King Presbyterian Church. I cover more in depth why we can trust our New Testaments, and then also a Christian Theology of the Problem of Evil.

 

Here are some additional resources that I have posted before but are still incredibly useful and good to go over frequently:

 

 

Also, If you are in the Saint Petersburg Florida area check out my church!

http://www.ctkpcaseminole.com

 

Samuel

Episode 4: G3 and More Church Stuff

On this episode we discuss a podcast done by the Presbycast on conference culture. We talk about the G3 conference; and then also look at Acts 15 and debate our different perspectives on Church Polity. And yes, it is exciting. Thank you for thinking so.

Please remember to like and subscribe as we would like to continue to grow and get more content out.

And we know we are nowhere near the point of having Swag but…we do. Here is the link. Be sure to click on all available products to see what’s there! My wife is a gifted artists and designed our logo. She also has other pieces of her art up on this site.

Check out our webpage at: https://theologybrewers.com

And our twitter: @TheologyBrewers

And our Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheologyBrewers/

 

 

The Church in History

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The Church in History

Throughout all of history we see

The Church of God has been set free

She has from all of time proclaimed

The praise and glory of His name

The Word of God She’s boldly preached

From rocky hill to sandy beach

We of the Church do well to hear

Those from before who loved Christ dear

So throw not off the Fathers old

And go forth now, proclaim Him bold.

A Special Interview with Les Lanphere

The greatest crossover event in podcast history! The Regular Reformed Guys and the Theology Brewers present a special interview with the co-host of the Reformed Pubcast and creator of the movie “Calvinist”, Les Lanphere about his upcoming movie “Spirit and Truth”.

Check out their pages!

https://www.facebook.com/spiritandtruthmovie/
http://www.regularreformed.com
https://theologybrewers.com
http://reformedpubcast.com

 

Christmas Typology. The Stories within the Story

All through Christian history those who have studied the Scriptures have engaged in what is called typology. In short, typology is seeing the meanings and pictures that lie underneath the surface of what is being presented. Paul does this in Galatians 4 when talking about Abraham’s wives and what they represent; we are told in the gospels that Jonah is a type of Christ; we also see Jospeh as a type of Christ; the elements within the temple foreshadowed things as well; the bread, the light, etc); and many other examples. That doesn’t mean the actual events weren’t true and were only told for the sake of typology, but part of the beauty of plunging the depths of Scripture is the fact that there can be many layers to a passage.

Now, not all typology is clear-cut and much is open to interpretation. And that’s ok. It is a blessing for the people of God to wrestle through passages of Scripture together to discern its potential meanings. We grow closer to God together this way, and we learn more about the infinite depths of our God.

So I wanted to briefly look at some potential types given to us in the Christmas story.

We see Mary coming into Bethlehem on a donkey carrying the Messiah. This also seems to be foreshadowing the Messiahs triumphal entry on a donkey into Jerusalem. Both accounts have a strong emphasis on the humility of the scene. This is not, in either case, how the Messiah was expected to enter this world.

We also have Mary and Joseph in a cave (this is what the stable would have been. We may often mistakenly think of it as a barn) and she wraps the baby Messiah in cloths. Many have acknowledged in this scene the foreshadowing of the burial of Christ and His being wrapped and buried in a cave (the tomb).

We also see the the Angels coming to Shepherds. The shepherds then go out and proclaim the good news to others. This is the job of the shepherds of the Church now, the pastors; to worship the Messiah and then to proclaim the good news.

One other thing I think might be observed is in the scene with the Magi coming to worship the Messiah. These are men of great wisdom and wealth (and presumably power), and I think in this scene there is the picturing of the wisdom, wealth, and power of this world being subservient to Christ.

These are just a couple stories within the story. Hopefully these examples, though maybe not elaborated upon eloquently by this present writer, maybe give us a little bit of an increased desire to study the Scriptures deeper to see what all might be there.

May God bless you this Christmas Day as we ponder the beauty and truth of the meaning of Christmas!

By, Samuel Brewer