Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Last Supper

By Patrick Davis
The picture

I remember the picture so well. Judas Iscariot is portrayed as a shifty eyed fellow whom no one would trust. I would now debunk that characterization of Judas forever. Judas was the one person whom all the other Jews trusted with their money. I submit to you that he had an honest face and was probably the most trusted one of the group. After all, these were poor Jewish men who did know the value of a shekel. Who else would they chose to guard their money other than the most trustworthy and fair-haired boy of their lot?
I picture Judas as being the up and moving young man, whose character was thought to be above blemish. I picture Judas as being the outstanding Jew that mothers would want to give their daughters to.
“Ahh, look daughter,” they would say, “there goes a good man for you to catch- one that would know how to take care of you.”
And undoubtedly the daughters would preen themselves, pinching their cheeks, and smiling demurely whenever they saw his passing imposing figure.
Of our Savior, it is said that there was no form or comeliness that we should desire him; but of Judas, it might be said his form and appearance brought much notice and desire. Of course, in the absence of pictures, I am only guessing, and reading far more into the fragments of the story than I have the right to.
But I wonder a few things about the second most famous traitor in all of history. I wonder where he initiated the contacts with the Jewish elders of his day. Could it be possible that he had contact and knowledge of the leaders from his circles of acquaintances? Is it beyond imagination to think of Judas as being the fair haired boy whose very countenance precipitated trust?
Further, I cannot help but wonder what was going on in the heart of Judas. I enjoy knowing however imperfectly the pictures of hearts of those that I am around. I wonder if I were alive and acquainted with Judas if I would see anything in his demeanor that would show his heart. We know from scripture that his heart was as far from faith as the east is from the west, but we do not get any clues as to what motivated this man to join a band of paupers.
Was it the fact that he was trusted and made treasurer? Or did he bet on Jesus as the new rising king? His heart was not apparent to others until his deeds were done, and in doing those deeds, even his own soul drew back with intense loathing.
This I do know. If I had the ability, I would enjoy going back and talking to Leonardo. I wonder if I shared my point of view if he would change his masterpiece at all?


Eagle said...

Mr. D,

Thank you for your comment on my blog.

You have pictured Judas to be a most charismatic figure and he could very well be so.

How are we different from Judas? Do we not sometimes betray Jesus through our words and deeds?

When the prophet Samuel was looking among the sons of Jesse to annoint as the next king, God said not to look on countenance or height of stature because "the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance but the Lord looketh on the heart."


Mr. D said...

You bring up a good point. There is a little Judas in us all; Romans talks about the old man that we should bury, but my experience is that I continually get my shovel and try to dig my "old man" up. We are called to be new creatures in Christ Jesus.