In the mail yesterday was one of the two magazines I subscribe to: National Geographic (which other than liking it, it was one of those things we couldn't afford while I was growing up, so now I must have it.)
In this issue is an article about the Judas Gospels. I haven't read it yet, as by the time I sat down with the magazine, it was late and I had a glass of wine sloshing around, depressing my neurons and this seems to be one of them smart people articles that is going to take my full attention.
I was struck by one line as I skimmed the first page, that these findings herald the "return of the most hated man in the world". Or maybe it was "in history", but there is a sleeping cat on my lap and I can't get up right now to check.
I don't understand this. (The most hated part, not the sleeping cat part.) It goes right along with that old bit of hatred, "The Jews killed Jesus". Which I also do not understand.
If you believe the basic story of Jesus, that God sent him to die for our sins, then how can you lay blame or have anger or hatred for the part anyone played in the sequence of events that surely God had planned.
I mean, if the Jewish powers to be at the time hadn't wanted to shut Jesus up, if Pilate hadn't gone along with them, if Judas hadn't pointed him out, if the crowd had chosen to spare Jesus instead of Barabas, well, where the hell would we be?
Jesus would have lived and God's plan would have been thwarted.
But I'm probably just, in the words of my former pastor, "thinking too much and asking too many questions" and I should, "be quiet and be-lieve."
Religions are strange.