30 PIECES OF SILVER

silver[1]

‘… the tragedy of Judas is that he refused to accept Jesus as he was and tried to make him what he wanted him to be. It is not Jesus who can be changed by us, but we who must be changed by Jesus. We can never use him for our purposes; we must submit to be used for his. The tragedy of Judas is that of a man who thought he knew better than God …

…Jesus … could have used his power to blast Judas, to paralyse him, to render him helpless … but the only weapon Jesus will ever use is the weapon of love’s appeal. One of the great mysteries of life is the respect that God has for the free will of man. God does not coerce; God only appeals.’

(William Barclay, Matthew, DSB  )

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21 thoughts on “30 PIECES OF SILVER

    1. Not sure … certainly the church down the centuries has taught that, and we have Dante’s iconic image of Judas in the innermost freezing ring of hell which ‘set the tone’, maybe. Going back to the primary source of the Bible it would appear that he was afflicted with remorse and threw the money back at the priests, who then used it to buy the Potter’s Field or the ‘field of blood’ which was then used to bury strangers in. The other reference to him is in the book of Acts where the disciples choose somebody else to take his place.

      As to his eternal future … who am I to judge?

      I think there’s also a philosophical question here. If somebody exercises their free will, and it’s wrong, should we really expect God to come along and sort it all out? Isn’t that taking the ‘free’ out of it? – sort of putting free will on a divine leash – which would make it not free at all?

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    1. Speculation is endless, Bonnie! Certainly some commentators think that’s a plausible reason for his actions, although it seems he was not popular with the other disciples because he stole money from the common pot.

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  1. How about the ten plagues in Egypt.she enquired naughtily!!

    I think it’s a great quote and shows the self destructive aspect of human nature.We judge and condemn ourselves thinking we are unforgiveable.
    I must admit I find this part of Holy Week very sad.

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      1. Yes,indeed.I was just reading about the ten plagues.Seemed horrible to kill all the first born.
        Is it metaphorical?
        It’s a long time ago but they still have the Passover.Some powerful stories in the ancient Bible.

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      2. I did see a documentary, some time ago, in which somebody had investigated the 10 plagues to see if there was the possibility of a scientific rationale – whether those things could really have happened. On the whole it came down on the side that there was. But you have to look carefully at who is doing this sort of investigation – some of them are not as objective as one might wish!

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      3. The plagues probably happened but the cause may not have been God.Henry V111th thought he had no son because God was displeased with him,now it’s known that he may have had syphilis.Nowadays we don’t imagine everything is the will of God…in the latter case it was his own vices that caused problems!

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      4. I think quite a bit is cultural.If Prince Charles had had no children he would not have thought god was punishing him for marrying someone for the wrong reasons.Ironicall he did well using Diana for his own ends amd continuing his affair.Is this related to “The God of the gaps”?

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      5. I think it depends whether we’re coming from a theological or sociological point of view. From a theological point of view then surely Charles is guilty because of the commandment not to commit adultery. And so incidentally is Diana and the Duchess of Cornwall.

        But I very much doubt if they would then make an assumption that God was ‘punishing’ them in some way. Many people don’t like to take God too seriously, and especially when we start venturing into the idea of holiness.

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      6. I agree.They were all guilty in that sense but now there seems to be the “Right to sexual and emotional fulfillment” being highly valued.I suppose if Charles and Di could have divorced much earlier it would have helped.Once one person goes elsewhere it seems common for the other to do the same.If you don’t you may feel nobody wants you.The norms now are so different.
        But plenty of married people do far worse things like emotionally abusing their spouse,putting them down etc.Only God can judge….we cannot know the hearts and souls of anyone,even or own is a puzzle!!

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      7. Yes.I have the tendency to be too hard on myself and not trust enough but I agree,many people are too much the other way.I suppose it may relate to how you were brought up.We were taught a very Jansenist version of Christianity.Joy and pleasure seemed forbidden… but it may be my sensitive personality to blame as not everyone turned out like me!!

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      8. When such things happen there can be a place for looking at your experience piece by piece to see which things you now are able to accept as true and which were a distortion.

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      9. Yes,my guilt feelings were too strong, I think.I tried too hard to be good and naturally i failed…now I’m more flexible.Partly because I got some good friends who gave a better image of God to me.
        I agree and thanks for the replies.

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