Thursday, April 17, 2014

Re-Post: The Disciples, Betrayal & Foot Washing

I have long suspected (and it is only a suspicion), that the Gospels gloss over the disciples' full role in the betrayal of Jesus. I think most if not all the disciples were in on it. I  believe that those who opposed Jesus came to them and told them they could sell Him out and save their own necks, and I think that is what they did. There is a book A LIFE OF JESUS by Shusako Endo that argues this, and I think persuasively. I do not recommend the book, it isn't that well written, but on this point Endo I think gets it right.

Some evidence from the text:

1) The disciples are not arrested when Jesus is. It would've been easy enough to just wipe out the entire group with one stroke. But the rest of the disciples are all but untouched, as if they aren't even there. The most reasonable, historical reason one can give for this is simply that they had cut a deal to save their own necks.

2) Only one of the disciples are there when Jesus is crucified. Certainly, if they were still loyal it would've been easy enough to at least be there with the man. It is unthinkable to me that only one man would show his face in the entire crucifixion process. Unless they were ashamed and couldn't face what they had, in fact, done.

3) In some of the gospels, when Jesus mentions that He is going to be betrayed, all of the disciples say "it isn't I, Lord is it?" This is a weird way of talking. Why would anyone question whether THEY were the one to betray Him? Wouldn't you know that? I think they were just fishing for some kind of forgiveness. The whole scene smacks of guilty conscience.

4) The sleeping in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus had just told them that He was going to be betrayed. Why are they so calm? I once heard a cop say that if you have two suspects in the clink for a crime, and leave them overnight, the one who is able to fall asleep is the guilty one. Something in that rings true, and it rings true here.

The third evidence I gave above also indicates that Jesus KNEW His disciples had sold Him out. I think this, too, is probably true. Assuming I'm right, and it is just a theory, then doesn't this increase the significance of the foot washing? I think so. I mean,  now Jesus is not only washing His servants' feet, but the feet of the men who were going to betray Him. That reinforces the message to us. Can we love even those who hate us, serve even those who oppress and betray us? How far does our love really go?

No comments:

Post a Comment