Was Judas Right?

My mother bought home the boxed set, black and impressive containing the rock opera album musical released in 1970.  We were traditional evangelicals unsure of the relevance of the newly invented genre “rock opera”.  What did Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber know about Jesus and why would they call him a superstar? 

 

We listened to the records frequently at the time noting that one of the tunes was being given widespread airplay on FM radio.  The soundtrack itself showcased some serious rock guitar solos and riffs.  But what was the message?  I was reminded of all this as I watched the live performance with John Legend recorded last year.  I was also reminded of one of the themes that seems worth repeating now more than ever.

 

One of the protagonists, Judas Iscariot, the son of perdition, was portrayed as decidedly angry and resolute choosing to turn Jesus in to authorities to up-end the movement.  Judas is consistently portrayed as a consummate bad guy.  The easy viewpoint is that he was only interested in fattening his pocket.  But if he was a follower like the others, he had to leave everything he had behind.  I don’t think that explanation tells the whole story.  Judas, like all of us, had some redeeming value.  

 

A point that Rice/Webber seem to make is that Judas must have gotten caught up in the politics of the time and became frustrated with the Messiah’s efforts to overthrow the Roman Empire’s infiltration of Israel.  It wasn’t moving fast enough; it wasn’t gaining ground.  He wasn’t being ‘king-like’.

 

Here’s the message to all those who want their vision or knowledge to supersede what God is doing.  That is, “God’s not getting it done, I’ll do it my way . . . “The Bible is full of examples from Cain to Jonah to Judas and beyond.  Their way did not go well for them.   Judas was right in a very limited sense.  Jesus was not going to overthrow the Roman Empire and reclaim the Hebrew homeland because he had an entirely different end game.   His strategy was to re-connect the world with the Kingdom of God. His strategy is still working, on his timeline.  

 

We cannot expect to know the best way to go about things and we need to stop getting in God’s way as He is healing the nations.  This quote from John MacArthur says it best.

 

Quiet

All Talk Radio
All the talk that’s
fit to hear
24 hour talk radio
Talk on Demand
Non-stop Talk and Entertainment News
Talk for those in the know
Fair and Balanced Talk. News.
Chat
Chit-Chat, Chat rooms
internet chatter
Rap 
Rhymes
riddles
R&B
up to the minute
on the hour
At this time of the year,  after being fed a nonstop diet of news, talk, enter-pain-ment [read gossip], and o-pain-ion, I’m fed up!
What are the markets doing? What did President Obama do? What is the Party line?  What stymied the congress this time?  What act of aggression against the Chinese? North Korea? 
Which Starlet or Politician has done something utterly noteworthy while we are busy trying to be oblivious?
Is it NEWS or fear mongering?  Has anyone done anything helpful or praiseworthy?  Is there anything actually new under the sun?
 
As one preacher said, “Always be ready to ignore the world because it hasn’t solved any of it’s problems so we should focus on the One who can solve all of our problems!!”
 
Hence, we have this study of scriptures that details the quiet that we need to seek and how it will be important to our spiritual, physical, and soulical well-being.**  The world and our adversary create noise that keeps us unsettled and off-balance.  We have to learn to quiet, and to disregard and defuse this noise in order to maintain our place in Him.  
 
Psalms 131: 2
Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of its mother: my soul [is] even as a weaned child
There is a strong parallel between the psalmist’s declaration and our admonition from the Apostle Paul who tells us to do all things without murmuring.  The psalmist states that his action has internal and external efficacy to silence his complaints and to seek the peace and satisfaction that only comes from communion with the Holy Spirit.
Further, he describes the state of quiet, as that of a weaned child. One of the beauties of the Bible is the continuity of metaphors contained within.  Across the centuries, we are taught that newly born-again Christians need the milk of the Word to grow  [I Peter 2:2], then here we notice that as the newborn grows past the breast-fed stage there is a greater expectation of her resistance to discomfort and real-world events. Weaning away from the mother and her milk assumes a growth path indicative of a more mature child who has the capacity to feed herself.  To quiet herself and to fall asleep without the attentive mothers soothing.  This is the picture of Christ in the bow of the ship traversing the storm.  He is sleeping soundly so that he must be awakened.  The noise and roiling of the sea is not enough to keep him from sleep.  
 
My mind, will and emotions are as a weaned child, calmed knowing that God is in control,  unflappable and yet open to hope for the future.
 
Romans 14:17
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
This is a not-so-subtle reminder that the temporal things that we encounter and are distracted by are short-lived and completely un-related to the Kingdom that we strive after
 
I Thessalonians  4:11
And that you study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.
The psalmist says that she quieted herself, but here Paul re-states that we should ” make it your ambition and definitely endeavor to live quietly and peacefully, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we charged you” [AMP].  This state of quiet is an aim and desire, it is not a natural state of affairs but only comes as we submit to the will and purpose of God and learn to maintain our fellowship with him.  We learn the discipline of quietly trusting God, keeping gossip, murmurings and complaints to ourselves.  We begin to understand that it is not acceptable to belittle or berate people whether they be in the household of faith or not. 
 
I Peter 3:4
But [let it be] the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, [even the ornament] of a meek and quiet spirit, which in the sight of God is of great price.
Notice that this writer says the Lord attributes great value to a meek and quiet spirit cultivated in His children.  
 
I Corinthians  14:33
For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
I Timothy  2:1-2
I exhort therefore, that , first of all, supplication, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks, be given for all men;  For kings, and [for] all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 
We are told to cast all of our cares, anxieties and problems upon Him for He cares for us; to pray without ceasing and in the example of David, the great psalmist – we cry out to him for help.  The other noise we make would be a better witness if considered praise before the world and our adversary.   A Joyful Noise, for the battle has been won!!
 
**  of the soul, therefore based within the mental, emotional and will of the individual.
 
quotes from the Amplified Bible [copyrighted by the Lockman Foundation]