Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Lost Gospels Version 2.0

No, I haven't seen the television coverage of the Gospel of Judas (I missed it). But about 30 million other people did see it. So next to the latest American Idol being voted off, this is probably the next big thing to be discussing. Right?

General thoughts? (By the way I did read what was available to read on line, so I think that is roughly 6-7 pages.) I'm not so concerned as to whether or not this is going to change the believer's view of Judas and Christ. I think if you're really seeking God this probably won't be a huge issue for you. Now for the unbeliever? I think this has the possibility of being something that they might struggle with. Obviously for me - and many other people out there - the Bible is true. I trust the Bible as God's Word. And God's Word tells me Christ was betrayed. I don't recall reading anywhere in the Bible that Judas had a special knowledge and understanding of who Christ was. It could be argued that he had the least understanding, or was the least willing to accept who Christ was, because he was able to betray Him. Nor do I remember reading that Jesus pulls him aside and essentially says, "Bro? I need you to go sell me to the priests so they can have me killed, oh and then go kill yourself. Ok? Ok." If I remember correctly the online version I read mentions something about Judas excelling beyond the rest of the disciples, or being exalted, or something, if he would do this. I don't get that from Scripture. Now, some argue that if Christ didn't specifically tell Judas to do it, maybe He didn't really know what was going on. But I don't get that from Scripture either.

And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.
Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.
And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?
And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.
The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.
Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.
(Matthew 26:19-25, emphasis mine)

Obviously if Christ had no idea about what was going on the passage never would have taken place. And if Judas was to be lifted up and blessed, why would Christ say it would be better that he had never been born? Common sense tells us one of these is true and one is not. As they contradict each other. So it really comes down to, are we going to accept the Bible which two thousand years worth of teaching has been based off of; will we accept the Bible when it's entirety flows and approves and builds off itself even though it was written by at least 40 different men? I should hope for the believer this isn't really a question that should have need to be asked.

But how to handle the unbeliever? I must admit, this "gospel" and the ones like it are quite interesting, I remember before I came to Christ being interested and reading a couple of the "lost gospels." And because these things are interesting it can open them up to hearing about Christ more than they previously had. When the news is talking about Jesus it's hard to ignore, even if you've ignored those crazy church types before. And so it is important for us to be familiar with the Bible. If we know nothing and an unbeliever comes to us how can we expect to obey Jude 1:3's exhortation that we should contend for the faith as it has been delivered to the saints?

If we know nothing of the things we claim, how do we expect to not be misled? If we know nothing of our God's Word, how do we expect to see our lives - and others - transformed? It's time to get serious, people, there are a million teachings out there that seem appealing and if we don't know God's Word we will find it easy to be swept up in the many false teachings out there. Now, understand I'm not saying if someone asks you something that you should jump down their throats or beat them over the head because they don't know. But we should be ready to give an answer for our faith.

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