Fritz Berggren (FB): Welcome to bloodandfaith.com. I appreciate your willingness to be here — our readers can’t wait to hear what you have to say.
Judas Iscariot (JI): You are welcome. I don’t get our much . . .
FB: OK, set the scene for us, will you? You were one of the twelve Apostles. How did that happen?
JI: I was drawn to Him. I believed in Him. I followed Him. And He chose me above so many others. There were only twelve of us. We were His inner circle.
FB: You preached . . .
JI: I preached the Gospel. I prayed for the sick and they were healed. I cast out demons in His name. I did everything. The power of God flowed through me.
FB: Were you close to Him? I mean you must have been . . . there were only twelve.
JI: Oh yes, we were close. The Psalmist prophesied about me — I had sweet fellowship with Him as we walked in the Temple.
FB: That’s Psalm 55:13-14
FB: Okay. So, you were called, and chosen by Jesus Christ to preach His Gospel.
FB: You healed the sick. You cast out demons. You saw miracles and conversions.
FB: But you . . . something changed. Can you talk about that?
JI: It was hard. I had been disowned by my parents and family. Of course, like the rest of us, I was kicked out of the synagogue. I was on a list of . . . people the Jews wanted to get. Herod had recently executed John the Baptist and everyone knew the Jews were trying to murder Him. I had no money, of course, none of us did. We followed Him and believed. But things started getting wierd.
FB: Like what?
JI: I think, looking back, when He said “eat my flesh and drink my blood,” many of us had questions. Many walked away. He looked at us and said, basically, “you all can walk, too.” Peter spoke up and said it best — “we have no were else to go.” And I didn’t. So I stayed, but I thought He would have more concern for us, I guess. I guess that’s how I started justifying it in my mind.
FB: Justifying it . . .
JI: You know, like, maybe this wasn’t the right move after all? Maybe I made a big mistake. Maybe I’m wasting my life. We were all just young men. He expected us to lay it all on the line for Him and . . . well, I really had to think about what I was doing. He was popular with some, but turned away many of His own followers with that “eat my flesh” comment. That was a wakeup call.
FB: Peter had his doubts too.
JI: Oh yes, we all did. But there really wasn’t much to go back to. I mean, especially for me. I was the only one from Judea — Kerioth. They were all from Galilee. At least they stood off chance of getting away. Not me — I was a Jew in every sense — not a Galilean.
FB: So you wanted out.
JI: No, I didn’t want out. I wanted . . . a different outcome than the one we all saw coming. I had no intention whatsover of betraying Him or killing Him or anything that we even lead to harm. That’s not what they told me.
I thought we were going off the deep end. Someone had to pull us back from the brink. This was going to end badly — and it did. He had a lot to offer. I didn’t want to hurt Him. I just really thought He’d gone overboard with his hatred of the Pharisees and His threat to punish His enemies, and calling people children of the devil and eating His flesh — it was just too much. I had to bring myself back into the realm of the rational and reasonable — God didn’t call us to be stupid and make enemies of our own nation and family and . . . it was too much to ask of anyone.
FB: So you wanted out.
JI: No . . . I wanted a course correction . . . better outcomes. I thought I’d be the reasonable one. I went to the Jews — to the Priests. I had no intention of what eventually happened to Him. I thought I’d . . . I don’t know. I was hoping for a way to get along.
FB: Between Jesus and the Jews . . .
JI: Yes. I mean, it was just — in my own mind — time to take a step back, reassess and make reasonable choices. It was obvious the Jews were going to kill Him — there was open talk of this. He knew it. There were rumors everywhere and what they did to John . . . surely there was a way out of this. I was thinking I could find a way, for all of us . . .
FB: So you went to the Jewish priests. And you are a Jew, but the other Apostles were not?
JI: Yes, I’m a Jew. They were called Galileans . . . the Jews never called Peter a Jew, just a Galilean. So I was kind of an outsider in the crowd and . . .
FB: What were you thinking in your mind when you went to talk to the Chief Priests.
JI: I was hoping to work out a deal where . . . it just wasn’t so extreme. There was no accommodation on either side. There was bad blood. I mean, it was really bad. I — we — really had nothing left and if they killed Him — as they did — I was going to be on the block, too. All of us were.
FB: You are known as the “Traitor.” Did you not see yourself this way at that moment?
JI: No. That wasn’t the deal. They just wanted to know who He was — they wanted a positive ID by someone who knew Him. I didn’t intend to “betray” Him, that sounds so evil. I thought there could be peace. They said they just wanted to talk to Him, to reason with Him. That’s what I wanted.
FB: So you had no intention at all of killing him?
JI: Of course not — I did not kill Him. I didn’t show up with a sword. I greeted Him with a kiss and called Him rabbi. I never accused Him or renounced Him . . .
FB: But they arrested Him and had Him crucified.
JI: I didn’t know that was going to happen. They said the just wanted to talk to Him. That they’d be fair, and give Him a forum to address the chief priests and the scribes — so they could understand Him. That’s what they said.
FB: What about the money? The thirty pieces of silver?
JI: That’s not much. It was their idea. I’m sure they would have paid all His disciples — it was a good will gesture toward reconciliation, I thought. God’ provision from the Priests for my future.
FB: Any advice to our readers?
JI: Never side with he Jews. I don’t care how small you think your accommodation is, don’t do it. I should be a lesson to you all. They — we — are of our father the devil. And I have to go back now.
FB: Last word . . .
Judas Iscariot: I am the eternal lesson on treason. Siding with the Jews is the definition of treason. I am the founder of a huge fraternity of Pastors and Priests, men who preached the Gospel, cast out demons, healed the sick, who were very close to Him, flowing with the power of God – – yet who sided with the Jews. Never side with the Jews.