a The disciple of Jesus Christ who betrayed the Master and afterward went and hanged himself (Matt. 10:4; John 18:2-5; Matt. 27:5; Acts 1:18~. b There were others by the name of Judas also (Acts 5:37; 9:11; 15:22).
Meta. Judas Iscariot--the custodian of life. This Judas represents the unredeemed life forces. He also typifies that in humanity which, though it has caught the higher vision of life, still resorts to underhanded methods in order to meet its obligations. Judas carried the money bag, and he betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.
The first step in our redeeming the Judas faculty is to assume a fearless attitude of mind, affirming our unity with the Spirit of purity. When we do this the Lord answers, "Thou hast said," and the redeeming, uplifting, transmuting forces are set into operation. When the Judas faculty reaches the spiritual standard of life it is known as Judah, whose office is praise and thanksgiving. Praise and thanksgiving call into activity greater expressions of spiritual substance and open larger avenues through which we may receive spiritual life. Praise radiates and gives glory to the latent powers of man.
Judas also symbolizes desire, appropriation, acquisitiveness. Acquisitiveness is a legitimate faculty of the mind, but covetousness is its Judas. When acquisitiveness acts within the law it builds up the consciousness. Exercised in its native realm, the free essences of Being, it draws to us the supplies of the universe and through it we enter into permanent possessions. But when it oversteps the law it is a destroyer. Judas was the treasurer of the disciples of Jesus, but he became covetous--he had a devil (John 6:70, 7I), and his sin brought tragedy.
And so we find among our disciples, or faculties, this one whose tendency is such that through it we are brought into condemnation and suffering. It is known from the first; it is Judas, self-appropriation. While in its highest office it is Judah, spiritual appropriation through prayer and praise, yet introverted in human consciousness it becomes Judas, acquisitiveness overstepping the law, covetousness. It is through the exercising of this faculty that suffering and crucifixion are brought about. It is the faculty that draws to us the substance of things. While in its essence it is good, yet if one appropriates it in its personal sense "good were it for that man if he had not been born" (Matt. 26:24).
In our present state, however, Judas could not be excluded from the twelve. He carries the bag, he is the treasurer of our system, a thief also. He is selfish, proud, ambitious, tyrannical--but he cannot be spared. His faults must be overcome. They must be pointed out fearlessly: "Is it I?" "Thou hast said." Then the right relation is established by giving up absolutely the life and the substance that we have called our own: "Take, eat; this is my body." "Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood."
Let go of the idea that you can personally possess even the life and substance of your organism. They are of the Universal, and must be given up for the "remission of sins." When this place of absolute renunciation of all is attained, there rushes into consciousness a new power; the fruit of the vine of infinite life is drunk anew in every faculty "in my Father's kingdom" (Matt. 26:17-30).
In John 12:4-6, Judas Iscariot (sense consciousness) is incarnated selfishness and his every thought is to build up personality. When Mary (divine love) pours out her precious substance and diffuses its essence throughout the man, Judas protests and asks why it was not sold, that the proceeds might be given to the poor. This consciousness believes in poverty and has no understanding of the true law of relief. All that comes into consciousness is selfishly appropriated and dissipated by this thief, yet he produces nothing. He is the enigma of existence and in him is wrapped the mystery of individuality. Jesus knew that through this department of His being He would be betrayed, but He made no effort to defeat the act of Judas. Sense consciousness betrays man every day, yet it would be unwise wholly to destroy it before its time, because at its foundation it is good. It has simply gone wrong; it has a devil.
Judas is transformed and redeemed when all pertaining to personality is surrendered and the substance of divine love is poured into consciousness. Man is continually enriched as he gives up the things of sense and consecrates himself to purity of purpose.
Love is the faculty through which eternal life is demonstrated. Love overcomes all selfishness and transforms the sense man into his pure, original state. The quickening life of Spirit anoints the whole body and resurrects it into newness of life and substance, thus begetting the new creature in Christ Jesus.