Episode:Jesus Goes Public—Preparation and Preaching (Part 6)
It required tact, ability, and patience, as well as painstaking devotion, to manage the financial affairs of such an idealist as Jesus, to say nothing of wrestling with the helter-skelter business methods of some of his apostles. Judas Iscariot really was a great executive, a farseeing and able financier. The apostles loved Judas; he was really one of them. None of the twelve ever criticized Judas.
Opening thought: “Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.” —W.B. Yeats
Note: Justin Armstrong filled in for Andrea Barnes.
Summary by Kermit
Commentary after Review
Discussion continued on religion vs. humanism and the standards of goodness. Devotees of both hold to standards of goodness for the benefit of mankind. Religionists recognize a source for the goodness which they seek—God. Humanists cite no such source. Revelation and religious insight is necessary for the appreciation of the invisible source of goodness, along with truth and beauty. Humanism can only point to historical traditions and narratives with no versions of origins or destiny, or perhaps versions of a nihilistic destiny. Mankind has traded, or overcome ecclesiastical totalitarianism for a secular totalitarianism which threatens civilization.
Curiously materialistic scientists have little difficulty selling belief in discoveries of invisible new sub-atomic particles, while religionists struggle to gain adherents to trust and faith in the invisible God, maker of universes.
139:11 Simon the Zealot
Here we have another Simon with a proclivity for speaking without thinking. Simon Zelotes’ name itself testifies to the energy of his 6th adjutant mind-spirit. An energy Simon focused on politics before coming under the influence of the Master. Proper management of the energies and impulses of the 6th adjutant involves focus on the inner religious life, and when leveraged with the work of the Holy Spirit (HS) transforms the energy of zeal, the religious impulse into spirit of worship.
In the realm of politics Simon was a fiery agitator. As a kingdom builder he found his great strength of inspirational loyalty as an enthusiastic advocate of salvation through faith in God. So compelling was this gift in him that he was the “go to” apostle capable of “closing the deal” when a man or woman floundered in indecision about entering the kingdom. Nevertheless, four years with Jesus and the other apostles was insufficient to effect the intellectual and emotional transformation in Simon from Jewish nationalist to spiritually minded internationalist. Again we see that aspects of temperament derived from nature and nurture require consistent, persistent personality management to be modified, such is their material inertia. Whereas, spiritual conversion can have relatively immediate results. Reconciling rapid spiritual transformation with the much slower processes of intellectual and emotional reversal gives rise to the “considerable commotion in the philosophic realms of the mind” in the organization of a philosophic standard of living. Stop and recall that it requires the education and training of the first two mansion worlds to remove permanently the character defects acquired in our lives in the flesh. Albeit, recognize that this resistance to rapid change (material inertia) is valuable for its stability in evolutionary processes.
Simon, not surprisingly most admired Jesus’ calmness, assurance, poise and composure. And it is high praise for Simon that he gradually subdued through personality management his fiery nature becoming a powerful and effective preacher of Peace on earth and goodwill among men.
Jesus pointedly worked with Simon to understand that social, economic and political reform, while beneficial in themselves, was not to be the business of the kingdom of heaven. Listen to the archive for the discussion of the complex issues of reconciling religious renewal and secular reform succinctly captured in [195:9.4]. The material gravity embodied in the temporal issues of earthly living are powerful detractors from the more subtle lure of the inner religious life, such that we have an emergency of spreading secularism. Seek first the kingdom of heaven is watchword of kingdom builders. The business of the kingdom of heaven is not about saving the world but about saving souls, one at a time.
Simon was crushed following the crucifixion, but rallied his hopes to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom, eventually making his way to the heart of Africa where he died old and feeble, unlike the historical traditions would have us believe, martyred.
139:12 Judas Iscariot
Judas Iscariot (from Kerioth, note the same word transliterated differently) the twelfth apostle was chosen by Nathaniel. He had an unfortunate upbringing by his parents, being spoiled with an exaggerated sense self-importance. A poor loser with distorted ideas about fairness he indulged in hate and suspicion, cultivating a habit of getting even with those he imagined had wronged him.
On the other hand, he had many commendable qualities, being a good businessman, an organized and able financier. In many ways he was a great success. It must be noted that Judas’s betrayal had nothing to do with his duties as treasurer, historically demonized versions of Judas notwithstanding.
There was no specific trait of Jesus which Judas admired save for his generally attractive and charming personality. Unlike the other apostles who found admirable qualities in Jesus which reciprocally mirrored their own character deficiencies, Judas’s non-specific appreciation of Jesus testifies to Judas’s lack of self-knowledge. He recognized no contrasting feature of his makeup which drew him to its opposite in the Master.
From the beginning Jesus viewed Judas as a faith adventure, being fully cognizant of his shortcomings and potential for failure. He allowed Judas to go to the very end. Many times privately and publicly Jesus warned Judas he was slipping. Judas’s tipping point came with the episode of Lazarus’s sister Mary anointing the Master with costly ointment, to which Judas objected and was sweepingly dismissed publicly. It was at this moment that the accumulated hate, hurt, malice, prejudice, jealousy, and revenge of a lifetime became focused on Jesus and Judas was lost to the cause. Judas’s willful cultivation in his inner life of the above mentioned evils instead of the more favorable conditions for spiritual growth consigned him to the domains of darkness.
Judas’s fate is suggested in our narrative with the midwayers’ declaration that the worlds have found it difficult to forgive Judas. Forgiveness cannot be extended to one who has become as though they had not been.