Judas Iscariot - Page 5
We have seen that Our Lord must have uttered many of his sayings with Judas in mind, hoping to keep the false apostle from the ruin into which he was slipping. Now, in Holy Week, he did all he could to save him. At supper on Maundy Thursday, while it was still possible for Judas to back out of his unholy bargain, Jesus revealed that he knew what was afoot. Yet even then he did not name the traitor lest Judas should be set on by the others and his resolution be stiffened out of defiance.
When the rest had asked one by one, “Surely, not I?” Jesus solemnly declared, “…woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born” (NRSV, Mark 14:19,21). This attempt on Our Lord’s part to bring home to Judas the enormity of what he was planning to do, was met by the shameless question, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” Even at that no word of scorn or anger or even condemnation came from Our Lord, only the soft answer, “You have said so” (NRSV, Matthew 26:25).
It was then that Satan took him over and he went at once to Our Lord’s mortal enemies. And as St John says with tremendous meaning, “…it was night” (NRSV, John:13:30).