One-Twelfth Judas


I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I try to be, anyway.
I try to follow him closely
and pay attention,
like the twelve disciples.

But, like the twelve disciples,
I am one-twelfth Judas.

Most days are good.
I mean, I might mess up,
be impulsive like Peter,
doubting like Thomas,
fearful like all of them,
at one time or another.
But these things can be managed.
I can deal with these,
push through them.
Sins of omission, not commission.
No problem.

However, underneath any
benign stumbling I do,
there remains this truth:
I am one-twelfth Judas.

This is the part of me
that does not want the answer Jesus offers.
This is the part of me
that is not satisfied with the Messiah I’ve been given.
This is the part of me
that is willing to consider other options.

Here I push back against Jesus,
hoping to spur a response
different from the ones he consistently gives.
Here I clothe him in majesty and glory and worship him,
ignoring his inconvenient, persistent, “Follow me.”
Here the King Jesus of my imagination
trumps the actual incarnation
of a surprisingly, unexpectedly vulnerable God.

It isn’t all the time.
Mostly I do well,
make garden-variety mistakes,
bounce back, keep going.

But in the shadows,
out of the light,
in places rarely cleaned out —
one-twelfth Judas.


Just think.
Eleven more like me,
and we could have the Son of God
crucified all over again.


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