The person in the gospels who I found most mysterious/confusing is Judas Iscariot.
These days it seems he is rarely discussed in sermons, and I believe there is no more than a few paragraphs that mention him in the gospels.
He has an infamous reputation, for betraying Jesus to the authorities. But wasn’t that what he was supposed to do? Didn’t Judas’ action set the salvation of humanity in motion?
The above is a common perception. Is the answer that, even though Jesus had to be crucified, it did not need to come about through one of his apostles, and the apostle’s intents/ beliefs and motivations do ultimately matter, even if there are unintended consequences?
I know we as Catholics are called not to judge, but to me, it says a lot about Judas’ character/personality to be intimately involved with Jesus, to be closer to him than most other people at that time were able to be, and still act as he did.
Judas’ motivations seem sort of mysterious too and I guess we can only speculate on them. Could it be that he, like many people in Judea, expected a violent overthrow of Rome, for Jesus to reign as an earthly king, and became disillusioned/bitter when he realized that would not happen.
But if he had turned from Jesus thus, why would he feel guilty to the point of suicide about betraying him? One would think that crucifixtion would be the expected outcome for Christ if he were handed over to the Roman authorities? Any reason for Judas to think otherwise?
Despite Judas’ infamous reputation, his remorse/suicide has always caused me to view him with pity rather than disgust/contempt. It seems sad that he was filled with such guilt and despair about it, and felt there was no hope for him.
What is the general “take” on Judas the Catholic church or our theologians have?