Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Man With Two Minds

What kind of man was Judas? According to A.B. Bruce,

Supposing Judas to have been chosen to the apostleship on the ground of apparent fitness, what manner of man would that imply? A vulgar, conscious hypocrite, seeking some mean by-end, while professedly aiming at a higher? Not necessarily; not probably. Rather such an one as Jesus indirectly described Judas to be when He made the reflection: "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." The false disciple was a sentimental, plausible, self-deceived pietist, who knew and approved the good, though not conscientiously practicing it; one who, in aesthetic feeling, in fancy, and in intellect, had affinities for the noble and the holy, while in will and in conduct he was the slave of base, selfish passions; one who, in the last resource, would always put self uppermost, yet could zealously devote himself to well-doing when personal interests were not compromised--in short, what the Apostle James calls a two-minded man [James 1.8].

In thus describing Judas, we draw not the picture of a solitary monster. Men of such a type are by no means so rare as some may imagine. History, sacred and profane, supplies numerous examples of them, playing an important part in human affairs. Balaam, who had the vision of a prophet and the soul of a miser, was such a man. Robespierre, the evil genius of the French Revolution, was another. The man who sent thousands to the guillotine had in his younger days resigned his office as a provincial judge, because it was against his conscience to pronounce sentence of death on a culprit found guilty of a capital offence. A third example, more remarkable than either, may be found in the famous Greek Alcibiades, who, to unbounded ambition, unscrupulousness, and licentiousness, united a warm attachment to the greatest and best of the Greeks. The man who in after years betrayed the cause of his native city, and went over to the side of her enemies, was in his youth an enthusiastic admirer and disciple of Socrates.

[In the footnote about James 1.8, which refers to a "double-minded man, unstable in all he does," Bruce says this means] a man with two minds; not one real, the other feigned, but with two minds both real so far as they go, only the wrong mind strongest, and ultimately prevailing.

--A.B. Bruce, The Training of the Twelve, p. 371

This passage helps me understand how Judas could be Judas. Or how I can be Judas.

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