Mar 122011
 

The sign of walking on the water culminates with the Christ walking on the waves during the night experience of the disciples saying, “It is I; be not afraid” (John 6.20). Thus the disciples find the strength and means to reach the shore. The words “It is I; be not afraid” contain a revelation of the true kingly nature of Christ.

It does not call the Christ to govern (as the five thousand wished), but bestows on human beings the spiritual force of self-determination. The kingly nature of the Christ is his capacity not only to give humankind freedom, but also to give the needed strength to assert that freedom. In the spiritual moral sense, it would be proper to say that the royal nature of Christ involves giving kingly dignity to human beings.

Because the disciples had that night experience of the I AM as the true kingly nature of the Christ, they could say the following day the words spoken by Peter, which were just the opposite of what the five thousand had wished. The words of Peter express an intention that is different from that of the multitude. Jesus confirmed it with these words: “Have not I chosen you twelve?” (John 6.70). Then he added, “and one of you is a devil”.

The added words point to the fact that within the circle of the twelve, there is one who will not follow the will expressed by Peter, but the will of the five thousand, which, at the critical moment, would make the Messiah an earthly king. Thus, the sign of the feeding of the five thousand contains both streams of Christian destiny as well as the seed of Judas’ tragic destiny.

That destiny of Judas arose (in that particular incarnation) because he was situated between two streams of will – that of the five thousand who wanted a king, and that of the disciples, who had experienced the “Son of the living God” as the I AM. Judas shared that night experience of the cosmic waves, but it had the opposite effect, leading him to become convinced that the “multitude” would never be able to withstand that trial.

He could no longer believe that the many would ever be able to hear the voice of the I AM within, and the destiny of the multitude aroused his pity. So he took the side of the many, who (it seemed to him) would be sacrificed for an elect few. And because he had taken the side of the many, he believed, for example, that it would have been better to give the beggars the money that Mary, the sister of Lazarus, had spent on the costly ointment with which to annoint the feet of Jesus Christ.

For Judas, it was not a matter of individual human relationship to the needs of others; rather, his criterion was formed by an abstract idea of humanity in keeping with the principle that the whole is greater than the part. And this is why the evangelist tells us that Judas did not oppose Mary’s action because he had the cause of the beggars at heart, but because he thought only in terms of the quantitative aspect: “This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein” (John 12.6).

Judas was a “thief” in the sense that, in reality, he deprived the community of what he aspired to receive for the community. This is exactly the tragedy of Judas: he did not wish to be a thief; he did not want to deprive the community (the many), yet it was this wish that made him a thief. Thus, in the beginning Judas was a thief in the cosmic sense of diabolos (a term used for Lucifer in the Gospels), then he became a murdering thief when Satan entered him – that is, when Ahriman appeared as the karma of Lucifer.

The destiny of Judas among the twelve was to fully bear the two crosses of human activity: the cross to the left and the cross to the right on Golgotha. His apostolic mission to humanity (what he proclaimed to humanity) was the bitter truth about the nature of human activity without Christ. The mission of the twelve apostles was to bring the message of Christ to humanity from twelve perspectives. Judas, however, had the terrible mission of imparting knowledge of what human activity becomes when it is without the Christ.

Judas represented one aspect of the Christ mystery – the negative side in the sign of the Scorpion. This is why he belonged to the circle of the twelve, although right after the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus Christ stated that, although he had chosen all twelve, nonetheless one among them in their circle had the mission that diabolos (Lucifer) has in the circle of the zodiac.

Christ and Sophia The Signs and Miracles in John’s Gospels