APOSTLES’ LOYALTY January 9, 2021

Actualizado: 22 ene 2021

Most people would like to believe that the apostles and disciples of Jesus were extremely loyal to Him. Most of them were, although not to each other. The Bible's irrefutable declarations tell a different story. The first one is Judas, the most famous and most hated traitor in the world's history. All four evangelists report the Judas' biblical tale because the gospel writers considered the event as one of the most significant representations of disloyalty. For Mark, Judas is not the perverse individual described by Matthew, Luke, and John. They progressively increase Judas' perversity leading to the most sinister gospel, that of John, where Judas becomes a representation of Satan. Christian theologians have tried to explain Judas' behavior by telling us that it wasn't just the bribe money paid by Caiaphas to make him betray Jesus. Satan possessed him and directed him to commit the heinous act. Alice McCallum, Mary Magdalene in my book of the same name, says that Jesus not only permitted but anticipated and ordered Judas' betrayal. Why did He do it? The Lord knew His Father's plans, which included His crucifixion. He could not avoid it. For God's plan to be achieved, a traitor would deliver Him to the High Priest. Judas was chosen for the job because he had the courage and power to complete the mission. It is important to note that one of Jesus' brothers was also named Judas (Luke 6:16). "How would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must take place this way?" (Matthew 26:52). The Bible tells us that, during the Last Supper, Jesus told his disciples that “one of you will betray me” referring to Judas (Mark 14:18; Matthew 26:21; Luke 22:21; John 13:21). He, then, asks Judas to leave to the Roman authorities to do what he was destined to do. Later, Judas led the arresting authorities into the garden, and kisses Jesus to identify him. During the event, Peter attacks a servant of the High Priest cutting off his right ear (Luke 22:49). Mary Magdalene, in my book, qualifies the story as a tale invented by Peter to glorify his presence.

Apostles' disloyalty is well-represented by Peter, who denied Jesus three times. While Jesus was on trial, he was in Caiaphas' palace courtyard warming up. A servant girl addressed him, saying, "You were with Jesus of Galilee." Peter replied that he didn't know the man (Matthew 26:69-75). Then, Peter went by the gate where another girl told her companions, "This man was with Jesus of Nazareth." Peter denied Jesus again by replying, "I don't know him." Later in the evening, one person in the group also told Peter that he was one of Jesus' friends because of his accent. He became outraged and insulting and told them, "I don't know the man." A rooster crowed instantly, and Peter remembered what Jesus told him, "You will deny Me three times before the rooster crows." In my book, Mary Magdalene: The Lord's Wife, Alice McCallum, who affirms she was Mary Magdalene in a past life, disdains Peter many times. In her opinion, Peter was a disloyal individual who, later in his life, incessantly repeated that Jesus forgave him and named him successor and leader of the Jerusalem church, something that never happened.

Another biblical example of disloyalty is that of the Apostle Paul concerning Thecla, a prominent female disciple who abandoned everything to follow him. When she needed him the most, Paul denied knowing her. As the story goes, Paul was giving a sermon in a follower's house when a young virgin, Thecla, a member of the local nobility, listened to his discourse on virginity and living in chastity from the window of an adjacent house. Because of Paul's teachings, Thecla decided to renounce her marriage and leave her family's privileges to follow the apostle. Thecla's mother used her influence to put Paul in prison, but it didn't deter Thecla, who bribed a guard and spent the entire night listening to the apostle and "kissing his bonds." When discovered, Paul denied an intimate relationship with the young lady and received a sentence of scourging and expulsion while the authorities sentenced Thecla to die at the stake. While burning at the s As reported by apocryphal texts, Thecla is miraculously saved several times from death. She resisted during her ordeals; she never renounced her beliefs, despite her mentor’s less than noble behavior. St. Paul, Thecla’s inspiration, wasn’t there when she was in peril. He abandoned her to inevitable rape. He disappeared every time she was in trouble. In those times, Paul’s fellows did not even criticize his behavior. To illustrate: In another event, Paul and Thecla went to Antioch, where a nobleman named Alexander wanted to have sex with Thecla and offered Paul a substantial amount of money if he allowed the encounter to occur. Once again, Paul denied knowing Thecla. Alexander tried to take Thecla by force. She defended herself forcefully, hurting the nobleman who accused her before the governor of assaulting a member of the nobility. The governor sentenced her to be eaten alive by wild beasts provided by Alexander. God intervened again and saved her from certain death. During these events, Paul denied knowing the woman and remained out of sight. Thecla went back to Paul unchanged, and he sent her back to Iconium, her place of birth, to start a permanent separation that lasted until her death when she was 90 years old. Loyal to Paul and her teachings, she spent the last 72 years of her life living in a cave. Her remains were sent to Rome to lay beside Paul’s tomb.

Excluding Peter and Judas, the apostles were loyal to Jesus while he lived among them. They disagreed among themselves on many issues. Sometimes they were at each other's throats competing for the leadership of the church. These disagreements created tensions, which in some cases, they couldn't overcome. Peter, for instance, wanted to teach the new generations of believers his ideas about redemption. Paul, Mary Magdalene, and other apostles profoundly disagreed. Some considered it a mistake to say that Judas betrayed Jesus. They believed Judas was the disciple Jesus trusted the most. He chose him because he had to fulfill the prophecy as written in the law; Judas was the one He asked to do the job. Following Paul's leadership, most apostles thought Jesus' resurrection had to be the cardinal feature of the faith. Peter, James, and some others wanted to make Christianity a part of Judaism. Because of this belief, James, the brother of Jesus, and Peter became Paul's public enemies. James wanted to continue the teachings of Jesus and keep all the rituals and beliefs of Judaism. Christianity, in James' views, would be a part of Judaism, not a separate entity. Another example, Peter insisted that the Jews, or the Pharisees, stole Jesus' body. Most of the apostles agreed with him. John believed that Jesus came back from the grave but kept his views to himself. The only one in open disagreement was David, although he didn't argue. Some of the apostles, dominated by fear, were still expressing doubts about the resurrection reality. After they couldn't agree on the direction the church should take, they dispersed themselves going in different directions according to their particular interpretation of Jesus' doctrine. To sum it up, out of the 14 apostles, 9 became foreign missionaries, and 11 died tragic deaths at Roman's hands, the Pharisees, or other enemies of our faith. Simon, Matthew, Mathias, Thaddaeus, and John died of old age.

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