Simon Iscariot’s Grief

(if you are viewing this via email, the website has a recording of this poem and commentary; click the title above


These days, whenever there’s a mass shooting, one of the more poignant things afterwards is hearing what the shooter’s parents or siblings have to say. Imagine being Judas Iscariot’s father. John gives us his name. It was Simon Iscariot. Why do we know that name? Did Simon end up following Jesus? I hope so!

Here’s the passage that prompted my flight of imagination (the poem), with a little of its context:

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray him.

John 6:68‭-‬71 ESV

A friend of mine wrote this:

In Mark 3, when Jesus chooses the 12, it casually mentions that Judas would betray him. I always thought that was just a throw-in, some foreboding music to alert us about coming plot twists. But then it hit me: What if Jesus chose Judas BECAUSE he was going to betray Him? And what if he put Judas in charge of the money bag in order to keep him around, since he planned to use him as an important part of orchestrating His own death?

Bruce Beaty

“We’re on the same page,” I said, “Jesus was orchestrating events, not just responding to them. It’s amazing.”

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