Coffee Reggiegram : Have you ever felt betrayed and disappointed by a good friend?
Did you know that Judas was once a tribal hero?
Coffee with Uncle Reggie Stories
曾叔叔说故事：背叛出卖 (Edison 翻译)
Betrayed, Part 1: A strange story
Your trusted friend betrayed you! He turned against you, let you down. Your friend, your confidant, the person you respected. An anguish much more painful than your enemy doing something evil to you, definitely a devastating experience.
I got to know Don Richardson and his wife Carol personally for over a decade. His life story is truly legendary. In his early twenties, with his young wife and new baby, they ventured into the wilds of present-day Indonesia, to live among a cannibal tribe, the Sawis. He tried to reach the tribe with actions and messages of God’s love, but they consistently rejected him. And when he told them about how Jesus came to die for everyone, there was a startling response.
我认识唐.理查森(Don Richardson) 和他的夫人卡罗尔 (Carol) 超过十年了。他的经历是一个传奇。他在二十岁出头的时候和年轻的妻子和襁褓中的婴孩冒险深入印尼丛林里，到一个猎头族群“沙威”（Sawis）中间生活。他尝试用他的行为和神爱的信息去接触沙威族人，不过他们始终不愿接受。但是当他讲述耶稣如何为人而死后，他看到了惊人的反应。
The Judas story
Don told them the history of how Judas, one of Jesus’ trusted disciples, betrayed Jesus, which led to Jesus being cruelly crucified on the cross. But what was most shocking to Don was that the Sawis marveled in astonishment, not at Jesus, but at the genius of Judas to be able to fool and trap his master! They basically shouted out cries of applause for this master betrayer, who became the hero, to them!
How was Judas able to get so close to the master, for 3 years, that the master didn’t even seem to suspect him, and how was he able to fool all the other disciples, who also didn’t seem to realize what he was doing? And how was he able to trap Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, with the most famous kiss of history? So that Jesus was arrested in the middle of night, when no one else knew about it. So that he could be taken illegally, then tortured, then nailed on a dirty barbaric wooden cross. That was a brilliant plot, the Sawis thought.
Upside down logic
Don was totally flabbergasted. His hero, acknowledged as some kind of hero in the whole world, for thousands of years of world history, had become suddenly the poor duped victim, whereas the evil person, the conniving betrayer, was the Sawi’s hero. What a total reversal! It depressed and puzzled him tremendously.
Indeed, for the Sawis, they often loved to devise complicated and devious plots. They liked to make friends, even best friends, for evil ulterior motives. They selected these friends, inviting them to feast with them, in order to “fatten them up” ……. to ultimately kill, and eat them, their “friends,” now fresh victims. The grand finale, was when they came together and suddenly jumped on the victim, unannounced and in a horrifying surprise!
Indeed, their adrenaline seemed to shoot up, on the expectation that when they surrounded the victim to slaughter him, they would vividly witness his sudden surprise, the shock of betrayal, and the abject horror in his eyes. The rush and thrill of the devious murder was followed by killing and happy feasting on the victim. All this, and much more is in one of the greatest books in mission history, written by Don Richardson, “Peace Child.” Everyone should read this classic.
So yes, Judas was indeed their kind of great hero, for creating a most devious plot that they could admire. By winning the heart of even the Master teacher, by being a key member of his first disciples group, and by ultimately selling Jesus to the highest authorities of the land. Such evil thinking shocks us, and we think, what savages these are, to think like that! But think carefully, even in so-called civilized societies, there are gangs and mafia, American or Asian, and corrupt politicians and lawyers, that we can easily think of, who are even more devious than that, who commit more vicious murders than that. They might not eat their victims, but they are equally evil in their plans and actions!
To be continued…
Betrayed, Part 2: An even stranger story
A strange man
The history of Jesus is actually a very strange history anyway. It is a history of a strange rebel, who boldly spoke out against the religious authorities of the day, in very stark bold terms, yet he was considered the most kind and gentle person in the world. Many people are very surprised, but he is even considered one of the 5 greatest prophets of Islam; possibly even a Buddha, according to the Dalai Lama; likely a god among the Hindu gods. A great man indeed, from all views of history and faiths.
Love versus evil
This very strange rebel reached out to those who were downtrodden, neglected, and despised. He touched those who were not touchable, like those with leprosy, and the eyes of those who were blind, to heal them. He preached love, and love, repeatedly, but they beat him, and beat him, and hung him up to die because he dared to be messenger, and message, of a startlingly unconditional love. Betrayed by his evil disciple, who is reviled by most in the world, but… admired at least by this one fierce tribe of people.
这位奇异的反抗者向那些被压抑，被遗忘，被鄙视的人伸出了手。感动了人们避之唯恐不及的贱民，像是麻风病患，也接触医治瞎眼的人。他宣扬爱，但是人们鞭打他，把他吊起来等死 – 只因为他勇敢的宣扬那无条件的爱。他被邪恶的门徒出卖。这个门徒虽然在普世被人唾骂，但是至少有一个凶猛的族群仰慕着他。
Worst betrayer as hero
Judas Iscariot indeed is usually portrayed as one of the worst betrayers in all of history. And yet, shockingly, he was personally selected by Jesus, who was all-knowing and wise. So, Jesus clearly trusted him. Even to give him a most trusted job, to hold the money bag, for the entire group of master and disciples. He had the sacred task to count and protect the income they received from supporters, and to spend the money carefully. The Sawis noted with growing fascination how Judas could become so trusted by Jesus. If they had realized that it was recorded Judas even secretly stole from the bag, they would have been even more “impressed.”
For 3 years he had close contact with Jesus, heard all the great talks, saw all the astonishing miracles, and observed his overwhelming love of people from all walks of life. I’m guessing he imagined himself as some kind of agent for Jesus, and might even have dreamt of profit-making ventures from his master’s healings, or from miracles like feeding of the 5,000. But ultimately, his lust for money resulted in betraying and selling his master to jealous and murderous authorities.
Shocking beyond story
And he succeeded. He did it well. This is where the Sawis felt so excited by the story, that the deviousness was so successful. And, to the rest of the world, if this was just a detective story, or “just a religious story,” at this point, some miracle would happen, Jesus would be saved, and somehow Judas would be killed, satisfying the reader’s conscience. But reality was much more mysterious and astonishing, breaking all the norms of storytelling.
Jesus’ betrayal and cruel death sounded like total disaster for his cause, but instead, a shocking resurrection, attested by overwhelming scholarship (1), precipitated the beginning of a totally new history. A total plot twister happened, unimagined by any story teller. Nobody would have predicted that! From an ugliest betrayal to a most beautiful love story. From a band of 12 very ordinary people as followers, Jesus’ message of love exploded into over 2 billion followers today, over one third of the world’s population, in every continent and country, and even many little tribes in far off jungles. Including the Sawis.
Hatred into love
Indeed, the great devious betrayers themselves, the Sawis, who had all these upside-down concepts, amazingly, dramatically changed their own thinking, converting their hatred into love. Read the book by Don Richardson, I won’t (!) reveal the secret here! All I will say is the message of love finally sank in, and they became followers of the betrayed One, even taking this strange message of love to other tribes of the region, even their traditional enemies. A practically impossible history. No longer cannibals, no longer admirers of betrayers, and no longer betrayers themselves. What happened?
Post script: If you are dying of curiosity, write me and I will let you in on the full history… it is a great history, repeated in different ways all over the world… and it will be my privilege to share that with you…Or get the ultra-famous book, Peace Child, by Don Richardson…. Or even watch me act out the story on Uncle Reggie VBS stories on YouTube, on reggietales.org.
后记：如果你很想知道发生了什么，写封信给我，我会溯本求源地告诉你。。。这是一个在世界各地不断的重复着的伟大历史。我不论何时都会很荣幸的和你分享。你也可以去读和平之子这本 Don Richardson 写的非常出名的书。又或者你可以在 YouTube 和 reggietales.org上看我怎么在曾叔叔假期圣经学校演出这个故事。
(1)Josh McDowell: Evidence that demands a verdict. Thomas Nelson Incorporated.
Photo 2: Don Richardson in life, before his death of brain tumor in 2018. A great friend and story teller. A personal messenger and message of love, in the footsteps of his Master, the betrayed One.
照片2：Don Richardson 本人摄于他在2018年脑瘤离世前。一位非常好的朋友和说故事的人。一位亲身追随主 – 就是那位被出卖的人 – 的爱的信息。