Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Yes Judas Was Called

Often in our Sabbath School classes we hear things that demonstrate how many Adventists have replaced the Biblical accounts with those from Ellen White. It is unfortunate that this happens but it is one of the problems with traditionalism in Adventism as well as Christianity in general. We often assume what we know is true, when what we think we know is based upon tradition or extra Biblical information instead of the Bible. It can be a subtle distortion or sometimes worse. The why this happens is too speculative to go into here and depending upon the instances, the reasons no doubt vary.

In our resent class several members submitted that Judas was not chosen to be a disciple but was brought to Jesus to become a disciple. However that is no where found in the Biblical account.

Here are the accounts of the calling of the twelve:

(Matthew 10:1-6 NIV) He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. 2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. 5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.

(Mark 3:13-19 NIV) Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve--designating them apostles --that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons. 16 These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder); 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

(Luke 6:12-18) One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. 13 When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: 14 Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. 17 He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coast of Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases.

Ellen White’s version:

Desire of Ages. 1898 page 293.002

While Jesus was preparing the disciples for their ordination, one who had not been summoned urged his presence among them. It was Judas Iscariot, a man who professed to be a follower of Christ. He now came forward, soliciting a place in this inner circle of disciples. With great earnestness and apparent sincerity he declared, "Master, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest." Jesus neither repulsed nor welcomed him, but uttered only the mournful words: "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head." Matt. 8:19, 20. Judas believed Jesus to be the Messiah; and by joining the apostles, he hoped to secure a high position in the new kingdom. This hope Jesus designed to cut off by the statement of His poverty.

Page 294

The disciples were anxious that Judas should become one of their number. He was of commanding appearance, a man of keen discernment and executive ability, and they commended him to Jesus as one who would greatly assist Him in His work. They were surprised that Jesus received him so coolly.

You will notice that in the Ellen White quote she quotes the words of Jesus as being about Judas though the context is not about Judas nor is there anywhere that indicates Judas was a teacher of the law.

(Matthew 8-18-23 NIV) When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. 19 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." 20 Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." 21 Another disciple said to him, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." 22 But Jesus told him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead." 23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him.

The record of the event in Luke reads as follows:

(Luke 9: 51 NIV) As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?" 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them, 56 and they went to another village. 57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." 58 Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." 59 He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." 60 Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."61 Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family."

As you notice the Luke account is after the mentioning of Jesus choosing the 12 found in Luke 6:12-18 and the account mentions that it is toward the end of Jesus’ ministry as it says: “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem”. In all three of the synoptic gospels Judas is first mentioned in the above lists of the calling of the twelve apostles. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that he was brought to Jesus by other disciples, but I am certain that many Adventists will, despite the Biblical record try and make Ellen White’s interpretation compatible with the Bible. Usually with the statement; “well it could have happened that way.” A rationalization no doubt but often that is all some people need.

1 comment:

lclaycomb said...

All makes sense if you're not an Adventist. But if you are, then you accept it as truth and move on. Who are we to judge a prophet of God? This fact does not contradict the Bible in any way.

The prophets are subject to the prophets, and therefore either accept her and stay in your Sabbath school or reject her and go to some other fallen protestant church.

But to complain that some people actually use the Spirit of Prophecy which was given just for us in these last days, is virtually no different than some Christians complaining because someone ventures to use the Old Testament!

If the Spirit of God wrote it for us, then why complain that someone actually has taken advantage of that gift and shared it with others?