If Judas Iscariot was a troubled youth today, his mother would blame Jesus for letting him “fall through the cracks.”
People like Judas need special emotional support, which Jesus would have been unable to provide without being educated (by Judas’ mother) about how to love him properly.
I’ve worked in special education, and I have been a member of Mommy Support Groups since I had my first child a decade ago. So, I feel pretty certain about how the “educational” letter to Jesus would be written…
Allow me to demonstrate:
Ever since he was a very small boy, Judas has been difficult. I readily admit he’s not easy to love. Judas is very self-focused and obsessed with material gain. He has struggled with the impulse to steal money for as long as I can remember. I’m writing because I want you to know I SEE THE PROBLEMS, just as you do. But I want to help you understand the CAUSE of Judas’ acting out, so that you can be a more effective Support Person in his life.
Judas’ mind works differently from your other disciples. And his heart/conscience is muuuuuch more sensitive than the tax collectors or fishermen you’re used to teaching. If you’re not careful with Judas, you can break his spirit easily.
Deep down, he isn’t a bad kid. He just wants love and acceptance more than anything else.
I’ve heard through the grape vine that you’ve used some triggering language when Judas is within ear shot. You’ve said to the group of disciples “there’s a devil among you,” and “not ALL of you are clean like Peter,” which make Judas feel singled out and Broken.
I want to be clear that I’m not angry, I think you’re a great teacher, and it’s likely you didn’t know your words were harmful! But I’m explaining some of Judas’ specific trauma with you so you can be more empathetic. I know you don’t want to damage one of your beloved students by Other-ing them.
Judas’ father (Simon) is a very hard man, and he doesn’t show much affection. All his life, Judas has been trying to gain approval from his father–but there’s a void there. I have always prayed that God would send a male role model who will nurture my son in a way that I approve… And that’s why I believe you’re a blessing straight from Heaven, Rabbi!
Judas truly loves walking with you! And I’m confident that we can come up with a teaching plan moving forward so that he always feels safe and loved among his peers.
I’ve seen other troubled youth end up in prison….or–God forbid–taking their own life. And I KNOW that’s not what either of us wants for my little Judas. I’m sure we both see the gaps in the system, and we don’t want Judas to fall through them. I thank you in advance for working with me to speak Judas’ language and constantly grow in our understanding of Trauma Informed Care.
If you know the end of the story, you will already be aware that Judas DID end up “falling through the cracks” and taking his own life.
Jesus never told Judas how much he loved and wanted him around. He never used “we” language or reminded Judas how important he was for the whole team. In fact, he referred to Judas as a “Devil” and told him to “go” when it was time for the betrayal.
Thankfully, in modern society, we have psychologists, counselors, and bottles of medication to save the troubled youth with behavior disorders. We understand the way trauma impacts a person’s free will and culpability. So, we plan our parenting and educational strategies accordingly.
It may have been too late for Judas; but, today, no person ever has to endure hearing a teacher call them a “devil” ever, ever again!