I just want to give you a heads up. When you get to heaven, and you’re waiting in line for the all-you-can-eat crab legs, you’re going to introduce yourself to the guy in front of you in line. (Since it’s heaven, and there’s no sin, lines are just an indicator of the most popular dish. And let’s be honest, anything involving cream of mushroom soup will take a back seat to the crab legs.) The guy in line will just be chatting it up, and slip into conversation with you that he is one of the original twelve Apostles.
You are going to be compelled to ask him his name. And unless he is Peter, James, John, Matthew, or Thomas, you are going to need to get your poker face ready to pretend like you remember him being mentioned in the Bible. I’ll default to the fact that my English translation of the scriptures probably spelled their name differently… “Oh, Bartholomew, huh? Yeah, my translation must’ve just called you ‘not Peter’…”
Today I want to warn you of a second problem you might run into. Our crab leg-anticipating friend might turn, look you in the eyes, and say “my name is Judas.”
There’s no reason to panic. You didn’t take a wrong turn on the way to the buffet and somehow end up waiting in line for a side-order of eternal torment. There’s no need to duck if Judas leans in to try and kiss you on the cheek.
There was another Judas in the “top 12.” Talk about getting a bum deal. Every time he is even mentioned in Scripture it says “Judas (not Iscariot).” That’s like introducing myself as Benjamin (not Franklin or Button) each time I talked to someone. Or like a friend of ours whose dad is named “Johnny Cash.” Welcome to the same conversation every time you ever meet someone.
But at least for Johnny its an association with a famous-in-a-good-way person. Having the name Judas in heaven is like wearing a “Hello, my name is Adolph Hitler” sticker at the world’s largest Bar-Mitzvah.
So cut the guy a little slack, and try desperately to think of another conversation you can have with him. He’s tired of pointing people to Luke 6:14-16 and having to highlight that his name shows up right before the more famous Judas.
Oh, and avoid calling him “the other Judas.” After all, I think Iscariot earned exclusive rights to being second in any list of Judases.