The Serpent Revealed

Sheryl Martin
4 min readMar 30, 2024

a writing for Holy Week

Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar

“Pilate said to them, ‘Whom do you want me to release for you: Barrabas or Jesus who is called the Christ?’ For he knew that it was because of envy that they had handed him over.”

The Prophet called by God who taught and exemplified love and compassion for the downtrodden and the poor was a threat to the Pharisees and Sadducees. Jesus was gaining many followers, and preaching against the hypocrisy of these Jewish leaders, so fairly quickly became their target. Pilate knew Jesus had committed no crime, and easily understood this was manipulation by the Pharisees and Sadducee's to eradicate the threat to their dominion and dysfunctional control over the Hebrews. However, Pilate didn’t care one way or another if Jesus was crucified, he was playing his own manipulation game for his own self-purposed benefit.

The “evolutionary theory of jealousy” states that envy or jealousy is an inherited response that promotes survival while Freud’s theory states that envy or jealousy is the ego’s pathological drive being expressed from the hidden agenda of the subconscious based upon fear or low self-esteem. Envy hides in the darkness such that those who display envious aggressiveness are not even aware of it themselves. This is especially true of those who consider themselves believers in God. Having faith in God and studying Scripture but still displaying aggression towards others is contradictory and hypocritical.

“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exists, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” (James 3:14–16) James describes it as “earthly, unspiritual, demonic.”

The Book of Genesis is the Torah and Bible is an allegorical story of the brothers Cain and Abel. God accepted Abel’s sacrifice of the best of his livestock but did not accept Cain’s offering of grain. The account doesn’t state why but can be inferred that Cain’s offering was not his best offering and not sincere. Cain, therefore, from envy of his brother Abel, concocts a plan to kill his brother in which he fulfills, but is confronted by God after committing murder and subsequently banished from his family and tribe. Interestingly, the account in the Qur’an states that Cain sees a crow in front of him scratching at the earth which causes him to realize that he should have buried Abel’s body to cover up the crime. Abel apparently has no understanding of God’s omniscience or doesn’t acknowledge God’s ability to see all things because his selfish desire has blindly placed his ego before God. His jealousy and anger led to manipulation, deception and murder.

Moving forward along the path of time in the Torah is the story of Joseph who was the favorite son of the Patriarch Jacob which caused his brothers to become so jealous that they create a plan to remove their brother from the father, family, and tribe. The plan entails deception, manipulation, with the subsequent action to murder their brother. However, one of the brother’s resists the murder plan because of guilt and when a trade caravan is seen in the distance, they make the final decision to throw Joseph in a well so that he might possibly be found by one of the trade caravans and made a slave. His coat of many colors is taken from him and smeared with animal’s blood to provide evidence to the story that Joseph was killed by a roaming wolf to their father Jacob.

However, in this story, the brothers' actions against Joseph fulfills Gods long range purpose, so it is clear that evil doesn’t hamper God’s Will, but is a tool used by God to achieve His purpose. This is apparent as well in the account of Jesus and his chosen disciples. One of the disciples, Judas, is not a true follower of Jesus, but a betrayer who has an ulterior motive promoted by avarice and envy. His expectation of being Jesus’ disciple is that Jesus will take over the Roman empire and Judas will become rich and powerful by the subsequent manipulation of Jesus to become his right hand man so he can take control of the personhood of Jesus for his own benefit; he isn’t really riding the coattails of Jesus, but has let his ego take the reins to eventually lead him to the final act which is not the “it is done” statement of Jesus on the cross exemplifying the fulfillment of God’s perfect Will, but the desperation and darkness that no evil action he did ever produced what his ego sought, but in actuality created the opposite. This is a revelation of an image of the Messiah fully submitted to God, willing to lose everything including his life to fulfil God’s purpose, contrasted with the disciple who was willing to risk everything for his ego driven purpose.

One definition delineates envy from jealousy; envy is expressed because the other held the advantage, and jealousy is expressed because the jealous person had the advantage and wanted to prevent rivals from taking it — is it not two sides of one coin? Whether jealousy or envy, it is still placing oneself on the pedestal of self-worship, even before God.

It is Holy Week where the reenactment of the events of Jesus’ arrest and prosecution is often described as a period of darkness until the darkness of humanity’s self-worship is cast out by the bright light of Jesus’ resurrection when God’s Will banishes self-will, and the Way is clearly seen.



Sheryl Martin

It is suffering that shoots streams of creativity out of my heart, and the brokenness of life that explodes my heart into its soul.