Monday, July 27, 2009

"I'm Just Saying - #4"

The SD convention is over now and we're back to ruminating about S5 until Lost University opens, or someone gets more information out of the odd videos of Hurley, Kate, and Oceanic Air. Meanwhile, I've been thinking about Ben and Judas Iscariot.

A few things about the finale in the statue base, and Ben overall, have been reminding me of the stories that we know about Judas. It's believed from the Gospels of the Judeo-Christian bible that Judas did not quite become a follower of Jesus' teachings and what they really meant. That is, he didn't seem to really understand that Jesus was speaking of saving Israel in a spiritual sense, and rather might have put his hopes in Jesus being an earthly conqueror in releasing the Jewish nation from the immediate physical oppressors in their promised land -- i.e., to solve all of their problems in the here and now, not in some heavenly lofty "later". If he came to realize that this was not the case, it may have made him bitter and therefore easily swayed into turning Jesus over to be accused of being a false leader.

According to the other apostles, Judas was usually the stone in the cogs for much of their missions together. For example he allegedly hoped for a high position in the kingdom that he thought Jesus was building on earth, and when he saw that wasn't going to happen, that also turned him away. He was the groups' treasurer as we know, and when Jesus was anointed in Bethany, he pretended to be concerned for the poor and the wasted money represented in using the precious oil to anoint Jesus. But Jesus and other disciples knew his intentions (and that he took funds from their moneybag [John 12:6]), illustrated in his later deal for silver coins as well. It is also thought that Judas is one of the grumbling disciples mentioned who "...turned back and no longer followed Him..." (John 6:60-71). At that point Judas might have felt as if his allegiance to Jesus was all a waste of time and wasn't going to get him anywhere. His ambitious disappointment was capped by what happened in the garden of Gethsemane, when Judas gave his former teacher over to the officials who were already annoyed with Jesus.

Judas' misunderstanding of Jesus' purpose, his misguided faith, and eventual disillusionment and betrayal, all came to my mind as Ben whined to Jacob about not getting the kind of attention that he wanted after all of his efforts in Jacob's plans. Being so worked up in his heart, Ben was an easy target for Flocke/MIB tricking him into betraying Jacob in anger, resulting in Jacob's death -- just as Judas was finally an easy bribing target for the people who wanted Jesus silenced. I also couldn't help thinking that perhaps Jacob's making Ben wait, was a type of test for Ben that he ultimately failed miserably. I also wonder if Jacob knew this the way that Jesus knew about Judas' fate.

So do I think that TPTB were specifically making parallels between Ben's and Judas' life in the final scene of betrayal by Ben and Flocke? I don't know. I'm just sayin'.


sawyer840 said...

HI, I cannot really agree with your comparison to Judah. I see Ben more in the role of all, who doubts, lost their faith by the human nature's need for appreciation.
Best you take a look to my new blogs around Lost:
Start with the annotations about the finale!
(with a summary of the Lost panel 09)

and notice: it is just the beginning blog! LOL

Capcom said...

Hi Sawyer840! This is just a comparison that came to my head while watching, with the similarities between Ben and Judas. I don't think that it's TPTB's intention. :-)

Thanks for the reminder to check your blog, I haven't in a while!

pgtbeauregard said...


Good post. It's funny, we just had a sermon titled "Grumbling", funny coincidence (or as Eko would put it - fate) te hee.

Capcom said...

What a coincidence or fate! :-D Yeah, I can imagine that Judas did a lot of grumbling.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Interesting post, as always, Capcom. In general, more because I hear people who never caught the show from the start if there is an overall religious message, I say, no, but you can see it in the characters. Ben was never more mortified than when he and Locke were in the cabin that first time. Ben, I think, did get deflated when he finally saw Jacob in the plinth. MIB might not have been thinking of Judas, per se, but he could likely see what type of views Ben had in his head, and he exploited him as Ben had done to so many others.

Capcom said...

Tx Wayne! Your idea is interesting. I wonder if MIB had Ben in mind as his tool for killing Jacob all along? Like, at least since Bennie got healed and taken into the fold. He might have seen an easy (emotionally abused child) mark right from the start, that he could use in his planned loophole. And then came Locke, the other emotionally crippled child. Hmm.

Capcom said...

P.S. Don't forget the original message of the show that was about redemption, which was very important, so TPTB said. One of them (can't remember which one)said that much of that theme was inspired by his wife's Catholic faith, and there are a lot overtones of Christianity there, along with the kitchen-sink list of other religions as well, as you know. :-)

Chelsea said...

Great analysis! With any betrayal story there are going to be parallels to Judas Iscariot, but given the LOST writers' penchant for using Biblical imagery/names/etc, I think your observations are especially relevant.

Capcom said...

Tx Chelsea, and that's true. It was also all the whining that Ben did that made me think of what I've learned over the years about Judas as well. In addition to his probable deep disappointment in his situation within the group that he misunderstood the purpose of, and thought that he had a better standing in.

Thanks for stopping by! :-D

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