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While we cannot be absolutely certain why Judas betrayed Jesus, some things are certain. First, although Judas was chosen to be one of the Twelve (John 6:64), all scriptural evidence points to the ...
In addition to what has already been stated we need to consider other pertinent scripture regarding God’s sovereign purpose along with Judas’ subsequent betrayal. John 17:12 “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” If Judas (or some other close acquaintance) had failed to betray Christ, the prophecy in Psalms 41:9 and Zechariah 11:12-13 would have not been fulfilled. This would render these prophecies false and scripture errant! We should not assume God’s foreknowledge is nothing more than His knowing ahead of time what will take place in the future, that God simply “reacts” and plots the course of history in response to his creatures’ doings. This is not the God of the Bible. Isaiah 46:10 “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” Proverbs 16:4 “The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” In Acts 2:23 Peter states: “"Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:" In 1 Peter 1:2, Peter again uses the word foreknowledge: "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied." Only knowing ahead of time what Judas would do implies that God simply responded to Judas' actions. This would also necessitate that we apply the same "foreknowledge" rationale to Christ's crucifixion. In other words, neither Judas nor Christ was chosen of God to complete his divine purpose and plan, God only reacted to their actions. Make sense? In both instances the word foreknowledge is the Greek pro'g-nō-sēs = forethought, pre-arrangement. If you or I go to the doctor for a required surgery he will give us a prognosis based upon the proposed repair or correction intended. Does he just start whacking away and hope for the best? Not hardly. On a simplistic level how many of us go on a vacation, buy a car or build a house without making plans? We first must have foreknowledge, we plan and purpose it to happen then execute our plan. By the same token, are we to assume our great God who has created and providentially upholds everything by the word of his power has delivered the destiny of mankind and creation to happenstance? What occurs in the solar system, world and individuals is a result of His determinate counsel, purpose, will and execution. I firmly believe that Christ retained all his divine power up to the time he dismissed his Spirit. Note: All of the following occurred AFTER The Lord was betrayed. In John 18:6 after saying "I am", they went backward. He made Malchus a new ear in John 18:10 In John 19:11 He told Pilate that the only power Pilate possessed was granted from above. In Matthew 26:53 He only needed to speak the word in order for 72,000 angels to appear. He saved the dying thief while nailed to the cross Lu 23:42-43. Scripture is loaded with accounts of Christ casting out demons and devils. He could have cast Satan out of Judas and saved him if it was according to the divine plan. We can rationalize and imagine as to why Judas betrayed Christ but I do not personally believe it is necessary. Scripture remains the best interpreter of scripture.
Judas had a character flaw, he loved money and was pilfering from the collection plate. He had seen Jesus go through danger time after time and thought why would this threat be any different. Jesus would somehow overcome whatever came his way, he always had done so and Judas had seen it happen many times. He though Jesus was the teflon man, that no one could touch him. So if he took 30 pieces of silver from the religious authorities that would be money in his pocket and that since nothing would happen to Jesus he thought why not! Turns out it didn't go down as he thought it would. Jesus was taken into custody and it was obvious he would not escape whatever the authorities had planned for him. Judas knowing what he had done and thinking that there was no forgiveness for what he had done out of guilt hung himself. Tragic end that fulfilled prophecy, but for Judas it was his choice to unwittingly fulfill prophecy. We need to beware and remember the words of Jesus; that our heart is where our treasure is. Let our treasure be in giving to the poor and afflicted and our reward in the coming kingdom will be great! Let us look on our possessions as given to us to have stewardship over a blessing and not be attached to them, willing to walk away from them if the lord requires us to do so! Jesus has promised us that if we seek first the kingdom of God he will provide for us all our daily needs! Matthew 6:33. Covetousness is idolatry, let us flee from making money an idol.
As a son of David, and so deserving of the Davidic throne, (Luke 1:32) there is the question "Is Christ like David in any respect? " The answer is yes, and is found in the account of Ahithophel in 2nd Samuel. Ahithophel was a counselor of David, corresponding to Judas as a disciple of Christ. His counsel was so good it was "as if a man had inquired at the oracle of God." (2Sa.16:23). He betrayed David and supported Absalom in his rebellion, also advising Absalom to defile his father's concubines (2Sa 16:21). But the rebellion was overthrown and Ahithophel committed suicide by hanging (2Sa. 17:23). So in both instances we have a close associate who betrays his leader and commits suicide. Here is a true case of like father, like son, validating Christ's claim to the throne, although the details are different because the Christian covenant is different from the Mosaic covenant.
One factor that may have led to Judas' feeling estranged from Jesus (as well as from the eleven other apostles) was that (to my knowledge) he was the only one of the apostles who was from Judea rather than Galilee ("Judas Iscariot" being the Anglicized form of "Judas ish Kerioth", meaning "Judas from Kerioth"). (Kerioth was a town about ten miles south of Hebron (the city in Judah where David began his rule (2 Samuel 2:11)).) That doesn't excuse Judas' betrayal, but may have contributed to it.
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