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When the Lord Jesus chose His twelve apostles, He knew all about Judas that that he would one day betray Him.  We read the Lord’s words in John 6:70-71, “…Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.”  The Lord would later say in John 13:18, “…I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.”  Here we learn that is was prophesied that the Lord would be betrayed.  We find that prophesy in Psalms 41:9 which says, “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.”  To ‘lift up the heel’ is an expression meaning to commit an act of violence against.  So, we see that it was prophesied that a friend of the Lord would betray Him.  We also see that the Lord Jesus knew the heart of Judas when He chose him to be one of His apostles.  We read in Acts 1:24that the Lord, “…knowest the hearts of all men…” 

Did the Lord cause Judas to betray Him?  According to John 6:70, Jesus said that Judas, “…is a devil.”  According to John 12:6, we know that Judas, “…was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.”  We know that Judas did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God.  Even when he repented for betraying the Lord, his words revealed his true conviction.  We read in Matthew 27:3-4, “Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.” 

Judas had remorse because he saw that Jesus was ‘innocent’ of the crimes He had been charged with and did not deserve the terrible treatment He received.  However, in his repentance, Judas did not acknowledge that Jesus was the Son of God; only that he was an innocent man.  Since Judas was a devil, and thief, and an unbeliever, he was certainly responsible for his own actions.  The Lord did not cause Judas to sin, but He knew that he would.  Judas chose to betray the Lord for thirty pieces of silver.  His motivation was money as we see in Matthew 26:14-15, “Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.”  Let’s also read Luke 22:3-4, “Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.”  Because of his unbelief, Judas was susceptible to Satan possessing him. 

As is true of every person, Judas is responsible for his sins.  What a tragic event.  The Lord Jesus, who came to give His life to save us from our sins, could be hated so much and betrayed by one who was constantly in His presence.  Hearing the teachings of the Lord Jesus, and watching Him perform many miracles, did not impact the heart of Judas.  The Lord spoke of how that Judas was lost in John 17:12where He said, “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.”  Judas was lost, not because he betrayed the Lord, but because he did not believe on Him and accept Him as his Savior and Lord.  What about you, dear friend, have you bowed your knee before the Lord and trusted Him?  I pray you have.  The Lord did not want Judas to perish, and He does not want you to perish.  2 Peter 3:9tells us that the Lord is, “…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”  The Lord was willing to save Judas and He is willing to save you.  The Lord Jesus said in John 5:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”  (146.6)