Was Judas a hero or a villain?
(near L.A., USA)
Betrayed with a kiss
by Giotto di Bondone, 1267-1337,
Fresco Painting in Scrovegni Chapel,
The Bible portrays Judas Iscariot as a thief and a treacherous villain. Nothing in the text of inspired scripture leads us to believe Judas was a hero. Consider these facts.
- Judas had free will; no one forced him to betray Jesus.
- There is no Biblical prophesy which says Judas must betray Christ.
- Judas has nothing to do with our salvation. Claiming Judas is responsible for our salvation because he betrayed Christ is an example of non sequitur logic (it does not follow).
It would be equally illogical to say the Romans who crucified Jesus were responsible for our salvation or the nails in His hand or the spear in His side were responsible for our salvation. Christ would have died for our sins regardless who betrayed Him.
- Judas was sorry for what he did but the Bible points out there are different kinds of sorrow, 2 Corinthians 7:10. Judas had the sorrow of the world instead of godly sorrow.
“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”
- The fact that God knows what Judas or anyone else will do does not mean God causes their actions nor does it make God responsible for their actions.
- The Bible does not portray Judas as a hero because he was not a hero. Judas was a thief, John 12:6, and a betrayer, Psalm 41:9, Matthew 26:23. Jesus gives an utterly truthful yet negative assessment of Judas Iscariot. The only way anyone can make Judas a hero is by contradicting Jesus.
“Jesus answered them, 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.” John 6:70-71.
“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 (Judas); that the scripture might be fulfilled." John 17:12, 13:18, 26.
The scripture that was fulfilled was Psalm 41:9. The historical reference in Psalm 41 is to Ahithophel, grandfather of Bathsheba, 2 Samuel 11:3, 23:34.
Jesus as the author of scripture, applied Psalm 41:9 to Judas because of the following similarities.
- David was a type of Christ
- Ahithophel was a type of Judas
- Both Ahithophel and Judas held positions of trust
- Both Ahithophel and Judas betrayed their Lord
- Both Ahithophel and Judas were disloyal to their friend
- Both were defeated in their sinister purpose
- Both committed suicide when their betrayal became public
- Both killed themselves by hanging, 2 Samuel 17:23, Matthew 27:5
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