Did Judas REPENT
of betraying Jesus?
Q. Did Judas truly repent of betraying Jesus just like Peter repented after he denied him three times?
(Submitted by: Nicholas)
A. Judas Iscariot was one of history's most unfortunate figures, having become a pawn in Satan's evil game to totally destroy Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Satan's plans, however, to kill Jesus FOREVER totally failed as was predicted in the very FIRST prophecy of the Bible:
"So the Lord God said to the serpent: 'Because you have done this . . . I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed. He (Jesus) shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His (Jesus) heel.' " (Genesis 3:14-15, NKJV throughout)
What kind of man was Judas Iscariot? There is an old tradition that says from childhood Judas and Jesus had been friends and that Jesus continually had to pull Judas out of trouble. Although this tradition may not be quite true, it is logical to conclude that the two were more than mere acquaintances.
Brief Biblical highlights of Judas' life and personality are:
* Judas was one of the twelve apostles (Mark 3:14, 19; Matthew 10:4) whose surname Iscariot is believed by some to mean 'man of Kerioth.'
* He was in charge of the group's money (John 13:29) and was a thief who regularly stole from it (John 12:6).
* He was a liar (John 12:3-6) who was also deceitful and greedy (Matthew 26:14-15)
* He was called a traitor (Luke 6:16) and was identified as a betrayer during Jesus' last Passover (John 13:21-26)
* Judas was willing to pretend to honor someone for his own selfish purposes (Mark 14:44-45, Matthew 26:49).
Judas hanging himself.
Autun Cathedral in France
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* Jesus referred to Judas as a devil (John 6:70) and a son of perdition (John 17:12) who it would have been better if he were never born (Matthew 26:24). It is interesting to note that Jesus not only knew he would be betrayed he hand-picked the betrayer---Judas!:
"Jesus answered them, 'Did I not choose you, the twelve, and ONE OF YOU IS A DEVIL?' He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve." (John 6:70-71)
* Judas was possessed personally by Satan the devil during the last Passover (John 13:27).
* Betrays Jesus for money (Matthew 26:15) to those who HATE him and want him dead (Matthew 26:3-4)
* Judas felt so bad after betraying someone who was innocent that he tried to return the bribe money paid him (Matthew 27:3). His self-hate grew to a point where, even after trying to return the bribe, it led him to commit suicide (Matthew 27:5).
You asked if Judas repented just like Peter. To repent means in Greek, "to think differently". If one thinks differently, one acts differently. Godly sorrow leads to true repentance but the sorrow of the world (i.e. of human nature apart from God) leads to death as the Apostle Paul wrote:
"For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death." (2Corinthians 7:10)
We know that Judas felt remorse for his actions (Matthew 27:3) and knew he sinned. Judas' sorrow, however, did not lead to true repentance and a change of heart and behavior. Like Judas, Peter was also very sorrowful for what he did:
"Now when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, 'This man was also with Him.'
"But he denied Him, saying, 'WOMAN, I DO NOT KNOW HIM.'
"And after a little while another saw him and said, 'You also are of them.' But Peter said, 'MAN, I AM NOT!'
"Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, 'Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.'
"But Peter said, 'MAN, I DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE SAYING!'
"Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, 'Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.' So Peter went out and wept bitterly." (Luke 22:55-62, see also Matthew 26:69-75; Mark 14:66-72; John 18:17, 25-27)
Note that although Peter wept bitterly over what he did (especially since Jesus looked directly at him after the third denial!) he did not take his own life. His godly sorrow lead to a repentance that eventually brought a complete change of heart (see Acts 2). Peter had the kind of sorrow we all must ultimately have if we are to live forever. Judas and Peter did not have the same kind of sorrow and repentance since what was produced was significantly different.