Did Judas REPENT
of betraying Jesus?

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Question: Did Judas truly repent of betraying Jesus just like Peter repented after he denied him three times?

Answer: Judas Iscariot was one of history's most unfortunate figures, having become a pawn in Satan's evil game to totally destroy 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 (Genesis 3:14 - 15).

What kind of man was Judas Iscariot? There is an old tradition that says from childhood he and Jesus had been friends and that Christ continually had to pull him 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 including the following.

   * He 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 the last Passover (John 13:21-26)

   * He was willing to pretend to honor someone for his own selfish purposes (Mark 14:44-45, Matthew 26:49).   

* Jesus referred to him 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 (John 6:70 - 71)!

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   * He was possessed personally by Satan the devil during the last Passover (John 13:27).

   * He betrayed the Lord for money (Matthew 26:15) to those who HATED him and want him dead (Matthew 26:3-4)

   * He 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 way stated by the Apostle Paul (2Corinthians 7:10).

We know that Judas felt remorse for his actions (Matthew 27:3) and knew he sinned. His sorrow, however, did not lead to true repentance and a change of heart and behavior. Like him, Peter was also very sorrowful for what he did, which was to deny he even knew Jesus three times (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 him to repent when then lead to 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.

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