Arminian Today

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The Case for Judas’ Salvation (Part 1)

Mark 14:17-21 reads:

17 And when it was evening, he came with the twelve. 18 And as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” 19 They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one after another, “Is it I?” 20 He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me. 21 For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”

There are several interesting things to point out about this text that suggest that Judas Iscariot was indeed saved.  First, notice that none of the other disciples knew who Jesus was speaking of.  Judas was not an evil man as often seen in pictures or in movies about the life of Christ.  There is nothing here to suggest that he was always evil or always apostate even from the beginning.  If it were true that Judas was evil always, the other disciples would have known it.  Judas was trusted by Jesus as he had control of the money bag although John 12:6 suggests that Judas stole from it.  The fact remains that Judas was trusted by Jesus, trusted by the other disciples and was considered part of the Twelve (Mark 14:10).

Secondly, notice Jesus warning in verse 21.  I believe that Jesus was calling Judas to repent.  He was not issuing a decree here that Judas had no free will in this issue of his betrayal of Jesus.  Judas was guilty of sinning and Jesus is warning him here.  Would Jesus have done this to a reprobate?  Would Jesus warn an ungodly person who had no control over his sins if in fact it was predetermined by God Almighty for him to betray Jesus?  I suggest to you that Judas could have repented of his sin.  Obviously he did not but I see Jesus warning Judas here in Mark 14:21.

We must bear in mind that Judas was chosen by Jesus (John 15:16).  Jesus even spent all night praying to the Father about this decision (Luke 6:12-16).  There is nothing in the ministry of Jesus until the end that suggests that Judas was any different from the rest of His apostles.  Judas was anointed to preach the gospel alongside of Peter and John and Andrew and the others.  Judas traveled with Jesus for three years and heard Him speak, saw the miracles of our Lord, and himself went out preaching the gospel of the kingdom.  Nothing is ever written in the Gospels to suggest that Judas, from the beginning, was marked by God to betray Jesus.  Prophecy would be fulfilled (Matthew 26:56) but I find nothing in the Gospels that point clearly to Judas as evil from the start.  The New Testament writers always put Judas last in the names of the Apostles and they sometimes designated him as the betrayer but this was after the fact.

Now obviously it is easy to bring our theological presumptions to the story of Judas and see what we want to see.  If you hold to personal apostasy, you could build a case for the salvation of Judas.  If you hold to perseverance of the saints, it is possible to likewise see Judas as apostate from the start.  On my next post I hope to provide more reasons why we could build a case for the salvation of Judas Iscariot.


Written by The Seeking Disciple

07/23/2013 at 1:23 PM

Posted in Apostasy

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  1. Good presentation on Judas as a disciple. I’m looking forward to your next post in which you build a case for Judas’ having been saved.

    Bob Hunter

    07/24/2013 at 6:03 AM

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