A reader asks, "Why did the Lord choose Judas to be a disciple if his heart was not right with God?" Having given two reasons last time, we now turn to a third reason: this was the way in which God would realize His decree of reprobation with regard to Judas. Judas’ sin and damnation was not only prophesied in the OT (Ps. 41:9; 55:12-14, 20-21; 109) some thousand years before his birth, but he was also reprobated by God from before the foundation of the world. God did not predict Judas’ betrayal of Christ and eternal perdition because He merely foresaw what Judas would do. Instead, God knows all things outside of Himself through His eternal decree., in which He predestinated Judas and his sins and his eternal punishment, and thus He caused inspired prophecy (such as Ps. 109) to be penned. For God "worketh all things after the counsel of his own will" (Eph. 1:11), including Judas’ betrayal of Christ (Acts 2:33).
Did Jesus know Judas’ reprobation? Yes. Jesus referred to Judas as "the son of perdition" (John 17:12). "Perdition" comes from "perish" and refers to the everlasting perishing of Hell. Judas was the son of Hell for he was predestined for Hell; he merited Hell; he was headed to Hell; and he went to Hell. He was one, as it were, born of Hell and wholly characterized by Hell. Thus Peter, after quoting Psalm 69:25 and 109:8 of Judas (Acts 1:20), says of him that Hell was "his own place" (Acts 1:25). Christ knew that Judas, like the Jews of John 10, was "not of [His] sheep" (26) and that He was not Judas’ "good shepherd" for He would not die for him (11, 14-15). In His high priestly prayer in John 17, Jesus did not pray for Judas. He did not pray that God would "keep" (11-15), "sanctify" (16-19) and glorify (20-26) Judas. As Christ said, "I pray for them: I pray not for the world [including Judas, ‘the son of perdition;’ 12], but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine" (9). And when did Jesus know of Judas’ reprobation? "Jesus knew from the beginning ... who should betray him" (John 6:64).
God eternally and unconditionally reprobated Judas in the way of his sins. This ensures God’s absolute, searing justice, for He did not decree to condemn an innocent man but a wicked, ungodly sinner. First, Judas was "a thief" who had seen to it that he was the "treasurer" amongst the disciples in order to pilfer. He was annoyed that funds were diverted from his hands. Even lying about caring for the poor was not beneath him if it meant that he could obtain filthy lucre. Judas cared neither for the poor nor for his Master, for to him the very costly spikenard of Mary of Bethany or the money it could have fetched was too good for either of them. Better that the spikenard was sold and the money entrusted to his "safe" hands. Just read John 12:1-6. Second, Judas was a traitor who even betrayed God’s Son to death for a paltry 30 pieces of silver. Here is one who loved cursing (Ps. 109:17-18) and who hated (3) and slew (16) Christ. Third, Judas was not only a thief and a traitor but also a suicide. Having killed the spotless Saviour, he wickedly killed himself (Matt. 27:3-10). Thus Jesus chose Judas as a disciple for this was the way in which God would realize Judas’ reprobation.
- Volume: 9
- Issue: 25
Rev. Angust Stewart (Wife: Mary)
Ordained - 2001
Pastorates: Covenant Protestant Reformed Church of Ballymena, Northern Ireland - 2001Website: www.cprf.co.uk/
Address7 Lislunnan Road
State or ProvinceCo.Antrim
Zip CodeBT42 3NR
Telephone(01144) 28 25 891851