Easton‘s Bible Dictionary:
Son of Simon (John 6:71; John 13:2, 26), surnamed Iscariot, i.e., a man of Kerioth (Joshua 15:25). His name is uniformly the last in the list of the apostles, as given in the synoptic (i.e., the first three) Gospels. The evil of his nature probably gradually unfolded itself till, “Satan entered into him,” (John 13:27), and he betrayed our Lord (John 18:3). Afterwards he owned his sin with “an exceeding bitter cry,” and cast the money he had received as the wages of his iniquity down on the floor of the sanctuary, and “departed and went and hanged himself” (Matthew 27:5). He perished in his guilt, and “went unto his own place” (Acts 1:25). The statement in Acts 1:18 that he, “fell headlong and burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out,” is in no way contrary to that in Matthew 27:5. The suicider first hanged himself, perhaps over the valley of Hinnom, “and the rope giving way, or the branch to which he hung breaking, he fell down headlong on his face, and was crushed and mangled on the rocky pavement below.”
Why such a man was chosen to be an apostle we know not, but it is written that “Jesus knew from the beginning who should betray him” (John 6:64). Nor can any answer be satisfactorily given to the question as to the motives that led Judas to betray his Master. “Of the motives that have been assigned, we need not care to fix on any one as that which simply led him on. Crime is, for the most part, the result of a hundred motives rushing with bewildering fury through the mind of the criminal.”
Holman Bible Dictionary:
The last of these was Judas Iscariot. All of the Gospels place him at the end of the list of disciples because of his role as betrayer. Iscariot is an Aramaic word which means, “man of Kerioth,” a town near Hebron. He was the only disciple from Judea. He acted as treasurer for the disciples but was known as a miser and a thief (John 12:5-6). He was present at the Last Supper, during which Jesus predicted his betrayal (Luke 22:21; Matt. 26:20-21). The price of the betrayal was 30 pieces of silver, which Judas returned to Jewish leaders; then he went out and hanged himself. He died in sorrow but without repentance. The money, which could not be returned to the treasury because it was blood money, was used to buy a potter’s field in Judas’ name (Matt. 27:3-10; compare Acts 1:18-19).
In John 17:12, we have “the son of perdition.”
HO HUIOS is the Article for “the” and the Nominative, Masculine, Singular HUIOS that means, “son.”
TES APOLEIAS is the Article “the” plus the Attributive Genitive Noun APOLEIA in the Feminine, Singular. APOLEIA is from the Verb APOLLUMI and means, “destruction or loss.”
The Attributive Genitive is used to express quality like an Adjective but with more sharpness and distinctness. It is more emphatic in its description.
Also, note the play on words with APOLETO above.
So, we have, “the son of destruction.” “Perdition” was the translation in the KJV and has the connotation of being thrown into “the Lake of Fire,” and it appears that the NASB stayed with that translation, since it became a familiar title for Judas and also the Antichrist, 2 Thes 2:3.
2 Thes 2:3 (KJV), “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”
2 Thes 2:3 (NASB), “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy, (APOSTASIA – exit resurrection), comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.” (Italic mine.)
It does not mean, “annihilation” as some have translated it, but instead “meeting one’s destiny,” a sad and terrible exception, Mark 14:21.
Mark 14:21, “For the Son of Man is to go just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”
Here it is a title for Judas Iscariot. It is a title used for only two people in history, and it is a title for someone who is personally possessed by Satan, John 13:27.
The second person will be the dictator of the revived Roman Empire in the Tribulation, 2 Thes 2:3.
Two different people have this title: one just before the Church Age begins and one at its end, after the Church has been raptured.
Jesus stated that he had kept safely all the disciples except Judas. “The one doomed to destruction,” literally “son of destruction.” Because of this singular coincidence, some have assumed that the Antichrist will be Judas resurrected! More likely, this phrase was a common Semitism denoting an abandoned character, one utterly lost and given over to evil.
The language does not imply that Judas was a helpless victim who was destined to the Lake of Fire against his will. Rather, it implies that, having made his decision, he had passed the point of no return; (just as those who receive the mark of the beast in the Tribulation will have no point of return, Rev 14:9-11 cf. 20:4) and, by so doing, he carried out what the Scriptures had indicated would happen.
Some misinterpret this passage to be “proof” that a believer can lose his or her salvation, but a careful reading of the verse proves just the opposite!
Jesus said, “None of them is lost but the son of destruction.” This shows that Judas was never a part of the believing group of disciples. As we have noted, “but or except” (EI ME) is a word of contrast, showing that Judas was in a different class from the others.
In Vs. 11, Jesus plainly stated that He kept all whom the Father gave Him; since Judas was lost, he could not have been among those who were given to the Son.
Many people today who teach that Judas “lost his salvation” make the same mistake Peter made in John 6:66-71, in thinking that Judas had salvation, when he did not!
Peter and ten of the disciples affirmed their faith in Christ. Their faith came by hearing the Word, Rom 10:17. Judas, however, was a pretender and ultimately would betray Christ.
So, was Judas Iscariot ever saved?
Judas Iscariot was NEVER Saved.
The Bible says in Acts 1:25 that he went to “his own place.” It is our firm belief that Judas went to Hades, because that is where all unbelievers go and will be thrown into the Eternal Lake of Fire with all other unbelievers at the Great White Throne Judgment Seat of our Lord Jesus Christ, Rev 20:11-15.
Furthermore, Judas did not possess any “fruit” of being saved. He had no fear of God. He witnessed all of the miracles that Jesus did. He saw people raised from the dead. He himself, may have even performed miracles in the name of Jesus, but Judas Iscariot did not truly believe Jesus was his Messiah. He was not a believer.
Judas heard the Lord speak about money, and he cared nothing about what Jesus said, and he cared nothing about Jesus. He was the treasurer of the disciples with greed in his heart and a follower of the Lord Jesus, but not a believer. His evil heart lead him to commit the most heinous act in all of human history…the betrayal of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. He betrayed the Son of God with a kiss.
The Lord Jesus said in Mat 26:24-25, “It would have been better if Judas had not even been born.”
Mat 26:24-25, “The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”
In addition, just because someone performs miracles in Jesus’ name does not make them saved.
In Mark 9:38, “John said to Him, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us.’”
Jesus’ reply in Verse 39 was curious, “But Jesus said, ‘Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me.’”
Notice the words “soon afterward.” The Greek word is TACHU and means, “quickly, swiftly, or speedily, (without delay).” It is speaking of the time after the miracle is performed, not the time prior to or during. This verse utilizes the future tense which means, “even in our day and age, it is possible for someone to cast out demons in the name of Jesus and actually not be saved.” Therefore, this verse leaves the door wide open for the understanding that someone can be an unbeliever, cast out demons, and perform miracles in Jesus’ name.
Also notice in Mat 7:20-23 what our Lord says about this:
Jesus said in Mat 7:20-23, “So then, you will know them by their fruits. 21Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”
The Lord will say to those false prophets and teachers, “I NEVER Knew you,” because they are not saved and will, like Judas be cast into the Lake of Fire.
Therefore, the fact that Judas might have cast out demons with the other disciples during Jesus’ ministry, Mark 3:14-15; Luke 10:17, is not proof that he was saved.
Judas Had All the Opportunity to Believe in Jesus Christ.
He was from the tribe of Judah, the same tribe as our Lord Jesus Christ; in effect, the ruling tribe of Israel, John 6:71. “Iscariot” or man of Kerioth tells us he was part of the tribe of Judah, Josh 15:25. Judas was the only one of the twelve not a Galilean.
- Judas was called by Jesus Christ, Mat 10:4; Mark 3:19; Luke 6:16.
- He was numbered as one of the twelve, Mat 10:4.
- He was given a trusted position; he was the treasurer, John 12:6; 13:29.
- He was also present at the Last Supper, John 13:26.
The implications are that he was present at all of the discourses of our Lord, between the time of his call and the time of the Last Supper. In grace, Jesus and the Father gave Judas every opportunity for salvation, but Judas, by his own volition, chose not to accept Jesus as His savior, which led him to betray Jesus.
Judas’ Negative Volition is Seen by What He Sowed.
- He allowed himself to fall under demonic influence, John 13:2, so much so that he allowed Satan’s possession during the betrayal, Luke 22:3; John 13:27.
- He protested the honoring of the Lord with perfume, John 12:3-9.
- He was covetous, John 12:4-6.
- He was a thief, John 12:6. Judas stole money from the treasury. He broke the Eighth commandment, Ex 20:15, by stealing from the money bag; he broke the golden rule, by stealing money that was meant for the poor; and he disregarded the Lord’s statement, “You cannot serve God and wealth”, Mat 6:24; Luke 16:13. Judas stole because his love for money was his god.
a) Judas used the poor as a pretense to hoard money, John 12:4-6.
John 12:4-6, “But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, 5“Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?” 6Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.”
- Judas had no fear of God and did not fear the Lord God. It is interesting that the penitent thief on the cross believed on Jesus and rebuked the other thief by saying, “Do you not fear God…”, Luke 23:40. For him to steal from the bag, he was stealing from the Lord. Judas did not regard the Ten Commandments. He was blinded by his own greed. He appeared to be religious, outwardly, so much so that the disciples had no idea who was to betray the Lord.
- Judas sought a way to, and bargained to, betray the Lord Jesus Christ, Mark 14:10-11; Luke 22:6.
Luke 22:6, “So he consented, and began seeking a good opportunity to betray Him to them apart from the crowd.”
a) Judas actually sought opportunity. Apparently, he loved money so much; he would do anything to have it. His betrayal was premeditated. He was looking for an opportune time to betray Jesus, and he was dishonest. All the while pretending to be Jesus’ friend, yet in his heart, seeking a time to betray the Lord. He did not believe the words of Jesus, “Before Abraham was, I AM,” John 8:58.
b) It is also apparent that Judas did not fear God, in the fact that he entered into agreement to betray the Lord with the religious leaders of his day. Those particular leaders also did not fear God; for they crucified Jesus for fear that He would come and take their place, John 11:48.
- He was bribed to become a traitor, Mat 26:14-16.
- He had an unbelieving heart.
In Mat 26:24-25 Judas asked, “Is it I?” Why would Judas ask the question, knowing that Jesus would answer? Could it be that he did not believe that Jesus knew the answer?
a) Judas had an evil heart of unbelief. We know this by his “fruits.” Judas, most likely, was testing Jesus to see if the Lord knew who would betray Him. Could it be that Judas doubted Jesus’ knowledge of things or else how could he have stolen in the first place?
John 6:64, “Jesus said, ‘But there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.”
- He was a bad influence on the rest of the disciples, Mat 26:7-13, leading the disciples to malign Mary of Bethany, John 12:3, for anointing Jesus.
a) The book of Matthew does not record who started the argument, but the book of John Judas Iscariot started it and influenced some of the other disciples to be angry with the woman.
b) The anointing of Jesus seems to have been the catalyst for Judas’ desire to betray the Lord. He was angry that he could not sell the ointment and receive the proceeds. He was also rebuked by Jesus, “Let her alone…” In any case, he saw the anointing of Jesus as “waste.”
c) As a result, Judas went to the chief priests and asked them, “What will you give me?” in Mat 26:14-15. His motivation being one of greed.
Mat 26:14-15, “Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15and said, “What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?” And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him.”
Mark 14:10-11, “Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests in order to betray Him to them. 11They were glad when they heard this, and promised to give him money. And he began seeking how to betray Him at an opportune time.”
- Judas was unclean, which is a metaphor for “unsaved.”
John 13:11, “For He (Jesus) knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, ‘Not all of you are clean.’”
a) In the above passage, the Greek word for “clean” is KATHROS, and literally means, “clean, clear, or pure.”
Titus 1:15 says, “To the pure (KATHROS), all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.”
John 13:16-18, “Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. 18I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me.’”
- He came up with “the kiss” idea all by himself, Mat 26:47-48, with John 18:3.
In Middle Eastern culture, a kiss on the cheek was a sign of friendship. Judas took a sign of affection and friendship in which to betray the Son of God. How evil he must have been. Notice that he also said, “hold him fast.” In other words, “seize him.” No wonder Jesus called him a “devil.”
This betrayal was prophesized in Psa 41:9 and fulfilled in Luke 22:48.
Psalm 41:9, “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.”
Luke 22:48, “But Jesus said to him, ‘Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?’”
Jesus dealt with Judas in absolute grace. Our Lord honored him by giving him volitional privacy and the honorable morsel to dip after the main course. Judas repays our Lord’s gracious honor by kissing Him on the cheek, not out of love or friendship but to identify Him as a criminal, Mat 26:14, 47-50, Mark 14:43-45; Luke 22:47-48.
Notice Jesus’ reply, in Mat 26:50, as He still calls Judas, “friend.”
Judas Iscariot Reaped What He Sowed, Unrighteousness; as do All Who Reject God’s Plan of Salvation, Hosea 10:13; Gal 6:7-8.
Hosea 10:13, “You have plowed wickedness, you have reaped injustice, you have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your way.”
Gal 6:7, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”
Therefore, Judas Iscariot reaped:
Demonic Influence and Possession, as we have noted above, Luke 22:3; John 13:2, 27. A saved person cannot be demon possessed. Only an unsaved person can be demon possessed. Light and darkness cannot dwell together.
The Eternal Title of Betrayer, because he willfully became a betrayer of our Lord Jesus Christ, Mat 26:20-25; John 13:26-30.
- His name is always listed last among the lists of apostles with his ominous identification, Mat 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:13-16;
Mat 10:4, “and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him.”
Mark 3:19, “and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him.”
Luke 6:16, “and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.”
“Betrayed” is the Greek verb, PARADIDOMI and means, “to hand over, to give or deliver over, to betray.” In Matthew, it is a Participle, Verb, in the Aorist Tense that means, “Judas was a betrayer that kept on betraying.” In Mark, it’s a Simple Aorist Tense, Verb viewing the entirety of the action of His betrayal of Jesus Christ. In Luke 6:16 we have “Traitor,” which is the Greek Noun PRODOTES that comes from the root word PRODIDOMI, and means, “a betrayer or traitor.”
In contrast, notice what Scripture says about the remaining 11, after Judas’ betrayal and death, where he is no longer listed among the disciples in Acts 1:14.
Acts 1:14, “These all (the remaining 11) with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer.”
The Title of “DIABOLOS.” Because our Lord knew he was of the devil and would betray Him, John 6:64, 70-71, Judas was considered “a devil” before he ever agreed to betray the Lord.
John 6:70-71, “Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?” 71Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.”
“Devil” is the Greek Adjective DIABOLOS that means, “to bring charges falsely, slanderous, accusing falsely.”
As a result of his consistent negative volition to the Plan of God, including the rejection of Jesus Christ as His Messiah, his soul was filled with slanderous viewpoint, constantly falsely accusing and judging everyone including Jesus Christ.
1 Tim 3:11, “Women (wives of deacons) must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips (DIABOLOS), but temperate, faithful in all things.” Also in 2 Tim 3:3; Titus 2:3.
Becoming a Type of the Antichrist, being called the “Son of Perdition” (Destruction), John 17:12. The only other person called the Son of Destruction is the Antichrist of the Tribulation, 2 Thes 2:3, who will also be a man of greed, appearing outwardly pious. The antichrist too shall take advantage of the poor and shall blaspheme God.
Physical Death, (according to God’s will and plan, not his own). In a failed attempt, he tried to kill himself, Mat 27:5, which resulted in crashing down onto a rock pile that finally killed him, Acts 1:16-20.
Mat 27:5, “And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself.”
Act 1:18-20, “(Now this man acquired a field with the price of his wickedness, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out. 19And it became known to all who were living in Jerusalem; so that in their own language that field was called Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20For it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘Let his homestead be made desolate, and let no one dwell in it’; and, ‘Let another man take his office.’” (Psa 69:25; 109:8)
Spiritual Death, (Being Assigned “to His Own Place,” that Being Hades itself.), Acts 1:25 cf. Mat 26:24 (“better if not born”).
Judas had remorse for his actions, yet did not come to repentant salvation, Mat 27:3-5.
Acts 1:25, “… this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.”
Judas’ end was the end of an unregenerate man. Notice that Judas did not go to God’s place but rather, “his own place.”
Proverbs 24:20, “For there will be no future, (ACHARITH – eternal life), for the evil man; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.”
1 Cor 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate (male homosexual or prostitute), nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”
Judas was with Jesus for over 3-years, sat at the Lord’s Table, followed Him, and fellowshipped in the company of Jesus and the rest of the disciples. He was a partaker in the Lord’s ministry and Jesus called him, “Friend.” Yet, Judas cared nothing about his friendship with the Lord. He cared nothing about the disciples. He cared nothing about the poor. He sold the Messiah, the Holy One of Israel, for thirty pieces of silver. He willingly betrayed Jesus, because his heart was full of wickedness. The love of money, the evil of his heart, and his greed had consumed him so that he was blinded to reality, until alas the money was in his hand and it did not satisfy. But even then, his arrogance would not allow him to accept Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior.
The Repentance of Judas was Not Unto Salvation.
Some have tried to make Judas a hero, saying that he deliberately sold Jesus to make sure the prophecies would be fulfilled. Yet, Jesus clearly stated that Judas was not a hero, but a devil, John 6:70, and that, though the prophecies would be fulfilled, he would still be guilty of deliberate sin, Mat 26:24.
Now to be fair, after Judas had committed his evil attack of betrayal against the Lord Jesus Christ, he did have remorse for his actions, yet he did not come to repentant salvation, Mat 27:3-5.
Mat 27:3, “Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders.”
The KJV says, “Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself….”
“Repented” is not a good word here; whereas, “he felt remorse” is a much better translation.
The Greek verb is METAMELOMAI and is used here as a Participle, Verb, in the Aorist Tense, and Passive-Deponent Voice. It comes from the Preposition META that means, “with, among, or after,” and has the understanding of “a change or reversal.” With this is the verb MELO that means, “to be an object of care, to care about,” which means, “having feelings for someone, strong feels or emotion.”
Therefore, METAMELOMAI means, “a change of feeling” in regard to “regret, being sorry, having remorse, changing one’s mind, etc.,” emphasizing the feelings involved. That is why the NASB did a good job of translating this, “he felt remorse.”
METAMELOMAI is not the word that is typically used for repentance for salvation. That word is METANOEO (meh-tah-no-eh-o).
Judas Iscariot felt sorry for himself, he was sincere in his sorrow for what he had done. He made restitution: he brought back the 30 pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, and he confessed his sin, “I have betrayed innocent blood.”
Judas’ remorse (METAMELOMAI) does not indicate a sorrow for sinning against God, but rather a remorse for the consequences of his actions. It is kind of like someone getting a speeding ticket and saying, “Oh, I’m sorry officer …was I speeding… If I had known, I would not have sped, …. please don’t give me a ticket.”
METAMELOMAI is a verb of emotion. As noted above, it is translated, “repented” in the KJV, and it is not a good translation. Judas felt sorry for himself, but the Greek word for true repentance for salvation is METANOEO, which too is a compound word. NOEO means, “to think,” and as noted above META has the understanding of “a change or reversal.” So, the whole word means, “a reversal in thinking, a complete change of mind, or purpose.” This is the word generally translated, “repent,” in regard to salvation, Acts 2:38; 17:30; 26:20; Rev 2:21-22, etc.
So METAMELOMAI here means, “to feel sorry, to feel guilty,” and it is strictly an emotional connotation. The sad thing is that most of the time, it is translated, “repent,” especially in the KJV, and what makes it even sadder is that today repent means just about anything you want it to mean.
Generally, in theological circles, it has been so abused that it means, “to feel sorry for sin,” but it does not mean to feel sorry for sin, it never did mean to feel sorry for sin.
Repent means a complete change of mental attitude, and the object of the change is declared by the Accusative Case in context. But METAMELOMAI is strictly an emotional word, all emotion here. And Judas has now become just exactly where any person going into the tongues movement is when he gets all worked up and ecstatic.
There is not any difference between Judas Iscariot, at this point, and some knuckle head involved with tongues.
Judas has emotion plus sincerity plus a guilt complex, and this is about as low as you can get. These are some of the greatest enemies of the Christian life. There is no excuse for any believer having a guilt complex for more than five seconds, long enough to confess it.
But also keep in mind that confession of sin(s), (1 John 1:9), is for believers only. Judas Iscariot was an unbeliever and was not forgiven, because he confesses his sin.
In addition, Judas would not and did not call Jesus “Lord,” as in Mat 26:25, he calls Him “Rabbi,” again showing his lack of belief in who Jesus was.
Yet, one day he will be forced to call Jesus His Lord, Phil 2:9-11.
Mat 27:4, “Saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!”
Confession of sin(s) is for the believer only. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that repentance, confessing sins, and doing good works saves someone, and neither was Judas saved by these actions.
Judas Iscariot was an unbeliever and was not forgiven, just because he confessed his sin or was sorrowful or gave back the money, nor did any of these things bring him salvation.
When Judas saw that Jesus was condemned, he was conscience stricken. Judas felt sorry for what he had done. He confessed his sin when returning the silver, “I have betrayed innocent blood.” So, He said, “I have sinned,” vs. 4, because he had been caught in the act, but he did not show any true repentance for salvation.
Notice what he said, “I have betrayed…” It was still all about himself.
Therefore, Judas did not repent of his sin. He had regret for betraying “innocent blood,” but notice that he did not say, “I betrayed the Messiah…the Son of David.”
He was trying to rid himself of his guilt. He did not storm in and yell, “Jesus is innocent. He is the Messiah.” Rather, he only came to the chief priests in the morning; when he saw that Jesus was condemned to death.
- He was sincere in his sorrow for what he had done.
- He made restitution and gave back the 30 pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.
- Yet he had rejected the truth and believed a lie.
Mat 27:5, “And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself.”
His love of money (and probably selfish desire to be a leader in an earthly kingdom) kept him in the band of disciples, but his heart was never with Christ. We see that the thing he loved the most, he threw away, money.
All night long, as Jesus was being tried and beaten and questioned, Judas held on to his money. It was only when he saw that Jesus was condemned to die that he went to the priests. It was an act to redeem himself, from his guilt. It was a futile attempt to undo what he had done.
What was his attitude toward Christ? He loved Christ the least; he loved money the most. Christ was a detail; money was utopia.
Now, if he throws money away, he will also throw away anything less than money in his own mind. Jesus Christ is less than money to him. So, by throwing away the money, he is showing us that he has turned down Jesus Christ too.
As a result, Judas took his own life, because Satan is a murderer, John 8:44. But it is interesting that Judas had to confess that Christ was innocent first, Vs. 4.
Judas went far toward repentance, he acknowledged that he sinned, in that he betrayed innocent blood, yet his confession was not to salvation. He confessed of his sin, but not to God; he did not go to Him, and say, “Father, I am a sinner and I need Your Savior.”
God is not, nor should man be, satisfied with such partial convictions, where the person remains full of pride, enmity, and rebellion.
Salvation is found only one way and that is through faith in the Savior alone, Eph 2:8-9, and Judas did not believe who Jesus truly was, or why He had come.
Rather than asking God for forgiveness, Judas chose to end his life. Apparently, he did not believe the words of Jesus concerning hell. He tried to kill himself, thinking that it would end it all for him, all his guilt and shame.
Jer 2:26 says that, “the thief is shamed when he is discovered.” Judas did not experience the “godly sorrow that leads to repentance”, but rather a worldly sorrow that leads to death.
2 Cor 7:10, “For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.”
But alas, Judas awoke to find himself in eternity and Hades, from where there is no escape.
Christ’s death purchased the redemption of the world; Judas’ death purchased a cemetery for strangers!
Contrast this with Peter, who cut off the ear of the servant in Gethsemane, and followed Jesus from a distance. He, being let into the court yard by the apostle John, wanted to be near Jesus, but denied the Lord out of fear. Peter’s denial was not premeditated. It was spontaneous. At the Last Supper, he told the Lord, “I will never deny you,” but Jesus told him that he would. Peter’s heart did not want to deny the Savior. When the rooster crowed for the last time, Peter remembered the words of Jesus and ran away and wept bitterly. Peter loved Jesus and repented with a godly sorrow, not for himself but because he failed to stand up for the Lord. It was not self-pity, but rather godly repentance. Peter did not commit suicide, but rather wept bitterly for his sin against the Messiah.
And, in contrast to the life of Judas, we are command in Hosea 10:12, “Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the LORD until He comes to rain righteousness on you.”
Let us review what we have learned…
Judas, of his own free will, chose to steal from the Lord. He chose to break the commandments. He chose his own sinful way. He stole from the moneybag; he cared nothing for the poor; he went to the chief priests of his own free will; he agreed to betray the Lord, not because he believed in the cause of the chief priests, but because he was to receive money; he sought the perfect opportunity to betray Jesus.
“Man as of old by himself is priced. For thirty pieces Judas sold himself, not Christ.” ~ Hester H. Cholmondeley
Some Pentecostals erroneously believe that Judas was once saved because of the miracles that he performed in the name of Jesus, but the Scriptures tell a different story.
Judas Iscariot was NEVER saved. The Bible says in the Book of Acts that he went to “his own place.” It is our firm belief that Judas went to hell, because that is where all unbelievers go.
Judas did not possess any “fruit” of being saved. He had no fear of God. He witnessed all of the miracles that Jesus did. He saw people raised from the dead. He, himself, may have performed miracles in the name of Jesus, but Judas Iscariot did not truly believe in Jesus. He was not a Believer. He had unbelief. Judas heard the Lord speak about money, and he cared nothing about what Jesus said, and he cared nothing about Jesus. He betrayed the Son of God with a kiss.
Judas was the treasurer of the disciples with greed in his heart, and a follower of the Lord Jesus, but not a Believer. His evil heart led him to commit the most heinous act in all of human history…the betrayal of the Messiah– the Lord Jesus Christ.
Just because one performs miracles in Jesus’ name, does not make them saved. The Lord will say to those false prophets and teachers…”I NEVER Knew you.”
Jesus said in Matthew 7:20-23, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in Your name have cast out devils? and in Your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.”
The bible records the “fruit” of Judas’ heart. Had he repented, it would have been said, as it is recorded about Peter repenting. Judas did not get saved. He was one of those who performed many miracles and did wonderful works but… Notice that Jesus says to the false apostles, “I NEVER knew YOU.” He did not say, “I knew you at one time…” but rather “I NEVER KNEW YOU.”
So, in conclusion, one must come to the realization that in light of what the Scriptures say, Judas followed Jesus for his own personal gain, but he was never a true believer. The Bible gives us no indication that Judas was ever a believer. A true believer cannot be demon possessed. A true believer in Christ would NEVER do the things that Judas did.
Judas was a liar, hypocrite, thief, unbeliever, who only cared about himself and his need for greed. He was a lover of money. He cared nothing for the poor. He allowed Satan to possess him. An evil heart is cultivated over time– the hardening of his heart through the love of sin. Judas willingly, of his own free will, betrayed the Creator of the Universe– the Lord Jesus Christ– with a kiss. Judas did not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ Jesus said in John 3:20, “For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”
Judas went to his “own place.” He willfully chose his own path and rejected the Messiah. Judas did not believe, which is blatantly obvious to anyone who has read the Gospels. He traveled the wide road…the road to perdition– the road to destruction. Jesus called him, “the son of perdition.”
Many people are traveling in the way of Judas Iscariot today. They are religious. They go to church. They are outwardly pious, but inwardly far from God. They have never received Christ as their personal Savior. They have never had their sins forgiven. They have never been born again of God’s Spirit. They are trying to attain Heaven by their own good deeds. The Bible tells us that our righteousness is as filthy rags. Only Jesus is righteous and that is why one must put their total faith in Him alone. Jesus is the ONLY way to Heaven. One must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in order to be saved:
Isa 64:6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
Eph 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
John 3:3, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
John 3:36, “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him.”
John 10:10, “The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
John 12:46, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believes on me should not abide in darkness.”