Jesus picked Judas

Have you ever asked yourself the question, why did Jesus pick Judas Iscariot as his disciple?

Some people say that it was because Jesus knew that Judas would betray him.

As one of the twelve disciples, Jesus picked Judas Iscariot. Judas was a “devil” (John 6:70; John 6:71), a “thief” (John 12:6), an unbeliever (John 6:64), and spiritually filthy (John 13:10), but he was a valued member of the group (John 13:29).

Given that Jesus “understood what was in each individual” (John 2:25), it may seem perplexing that He would choose Judas to betray Him.

Jesus picked Judas as a disciple because, in the end, Judas fit into God’s plan. Jesus had come to earth to die for the forgiveness of sins.

That death,

“the righteous for the unjust” (1 Peter 3:18, NKJV),

was not by chance but was God’s predetermined plan.

When John the Baptist saw Jesus approaching for baptism, he exclaimed,

“Behold, the Lamb of God, who wipes away the sin of the world!” (ESV, John 1:29)

Judas did not deceive Jesus. He was well aware of Judas’ personality and intentions:

“Jesus had known from the outset who of them did not believe and who would betray him” (John 6:64).

We find in Judas a clear illustration of how a person might be religious, hear the Word of God taught, see real miracles, and appear to be saved while not being born again.

One of the reasons Jesus selected Judas was to fulfill prophecy.

“The Son of Man will depart precisely as it is written about him,”

Jesus says of His impending betrayal (Matthew 26:24; cf. John 13:18).

Why would Jesus choose Judas to be a disciple or an apostle knowing full well that he would betray Him? He had to have a valid cause, and He did.

the disciple Judas

Jesus Calls the Twelve

In Luke 6, Jesus names the Twelve Apostles: “Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor” (Luke 6:14; Luke 6:15; Luke 6:16).

When reading the Book of Acts, these apostles seem to be named by the influence each will have, with the Apostle Peter being the most prominent.

Given that Judas comes last, why would Jesus choose him as an apostle knowing that he would betray Him? Throughout Jesus’ earthly career, none of the other apostles suspected Judas would betray Jesus.

They didn’t find out until the night Jesus was betrayed when Judas and a big troop of soldiers arrived to capture Him. When Judas volunteered to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, they were as surprised as the Jewish officials.

No one had suspected Judas until that point. Because only Jesus knew, why would Jesus summon Judas when He knew Judas would betray Him? There’s a very excellent reason for this.

Prophecy fulfilled

Judas was selected to be an apostle because he had not been chosen to obtain everlasting life. That may seem to be an easy way out, yet for whatever reason, God decides to rescue some while not rescuing others.

Just be thankful that God rescued you! Don’t even think about it. Because He chose us, we are not superior to others; we are just better off! Only by God’s gift of grace can anybody be saved (Ephesians 2:8).

On the night He was betrayed, Jesus stated, While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me.

“I have protected them, and none have perished save the son of destruction, so that the Scripture may be fulfilled” (John 17:12).

Part of the explanation is,

“the Scripture must be fulfilled.”

When the psalmist says,

“Even my buddy in whom I relied on, who ate my food, has raised his heel against me,”

he is referring to Jesus (Psalm 41:9).

This is akin to Jesus’ statement about Judas,

“He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me” (Matthew 26:23).

The prophecy of the psalmist was written 1,000 years before Jesus’ betrayal. Jesus did eat bread with Judas at the Last Supper, and Judas did “raise his heel” against Him.

“But look, the hand of someone who betrays me is with me on the table,”

Jesus says in Luke (Luke 22:21).

Jesus mentions His betrayer eating and fellowshipping with them twice.

According to Psalm 55:13, which seems to be a prophecy regarding Judas, Judas would appear to be “a man, my equal, my buddy, my familiar friend,” but he “reached forth his hand against his pals” (Psalm 55:20), most likely referring to the disciples.

God’s decision

There might be such Judases among us now. Remember, Judas was the church treasurer, and none of the other apostles suspected that he would betray Jesus. They even questioned whether it might be them at times!

Why did Jesus summon Judas?

God may use evil to do good (Genesis 50:20), but He is never the cause of evil.

That evil comes from below and lives inside us as a fallen component of the rest of creation.

We make wrong choices, but God may use them to benefit others or ourselves in some way, but God does not entice us to sin.

I don’t believe any of us need assistance in that area (Romans 3:10; Romans 3:11; Romans 3:12).

God chose certain vessels for destruction for reasons we cannot fathom, much as a potter might have a pile of worthless pottery…only to be tossed into the fire, but He also chose other vessels to be exalted.

God’s response to Moses was the same as God’s response to the Apostle Paul:

“I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (Exodus 33:19; Romans 9:16).

We don’t know why, and it’s not our place to speculate. It wasn’t because we were “exceptional.” That’s all I need to know; God knows why. Simply praise Him for choosing you at all (John 6:44)!

Conclusion Why Did Jesus pick Judas Iscariot

Why did Jesus choose Judas? The most important motive is to fulfill the prophecy. Jesus foresaw Judas betraying Him. Jesus could have picked someone else, but Scripture required it.

This is a crucial lesson for Christians.

Just because someone claims to be a Christian does not guarantee they are. According to 1 John 2:19, if a person abandons the faith, they were never a real Christian.

When we want to understand how God acts from eternity past to eternity future, one of the greatest books or epistles in the Bible to read is Ephesians.

God, via the Apostle Paul, states here that He

“chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we might be pure and blameless before him.”

I’m in love” (Ephesians 1:4).

We should not imagine God saying,

“Wow, those two are so unique, I guess I’ll rescue him and her.”

That won’t fly at Heaven’s Supreme Court.

There is just too much evidence against us (Romans 3:10; Romans 3:11; Romans 3:12; Romans 3:23). God only rescued us because he was “in love.” There might be additional causes we don’t know about, but I believe knowing it was “in love” is sufficient.

We should be the most contented people on the earth. This is because God “predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the plan of his will” (Ephesians 1:5). It was not our will, but His.

We do not have the power to select God.

Grave individuals cannot make decisions (Ephesians 2:1; Ephesians 2:2; Ephesians 2:3; Ephesians 2:4), thus Lazarus could not have assisted Jesus in raising him from the dead by wiggling his little toe.

Don’t attempt to justify why God chose us over someone else. You just cannot. It wasn’t because we were wonderful; it was because the Lovely One initially adored us (1 John 4:19).

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