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  1. A Questioning Faith: Was Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of free-will or pre-destined?

  2. Original Question Why is Judas Iscariot so hated, if it was pre-destined in the Old Testament that Jesus would be betrayed and put to death? If we are forgiven for betrayal’s and bad choices in our life, why hasn’t he? Why did Jesus choose Judas as a disciple except to fulfill the prophecy? I feel sorry for him that he is remembered so badly, yet, if Jesus hadn’t been betrayed, how would he have saved us?

  3. Who was Judas? • Very little is known about him • Gospels are only reference source

  4. What do the Gospels say? • Introduced as one of the 12 chosen by Jesus In Matthew and Mark “Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus”

  5. What do the Gospels say? • In Luke “Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor” • In John “Judas son of Simon Iscariot, for he, though one of the twelve, was going to betray him”

  6. As a Disciple • John notes- treasurer, but not a good one • He often would dip into the funds for his own needs

  7. Predictions of Jesus Death • 3 predictions • None refer to who would betray “For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed.”

  8. Initiation of betrayal • Expressed need of Jewish leaders to arrest Jesus apart from the crowd • Matthew and Mark- Judas initiates

  9. Initiation of betrayal • Luke and John- note that Satan entered into Judas

  10. The Last Supper • Jesus announces his betrayal • Mark and Luke- Jesus does not identify

  11. The Last Supper • Matthew- Judas says, “Is it I?” and Jesus responds, “You have said so.” • John- Jesus gives Judas the bread and sends him out “Whatever you do, do it quickly.”

  12. Act of betrayal • Judas leads mob into garden • Judas identifies Jesus with a kiss

  13. Act of betrayal • Various responses by Jesus: “Friend do what you are here to do” – Matt. “Judas, is it with a kiss you betray the son of Man?” – Luke

  14. Aftermath • Only in Matthew • Judas repents • Returns money

  15. Aftermath “I have sinned for betraying innocent blood” • Judas hangs himself

  16. Interpretation • Acts is only source • Agenda is not Judas’s betrayal, but his death • Peter states that Judas’ death was necessary to fulfill scripture “Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas…”

  17. Free-will or Pre-destined? “freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention.”

  18. Biblical Understanding “Although we may not like to admit it, honest analysis of our own experience tells us that in the deepest sense, none of us is really free. What we will and how we live is determined to a large extent by where and when we were born…what we want and strive for is motivated to a large extent by anxiety,

  19. pride, envy, greed, and lust… so the enslavement to all these external and internal ‘powers’ is what scripture calls our enslavement to sin. The brutal fact is that we are not nearly as free as we like to think.” Shirley Guthrie

  20. Free-will or Pre-destined? “freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention.”

  21. Judas’ act of betrayal • Was not coerced by God, it was his choice • Was understood as part of a larger plan than just his decision

  22. Example #1- Luke’s story • Luke 4 Jesus is tempted by the devil “When the devil had finished every test, he departed from Jesus until an opportune time.”

  23. Example #1- Luke’s story • When Judas decided to turn Jesus over, Satan entered his heart • He was disillusioned • He attempted to force Jesus to act • Handed him over to force conversation

  24. Example #1- Luke’s story “Judas may be influenced by Satan, but he has fallen victim to the rule of mammon which works against the dominion of God…” Joel Green

  25. Example #2- Acts story • Judas’ death creates a gap in the role of the 12 • Judas’ replacement with Matthias is a part of God’s greater plan for 12 apostles

  26. Conclusions • Judas acts in free will, but his free will act becomes a part of God’s larger plan • Based on Matthew’s text Judas may well have been forgiven • Jesus chose Judas not so he would betray. Judas was chosen just like everyone else. • God’s plan of salvation was not dependent on Judas’s betrayal