BLOG: The Difference Between Me and Judas


The Difference Between Me and Judas
Companion blog to “Judas

Last week we looked at whether or not Judas had a choice to betray Jesus.  We know that God needed Judas to betray the Son of God so that God’s plan of redemption for His chosen people[1] could unfold.  So, no, in that sense, Judas did not have a choice: it was in accord with God’s very “definite plan and foreknowledge[2]” for the crucifixion.  Judas’ actions were damningly sinful but not a mistake.

“The fact that Judas’ betrayal was part of God’s plan does not free him from the guilt of a crime he entered into willfully.  God’s sovereignty is never a legitimate excuse for human guilt.[3]

In Accord with Satan

Oh, and there is not the small matter of Jesus potentially lying to Simon Peter in John 13:25-28 when He definitively said that it would be Judas that betrayed Him.  Jesus said this about Judas before Satan entered into him for the second time.[4]  This is actual satanic possession or a giving-one-over to “…unbelief and rebellion.  God had already decided what Judas would do.  One could say Judas could not have changed his own mind (especially now) and made Jesus out to be a liar.  At the same time, one must also say Judas would not have changed his own mind.

“This [satanic involvement] does not exonerate Judas, because his wicked heart desired exactly what the devil desired, the death of Jesus.  The devil and Judas were in accord.[5]

If not Judas, then who?

If Judas had possessed the absolute freedom to make a choice in this matter, then God would have needed a back-up plan just in case the already devious Judas’ conscience got the better of him.  Then who would God have scrambled around and found to do the deed?  James?  John?  Luke?  Matthew?  Pardon my sarcasm, but God doesn’t do backup plans when human beings spoil sovereign design, because it can’t happen.[6] God did not create beings more powerful than Himself.  There are those whom God gave to Jesus[7] to live with Him forever and there are those God did not.  Judas was definitely in the “did not choose” column.

Certainly God/Jesus knew Judas inside and out[8] before He ever asked him to join His band of disciples.  The whole group knew that Judas was pilfering the groups money.[9]  So, why did no one say anything?  Why does the Bible say that the disciples all acted like they had no idea who the betrayer of Jesus could possibly be?[10] Pastor Wilson posits that perhaps the others didn’t want to shine a light on Judas for fear a light might be shined on themselves; after all, we know of one instance of the disciples being vocally concerned with their own reputation and standing.[11]

Our sin process is the same as Judas’.

Pastor Wilson elaborates on the foundation of Judas’ devious actions in the second half of his sermon Judas.[12] This allows us to see that Judas’ actions leading up to the betrayal are no different than those which we progress through when our deep desires turn into sin.

James 1:12-15
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial [tempting desires], for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life [salvation], which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted [by sinful desires], “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

Answer – The Difference Between Me and Judas

So, Judas and I were both born full of desires.  Some of those desires are/were innocuous and some evil and wicked causing us to earn damnation to hell for our offenses against God.  It’s okay to admit this.  We are human and not perfect yet.  The difference in our fates, however, is that I have salvation through Christ.[13]  He did not.  Judas was just a hearer of Christ’s words with no intent on being a doer of them.[14]

Be truly grateful that you were chosen by God to be given over to the Son instead of given over to Satan.  Be overjoyed in the fact that the Holy Spirit will guide you away from the desires of your heart with a more focused desire on what God wants.[15] This doesn’t mean that you won’t have desires that lead to sin, but it can mean that you will hate your sin more and more, causing you to commit less and less grievous sin against Him.  This will inevitably bring more and more glory to God as you are transformed into the image of Christ.

I hope you will subscribe to this blog and keep learning all God has for you through these lessons taught by Pastor Steve Wilson of Grace Community Church.

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[1] Israel and then later those believers that were grafted in

[2] Acts 2:23, Acts 4:26-28

[3] Footnote for Luke 22:22 from The MacArthur Study Bible ESV 2016

[4] John 13:2 then John 13:27

[5] Footnote for John 13:2 from The MacArthur Study Bible ESV 2016

[6] Isaiah 46:9-12, Isaiah 55:10-11

[7] John 17:24

[8] Jeremiah 1:5, 2 Timothy 1:9, Romans 8:29, Psalm 139:13, Ephesians 1:3-4

[9] John 12:6

[10] Luke 22:22-23, John 13:22

[11] Luke 22:24-30

[12] Starting at minute 14:00

[13] James 1:12

[14] James 1:22-25

[15] Views from the Pew: What God Desires Most