Q: If God knows everything, and Jesus is God, why did He choose Judas as one of His disciples if He knew he would betray Him?

It was precisely because Jesus knew that Judas would betray him that He chose him as a disciple. For us to be saved, it was essential that Jesus die for our sins on the cross — and Judas’ treachery would lead to that event.

As popular as Jesus was, the authorities knew that it could be disastrous to seize Him with a lot of people around, people who could rush to His aid. They needed to know when and where He would be relatively alone, and Judas was just the man to give them this insider information.

As awful as the crucifixion was, this central event in history was wonderful in its effect. Indeed, that’s why we call the day on which it occurred, “Good Friday.” And though it seemed to signal a breakdown in Jesus’ ministry, when the world turned on Him despite His life-giving teaching and healing, it came right on schedule according to a plan put in place from the very founding of the world. Throughout human history, Jesus was to be the sacrificial lamb, who would die for the sins of His people (Revelation 13:8).

Judas treachery came as no surprise to Jesus. The Bible teaches that the Lord knew what was in the hearts of all men, including Judas (John 2:24-25), who was the perfect traitor, whom Jesus would even call “a devil” (John 6:70). His character was deeply flawed. For one thing, he was a thief, who helped himself to the disciples’ living funds (John 12:4-6). Furthermore, he took no care to guard his heart, so Satan could “enter him” at will (John 13:27).

We can only imagine Satan’s delight on finding such an evil and usable man in Jesus’ inner circle. He exploited Judas’s character for what he thought would be great gain, the execution of the Son of God, but he fell into a trap. Jesus’ death, and subsequent resurrection, broke Satan’s grip on countless souls, giving them eternal life. In a word, the devil’s use of Judas backfired.

Jesus did not turn Judas into a traitor; He selected him because He already had a traitorous character. And as a number of New Testament passages make clear, the particulars of his treachery were anticipated centuries in advance. For example, the prophet Zechariah spoke of someone’s throwing thirty pieces of silver to the potter (Zechariah 11:13). That’s precisely the amount Christ’s enemies paid Judas for his cooperation, and that same money was used to buy a burial place for Judas in a potter’s field, once he’d committed suicide in remorse for his horrible deed.

So did Jesus choose a traitor knowingly? Absolutely, from a long time back. He knew that Judas was precisely the sort of man who would push Him toward the cross. And so, in selecting him as a disciple, He helped arrange His own death – for our sake.

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3 thoughts on “Q: If God knows everything, and Jesus is God, why did He choose Judas as one of His disciples if He knew he would betray Him?”

  1. I find it difficult to reconcile that Jesus knowingly used Judas as a patsy/tool. Jesus warns Peter of denying him 3 times, but he doesn’t give the same courtesy to Judas. Isn’t it a bit unfair? How would you feel if God thought all you were good for was betrayal and to be a means to an end? Where was Jesus’ mercy and benevolent love? Not present here – Jesus needed Judas to play his role. This gets me really riled up.

    1. I’m so sorry you missed the point. Jesus did not USE Judas as a “patsy”. Judas chose to betray Jesus himself. Jesus said many times “one of you will betray me” which gave Judas fair warning to decide NOT to do it. (John :70-71). Judas even asked Jesus if it was him that is going to betray Jesus? Jesus told him you already know. (Matthew 26:25). Jesus only “advised” Peter of his denial after Peter insisted he never would do it. (Matthew 26:33-35). . (He still did it. Matthew 26:69-75). Judas could have stopped and repented any time. He like us had free will. Judas chose to betray Jesus from the beginning of the world, (Just as God knows your heart right now). Yet he Loves you. John 3;16

      1. Michelle Stepney

        Amen! Exactly what I was about to say to clarify what she misunderstood. Peter just came out and told Jesus upfront without any questions that I will Never deny you. So Jesus just came out and told him straight up, son you will betray me thrice. In Judas situation, he knew it was him that would betray Christ but I believe Judas was a little doubtful that Jesus was the Christ. I guess in Judas heart he was wondering what many of us is wondering. If Christ knows our heart and our next moves, why did he choose me to be a disciple knowing that I am a devil with a hard heart? So, Judas tried to use psychology on Jesus by asking Him is it I that would betray Him just to see what Jesus would say. In other words,Judas is saying to himself, I know I am the one that is going to betray Him but do he know that I am he? Jesus answered and said Ye already know. That still left Judas confused because of the way Jesus answered it. In other words, let’s reword this in the way that we speak today. We,as people do not like for anyone to insult out intelligence and play us like a fool, so we may get alil nice nasty with someone who try. In our mind if someone who’s plotting on us and we know what they are doing to hurt us,ask a crazy question like that, ‘Is it I?’ In my mind I would be saying,’Boy/girl don’t play with me!’ You know exactly who you are. That’s how Jesus felt. Sometimes you have to reinact the Bible into modern day life and you will understand the word more. Hope this helped.

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