CHRISTOPHER - Is there anywhere
in the scriptures or anywhere for that matter where
Judeas was not as bad as we make him out to be. In my
heart of heart I just want to believe that it was all
in Christ's plan. I heard it said that out of all the
Apostles only Judeas did he call friend twice. I also
heard that Judeas really got paid because it was the
law. I just can't help believe that
even though it seems wrong Judeas betrayal was
planned thus not really making it a betrayal. Help me
clear this up and anyway you can.
JOEL - It is possible Judas had a testimony and followed Jesus willingly at first, but the scriptures support the fact that the betrayel by Judas was both prophesied and a true betrayal.
Though Judas seems to be an important member of the Twelve, as indicated by his being treasurer of the group (John 12:6; 13:29) and the possibility of his reclining by Jesus at the Last Supper (John 13:21-26), his name in the New Testament is always placed last in the list of the disciples. This listing was due to his betrayal of Jesus.
Judas' greed and questionable character were described by both Luke and John who said:
"Then entered Satan into Judas." (Luke 22: 3) and "He was a thief." (John 12:6)
The betrayal is a fullfilment of Bible prophecy from Jesus Himself:
"And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men:" (Matt 17:22)
"And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said." (Matt. 26: 21, 25)
And by the Psalmist:
"They took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life." (Ps. 31:13.)
As to the role of Judas in those conspiracies, the Psalmist says:
"Mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me." (Ps. 41:9.)
Even the price for the betrayel was prophesied. Judas said,
"What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?" he asked. "And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him." (Matt. 26:14-16.)
"Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us?
see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.
And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.
Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet (actually Zechariah said it), saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me." (Matt. 27:3-10.)
This fulfills that which Zechariah had said:
"If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord." (Zech. 11:12-13.)
Even though Judas' betrayal was prophesied and expected (and perhaps even planned as you suggested), God would never tamper with the agency of man. But knowing the end from the beginning and knowing what choices Judas would make, God used Judas to bring about His purposes.
During three and a half years he had eaten at the Master's table, witnessed his miracles, listened to his teachings; but by his own will chose to turn his back on the Savior.
The Joseph Smith translation of Mark 14:30-31 gives us a reason for the betrayal:
"And he said unto Judas Iscariot, What thou doest, do quickly; but beware of innocent blood.
Nevertheless, Judas Iscariot, even one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests to betray Jesus unto them; for he turned away from him, and was offended because of his words." (JST Mark 14:30-31)
"The guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center." (1 Ne. 16:2.)
Judas was very sorrowful to the point of suicide because of what he did (Matt. 27:4-5), but nevertheless there's no way to sugarcoat the fact that he allowed satan to get into his heart and commit that awful deed.
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