Did Judas believe Jesus was the Messiah when he sold him out?

I recently heard someone allude to this and I never really thought about it.

What say you?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I don’t know
  • Other
0 voters

The reason I voted no is because I think that if he believed Jesus was the messiah, he wouldn’t have betrayed Him. Also if he made the mistake of betraying Jesus thinking Jesus would save himself, then he would know Jesus would forgive him. Jesus loved him.

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Good one! The hypothesis I heard was that Judas believed that Jesus was a savior the way the Jews were expecting one, a worldly savior to kick the Romans out, the belief that even Peter fell into when Christ said to Peter “get behind me satan… you think as men do.” I think that this storyline also puts Judas as a former follower of Barrabbas (who believed himself to be the Christ, the way Judas and the Jews wanted). Judas, being absolutely naive the way a corrupt mind is, thought that he would collect 30 pieces of silver for kicking things off, and that Jesus wouldn’t allow himself to be arrested and would instead begin establishing his earthly kingdom. My takeaway, regardless of whether this storyline is true, is that Jesus made sure that it was Judas that was undeniably responsible for his arrest in order to show that he suffered the passion even for the sake of those who would never benefit from it.

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Follow-up question: Do you believe Judas went to Heaven or Hell? This is often debated in Christian circles.

  • Heaven
  • Hell
0 voters

@Cade_One I think that question deserves an option for “I do not or cannot know”. While I have the box for typing I would also say that why would Christ say “it would be better for him had he never been born” unless Judas did not make it? (In my mind the only viable argument here is that Christ would have said “never conceived” instead of “never born” if hell was certain, but this is a stretch.)

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I was going to put that as an option, but then everyone would select “I don’t know,” because how could we know. So, I went with the forced binary.

I believe Judas went to Hell, in contrast to Peter’s denial and repentance. St. Peter denies Christ by a charcoal fire; he later reconciles with Jesus around a charcoal fire.

“People don’t seem to grasp that Heaven is simply the fruit of a life that pursues relationship with God on His terms and Hell is simply the fruit of a life that pursues its own course on its own terms.” — Mark Shea

I believe Judas chose to live life (and death) on his own terms, and thus choosing Hell.

But, I could also see Jesus meeting Judas somewhere between this life and the next (as God is outside of time & space) and forgiving Judas, in spite of his despair.


Aha, I can never pass up an opportunity to disagree :slight_smile:
I am nearly convinced that this dichotomy of “choose heaven or hell” is false, and that we are hopeless to go anywhere but where God chooses for us. “You do not choose me, I choose you” says Christ in one place, and in another “fear not the one who has the power to afflict the body, but fear the one who has power to cast both body and soul into hell.” And, did satan choose to go to hell, or was he put there by God? As far as I can tell, the choice satan made was ineffective, to expel the good angels from heaven. And from that choice onward, every choice satan made was ineffective, hence “I saw satan fall from heaven like lightening” (lightning is a cascade of electrons filling a hole to create a hole for the next one–it just struck me as being an antimatter phenomenon–and satan’s fall is a cascade of “I chose this, but found myself with that, and so then I chose the next this and found myself with the next that instead” and so on)

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I will have to look up this verse in it’s proper context, but on one hand I agree.

Someone once said (and I wish I could remember who, but I think it was one of the many Priests I listen to on Podcast) “All the other religions in the world, is man seeking God, but Christianity is the only one where God seeks man.”

The key parts of Shea’s quote is that we “pursue relationship” with God (once we have encountered Him) and it is important that we do so “on His terms.” A deep relationship with God is a covenant relationship. Dr. Scott Hahn has a great book entitled, A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God’s Covenant Love in Scripture.

So yes, God seeks us (Luke 19:10 & Revelation 3:20) and we choose either to reject God or to cooperate with His grace. To choose repentance or arrogance. To choose hope or despair. Or to choose sin or true freedom that comes from a life in Christ Jesus.

And yes, it is God who will judge the faithful from the unfaithful. But, we are not robots. We have been gifted with free-will to choose. For without free-will, could we even say that God loves us? Or that our love for Him is real. It would be more like Stockholm syndrome : )

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I think what I’m trying to say though is that God seeks us, and good luck rejecting Him. You won’t win that battle. And the principle here is that God does not make mistakes: this is in the meaning of Saint Michael’s name! If God seeks you, it is one and the same as you being one that is not lost. If God lets you go, He didn’t make a mistake by doing so. “Who is like God [who makes the evil ones evil and the good ones good]?” It would seem that Judas contradicts this, since Judas was called, but God could have prevented Judas from doing anything he did, God could have prevented satan from entering Judas, but He did not, and God did not make a mistake by failing to protect Judas either. Judas ended where he belonged, by God’s hand and without God receiving any rejection in the process. God does not get rejected, and if God wills it then it will be so. God is incapable of error, because if God does it then by definition it is not error.
And I think the truth of this is somewhat hidden in the words “many are called but few are chosen”.

This is what the Church defines as God’s permissive will, which means that just because God allows things to happen to those He loves, it does not mean He actively wills it to happen.

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Aha, the Church does not define God’s will as permissive or not, this is Saint Thomas Aquinas and I happen to consider that it is probably one of his errors. I assert that God does not have a divided will, His “permissive” will and his regular will are one in the same. I think that the characterization of God’s will as divided into permissive and not is still helpful for coming to understand God, not unlike how dividing by zero is forbidden until you get to calculus, but this division is a characterization and a true representation would have to dispose of this characterization.
I also assert that if God does not actively will a thing, then it does not happen to be in any way shape or form. God’s will alone is causal. A thing that God isn’t going to will to be could never have been and never has potential existence, and all that does come to be must have been willed by God. The mystery of the cross resolves the seeming contradiction–why did God allow Adam to sin? It could not be reconciled that God would have willed Adam’s sin except in the context of Christ. But, because of the good of Christ God not only willed Adam’s sin permissively, but actively so that Christ might come as He did.
I suspect that a perfect understanding of God’s will, which I do not have, would take that God only performs a single act of His will, and all that is falls under this single complete and perfect act. This would be like if I will to build a house, and so there are many decisions that fall under this one act of the will, but none of those individual decisions divide my one act of willing to build a house but rather compose it. So, if God has a single act of His will, then it would be composed of many subservient acts that might appear to one who has not obtained the beatific vision to be many acts of the will. (Note also that will and desire are not the same thing, will is of the spirit and desire is of the body.) It is conceivable that this single act of God’s will has as it’s object Mary’s salvation, as depicted by the parable of the man who sold all he had to purchase a field for the treasure that he knew was buried in it. The rest of us who are also saved are what comprise the rest of the field besides that treasure, if I understand the parable correctly.

God’s will alone is causal

Ok, I let out a lot in that one so it’s time for corrections. God’s will alone is directly causal, our wills are causal indirectly and through His willing with us. This is exemplified in that Christ is the direct cause of our salvation, Mary the indirect cause.

Perhaps I am not fully understanding your position, but to me, it sounds more Calvinistic than Catholic (though some argue that John Calvin actually did believe in free-will—depending how you define it).

Perhaps this is our disconnect. You and I define terms differently. I am having trouble understanding your position. I am enjoying this conversation though.

Based on your logic, would not God be the one sinning, if he is actively willing someone to sin?

Because of Adam’s sin, man is drawn towards sin, concupiscence, but I view this as a consequence of Adam’s disobedience, whereas someone else might see this as God “willing” this outcome, because He made the rule in the first place. God could have just gotten rid of the consequence by not making the rule in the first place. But, instead, He chose to right the wrong with the New Adam (His only begotten Son, Jesus), who chose obedience. As did Mary, the New Eve.

Some might say that because of God’s grace, both Jesus and Mary had no choice but to be obedient, however I still believe that both cooperated with God’s grace. To bring it back around, Judas, did not. Now did Mary and Jesus (His humanity) have special graces that Judas did not have? Yes. Did this mean that God loved Judas less, No.

God offers us grace and we can choose to cooperate with His grace or choose to try to build our own tower to salvation (Genesis 11:1–9). God can intervene with consequences or outcomes in our lives, but if He does not respond in the way that we think He ought, we should not conclude that God loves us less. For His ways are not our Ways (Isaiah 55:8).

The Parable of the Prodigal Son, the older son wrongly believed that because their father celebrated the younger son’s decision to return home as somehow taking away from his father’s love for him, is disordered. Or maybe the older son saw injustice. The father loved both of his children. The father did not will for his older son to go live the same path the younger son chose, nor did the father will for the younger son to take the path that he chose. But, I can see how the older son might wrongly think, well, I’ll show you. I’ll go sin ten times as bad as he did and see how much you really love me. But, this way of thinking (envy) is disordered.

The Parable of the Wages also addresses a similar situation. All of the workers chose to work. They were not forced to work. Had they not chosen to cooperate, they would not have received wages, but that was not the moral of the story. Those who worked for longer, were complaining that individuals who worked for less time received the same rewards. This parallels the entitlement mentality that the older brother held in the previous mentioned Parable.

Furthermore, I can’t think of a time when Jesus healed someone who either did not ask to be healed or someone faithful who knew the individual requested for them to be healed. If there is, please correct me.

No, you are not misinterpreting me. I am not Calvanist, that was Calvin who was that. I believe in God’s omnipotence, I believe that God is responsible for all sin. It is not because God is in any way impotent that sin exists, it is God’s will that the sinner sins. It doesn’t make any sense to try to introduce impotence into this in order to rationalize that God wills sin. In fact, it’s the other way around, it is mistakenly elevating sin to hold that in the end sin is evil. It is good that those who belong in hell justly end there. Nobody who goes to hell chooses hell, and nobody would choose hell. The choice that those who go to hell would have made is to stay in limbo perpetually, but Christ quickens us. He does not allow us to exist on the fence, as demonstrated by what happened to Judas when he received the Eucharist.
(To add a slight tangent…) Judas’ final sin was not rejection of God, it was despair. God never put Himself in the position to be rejected by Judas, nor is God capable of this because of His inherent glory. If we entertain for a second the insane possibility of God putting himself in the position to be rejected, Judas would not have been able to reject God and would have been saved, but this would not have been just and would also have cheated God of His glory.
I do think that the devil provides us with errors like that of Calivin so that we might recoil into a different error that denies God’s omnipotence. There is a sort of belief in dualism that comes with that. Let me clear that up, there is no glory apart from God. The one who would reject God never had the chance to do so.

I should add, so you can understand where I am coming from, that my theology is so extreme because I intend to address the deepest objections that the devil has against God. Specifically, that satan would say that I am only evil because God made me that way. To answer this requires a perfected theology, and so I regularly call on the name Quis ut Deus: there is no glory apart from God.
God never made a concession ever. He never had to. That’s God, with ways as high above mine as the stars are above the sky.

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Yeah, you and I have totally different views on this. But, you bring up a point about evil influences, in which we also agree. I believe that human beings can be tempted by Satan and his minions who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls (1 Peter 5:8).

Sure, but satan never tempted anyone except exactly the way God intended it to happen. God is not impotent in any way, shape, or form. Satan on the other hand is not just impotent, he is incontinent. Satan cannot help himself but to do what God means for him to do.

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I think I resolved some our differences, of course I would need your confirmation of that.

From the CCC:

  1. If God is omnipotent and provident, why then does evil exist?

To this question, as painful and mysterious as it is, only the whole of Christian faith can constitute a response. God is not in any way - directly or indirectly - the cause of evil. He illuminates the mystery of evil in his Son Jesus Christ who died and rose in order to vanquish that great moral evil, human sin, which is at the root of all other evils.

First, let’s distinguish between the feeling of guilt and true guilt. A person may do something or avoid doing something by which we can say he committed an evil or avoided a good that he had a duty to perform. But, there are many ways in which that person could be not at fault for this, and it is only when a person has true guilt that we can say his will was for the evil or avoidant of the good. The feeling of guilt is completely useless here, in fact those who are truly guilty tend not to feel it, and vice versa.

My position is in holding that true guilt is the only true evil. Guilt is the only evil that God does not intend to be, that God cannot correct, and for which God is not responsible. But, true guilt can only be known by being found behind an action or avoidance that is visibly evil. This visible evil is totally in God’s control, in fact God must provide the means and opportunity for the person who will be guilty to expose his guilt. And God does this, God does this perfectly and without error. And so, it is not truly evil that the action happens, in fact it is very good that those who are internally evil are externally found to be so, otherwise heaven could not be occupied exclusively by the righteous. They wouldn’t be righteous to exclude the evil ones because there would be no just way of excluding them without the realization of sin. The action is not the guilt.

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I have often wondered about the fate of Judas. It seems he was doomed from the start, because I feel God put him here specifically for the purpose of betraying Jesus. That HAD to happen to fulfill the prophecies, no? Could he possibly have chosen another path? I suppose if you think about it, he did have the option to repent and be saved. Do we know if he did repent? I could go back and forth in my head on this topic for days…(and I have lol)

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Getting back to Judas. didn’t Jesus say it would have been better for him if he had not been born? That, to me, would imply that Judas went to Hell.