Q. Was Judas Iscariot predestined to be lost? If not how do you explain Matthew 26:25; John. 13:27-30; 17:11-12; Psalm 41:9; Acts 1:16?
20 Now when evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples.
21 As they were eating, He said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me.”
22 Being deeply grieved, they each one began to say to Him, “Surely not I, Lord?”
23 And He answered, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me.
24 “The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”
25 And Judas, who was betraying Him, said, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” Jesus *said to him, “You have said it yourself.”
During the course of the Passover supper, Christ informed the disciples that one of them would betray him. Each of them began to question the Savior, “Surely not I, Lord?”
Then Judas asked the same question, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” The Lord responded; “You have said it yourself.” This was an affirmative answer, to the effect: “Yes, you are the one.”
Judas’ question implied that he knew that he was the one who would betray the Lord. We know this is true because he already had bargained with the chief priests to deliver Christ unto them (Mt. 26:14-16; Mk. 14:10-11; Lk. 22:3-6).
Therefore we conclude that the traitor’s question was insincere.
Some would suggest that Judas was but a pawn, unable to resist the invasion of Satan into his life. That certainly is not the case, as even Judas himself conceded. He never pled: “I could not help myself; Satan made me do it!” Rather, he confessed: “I have sinned in that I have betrayed innocent blood” (Mt. 27:4).
So what did Jesus mean in John 13:18, and 17:12?
18 ¶ “I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘HE WHO EATS MY BREAD HAS LIFTED UP HIS HEEL AGAINST ME.’
12 “While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.
The “scripture” most likely alluded to is Psalm 41:9.
9 Even my close friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me.
Messianic portions of the Old Testament have a primary application and a Messianic application. When David said that someone who he had trusted was going to turn against him he was talking about himself. In the Messianic application, Jesus does not say that Judas was “trusted.” The reason is that Jesus knew “from the beginning” (Jn 6:64) who was going to be faithful, and who was going to betray him. This is what Acts 1:16 means when it says:
16 “Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.
Foreknowledge does not demand predetermination. God foreknew that Judas, exercising his own freewill, would betray his Son. These passages, therefore, reflect God’s foreknowledge, but not a predetermined action over which Judas had no control.
A further illustration of this principle is seen in the fact that Christ was delivered up to death by the predetermined plan and “foreknowledge” of God (Acts 2:23), and yet the ones who were involved in the Savior’s crucifixion were held accountable for their evil deed (23b; cf. 36-38).
You may often hear people used this form of rationalization, “I can’t help what I do; I was predestined to do it.” This attitude finds acceptance in a modern world that seeks to escape from personal responsibility. The Scriptures teach that all men will give an account on the day of Judgment for their own conduct (Rom. 14:12; 2 Cor. 5:10) – not for actions thrust upon them by God.