Was Judas Predestined To Betray Jesus?

It is written:

“Judas, the son of James, Judas Iscariot (the one who turned against Jesus).” (Luke 6:16)

Some believe and teach that Judas had been predestined by God to betray Jesus, so that he did not freely choose his path. Instead, Judas was a puppet on strings with no freewill.

However, this passage in Luke makes it clear that Judas personally chose to rebel against Jesus. The phrase “turned against” as used here is in the middle voice in the Greek New Testament. Why is this significant?

“However, in addition to active and passive, Greek has a third voice, the middle, which has no English equivalent. Its forms coincide with those of the passive except in the future and aorist. In earlier Greek this mood was used in fairly well defined ways, but in NT Greek its exact nuances can sometimes be hard to discern, and one of its earlier uses (to express reflexive action, see below) has almost disappeared. With normal verbs the middle generally indicates that the subject has an even greater involvement in the action than would be the case if the verb were active. Often it can be considered as meaning to do something for oneself.” (Gavin Betts, Teach Yourself Complete New Testament Greek, 2582-2587 (Kindle Edition); London; Hachette UK)

By using the middle voice, Luke makes it clear that Judas freely chose to betray Jesus. This is especially interesting when we consider these words by Geisler:

“Further, it is noteworthy that it says the devil “prompted,” not forced, Judas to betray Christ. The act of Judas was free and uncoerced. This is evident from the use of the word “betray” (Matt. 26: 16, 21, 23 NASB), for betrayal is a deliberate act (cf. Luke 6: 16). And though the devil had put the idea into his heart (John 13: 2), Judas performed the act freely, admitting later that he had “sinned” (Matt. 27: 4). Jesus said to Judas, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” Mark even says that what Judas did he did “conveniently” (Mark 14: 10-11 KJV).” (Norman Geisler, Chosen But Free, 290 (Kindle Edition); Bloomington, Minnesota; Bethany House Publishers)

Like Judas, we each have freewill.

Will you choose to follow Jesus or to reject Him?

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