Why did God choose Judas?


Why did God choose Judas? It was not His will that Judas would sin against the Lord, though it did lead to our redemption.

If it was not His will, and Jesus knew what He would do anyway, do you have any theories on why a man like Judas would have been chosen? I guess any speculations are a stab in the dark, but I wanted to hear some thoughts.


God does not make anyone sin. Anyone who sins, does so by their own choice. And Judas was given his choice. He just happened to choose sin.


We are all given free will. Judas made his decision on how to use his free will.


There were many possibilities and opportunities for Jesus to lay down his life for us. Scripture tells us of a few:

John 7:1
After this Jesus went about in Galilee; he would not go about in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him.

Luke 20:19-20
The scribes and the chief priests tried to lay hands on him at that very hour, but they feared the people; for they perceived that he had told this parable against them. So they watched him, and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might take hold of what he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor.

John 7:30-33
So they sought to arrest him; but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come. Yet many of the people believed in him; they said, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?” The Pharisees heard the crowd thus muttering about him, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent officers to arrest him. Jesus then said, "I shall be with you a little longer, and then I go to him who sent me;

There are other verses as well but these are enough to demonstrate that Judas was not the only possibility. God’s plan for salvation permitted Judas to be the instrument of betrayal. There is a lesson in this for us. Judas was a disciple. Likewise, we are disciples. Judas was blessed with grace and he even healed the sick and cast out demons with the rest of the apostles. Likewise, we are blessed with grace. Like Judas, we can betray our Savior. All men are free to accept or reject God’s grace. Grace enables but it does not force us. We must always put the Lord ahead of all things in our lives and never betray the Lord or the salvation that God has given us.


I have read something to the effect that only a great saint has the potential to be a great sinner, and vice versa. Judas was given the potential to be great; he used it to sin rather than to be a saint.

Note that even after betraying Jesus, Judas had the potential to be the patron saint of repentence. Had he flung himself at the base of the cross and begged forgiveness, we would have the greatest model of repentence. Instead, he chose to hide his wounded pride and we are all deprived by that decision.


This is a great point and can be further illustrated by comparing and contrasting Judas with Peter. Judas had what Paul calls a worldly repentance while Peter had a genuine spiritual repentance of the heart.


I agree with some of these theories. Obviously all Catholics are to believe that we have free will. This was not even an issue in my question.

However, I do believe that Judas’ betrayal sheds a lot of light on how God can call people to positions of legitimate authority and they will use this power to sin.

I can’t think of anyone who sinned greater than Judas (though I could certainly be wrong). He walked with Christ a long time. He performed miracles by the authority of our Lord. And yet, even after betraying our Lord, he committed one final terrible act.

I am not the guy’s Judge, but I do believe Judas’ example reveals that God can and does call people to important positions of authority and they are entirely capable of making horrific choices.

I once heard an Evangelical claim that the Papacy must be illegitimate because there were too many great sinners. I can’t think of one Pope that committed one single act, and one final act as terrible as Judas.

Unfortunately, this also reminds me of those who were leaders in the Church who now are rightfully in prison because of their heinous acts.

We are all capable of falling, and falling hard. The higher on the tree a person is, the louder the crash. Perhaps that’s why we are cautioned to resist positions of leadership. To who much is given, much is required.


Some would argue that Peter’s denial was worse than Judas’ betrayal. However, Peter showed us that any sin can be repented and forgiven… Thus he leads us by his example.


I wouldn’t argue that…

Judas must have known what the consequences were going to be, that is, the likely death of our Lord. Peter was not in a position to save Jesus from death even if he did not deny Him; Peter just wanted to save his own skin. Judas sold out the King of Glory for some chump change. At least this is the way I see it.


I think Jesus gave us the reason He chose Judas in the parable of the Good Shepherd. He wanted to give him every grace in order to save him.

Jesus first alluded to Judas as the one who would betray Him after the Bread of Life teaching in John 6. It was the rejection of the teaching of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist that led to the betrayal and he did it right after receiving the Body and Blood of Christ during the Last Supper, after eating and drinking his own condemnation by receiving it unworthily.


I think pretty much the whole of John’s Gospel is an enigma, wrapped in paradox, inside a mystery. It is still uncertain whether Christ famous ‘son of perdition’ passage is even referring to Judas. My personal belief says that if a persons fills sorry for their actions, it is possible to be forgiven through contrition, and it seemed Judas was immeasurably sorry for his actions.


Why did God choose Lucifer?

Ever hear of the saying, “keep your friends close and your enemies even closer?”

One nice thing about evil: it’s so utterly predictable. Not a bad quality to have available when you are in the business of bringing about your will in the midst of so many divergent free wills, imo.


I agree here the most; I believe Jesus was preparing the Church for future traitors. He chose sinners simply to show that there will be sinners throughout the entire Church. We will have more than one “Peter,” more than one “Judas,” but we will also have more than one “John.” Anyone who wants to bash the Church on the “many bad popes” we have, really ought to do some more research. In 2000 years we’ve not had many “wicked” popes…weak, yes, inactive, yes, but actually bad…I’ve only heard of a couple.


Before finding the Catholic faith, the person of Judas always was a stumbling block for me as a Christian. Sure, Judas betrayed the Lord, but Jesus was meant to die for our sins, right? When the “Gospel of Judas” nonsense first came out a few years ago, I thought the idea of Jesus choosing Judas to fulfill a less-than-attractive part of the Divine Plan a “nice” way of explaining it.


This is what happens when one is separated from the Chair of Peter…

After reading through the teachings of the Catholic Church, I’ve come to think that Judas’s greatest sin was the “sin of despair.” The man was obviously remorseful, but he didn’t wait around for God’s forgiveness like Peter did. Any thoughts?


It’s possible. However, would that not then be the only unforgivable sin? (Refusing to be forgiven)

It’s also possible that he chose to do this as a conscious rejection of God’s mercy; perhaps even a form of pride. Maybe this was a way he thought he could get the best of God.

It’s all speculation anyhow. You could be right.


I’ve heard, “Great sinners have the potential to become great saints,” but not the other way around, I have to say.

From what I understand, he betrayed Jesus because he thought Jesus’ message of peace was undermining Israel’s liberation. Not sure if this is actual dogma, though.

Yeah, pretty much. He said to himself, “I am a horrible person, and I deserve to die.” God responded, “Perhaps, but I will forgive you all the same.” Judas, in reply, said, “No! I am too vile for redemption” and killed himself.

Even despairing of one’s own faults is a form of pride.


I read someplace that one of the Saint Theresa * said that she could have been the world’s greatest sinner.*



No, I can’t imagine this is dogma. I do recall a movie a few years back that suggested something similar to this. It almost painted Judas in a positive light. If you ask me their interpretation was a noose short of deplorable.

If that was Judas’ true motivation he probably would not have taken the silver. Furthermore, the Gospels do not shed enough light on this issue. In my opinion, I wouldn’t even qualify it as conjecture, even though it’s possible.


and what is so bad about that? Surely it’s better to think that than to presume God’s forgiveness. Perhaps he couldn’t liv ewith the guilt, which made him a coward, but ‘despair’. I’ can’t get why that is such a terrible sin.

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