From Disciple To Traitor: How Did Jesus Meet Judas Iscariot?

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Published by Kimberly Wall


Co-Founder, Disciple Group Leader, Author

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In our collective memory, there are specific biblical figures whose deeds have marked them permanently with infamy. One such name is that of Judas Iscariot[1], known as The Ultimate Betrayer, but how did Jesus meet Judas Iscariot?

For centuries now, religious scholars and ordinary folks alike have pondered over his infamous role in Jesus Christ’s life, which has stirred endless debate over the motives involved. Who exactly was this notorious character? And how did he come to a point where he would be responsible for one of humanity’s all-time betrayals? Why did he betray Jesus?

Key Takeaways

  • Judas Iscariot, a disciple of Jesus, betrayed him for complex reasons, possibly influenced by disappointment, personal gain, and external pressures. His betrayal has become a symbol of treachery and raises theological discussions on free will and divine intervention.
  • The debate over whether Jesus knew about Judas’ betrayal persists, but his selection of Judas was part of God’s plan for salvation. Judas played a crucial role in fulfilling the divine plan through Jesus’ sacrificial death for the forgiveness of sins.
  • Judas’ story warns against betrayal, greed, and the consequences of prioritizing material wealth over values like loyalty. Personal accountability, true repentance, and seeking forgiveness are crucial lessons, contrasting Judas’ remorse with his tragic end.

Who Was Judas Iscariot?

Judas, son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

— Luke 6:16

Judas Iscariot, a historical figure, is renowned for his role in the New Testament. As one of Jesus Christ’s disciples, he has complex and debated biographical origins and family background. Limited information exists about his early life. Judas is believed to have been born in Kerioth, a village in Judea.

He was the son of Simon Iscariot. However, some sources suggest it may refer to a different locality or could even be a surname indicating his father’s profession. The name Iscariot has been linked to the Hebrew word “Ish Kerioth,” meaning “man from Kerioth.”

Judas’ family background remains a mystery in the Bible, which lacks any information about his kin. Nonetheless, some historical references suggest that Judas belonged to an unpretentious group of people, just like most of Jesus’ other followers. It is hypothesized by scholars that Judas was picked for his faith and his steadfast allegiance to the mission.

However, his betrayal, which resulted in the crucifixion of Jesus, has marred his humble beginnings and cast him as one of the most notorious people in biblical times. Theological debates and ongoing speculation are what motivated Judas to take his actions.

Judas Iscariot standing in a dimly lit ancient courtyard clutching a bag of silver coins

What Was Judas Iscariot Doing Before He Met Jesus?

Judas Iscariot’s introduction to Jesus is shrouded in mystery, as the Bible does not detail how he entered the fold of discipleship like the others. Bits and pieces about Judas are scarce in the Holy Scriptures. In fact, it is only in John 6:71 that we learn that he was Simon Iscariot’s offspring.

According to religious experts, the name Iscariot is derived from the Greek term “the man from Kerioth,” which indicates that Judas hailed from a southern Judah town called Kerioth—making him the odd disciple out, unassociated with the Galilee circle.

Judas’ origins, as indicated by the Urantia, a holy text, reveal that he hailed from a family of Jewish affluence in Jericho. According to Urantia, he initially trailed behind John the Baptist as a disciple. Still, after John’s death and Judas’ subsequent fruitless search for work, Jesus’ disciples took him under their wing.

Moreover, Urantia intimates that his parents ceased to support him after he embraced John’s teachings, resulting in Judas’ financial hardships. It implies he had been working in his father’s business and was pampered and spoiled. Because he alluded to being good in money matters, the disciples gave him the role of moneybag keeper.

How Did Jesus Meet Judas Iscariot?

Spiritual experts and scholars specializing in religion reveal that Judas Iscariot was brought to meet Jesus by his fellow disciples. The scriptures don’t have much to say about how they first encountered each other, but other holy texts imply that he had supported John the Baptist and began following Jesus once John passed away.

Jesus and Judas Iscariot’s fateful meeting needs full accounts, leaving the details mysterious. Nonetheless, it is thought that Jesus, with his omniscience, recognized Judas’ prospects and offered him a spot among his close associates. Being fascinated by Jesus’ message and the buzz surrounding it, Judas embraced this chance, initiating a pilgrimage that would irrevocably impact humanity.

What Was His Role And Significance In Jesus’ Life?

While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe under the name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

— John 17:12

Judas Iscariot’s role among the disciples was that of a trusted companion and treasurer. He managed the group’s finances, highlighting his level of trust within the inner circle. Despite this role, Judas’ significance transcends his financial responsibilities. He witnessed the miracles, heard the parables, and shared intimate moments with Jesus, making him privy to the profound teachings and their profound impact on those who followed.

Jesus Christ had selected twelve apostles, including Judas Iscariot, although he is best known for his essential part in Jesus’ ultimate crucifixion. Judas’ betrayal stands out as the root cause of Christ’s fate.

A Breakdown Of Why And How Judas Betrayed Jesus

1. Judas played an essential role as one of Jesus’ closest associates, a privileged position that allowed him insights into the Messiah’s mission through personal contact.

2. Judas, known for his treacherous ways, committed his most shameful act by betraying Jesus to the religious leaders. Judas made a deal with the chief priests to hand over Jesus, receiving thirty pieces of silver in return. His identification of Jesus with a kiss was the signal for his capture. Ultimately, it was this act that resulted in the crucifixion of Jesus.

3. Judas betrayed his mentor, causing significant fulfillment of prophecy related to his demise. These prophetic verses can be found in Psalm 41:9, where it’s noted that a friend would betray the Messiah, and are further referenced personally by Christ himself in Matthew 26:21–25.

4. The betrayal of Judas has become a symbolic representation of treachery, deceit, and betrayal over time. His reputation is frequently associated with betrayal and has become a common term for those who profit from others for personal gain or other purposes.

5. From a theological perspective, the betrayal of Judas and his subsequent suicide (according to different accounts) demonstrate the conflict between free will and divine intervention. The actions of Judas were attributed to his personal decisions and personal moral failures, but they also had a larger purpose in the divine plan for redemption.

Did Jesus Know Judas Iscariot Would Betray Him When They First Met?

Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)

— John 6:70-71

The issue surrounding whether or not Jesus possessed knowledge about Judas Iscariot’s scheme remains a highly debated topic. The Gospel accounts deliver varying indications, as some sections portray Christ as being mindful of the forthcoming betrayal, whereas others describe how He treated both friend and traitor equally. This complex matter has fostered great dialogue between theologians and academia.

If Jesus Knew Judas Would Betray Him, Why Did He Choose Him As A Disciple?

This man was given over to you by the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, and you crucified and killed him at the hands of lawless men.

— Acts 2:23

The Bible teaches that Jesus came into the world to save all from sin, as stated in John 3:16. This verse expresses God’s love for the world by sending his only Son so that whoever believes in him will have eternal life.

While teaching his disciples, Jesus gave controversial lessons that caused some to abandon him. He was left with twelve apostles and prophesied that one of them would betray him, referring to the person as a devil (John 6:71). Peter promised to remain loyal, but Jesus knew Judas would be the one to betray him. Thus, Jesus told Judas to do what he had to do.

Why did Jesus choose Judas Iscariot? Judas was an unbeliever and a thief who even betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver (John 12:6). However, despite this knowledge, Jesus still chose him and allowed him to hold a high position among the group. Judas’ betrayal had been foretold in Psalm 41:9, which states that someone close to Jesus would turn against him.

Jesus chose Judas so that God’s plan could be fulfilled. Acts 2:23 reveals that God handed over his Son according to his deliberate plan and foreknowledge for salvation. Therefore, believers see Judas as essential to fulfilling God’s sovereign plan.

Through Judas’ betrayal, good came out of it because Jesus’ death led to the forgiveness of sins and eternal life for humanity. Without this betrayal, God’s plan would not have been accomplished. Therefore, although Judas played a significant role in betraying Jesus, believers understand that it ultimately led to their salvation.

Jesus and Judas Iscariot in the moonlit garden

Why Did Judas Betray Jesus?

Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on, Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

— Matthew 26:14-16

Judas Iscariot’s betrayal continues to confound and fascinate scholars and theologians alike as they attempt to unravel the enigma of his actions. Multiple hypotheses exist, each endeavoring to elucidate the inner workings of Judas’ mind that prompted him to commit such an evil offense.

One prevalent explanation revolves around the notion of personal gain. It is suggested that Judas, disillusioned by Jesus’ teachings and realizing that his messianic aspirations might not align with Jesus’ mission, sought to force Jesus into a position of power and trigger a political uprising against Roman rule.

Another perspective emphasizes the influence of external forces. To fully understand Judas Iscariot’s motivations, one must acknowledge how outside elements may have impacted him during this period. The complex intersection between religion and politics must be considered when examining this story and the people who wanted to kill Jesus.

It is highly probable that pressure from various religious sects or government leaders significantly influenced his decision-making toward Jesus Christ. Furthermore, it’s feasible to consider how he might have felt uneasy about aligning himself with someone perceived unfavorably by those in power.

Moreover, some argue that Judas’ betrayal was driven by disappointment. Expecting Jesus to establish an earthly kingdom, Judas may have felt disillusioned when Jesus spoke of his impending death and a spiritual realm instead. This perceived deviation from the original vision could have contributed to Judas’ growing discontent and eventual betrayal.

Did Judas Regret Betraying Jesus?

When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”

— Matthew 27:3-4

The New Testament portrays Judas Iscariot’s response and actions after betraying Jesus. After witnessing that Jesus was condemned, Judas experienced profound remorse and guilt.

In an act of repentance, he returned the thirty pieces of silver he had received as payment for his betrayal. Judas then went to the chief priests and elders who had conspired with him, confessing his sin by admitting, “I have sinned, for I have betrayed innocent blood.” This statement highlights his recognition of Jesus’ innocence and demonstrates the gravity of his actions.

However, the response of the chief priests and elders was callous and dismissive. They showed no concern for Judas’s remorse, responding indifferently and telling him the responsibility was his alone. This lack of compassion may have further intensified Judas’ despair and hopelessness.

Following this encounter, Judas threw the money into the temple and left. The Gospel of Matthew states that he went away and hanged himself, resulting in his tragic death. This event is often viewed as a representation of Judas’ overwhelming guilt and anguish over his betrayal of Jesus.

While the Bible does mention Judas’s regret and remorse, it does not explicitly state his final destiny or whether he sought forgiveness from God. Different theological interpretations exist regarding the fate of Judas Iscariot, but the biblical narrative presents his regret as a significant aspect of his story.

What Can We Learn From Judas Iscariot?

After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly, I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”

— John 13:21

The story of Judas Iscariot inspires caution when it comes to betrayal and considering our personal choices and the outcomes they can yield. Through his actions, we see firsthand how negative traits such as greediness can cause catastrophic destruction alongside ideals that are erroneously leading ultimately to misguided, selfish motives.

By reflecting on why Judas betrayed Jesus, we learn about the role played by discernment in every decision-making process while still holding steadfastly onto our genuine values even amidst the overwhelming trials that come our way.

Lessons We Can Take Away From His Life

1. Beware of greed and materialism: Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. It shows the danger of prioritizing material wealth over more essential values like loyalty, integrity, and spiritual growth. This notion reminds us not to let greed and materialism influence our decisions.

2. Personal accountability is essential: Responsibility for our actions is paramount in life’s journey. Judas’ purposeful act of betrayal towards Jesus serves as a stark reminder of this fact—how critical it is that we pay heed to the implications of our decisions.

3. True repentance is significant: Judas expressed remorse for his actions but did not find redemption in many people’s eyes, ultimately leading him to take his own life. It reminds us of the importance of genuine repentance, seeking forgiveness, and reconciling with oneself and others.

4. Human nature is complex: His narrative serves as an example, reminding us that every choice has consequences that impact not only oneself directly but those connected with us too. Understanding human nature’s intricacies has crucial stakes. Judas’ anecdote reveals humanity holds within itself both good and evil tendencies simultaneously.

From a theological perspective, Judas’ role in the narrative of Jesus’ crucifixion underscores the concept of redemption and the potential for forgiveness. The history of Judas being forgiven is an open discussion. But it serves as a reminder that no sin is beyond the reach of divine mercy and that even in the darkest moments, the possibility of reconciliation exists.

Jesus and Judas Iscariot in a bustling marketplace


Judas Iscariot is an enigma that has intrigued humanity for centuries. He is renowned primarily because he betrayed Jesus Christ—an event now embedded in history forever. Why did he betray Jesus? Though many questions concerning his life remain unresolved, including his motivations behind this shameful act, the narrative reveals insights into faith-related complexities and human nature that continue to challenge people.

The primary lesson learned from his deceit then becomes vivid. It serves to remind us of the choices and consequences of our actions in our lives and those of others.

Finally, the story concludes by inviting us to chart a path guided by lessons from Jesus and Judas as we strive toward a compassionate and enlightened existence.

Frequently Asked Questions

When Did Judas First MMeet Jesus?

The scriptures don’t have much to say about when they first met each other, but other holy texts imply that he had supported John the Baptist and began following Jesus once John passed away.

Where In The Bible Did Jesus Call Judas To Be A Disciple?

In the Bible, the calling of Judas as a disciple is found in Matthew 10:1, where Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and granted them authority. This empowerment included Judas, enabling him to serve faithfully among the twelve.

How Did Jesus Meet His First Disciple?

Jesus met his first disciples, Andrew and his brother Simon Peter, while they were fishing by the Sea of Galilee and He called them to become “fishers of men.”

What Is The Relationship Between Jesus And Judas Iscariot?

The relationship between Jesus and Judas Iscariot is complex and has been a subject of theological debate. Judas was one of Jesus’ twelve apostles and played a critical role in the Christian narrative as the betrayer of Jesus. Despite being a trusted member of Jesus’ inner circle, Judas’ act of betrayal set in motion the events leading to Jesus’ crucifixion.

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