Day 124 – Did Jesus Weep for Judas?

Judas makes a deal with the “chief priests and the officers of the temple guard” to hand Jesus over to them for a tidy sum of money. This happens after “Satan entered” Judas.  That’s what I read this morning in Luke 22 (vs. 3-6, NIV).

Later, during the Passover supper, after Jesus has celebrated the first communion so that we would remember His sacrifice, He says:

“…the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” (vs 21)

Jesus always seems so stoic to me when He points out what Judas is about to do. He seems a bit distant when He’s talking about someone who was once a friend.

I wonder if Jesus felt a little bit like David did in today’s Psalm reading:

If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it;
if a foe were rising against me, I could hide.
But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend,
with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship
at the house of God,
as we walked about
among the worshipers. Psalm 55: 12-14

I wonder if Jesus felt especially hurt because his “companion, [His] close friend, with whom [He] once enjoyed sweet fellowship” turned against Him?

My gut says that Jesus doesn’t feel the same surprise and pain that David felt at Saul’s attacks, so much as a deep sadness for Judas.

Jesus knew that Judas never truly bought the story about Him: “…Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.” (John 6: 64). And Luke says that Judas’ unbelief was compounded when Satan took control of the situation by “entering” Judas (Luke 22: 3).

Even though Jesus fully expected the betrayal (unlike David who was surprised by Saul’s turn) and knew that Judas never had true faith, He says, “woe to the man” who betrayed Him. In the parallel Mark version, Jesus adds, “It would be better for him if he had not been born. ” (Mark 14:21) Is Jesus’ “woe” a pronouncement of judgment? Or an expression of sadness for one who is lost?

When Jesus saw a whole city filled with unbelief, rejection, and betrayal, how did He respond?

As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” Luke 13: 34-35

Jesus wept over Jerusalem. Perhaps He wept over Judas.

Here’s where sovereignty (God could have “opened their eyes” and turned both Judas and Jerusalem around) and responsibility (they rejected Him and paid the price) mingle with alarming results. Jesus wept over those that He left to their own devices.

I don’t get it. But I trust the heart of one who weeps for the lost.

And who died to redeem some of them.

Today’s Readings: 1 Samuel 8:1-9:27 , Psalm 55:9-14, Proverbs 15:15-17, Luke 22:1-23. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only).


3 thoughts on “Day 124 – Did Jesus Weep for Judas?

  1. This reminds me of a story a friend once told me. A man enticed and stole away the wife of another man. The second man is Christian and after several years of wrestling with the issue ended up inviting the first man to be on his summer baseball team.

    When I first heard that story, I was incredulous. We were talking about forgiveness and I was appalled by the level of forgiveness initially. As it sank in, I realized that the hugeness of that act speaks for Christ in a way that nothing else can. That act bewilders the mind because it is not of this world and this time. Only Christ can heal a wound so deep. What a testimony.

    The same God who allowed one man to forgive another surely must have wept for a man he dearly loved, even though he knew that man would betray him.

  2. The story of Judas–and the fact that he was one of the original and chosen twelve–has never stopped haunting me. I’m sure it will until I get to ask a few questions in heaven. I want to know how someone who got to be in such close proximity to Christ could actually betray Him; I want to know why God has Judas in His Son’s story–it seems somehow cruel; and I (like you) want to know more about how God views this man.

    Thanks for stirring these thoughts.

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