Bible Question:

Why did Jesus choose Judas Iscariot as a disciple if he knew he was going to betray him?

Bible Answer:

The answer is that Jesus selected him because this was part of God’s plan. Jesus drops the first hint that He would be betrayed while He is speaking to a large crowd of “disciples,”

But there are some of you who do not believe. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. (NASB) John 6:64

John 6:66 says that many of His “disciples” left Him after this. Why did so many leave Jesus? The answer is many did not really believe in Jesus. Is it not interesting that Jesus called them betrayers. Those who are real Christians will not turn traitor and desert Jesus. This passage also tells us that this was no surprise to Jesus. He knew who the traitors would be.

Jesus Chose Judas. Yet, Jesus chose Judas Iscariot as a disciple anyway,

Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?” Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him. (NASB) John 6:71

And John 12:4 tells us again that Judas was intending to betray Jesus. Why did Jesus choose Judas? There are probably many reasons. One reason could be that Jesus wanted to show us how to love even our enemies. Another reason could be that God wanted to leave an example for us that even those we trust may not be real. John 13:22 tells us that even after Jesus told His disciples that one them would betray Him, they did not know who that was.

Why Jesus Chose Judas. The main reason Jesus chose Judas is given to us in John 13:18-22,

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.’ . . . He became troubled in spirit . . . and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me.” The disciples began looking at one another, at a loss to know of which one He was speaking. (NASB) John 13:18-22

It was done so that the prophecies of old would be fulfilled. The prophecy quoted here is Psalm 41:9. Judas was such an evil man that John 17:12 tells us that Judas is the son of perdition.

While I was with them, I was keeping them in Thy name which Thou hast given Me; and I guarded them, and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. (NASB) John 17:12

Here is another instance of fulfilled prophecy. Judas did not lose his spiritual life; he never had it. This has been clear since John 6:64. This is not a picture of a swan becoming dirty, but of a pig that never left the mud. The next passage is hard to understand for one who had been so close to Jesus, but it shows how sinful a person can be – even people in the church.

And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve. And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them. (NASB) Luke 22:3

So we should not be surprised that churches have problems and supposed “Christians” leave the faith.

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. “For he was counted among us, and received his portion in this ministry. (NASB) Acts 1:16-17

This is our final reference to fulfilled prophecy regarding Judas.


Why did Jesus choose Judas? The major reason is to fulfill prophecy. Jesus knew that Judas would betray Him. God knew it long ago. Jesus could have chosen someone else, but scripture had to be fulfilled. This is an important lesson for Christians. Just because someone says they are a Christian does not make them a Christian. 1 John 2:19 explains why some do not remain.

They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us. (NASB) 1 John 2:19

We should pray for one another that the Holy Spirit will assure our hearts that we belong to Christ.