John 6:39

And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I shall lose none of those He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day.

John 10:28

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.

John 17:12

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

Did Jesus lose Judas Iscariot?

  • I always did pity Judas. Destined to be the betrayer, destined to be hated. And had he chosen otherwise, none of it had played out for the better, I recon there would just be another poor soul in his place. That was one poor hand he was dealt.
    – Stian
    Commented Mar 21, 2021 at 19:06
  • @StianYttervik...Judas was not predestined to perform this task...he willingly chose it for himself. Jesus tried to convert him even up to the last supper. However, Judas was not interested. Instead Judas focused on trying to force Jesus hand into saving himself, overthrowing the Roman government, and establishing an earthly kingdom in which Judas would hold a position of power (perhaps treasurer)
    – Adam
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 6:37
  • @Adam But the sacrifice absolutely required a betrayal. Someone was predestined to do it, some poor soul had to fill that role. And in doing so, become universally reviled. Being a disciple was (among other things...) participating in a 1:12 lottery with eternal damnation as its prize.
    – Stian
    Commented Mar 23, 2021 at 8:38

3 Answers 3


Jesus knew about Judas from the beginning.

But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” 66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” 70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” 71 He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray him.
(John 6:61–71, ESV)

According to John's Gospel, Judas Iscariot wasn't given to Jesus for salvation, but chosen because completing Christ's sacrifice needed a betrayer.


Do not confuse God's foreknowledge with predestination. There is no contradiction. The fact that God knows something in advance does not force the will of the person to act in any particular way. God simply knows the decisions the person will make in advance.

John 10:28, I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.

This verse simply says that no power in heaven or on earth can remove us from God's "hand" (= salvation); the obvious exception is the personal choice of the person! John 6:39 is similar.

John 17:12 should be understood in the light of John 7:17 -

Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.

See the appendix below. Further the Bible contains examples of people who were saved and then rejected that salvation and similar warnings - here is a brief sample:

  • Rom 11:17-21 discusses the warning that people who had been grafted into the “olive tree” of the Christian community could be broken off if they were unfaithful.
  • 1 Cor 9:27 Paul says he disciplines his body to keep it under control so that after preaching to others he does not become a castaway/disqualified. That is, Paul believed that it was possible that he could lose his way and become lost.
  • 1 Cor 10:12 also contains a stern warning from Paul, “If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall.”
  • 1 Tim 6:10, For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
  • Heb 2:1-3, We must pay closer attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every transgression and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?
  • Similarly, Heb 6:4-6 also teaches that some “who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit…” can fall away.

APPENDIX - Bible teaches Freedom of Choice

  • Gen 2:16, 17 – the original choice given to Adam and Eve to choose service to God.
  • 1 Cor 10:13 – God is gracious enough to only allow temptations that we can bear. This reveals that God recognises the effect that sin has on our will; sin weakens our will but God helps by both strengthening our will and only allowing temptations that we can bear.
  • 2 Peter 3:9 – God is patient wanting all people to decide for Him.
  • Gal 5:13 – We are given freedom by God but the privilege should not be abused.
  • John 7:17 – People can choose to do the will of God and such a choice bring further enlightenment.
  • Josh 24:15 – The Israelites were encouraged to choose God.
  • Mark 8:34 – Choosing to serve God involves personal sacrifice which is why it is such a serious decision.
  • Rev 3:20 – God wants to be with us but we must choose to allow Him into our lives.
  • Gal 5:16, 17, John 8:34-36 – Sin enslaves but the Christian life by the Spirit gives freedom.
  • Isa 55:6, 7 – Isaiah encourages the people to choose service to God over all else.
  • Deut 30:19, 20 – Moses encourages the people to choose between life and death.
  • Exe 18 – an entire chapter about the consequences of choice which ends with the plea, “Repent and live!”
  • But, God keeping complete knowledge of our personal future from us is important to allow us to be responsible for our decisions. God's sovereignty is difficult for us to understand, but we can understand that sane people are responsible for their actions.
    – Perry Webb
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 0:36
  • On John 10:28, Dottard confidently qualifies the text, “…they shall never perish”: “the obvious exception is the personal choice of the person!" Even if it is “obvious” to us, how can we insert exceptions into Jesus’ statements where he does not? If any choice might yet return a believing sheep to a state of death, would it not be premature of Jesus to speak of the believer as already having eternal life (5:24, 6:47)? Or is the life of the coming age mutable and potentially subject to mortality? He who knows the final outcome has ruled out such a deadly 'choice' or event. It won't happen.
    – John Rowse
    Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 7:19

Yes, Judas was not given to the Son to come to him (i.e.to come to the bread of life and eat him--i.e., to believe in him--v35), since "all" those so given to him by the Father do indeed come to him (believe--v37), but Jesus' words in 6:64 and 70-71 place Judas clearly in the camp of unbelievers: he did not "come". He was given to Jesus, but not to believe in him.

  • John 13:18 seems to indicate that Judas also ate of the bread. Judas, like satan in Job, was also one of the children of god.
    – Gus L.
    Commented Mar 21, 2021 at 16:22
  • Different context. There literal eating; here figurative coming to the Bread of life to eat him. Why take "I am the
    – John Rowse
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 22:37
  • the bread of life" literally, any more than we do with, "I am the door"? Granting that Jesus, there, appears to be putting the figure into actions - dramatising it - did Judas figuratively come to Christ, or eat and drink Christ, in terms of John 6:35, 51-54?
    – John Rowse
    Commented Mar 23, 2021 at 0:00
  • That greek word “trogo” only appears there in John 6 and then in 13:18. The author chose his own translation of psalm 41:9 to make it clear that Judas ate and munched and crunched (which is what that word means)
    – Gus L.
    Commented Mar 23, 2021 at 18:43
  • Thankyou, Gus. In John 6:35, "whoever comes to me (i.e. to eat me, the bread of life)" is parallel to "whoever believes in me". To come to Jesus for life is to believe in him. Judas may have trogo-ed with Jesus, but v64 shows he did not believe - i.e. come.
    – John Rowse
    Commented Mar 24, 2021 at 5:09

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