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Matthew 27

1 When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put Him to death. 2 And when they had bound Him, they led Him away and delivered Him to [a]Pontius Pilate the governor.

3 Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.”

Judas came to his senses when he saw what happened. Shouldn't God have pity on Judas when he judges him?

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  • We must distinguish between regret for the consequences vs regret for the sin. Judas was not sufficiently regretful that he decided to become a follower of Jesus.
    – Dottard
    Nov 16 '21 at 2:02
  • You may want to reference this Q (hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/13206/…)
    – Dave
    Nov 16 '21 at 2:31
  • There is "I'm sorry I did it" versus "I'm sorry I got caught" Nov 16 '21 at 19:04
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Esau 'regretted' what he had done. But his tears are of no avail. He 'found no place of repentance', Hebrews 12:17.

The place for repentance no longer existed . . . . because Esau had displaced his own self by his own action. Jacob now had Esau's place, by lawful means, and that place (for Esau) was no longer.

The same is so of Judas. By his action, he made it impossible to alter his status. He gave up Jesus to death. He removed Jesus from his own world.

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When it come to the story of Judas, a comparison/contrast with Peter is helpful:

  • both were disciples of Jesus for at least three years
  • both went on missionary journeys
  • both betrayed their Lord
  • both deserted Jesus when He needed help and comfort

However, they each had a different reaction to their actions:

  • Judas was regretful of the sin's consequences and felt so hopeless that he killed himself (Acts 1:18, 19)
  • by contrast, Peter was sorry for the hurt he had caused Jesus and wept bitterly (Luke 22:62)
  • Judas loved position and prestige and by joining himself to Jesus as one of the disciple had hoped to gain a senior position in the "government"
  • Peter loved the Lord, John 21:15-19

Thus, Peter showed that he, in his heart, loved the Lord but Judas demonstrated that he loved prestige more than Jesus; Judas was condemned 9by himself) and Peter was saved and preached the sermon in Acts 2 that converted 3000 people.

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  • Good job. Helpful answer. Bit of a nit pick. You have four bullets under different reactions to their actions, however, only two of them seem to address reactions to betraying Jesus. I would love to see a sentence or two more regarding the significance of the two differences. Thanks for the entry.
    – Austin
    Nov 16 '21 at 3:16
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Doesn't Judas' regret count for something when God judges him?

Unfortunately for Judas, the answer is "no" according to Paul, 2 Corinthians 7:

10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

Paul contrasted godly sorrow and worldly sorrow. Judas experienced regret but no repentance. Sure enough, Matthew 27:

3 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. 4“I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”

“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”

5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.

Godly sorrow brings hope, not hanging yourself.

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Doesn't Judas' regret count for something when God judges him?

The original Greek wording helps to understand what was happening in these verses. The study note for Matthew 27:3 shares the following:

felt remorse: While the Greek word me·ta·meʹlo·mai used here can have positive connotations (rendered “feel regret” or “regret” at Mt 21:29, 32; 2Co 7:8), there is no indication that Judas was truly repentant. When referring to repentance before God, the Bible uses a different term, me·ta·no·eʹo (rendered “repent” at Mt 3:2; 4:17; Lu 15:7; Ac 3:19), which signifies a strong change in thinking, attitude, or purpose. Judas’ actions of returning to the very men he had conspired with and then committing suicide show that his thinking remained distorted, not changed for the better.

The topic "Repentance" from the Insight on the Scriptures gives additional wisdom:

Judas, after having betrayed Jesus, “felt remorse [form of me·ta·meʹlo·mai],” tried to return the bribe he had bargained for, and thereafter committed suicide by hanging. (Mt 27:3-5) The enormity of his crime and, likely, the awful certainty of divine judgment against him evidently overwhelmed him. (Compare Heb 10:26, 27, 31; Jas 2:19.) He felt the remorse of guilt, despair, even desperation, but there is nothing to show he expressed the godly sadness that leads to repentance (me·taʹnoi·a). He sought out, not God, but the Jewish leaders to confess his sin to them, returning the money evidently with the mistaken idea that he could thereby to some extent undo his crime. (Compare Jas 5:3, 4; Eze 7:19.) To the crime of treason and contributing to the death of an innocent man, he added that of self-murder. His course is in contrast with that of Peter, whose bitter weeping after having denied his Lord was due to heartfelt repentance, which led to his being restored.​—Mt 26:75; compare Lu 22:31, 32.

So while Judas may have felt bad about what he had done, his actions did not show that he had true repentance towards Jehovah God.

[All scripture quotations from the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Study Edition)]

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  • I'm not totally convinced that Judas is toast. Remember, the Holy Spirit had not yet been given to any of the disciples, including Judas. Would Paul have ever repented on his own, if Jesus hadn't knocked him down on the road to Damascus? There might yet be hope for Judas. From what's written, it's tempting to think Judas is toast, but I'll defer judgment. Nov 17 '21 at 16:52
  • @CoryHaffly you mention "the Holy Spirit had not yet been given to any of the disciples". So does that mean that King David didn't really repent of his sins? (2 Samuel 12:13) The Hold Spirit is not a requirement for repentance.
    – agarza
    Nov 17 '21 at 18:20
  • I knew this was a mistake. Nov 19 '21 at 5:25

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