There have been new discussions on the life of Judas Iscariot in recent years. Television documentaries have caricatured him as a sincere seeking person, as one who simply had some identity problems, and ultimately as a victim of circumstances beyond his control.
But the Bible gives a different picture of Judas. He was a thief who never cared for the poor, as he tried to portray about himself. And he was never a Christian at all, despite some who would erroneously say that he was a believer, but then he “fell from grace.”
Ultimately it must be Jesus’ words that shape our understanding of Judas.
Why did Judas never truly come to faith in the Lord Jesus? Jesus said it was because it was not granted or given by the Father for him to do so. This is hard saying. The disciples themselves stated this. Read closely John 6:64-66 and see the connection between Judas not believing and the Father not granting it.
” ‘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). ”
Notice the inference–the one who had never believed was the one who would betray him–clearly one man named Judas.
vs 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.”
What could be more clear? Judas did not come to saving faith. He never believed truly and Jesus says it is because it was no one can come unless it is granted them by the Father.
Only those will come to Jesus who have it granted to them by the Father. Some will object to this by saying, “But God grants that to everyone, and then it is dependent on them to choose and believe.”
But the passage in view here shows that God does not grant faith to everyone. He did not grant it to Judas. And Jesus said this is why Judas did not believe.
This is a hard thing to grasp. And it is a hard thing to believe. It was for those who heard it and it still is difficult.
That is why the next verse (vs 66) says that many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.
Will we continue to walk with and trust the One who says “No one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father?”
If we love the Saviour, we must love his hard sayings, even if one of them is that it was not granted to Judas by the Father to believe in Jesus. That is why he never became a Christian.
– Mack Tomlinson