there “pure” evil persons that God cannot or will not forgive? Remember before you answer that
God is all powerful and humans cannot force God to do or not to do anything.
perhaps there are unforgivable persons. But theories are only good so far as they help individuals determine
the best course of action for their own lives. For instance the theory that suicide is unforgivable may
be in encouraging someone not to commit suicide. But there is a danger to using a theory
in an attempt to condemn another person – I would hate it if someone were to judge me or my loved ones in that manner.
persons believe in, or have heard of, unforgivable “sins” such as suicide, BUT I suspect that such labels reflect
more humankind’s misunderstanding or revulsion regarding such behavior. Thus such actions are apt
to be a cultural tradition, norm, or taboo than a God-given decree or attitude towards someone who feels that desperate.
Judas’ suicide a moral evil? Many people believe that people like Judas (or Hitler) cannot or will
not be forgiven – but that is between those persons and God alone to determine. Others cannot know
what actually happened at the moment of each such person’s death. But “in theory” one
can look at the possibilities in order to help oneself in one’s own relationship with God.
is known about Judas Iscariot?
Judas was one of the
chosen apostles (Lk 6:16, Mk 3:19, Mt 10:4, and Jn 6:70-71). Did Jesus see potential in him?
· Judas had a father named Simon (Jn 6:71). He was a person
like everyone else with a family.
As an apostle Judas
was both called and sent and was involved in all of the activities of Jesus and the other apostles.
· Judas was entrusted with the group’s money and was tempted with greed
(Jn 12:4-6 and Mt 26:14-16).
Jesus was aware of Judas’
issues and acknowledged that Judas would follow through on them (Mt 26:23-25 and Jn 13:21-30).
· Judas’ actions were seen not just as misguided but as evil by the
scripture writers and thus some of the accounts also mention Satan or the d’evil being involved (Lk 22:1-6).
But also compare this to Jesus’ response to Peter when Peter encouraged Jesus to take an easier, more
glorious route: “Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the
hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the Law, [Notice who the responsible people are here – Judas is not
mentioned.] and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and
began to rebuke him. ‘Never, Lord!’ he said. ‘This shall never happen to you!’ Jesus turned and said
to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the
things of men’” (Mt 15:21-23, NIV).
Judas betrayed Jesus’
location to the chief priests, teachers of the Law, and the elders of the people, he did this through a kiss (Mt 26:47-49,
Mk 14:43-46, Lk 22:47-48, Jn 18:2-3).
appears to have been greed, but there are speculations that Judas was also disappointed that Jesus was not the type of Messiah
who would conquer the Romans and take over in general. Some also think that Judas felt Jesus would get
out of this confrontation like Judas had seen Jesus avoid similar events before (see John 8:42-58 and 10:25-39).
· Judas’ response to his own actions appear to be remorse and an attempt
at restitution and perhaps stop what he, too late, realized was a mistake: “When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that
Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and retuned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and elders. ‘I
have sinned,’ he said, ‘for I have betrayed innocent blood.’ ‘What is that to us?’ they replied.
‘That’s your responsibility.’ So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged
himself” (Mt 27:3-5). Then the chief priests took the money and bought a burial place for foreigners
called the Field of Blood.
however, in the Acts of the Apostles, records: “With the reward he got for his wickedness Judas bought a field; there
he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out” (Acts 1:18) thus the location is called the
Field of Blood.
The early church obviously
was not clear in the details with these somewhat different accounts from the former tax collector’s sources and the
doctor’s references. But both accounts attempt to understand the events of Judas’ death in
terms of justice for the betrayer and scriptural support (for Matthew see Zech 11:12-13 and for Acts see Pss 69:26 and 109:8,
as cited in JBC, 1968, p. 170).
Judas was labeled as
a traitor and betrayer (Lk 6:16, Mk 3:19, Mt 10:4). This implies that many did not forgive him, but could
also have been descriptive such as Thomas the doubter, or Peter who denied Jesus.
have forgiven Judas if Judas had not committed suicide? Consider:
indicated that Pilate was not as much at fault as the Jewish leadership who had handed Jesus over (Jn 19:11).
forgave his executioners (Lk 23:34).
- Jesus invited one of those also being crucified, who was guilty of
crime, into heaven (Lk 23:39-43).
- One of the first things that Jesus did after the resurrection was invited
the disciples to be forgiving – breathing his Spirit upon them, he also wished them peace (Jn 20:19-23).
forgave Peter who denied him (Jn 21:15-19) and the apostles who had abandoned him.
there a serious issue with Judas having committed suicide and therefore God being unable to forgive him? Was
Judas ungrateful that God had given him life? Or was Judas more caught up in the horrible greedy decision
he made and was not able to forgive himself in his despair? God knows and understands what is
happening in the hearts, bodies, and minds of all who commit suicide, and God still loves them as children.
people choose to believe that God cannot or would not forgive Judas, they might have a problem believing that God would or
could forgive themselves too. “The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, ‘Who
then can be saved?’ Jesus look at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are
possible with God’” (Mk 10:26-27, NIV).