Scott Hoezee

Read: Mark 14:1-11

And he sought an opportunity to betray him. (v. 11)

“Why did Jesus choose Judas as a disciple if he knew Judas would betray him?” That was the question a man asked me one evening as I sat by a campfire while on vacation. So I broke out of vacation mode long enough to engage some theology, to suggest that it’s possible Jesus did not necessarily know right away that Judas would turn on him. The man who asked the question didn’t care for that answer—he wanted an omniscient Jesus, not a human Jesus who learned as he went on in life like normal human beings do.

In any event, what was up with Judas? What made Judas turn? Was it just being unhappy that Jesus commended the extravagant “waste” of money when this woman poured perfume onto Jesus’ head? Did even Judas know why he did it? Was his kiss of betrayal itself a mark of how confused Judas was? Even when betraying Jesus, Judas still gave him a sign of love.

Mark does not tell us this but the other Gospels indicate Judas killed himself in regret over what he had done. Was that merely remorse, or was there some repentance mixed in? And if Judas repented, could Jesus have forgiven him, the way he did Peter? We don’t know, but I would like to think so. That’s just the kind of thing you’d expect Jesus to do.

—Scott Hoezee

Forgive us when we too, Lord, betray and deny you.