Have you ever thought about the role and character of Judas Iscariot? How could someone who lived so close to Jesus – God himself – stay evil and even betray him? 

By the way, Judas Iscariot should not be confused with “Judas the Zealot” who also is called Jude Thaddaeus who had a similar name but was a different disciple and even a relative of Jesus. 

On Judas Iscariot the following bible passage indicates that Judas was clearly the black sheep among the disciples. When Jesus got a treatment with an expensive perfume oil the following happens:

But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

John 12:4-6

From this we learn that Judas Iscariot was given an important responsibility from Jesus among his disciples. He was the keeper of the money bag and presumably Jesus received a lot of money. For example from those that he helped through his miracles as well as powerful people that wanted to support him. However, John tells us that he was not one that could be trusted. Not only would he later betray Jesus, he was also a thief and kept money that was intended for the poor to himself. 

All gospel writers confirm that Judas Iscariot was the one to betray Jesus. Through Matthew we also learn that Judas Iscariot showed remorse afterwards and how his life sadly ended:

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.  “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.

Matthew 27:3-5

I was thinking about Judas lately. I am human, I make mistakes and I thought: could I have done what Judas Iscariot did? 

Further on the betrayal, I did not fully understand the impact that had as to my knowledge the chief priests wanted Jesus dead. I am sure they would have achieved that without Judas as they themselves knew who he was as Jesus did not preach in secret.

While reading the books of Maria Valtorta I got some further insights. Judas studied at the temple before joining Jesus and knew the chief priests well. He hoped to receive honor and an earthly position in the promised kingdom of God with Jesus as the king. Although Jesus made it clear to him multiple times that his kingdom is not from this earth, he seemed not to understand. He was indeed the black sheep among the disciples. Judas behaved arrogantly because of his knowledge of scripture and friendship with important people at the temple. He saw himself as being more important compared to the other disciples who were simple fishermen or former toll keepers. He definitely lacked humbleness. Judas stayed with Jesus while always remaining in constant contact with the Temple. He criticized Jesus for openly speaking his mind about the Temple priests and also for doing miracles on sabbath, the holy day of the Jews. 

On the other hand, Jesus did not turn Judas away although he knew right from the very beginning that he would be the one to betray him. Judas Iscariot wanted to be with him and he did respect his will. He did everything possible to convince him of the right path but Judas did think he knew better. Jesus as God, could have forcefully made him good, but as the loving and graceful God, he did not. God throughout the Bible shows us clearly that he does always respect our free will. Judas chose to do evil and Jesus spoke to him gracefully, however as with every human, he respected his free will.

Jesus knew that he would die without Judas’ betrayal during Passover. In an effort to save his life, he made him aware of his knowledge and encouraged him to stay away from Jerusalem. Judas declined the offer multiple times. It becomes clear that Judas thought of himself as being very important. He was fed up with the poor life that Jesus and his disciples were living. Judas wanted to show the chief priests that he is helping them. He did not believe in Jesus being God and wanted to at least get benefits from the Temple for his service helping them. 

He did remorse his betrayal eventually, however, he still did not believe in the endless power of God. After his betrayal he witnessed Jesus a few times during his trial and he also briefly met mother Mary who told him that Jesus would forgive. However he killed himself refusing to believe that Jesus and thus God can forgive everyone for everything.  

Let’s hear directly from the visions of Maria Valtorta what Jesus himself has to say about the matter:

“Too many people think that Judas did something of little importance. Some even go to the extent of saying that he is well deserving, because Redemption would not have taken place without him, and that he is therefore justified in the eyes of God.

I solemnly tell you that, if Hell did not already exist and was not perfect in its torments, it would have been created even more dreadful and eternal for Judas, because of all sinners and damned souls, he is the most damned and the biggest sinner, and throughout eternity there will be no mitigation of his sentence.

Remorse could have also saved him, if he had turned remorse into repentance. But he would not repent and, to the first crime of betrayal, still compatible because of the great mercy that is My loving weakness, he added blasphemy, resistance to the voices of Grace, that still wanted to speak to him through recollections, through terrors, through My Blood and My mantle, through My glances, through the traces of the institution of the Eucharist, through the words of My Mother. He resisted everything. He wanted to resist. As he had wanted to betray. As he wanted to curse. As he wanted to commit suicide.

It is one’s will that matters in things. Both in good and in evil. When one falls without the will to follow, I forgive.”

Jesus in Maria Valtorta, The Poem of the ManGod, chapter 601, paragraph 11-12 Death of Judas of Kerioth. The Behaviour of Mary towards Judas Cancels Eve’s Bearing towards Cain.


Knowing all this, I pray to God that he gives me the power and strength to stay humble at all times, to serve others and love others as I love myself and that honesty and integrity stay with me my full life. My will is my responsibility and I will seek God’s grace and stay away from evil. If I fall, and I will as I am weak and only human, I pray that I remember to repent and trust in the eternal power of Jesus to forgive me as well as take responsibility to make-up for my deeds.