Saturday, May 28, 2011

Was Judas That Bad: part 3: Jesus' Intercession

Another passage that is often cited in defense of Judas having some kind of freewill to truly repent and come to Christ is from John 17, which is Jesus' final prayer at the Last Supper.

While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

Now I think contextually, we may couple this with the events that happen later in the night when Jesus insured that His disciples would not suffer arrest and the commentary by John.

Joh 18:9  This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: "Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one."
One argument is that Jesus did not lose Judas in the sense that Judas was still saved even though Jesus lost him during the night. In other words, Jesus was merely talking about the disciples and the events of the night, and not their souls.

As interesting as this argument may seem, it is to connect these verses together in a way that was not originally intended. John is making an application of Jesus' promise from John 6 and John 17. However, to deny that there is any salvific sense to these texts is to go beyond their original meaning.

In John 17:3, Jesus is praying for His disciples that they may have eternal life. This is then connected to their having received His word in verse 8. He also prays for them to be kept from the world while living in the world. To think this is mere protection from events and not their souls from the evils of this world is to miss the salvific sense of verse 11.

Joh 17:11  And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.

These Disciples were to be kept in the Father's Name. They are kept because of the perfect union between Father and Son. Jesus is not praying for one group of men while the Father chooses another. Jesus is not trying to accomplish the Father's will and failing to do so with Judas. As we see in Jesus' own words, He did accomplish all the Father sent Him to do.

17:4  I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.

So we must ask the obvious question. Do we really believe in an all powerful Savior who actually accomplishes His Father's will? Perhaps a little mediation on the perfect work of Christ could be considered from Hebrews.

Heb 10:14  For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
So why did Jesus not pray and intercede for Judas' soul? In the next post, we must look at the phrase, "Son of Destruction".

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