Did Jesus love Judas Iscariot too?


Why did Jesus say to Judas, “Do what you came for, friend.” when he came to betray Him. Did Jesus love Judas too? 

The Gospel of Matthew 26:49-50 describes the event of Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Jesus:

“Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.”

The word “friend” used by the Lord Jesus here is a greeting and does not refer to a true friendship, but only a form of addressing him. Judas did not believe in the Lord Jesus and therefore never had a true and personal relationship with the Lord Jesus, despite the fact that the Lord Jesus showed him love to the end.

When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, “As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and they schemed to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him.  “But not during the festival,” they said, “or there may be a riot among the people.”When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.  Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” (John 13:1-5, 12-13 NASB)

Even though Judas had already decided to betray the Lord Jesus (John 13:2), the reason is not explained, but we see that it is an attitude of rebellion against God. Judas’ deed is more than a betrayal. He sold himself to the devil (John 13: 2). In contrast to Judas, we see the attitude of the Lord Jesus, who knew everything that was going to happen to Him and who could confront the devil, “because he knew that the Father had given all things into his hands, that from God he came and to God goes.” Jesus showed the full extent of His love to His disciples, taking on the role of a servant and washing the feet of all the disciples, including those of Judas Iscariot. The ministry that Jesus performed was one of the most humiliating. The Jews believed that a Jewish slave should not do this service and that this service was reserved only for the slave who came from among the Gentiles, women, or children. Jesus humbled Himself to show them His love for His disciples, whom He loved to the end.

Jesus showed not only His love for His disciples, but also for us by dying for our sins on the cross at Golgotha. Through our attitude of pride, disobedience, or rebellion, we become like Judas who was deceived by the devil and opened the door of his heart to sin and betrayal. May God help us to open the door of our hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Risen One, and to follow His example of service in love to one another.

Translated by Nicoleta Vicliuc