Is Betrayal of Jesus Forgivable?
Is betrayal of Jesus forgivable? Matthew 26:24 makes it seem that it is not.
"The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born.” Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” He answered, “You have said so” (Matt. 26:24-25).
For starters, we must recognize that this verse refers only to Judas Iscariot and his particular situation. It is not a general statement about sin or temporary apostasy. After all, Peter's denial of Jesus can be considered a kind of betrayal of Jesus, and yet clearly Jesus forgave him.
In warning against Judas's betrayal, Jesus could have been including the resulting shame and despair that Judas would later feel over his actions. Church tradition seems quite clear that had Judas repented and sought forgiveness from the resurrected Jesus, he would have received it. Perhaps we can surmise that to truly have spent all that time with Jesus and still have betrayed him means that Judas had, in his heart, chosen to irrevocably reject Jesus.