Question & Answer – Why did Jesus choose Judas, of all people, to be one of his disciples?

Judas was not one who Jesus personally called to be a disciple. He had called the others and was instructing them of the work that was to be before them and preparing them for ordination when Judas urged himself to be part of the inner circle. He made great profession of devotion to Jesus and proposed to become one of His disciples, even insisting that he was willing to follow Him wherever He went (Matthew 8:19). Christ knew that Judas was possessed of the demon of selfishness and his main object in seeking a connection with Christ was to obtain temporal advantages through Him. Jesus referenced His own poverty, contrasting His condition of having nowhere even to lay His head with the foxes that had holes and the birds that had nests.

This “was designed to cut off any hope Judas might cherish of securing earthly gain by becoming a follower of Christ. Judas was a man of acknowledged executive ability, and possessed of no small influence. For these reasons the disciples were anxious that he should form one of their number. They commended him in the highest terms to Jesus, as one who would greatly assist him in his work. They were therefore surprised that He received him so coolly; but the Saviour read the heart of Judas, and knew, even then, the part he was to act in his future betrayal and execution. Still, Jesus wished to connect this man with Himself, that he might learn his divine mission, and gain moral strength to overcome the defects in his character, and experience an entire change of heart that would ensure his salvation.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 202, 203.

Unfortunately for Judas, he held on to his selfish nature and his carnal heart was never broken to realize the love that had been offered to him. He was covetous; he loved money. Jesus “kept him by His side, where He could counteract the influence that he might exert against His work.” The Review and Herald, May 12, 1903.

Though Judas had a strong love for money, he was not always corrupt enough to do such a deed but he had fostered the evil spirit of avarice until it had become the ruling motive of his life and he eventually sold his Lord for thirty pieces of silver (see Matthew 26:15). The money did him no good.

“The history of Judas presents the sad ending of a life that might have been honored of God.” Conflict and Courage, 317.