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! good were it for that man if he had never been born.
Read Chapter 14
The Lord Who had foretold His Passion, prophesied also of the traitor, in order to give him room for repentance, that understanding that his thoughts were known, he might repent. Wherefore it is said, “And in the evening he cometh with the twelve. And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you whicheateth with me shall betray me.”.
That is, Judas, who when the others were sad and held back their hands, puts forth his hand with his Master into the dish. And because He had before said, One of you shall betray me, and yet the traitor perseveres in his evil, He accuses him more openly, without however pointing out his name.
The evening of the day points out the evening of the world; for the last, who are the first to receive the penny of eternal life, come about the eleventh hour. All the disciples then are touched by the Lord; so that there is amongst them the harmony of the harp, all the well attuned strings answer with accordant tone; for it goes on: “And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto Him one by one, Is it I? "One of them however, unstrung, and steeped in the love of money, said, “Is it I, Lord?”, as Matthew testifies.
Again, He says, “One out of the twelve”, as it were, separate from them, for the wolf carries away from the flock the sheep which he has taken, and the sheep which quits the fold lies open to the bite of the wolf. But Judas does not withdraw his foot from his traitorous design though once and again pointed at, wherefore his punishment is foretold, that the death denounced upon him might correct him, whom shame could not overcome; wherefore it goes on: “The Son of Man indeed...
Ostom: Where it is evident that He did not proclaim him openly to all, lest He should make him the more shameless; at the same time He did not altogether keep it silent, lest thinking that he wasnot discovered, he should boldly hasten to betray Him.
Knowledge is of what exists and foreknowledge is of what will surely exist in the future. For simple being comes first and then good or evil being. But if the very existence of those, who through the goodness of God are in the future to exist, were to be prevented by the fact that they were to become evil of their own choice, evil would have prevailed over the goodness of God. In this way God makes all his works good, but each becomes of its own choice good or evil. Although, then, the Lord said, “Good were it for that man that he had never been born,” he said it in condemnation not of his own creation but of the evil which his own creature had acquired by his own choice and through his own heedlessness.
But the other disciples began to be saddened on account of the word of the Lord; for although they were freefrom this passion, yet they trust Him Who knows all hearts, rather thanthemselves.It goes on: “And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish.”.
The word here used, “goeth”,shews that the death of Christ was not forced, but voluntary.
For as respects the end for which he was designed, it would have been better for him to have been born, if he had not been the betrayer, for God created him for good works; but after hehad fallen into such dreadful wickedness, it would have been better for him never to have been born.