Judas Iscariot was not predestined to betray Jesus, and he had a choice in the matter. Consider Psalm 41:9: “The man at peace with me, in whom I trusted, who was eating my bread, has magnified his heel against me.” (NWT) Notice that the prophecy does not specify which close associate of Jesus it would be. Jehovah God knew that the Devil had used David’s counselor Ahithophel to betray him, and He had that recorded because it demonstrated how the Devil operated and what he would do in the future. It was not God but “the Devil . . . [who] put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray him [Jesus].” (John 13:2) Instead of resisting, Judas yielded to that satanic influence.
In connection with the incident where Jesus declared that one of the twelve was “a slanderer” close to Passover 32 C.E., John says: “From the beginning Jesus knew . . . who was the one that would betray him.” (John 6:64) From Hebrew Scripture prophecies, Christ knew that he would be betrayed by a close associate. God also had seen that such a one would turn traitor, but it is inconsistent with God’s qualities and past dealings to think that Judas had to fail, as if he were predestined. Rather, at the beginning of his apostleship Judas was faithful to God and to Jesus. Thus Christ must have meant that “from the beginning” of when Judas started to go bad, started to give in to imperfection and sinful inclinations, Jesus recognized it. Judas must have known he was the “slanderer” Jesus mentioned, but he continued to travel with Jesus and the faithful apostles and apparently he made no changes.
The Bible does not discuss in detail the motives for his corrupt course, but an incident that occurred on Nisan 9, 33 C.E., five days before Jesus’ death, sheds light on the matter. At Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, Mary, Lazarus’ sister, anointed Jesus with perfumed oil worth 300 denarii, about a year’s wages for a laborer. (Matthew 20:2) Judas strongly objected that the oil could have been sold and the money “given to the poor people.” Judas’ real reason for objecting was that he cared for the money box and he “was a thief . . . and used to carry off the monies” put in the box. So Judas was a greedy, practicing thief. (John 12:2-7).
He must have had a good heart to begin with, since Jesus would not otherwise have chosen him as an apostle. But after being reproved by Jesus at that time, Judas resentfully plotted his Master's betrayal. (Matthew 26:6-16) At this time "Satan entered into Judas," likely in the sense that the traitorous apostle gave himself in to the will of the Devil, allowing himself to be a tool to carry out Satan's design to stop Christ. A few days later, on Nisan 12, Judas went to the chief priests and temple captains to see how much they would pay him to betray Jesus, again showing his avarice. When Jesus later revealed that one of the 12 would betray him, Judas innocently asked: "It is not I, is it?" (Matthew 26:25) He also betrayed Jesus with a sign of friendship--a kiss. Only a deliberate sinner could maintain such a bold facade.