Better to have never been born

Job expressed the desire to have never been born, so great was his suffering. In his moral confusion, Solomon considered better than both the living and the dead “the one who has not been born and has not seen the evil things that are done on earth” Ecclesiastes 4.3.

The Lord Jesus used this idea, of better to have never been born, for the one who betrayed him.

For the Son of Man will go as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for him if he had never been born, Mark 14.21.

Judas committed such a great evil, without repentance, that in his case the Lord declared the superiority of never having existed.

Jesus showed perfect agreement between divine determination, registered in the prophets, and human responsibility. God’s will cannot be derailed by man. Nor is man’s responsibility diminished by the eternal plan of salvation.

Life on earth ought to be dedicated to seeking God. This purpose is frustrated by most people, because they seek their own interests and run after carnal passions. So Jesus’ phrase applies as well in this case, for we waste life, lose out on the joy of knowing God, and will suffer eternal punishment for refusing the Way.

The terrifying truth about Judas describes the condition of all who betray, deny, disobey, refuse, or abandon the Lord Jesus.

Job never experienced so great suffering! Solomon never saw such a great evil!

Father, may this phrase not apply to me. I seek you!


This article was translated and adapted from our Brazilian devotional site, Deus Conosco. If you’d like to support this effort, go here.

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J. Randal Matheny

Servant of the Lord at GoSpeak
Randal and his wife have lived and worked in Brazil since 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. Randal's a lefty, a chocolate lover, an author and a poet. His microblog is randal.us.

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