does a junction box have to have an outlet in it?

No. It has to be "readily accessible",  have a removable cover and it has to have enough volume to accommodate all the conductors entering and leaving, which is to prevent isolation damage. Adding an outlet hardware to a junction box would significantly decrease the space available inside which would be detrimental to its main function (since we call it a <strong>junction</strong> box).
If you were planning to use an outlet box as a junction box (NEC really makes no distinction between types of boxes, as long as they are of sufficient size), you can simply use a blank faceplate to cover it. Since you cannot "wall in" a junction box (so it remains readily accessible), if it has to be on a wall for any reason, it would even be installed as and look like an outlet except it would have no sockets on the faceplate. You could even get the blank faceplate in the same color/design as your real outlets so it does not stand out too much.
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