“Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the twelve”.
Lk 22:3 NIV
I t is difficult to decide which of the disastrous incidents in the final few days of Christ’s life was the worst. The Jewish leaders wanted rid of him. Judas agreed to betray him. Peter denied him. Pontius Pilate weakly let the crowd have their way. It is significant that Luke in describing Judas’ action refers to him as “one of the twelve”. Luke seems to be saying, “It happened, this treasonous act, right there from amongst the intimate core of Christ’s disciples”.
Judas had walked and talked with Jesus. He had listened to the parables, witnessed the miracles – had gathered up the crumbs after the miraculous feeding of the five thousand hungry people – and had seen the opposition to him of the religious high-ups. Some disciples on the strength of similar access were ready soon to give their lives for Jesus. But Judas never made it. He was Satan’s son.
One of the stubborn facts of human existence is the undeniable presence of evil. Satan is always looking for an opportunity to mess up the good things and to invade the holiest circles. He corrupted the greatest Jewish King, David. And he had taken occupation of the religious leaders in Jerusalem as they sought to rid the city and the people of Jesus. Instead of welcoming Jesus and lionising him as God’s Son, they tried to “queer his pitch” at every step of the way. It all shows that religious groups are often the most vulnerable to Satan’s wiles. It happens today – in high-up dignitaries, popular evangelists, and seemingly committed spiritual leaders in churches. Disciples will not be surprised or shocked at the personal failures that occur. They helped to crucify Jesus.
Lord, help to protect me from the stratagems of Satan.