Satan and Judas


Luke 22:1 Now the festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was near. 2 The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to put Jesus to death, for they were afraid of the people.
3 Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve; 4 he went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers of the temple police about how he might betray him to them. 5 They were greatly pleased and agreed to give him money. 6 So he consented and began to look for an opportunity to betray him to them when no crowd was present.

It’s well known that Judas was the disciple who betrayed Jesus. What we don’t know is why. Why did Judas do this? What was his motivation? Of the four gospel-writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) Luke is the only one who tries to answer the question.

“Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot…”

There it is. The devil made him do it. Well, the devil can’t actually MAKE anyone do anything, but he can persuade and tempt people to rebel. I find it particularly interesting that Luke makes this claim about Judas though (unlike Matthew and John) Luke was not one of the original twelve disciples (nor was Mark), which means he didn’t have immediate knowledge of the situation.

The last time we saw Satan in Luke’s gospel, Jesus was tempted three times in the wilderness immediately after his baptism. Though Satan failed to cause Jesus to stumble in the wilderness we are told that Satan would try again “at an opportune time” (Luke 4:13). However, instead of attacking Jesus directly, Satan manipulated Judas – who executed the betrayal.

Like Judas we are all vulnerable from time to time. We may be facing disappointment, hardship, lost love, whatever. And when we’re weak is when Satan will come calling on us – tempting us to rebel against the Lord. Let’s pray.

Lord Jesus you know what it’s like to be tempted by Satan. We all face temptation from time to time, but unlike you, we are not sinless or blameless. Give us grace to resist the temptations of Satan. And when we fail, give us hearts that seek repentance and forgiveness. We pray this in your holy name. Amen.

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