Luke 22; John 13
Almost every Saturday morning, I spend a bit more time than most to read, meditate, muse, ruminate on the scripture passages for the day. Reading through the Bible chronologically has truly been a great joy. It has shown me things in a string of events that were not readily seen reading front to back.
But today, just a few thoughts…
Luke 22:3 “Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.”
How could anyone living so close to the Savior be so blinded as to who He was or be unconvinced seeing the miracles that he saw? The clear testimony of blind people being made to see. Lame made to walk. Crippled ones healed. The deaf to hear and the dumb to speak. He was in the boat when Jesus walked on the water and saw Peter get out and walk on water as well.
To not only be oppressed but possessed by the devil himself seems unfathomable. Outside to the references to the Antichrist, Judas is the only other person in the Bible to be possessed by Satan.
How did none of the rest of the disciples not sense the evil, the doubt, the secret agenda in the heart of one of their own? They thought him greedy because he was the treasurer of the group and the keeper of the bag.
John 12:4-6 “Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.”
Satan planted the seed, but Judas brought about the fruit.
Luke 22:4-6 “And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.”
Betrayal takes a certain amount of lying; to those you betray and to yourself. Here, the Pharisees were glad to have one of Jesus’ disciples come with an agenda that matched their own. “…in the absence of the multitude.” shows me that they operated in secret.
Some of the greatest tools to getting right and staying right is honesty and transparency. These were nowhere to be found in this special, secret meeting.
Realizing the the church leaders of the day made a pact with the devil himself brings shivers to my soul. Can it be said that no one in that meeting was saved? Not Judas. Not the group of Pharisees that were in agreement. Just thinking about the subtlety of Satan here in this account… the only one who detected who he was and what he was doing was Jesus.
But what of Nicodemus?
Nicodemus had a ‘coming out’ of sorts.
John 19:38-39 “And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.”
But why not when Judas was about to betray Jesus to the bloodthirsty, power-hungry Pharisees? Makes me think he wasn’t invited to the meeting. Just a thought…
As this night progressed, Jesus shared the last supper with them. At that meal, He declares that He will be betrayed by someone at the table. They all inquire:
Luke 22:23 “And they began to enquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing.”
Then, the very next verse states:
Luke 22:24 “And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.”
What a selfish, prideful lot! The whole situation had gone sideways – and right in front of the man they knew to be the Son of God. It is utterly amazing what the presence of the devil can do to those who name the name of Jesus Christ!
Closer to home, I think how I might be deceived into thinking or doing something like Judas did – or Peter.
Luke 22:61-62 “And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.”
My relationship with the Holy Spirit of God is what will keep you and me on the right path. When we do, we are more than conquerors.