The Devil in Judas

March 8, 2022

And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God (John 13:2-3).

When you consider this last evening Jesus would spend with the disciples, it was anything but a life affirming, spiritually rewarding, and emotionally satisfying night. Upon arriving at the upper room, the disciples were arguing who would occupy the more prominent seats of authority in the Lord’s Kingdom. Judas Iscariot, whom the disciples despised, and whom Jesus knew was in the process of betraying Him, attended the meeting. Following the Passover Seder, no disciple took it upon himself to wash the others’ feet, so Jesus performed the task. Peter would rebuke Jesus for assuming the role of the household servant. At that point John 13:21 states Jesus was troubled in spirit. But the disciples were concerned about themselves and not for Jesus. Before the night was over, Jesus would be in such agony of spirit that the capillaries under His skin would begin to break and He would ‘sweat’ drops of blood.

How are we to understand the statement, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot . . . to betray Him? Does Satan have the power to know our thoughts, to speak to our conscience, to influence our motives and will? Luke 22:3 says that Satan entered Judas when he went to betray Jesus to the Chief Priests, Scribes, and captains of the Temple guard. So, when Judas gathered with the disciples for the Passover observance in the upper room, Satan was already at work in Judas’ heart. This statement would be repeated in John 13:27 for emphasis. One year earlier Jesus had already judged that Judas was a devil (John 6:70-71), “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?” He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.  

Judas had come to the Passover meal, one of the most sacred observances in Jewish life, with murder in his heart. He had lived with Jesus and the other disciples for 3 years, consumed with greed and a thief. He had been tempted by Satan to betray Jesus weeks, if not months before this final Passover, and Judas had yielded to the temptation. From the moment of his yielding, Satan was working overtime in Judas to inflame his mind, heart, and spirit to seize the moment when the betrayal would occur.

The Apostle James gives us the process whereby temptation leads to death. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God;” for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death (James 1:13-15). The desire of Judas was his greed. The enticement was 30 pieces of silver, the price of a slave. This desire led to sin, betrayal, which was agreed upon in the court of the Chief Priests. After having completed the transaction, the guilt of sin overwhelmed Judas who then went out and hanged himself. Though he did not love Jesus, and would not spend eternity with Jesus, John tells us Jesus loved him to the end (John 13:1). Amen.


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