This is not one of my favorite passages. I had always wondered when it was that Judas became lost, heading down the path of destruction. We are told here it was Satan who entered him. The old phrase, “the devil made me do it” is what we’re seeing here. Did I miss where it said the same for the religious leaders and teachers?
We’ve seen how the religious leaders have been bothered by Jesus as their authority has seriously been put into question. But for that frustration to escalate to a desire to kill seems a little extreme to me. The law of Moses they are so careful to follow and interpret clearly says “Do not kill.” I don’t know how you can refute the word of God here, and yet they seem to ignore it when plotting to kill Jesus. Certainly Satan is at work in them, too.
Do you think Judas realized he was being used by Satan? Satan is crafty. I wonder if the other disciples could sense a change in him. Satan is alive and well today, and he preys on us all, waiting for our moments of weakness. He fills our heads with lies. I don’t pretend to know or understand it fully, but I am a firm believer of the evil in this world.
People often wonder why bad things happen. Without exalting Satan, he is definitely the one in charge of those horrible things. Satan orchestrates the evil we see in our world, in our own lives. God stands by crying with us, lifting us up, giving us hope, loving us through our trials. Some of Satan’s handiwork includes: worry, fear, anger, loneliness, greed, gluttony, cruelty, corruption, etc.
We also wonder why God doesn’t stop this evil. He could certainly overpower the devil. That is one question I can’t answer. I can only presume that he allows it for our own good. Whenever I’m feeling particularly bothered by a circumstance, it helps to call out the devil, and stand on my faith and assurance of the Father. Thinking of Job’s example in the Old Testament, I am often comforted by the fact my situation is not even close to what he suffered. God was with Job. Job stayed faithful. While he lost everything, more was given for his obedience. God turned a horrible situation into something beautiful.
You may be walking through some darkness right now. If not you, someone you care about. Satan needs to be stopped. The day is coming when Jesus will have the final triumph. As I always told my students, the Bible has a happy ending. God wins! God does win, and his power is available for us. We can never forget that. His power will help us overcome. Believe in that promise. Stay the course. Blessings are around the corner.
Let’s pray. Father God, I thank you for this clarity today. Satan is crafty and will prey upon all of us, especially those of us trying to do your will. The closer I get to becoming the person you want for me, the more Satan will interfere. Help me to stand strong and overcome all of the temptations and trials. I know that you are with me, and may my eyes stay focused on you even when troubles come. I look forward to each new day as a new opportunity to love you more and enjoy your provisions. Help me give others the encouragement and hope they need to find their way back to you and your strength. In Jesus’ name. Amen.