Monday, June 22
“The Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve” (Luke 22:3, NIV). No doubt Satan worked hard to get all of the disciples. What was it about Judas, though, that enabled the adversity to succeed so well with him, in contrast to the others?
Luke tells how Jesus prayed alone all night in the mountains before He chose His disciples (Luke 6:12-16). And Jesus believed that the Twelve were God’s gift to Him (John 17:6-9). Was Judas really an answer to prayer? How are we to understand what is going on here other than that even in Judas’ betrayal and apostasy, God’s purpose was to be fulfilled? (See 2 Cor. 13:8).
Judas, who had so much potential, who could have been another Paul, instead went in a completely wrong direction. What could have been a Gethsemane experience for him was, instead, like the fall in Eden.
“He had forested the evil spirit of avarice until it had become the ruling motive of his life. The love of mammon overbalanced his love for Christ.” – Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 716.
When Jesus fed the 5,000 with five loaves and two fish (Luke 9: 10-17), Judas was the first to grasp the political value of the miracle and “set on foot the project to take Christ by fore and make Him king.”-Pages 718, 179. But Jesus denounced the attempt. And there began Judas’ disenchantment: “His hopes were high. His disappointment was bitter.” – Page 719. Obviously Judas, as did others, believed that Jesus would use His extraordinary power to establish a worldly kingdom, and Judas clearly had wanted a place in that kingdom. How tragic: his desire for a place in a temporal kingdom that never came caused him to lose a place in an eternal kingdom that was sure to come.
Another time, when a devout follower of Jesus chose to anoint His feet with a costly ointment, Judas decried her act as an economic waste (John 12:1-8). All Judas could see was money, and His love of money overshadowed His love of Jesus. This fixation with money and power led Judas to put a price tag on the priceless gift of heaven (Matt. 26:15). From then on, “Satan entered Judas” (Luke 22:3, NKJV). And Judas became a lost soul.
There is nothing wrong with status, power, or money. The problem comes when these things (or anything) overshadow our faithfulness to God. Why is it always important to take stock of ourselves so that we don’t become as self-deceived, as was Judas?