Luke 22:1 – 6 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.
The only word I can think of when I read this passage is evil. Truly, we can see the powers of darkness at work here. The chief priests and teachers of the law were whispering and plotting. Judas, who always lived on the edge of darkness, was easy prey for Satan.
There are a couple of things that strike me about this little snapshot. First of all, the chief priests and teachers – the church people – were whispering and gossiping and planning and plotting. And the sad thing is, they probably thought they were doing the right thing. After all, they thought Jesus was a heretic, and they didn’t want Him to corrupt the good, God-fearing Jews. And when they were presented with an opportunity to destroy this man, they were delighted.
But honestly, folks, have you ever seen anything good and pure and holy come from whispering and plotting and slandering and gossiping? Have you ever seen anything lovely and right come from secret meetings and phone campaigns and negative, critical, clandestine e-mails flying around?
No, I didn’t think so. And these were supposed to be holy men. They should have known better.
But it happens in churches all the time.
Another thing I noticed was how easy it was for Satan to just enter Judas, and take over the situation. Satan fears Jesus. He stays away from Jesus. So it stands to reason that Satan would have avoided those people who stayed closest to Christ. But Judas . . . Judas was another story. Judas was never really close to Christ, though most would have thought he was. After all, he was one of the twelve. For all appearances, he was one of Christ’s most committed followers.
But though Judas may have looked holy and spiritual, he wasn’t. It was all a cover for a selfish, self-serving spirit. Judas didn’t care about pleasing Christ or being holy – we already know he sneaked around and stole money that was given for ministry purposes. Though Judas was physically near Jesus, he wasn’t close to Jesus.
Satan saw his opportunity, and he took it. This whole situation eventually led to Judas’ destruction. But do you think Satan cared? No. Of course he didn’t.
And friends, he will do the same thing with me and you. It doesn’t matter that we get dressed up and go to church every Sunday. Satan is very cunning, and he knows our weaknesses. Though the whole world may think we have it all together, Satan knows. He knows when we have drifted from our Savior, and he will pounce and destroy, without a second thought for our well-being. After all, why should he care what happens to us? He hates us.
He hates us, and he fears Christ. The closer we stay to Christ, the safer we will be from Satan’s destruction. I don’t know about you, but I want to stay where it’s safest. And the only way I know to do that is to maintain a constant, daily relationship with the Lord. Talk to Him. Listen to what He says in His word. Follow His leadership.
And I can guarantee He won’t lead us into any whispering gossip-fests.
Dear Father, I want to stay close to you. Please help me to do that by spending time with you every day. Walk with me, Father.