Judas Among Us

Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death, for they feared the people.

Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd. Luke 22:1-6.

Well, he looked like a disciple and acted like a disciple. He was a follower of Jesus. So how did Judas go wrong? How did Satan enter into him? There are some who think Judas was just trying to force Jesus’s hand, goading Him to use His power to overthrow the Romans and restore the earthly kingdom of Israel. And when Jesus wouldn’t do that and let Himself be captured, Judas killed himself. Others think that the devil exploited the greed that Judas cultivated while being in charge of the ministry’s money (John 13:29). The Bible doesn’t make this clear. All we know for sure is that the capture and execution of Jesus was an inside job.

We don’t like to think there are betrayers in our midst. We don’t want to maintain suspicion in the body of Christ. But the scriptures are peppered with examples of false prophets and other phonies. And the new testament carries warnings of deceivers creeping in among us. When Paul leaves the church of Ephesus for the last time, he warns the congregation he helped build, “I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.” (Acts 20:29-30).

Both our character and our teaching should be able to withstand close examination. And that starts with self-examination. “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” (2 Corinthians 13:5).

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