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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Betraying Jesus

I was reading Luke 22 this morning and verse 2 caught my attention: "Then Satan entered Judas." This happens again here.
Here is the context. Up to this point the religious leaders have been trying to get Jesus in something he taught but could not. Their intentions were clear: put him to death. For what you say? They were afraid of Jesus becoming too popular, the people becoming enamored with Him to the point where they would actually believe He was the Messiah. He would raise an army against the Romans and try to over throw them. They couldn't allow this. They had a pretty good life with the power they had been granted.

They were afraid the people would do this. They tried to find ways, conspicuous ones that wouldn't raise suspicion of their plan.

Enters Satan. He is real. All along, even before Jesus's ministry, The Evil One tried to get him killed (Matthew 2, 4) . Now he's found an ally.

Enters Judas. He was counted as one of the twelve (v.3). How did this happen? We are not given too many answers. Here is what we know. He was the treasurer in the group. He was greedy and stole money. This is what he was interested. He spent the same amount of time as a disciple of Jesus never really believing in Him. He heard Jesus teach, preach; saw him heal, and save people.
He experienced the same closeness as the rest of the disciples. Jesus never exposed him until this time and it was not obvious to the rest of the disciples (this tells us how Judas didn't make it obvious). Jesus knew this would happen but He knew this was God's plan: "For the Son of Man will go away as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed." (v. 22). See also Mark 14:21

Judas decides to turn Him in. For money (a price of a slave). At the right moment. He does it with a kiss (a customary greeting). He acknowledges as "my great one" (Rabbi).

It's easy to condemn all the guilty ones here. We know who they were. But let's bring home an application. Is it possible for people to betray Jesus now? I say yes. Is it possible for a person to call himself/herself a disciple of Christ and not really be one? Is it possible that these followers spend all their life doing churchy and religious things and yet not really believe in Jesus? Is this not betrayal?

Is it possible for even a true believer to betray Jesus at a point and yet be a true follower of Jesus? Read about Peter. He did it. He repented. He lived and died for Christ from here on. That's the difference between name only followers and real followers of Jesus.

Don't forget Satan. He is involved in this world. Satan is much clever than we give Him credit for and he will get involved in your life if you let him.

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