Recently, I was reading through the twenty-second chapter of Luke’s Gospel and what caught my attention was the way in which Satan continued to have his way with Judas. Take a moment and read Luke 22:1-6.
Luke says in verse 3 that “Satan entered Judas.”That phrase could mean many things, but I think its safe to say Satan began to sway and lead Judas at this critical point. Judas’ engagement with Satan begins with initiation, whereby Judas being led by Satan goes to the Chief Priests and hatches this plan, but then it moves from initiation to continual cooperation because in John’s Gospel, the Apostle John says after the Passover dinner, Satan enters Judas again (Jn. 13:27) and Judas leaves the room, apparently to tell the Chief Priests and the Pharisee’s where Jesus was going to be later that evening so they could arrest Him. So what began with initiation has led to continual cooperation, and then transitions to culmination, where the evil intention is acted upon. In Judas’ case the culmination was sealed with a kiss, when he handed Jesus over to the soldiers.
Track the progression! It begins with initiation, moves to continual cooperation, ends with culmination, and results in damnation: After betraying the Lord Jesus, Judas feels remorse for his act and punishes himself by committing suicide, and in Acts 1, the Apostle Peter says, “Judas left to go where he belongs” which is a euphemism for Hell. Judas went to hell not because he committed suicide but because he never at any point in his relationship with the Lord repented and allowed the Lord to actually be the Lord of his life.
Now please consider Judas’ life: Judas heard Jesus teachings’ for over 3 years, he witnessed the many miracles Jesus did during that time, he associated with the people of God on a regular basis, and yet given all of that, he never trusted Jesus as Lord (Jn. 6:64; 70).
Maybe you’re reading this and you’ve had the privilege of hearing the Gospel preached week in and week out, you’ve seen the Lord work powerfully in others’ lives and you’ve benefited from being in relationship to the people of God, but you’ve never personally trusted Jesus as the Lord of your life. If that’s true, let me say this to you: If you don’t yield control of your life over to the Lord Jesus, then at the big, intense, critical moments of life you’ll be swayed and led by spiritual forces that seek to deceive and destroy you, just as Judas was.
The truth is, being in close proximity to the teachings of Jesus, the miracles of Jesus and the people of Jesus is not the same thing as being connected to the Life of Jesus.