Monday, March 30 2015
Luke 22:1-6, NIV 2011 “Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, 2 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. 3 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. 4 And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. 5 They were delighted and agreed to give him money. 6 He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present."
When we consider the events of Passion Week, we must factor in the influence of Satan- as we should for many of the events of our own lives. Not to grant more authority than is deserved, but at least to see that the enemy of life will always be looking for ways to destroy any evidence of life. In this case, Jesus has been teaching in or around Jerusalem for a few days and the time for Passover has arrived. Luke records that the “chief priests and teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus because they were afraid of the people”. Strange isn’t it what happens when our fears get the best of us.
I do find it interesting that Luke records two separate scenarios of fear, but one ultimate source. Perhaps, the leaders were afraid because they saw their power in jeopardy. If the people get their way, Jesus will likely push them to conform or get ran over. If that happens, it would possibly turn to chaos and the Rome would get involved. Everything they had spent the last 200 years reestablishing would be compromised. Maybe they feared the outcome of a small revolutionary who would possibly overturn their own influence. If he did that, then a way of life would be altered. It would impact them socially, politically, and financially. It could be that their greatest fear was change.
But what was Judas afraid of? Luke alone records that Satan “entered” Judas and it should wake us up to the reality that followers of Jesus are both subject to temptation and prone to wander. Judas’ was fearful of something, though we aren’t exactly sure of what. Perhaps he was fearful of the pending outcome – a dead messiah. What would that mean for him personally? What would he do next? Perhaps, Judas was afraid of what it would do to him to watch Jesus suffer, be rejected, and killed. (Luke 9:18-22). Perhaps, Judas just couldn’t process the feelings and caved. In any case, Judas gave Satan an invitation to “enter” and Satan took control of him. And when that happened, Judas needed some new friends.
Have you ever stopped to consider what doubt and fear really can produce in the life of a follower of Christ?
Have you ever considered that when you are anxious about something, that you may be experiencing the same struggle the chief priests, teachers of the law and even Judas were?
Have you ever considered that Satan may be using that to distract you from the truth?
The leaders and Judas were all simply pawns played by Satan to try and foil the plans of Jesus. Strangely enough, the plans of Jesus included Satan as much as Satan’s plans included the leaders and Judas. For it was the result of sin that Jesus was sold to death for a sum of money; however, it was in that death Jesus paid the debt that sin has caused in the first place (Mark 10:45; Matthew 20:28).
Go in Peace