The heart of Judas Iscariot
And supper being ended, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;
We read in today's scripture as Jesus and His disciples finished celebrating the feast of the unleavened bread the devil had already put into the heart of Judas to betray Jesus. It was not that the Jewish authority did not know Jesus that they needed Judas to identify Him. It was due to rules in the Jewish law that required at least one person on record as witness to identify Jesus. The Jewish authorities could not find any person for that job but later Judas became the witness they sorted.
In today's message the Lord wants us to understand what made the heart of Judas so hard that He betrayed the Living God who was with him as man. It was only later that Satan entered Judas and overtook his heart.
At the supper after Jesus warned His disciple about someone among them who will betray Him, all asked as to who it could have been, but Jesus did not answer plainly. But when John asked Jesus in quiet as to who that person was; Jesus dipped a piece of the unleavened bread in grape juice (wine) and gave to Judas pointing him out as the one. It was at this time Satan possessed Judas and led him to betray Jesus. It was unleavened bread that symbolized Jesus that accelerated Judas' evil heart.
To know how evil got into Judas' heart let us back track Judas.
Judas was the finance manager of Jesus' team. It was Judas who mostly handled the bag of money, money which people must have given Jesus considering Him as a Man of God. The love for money was so much with Judas that holding it gave him a satisfying feeling.
It was not a day's passion for riches that did Judas. Throughout Jesus' ministry Judas' concentration was on the money. We need to remember when Jesus sent the twelve on a mission without money or any food Judas too was among them. Judas too healed and delivered people from bondages. He too had gone without money and by faith trusted God to provide.
Bible states Judas Iscariot as son of Simon. It was interesting to note who this Simon was and then we understand what led to Judas' heart becoming like this. Just before Judas volunteers to betray Jesus we find he was rebuked for commenting on the wastage of expensive alabaster to put on Jesus' head. He was not the only one who was rebuked, with him were other disciples but yet he took it very personal. That was because they were all in his house when this happened. Judas was the son of Simon the leper. His father was called Simon the leper not because he was still a leper but because he was one before Jesus had healed him of leprosy.
Leprosy was looked through religious point of view as the worst condemnation by God, and anyone having that disease was excommunicated and isolated from society. They had to live outside the city and had to shout out 'unclean, unclean' when they entered the city to beg for their meals.
In today's society no disease including AIDS is not look down upon as much as an leper was in those days not because there were no greater disease then but all because of its religious connection.
We see Judas was among the greatest benefactor amongst all Jesus' twelve disciples yet he betrayed. We see he did have faith and love for Jesus but money moved him further and further from his master such that one day a small rebuke led him to harden his heart to the extend to betray Jesus.
Satan could not have entered him or overtake his heart unless he had moved it far from his master. It was greed and pride that moved his heart away from his master same as these had done to Satan himself when Satan was still in the upper Heavens close to the glorious Throne (not a chair or seat) of God the Son.
Let us be aware of how greed and pride worked in Satan and the son of perdition (self-destruction) Judas. Let us not be fooled by miracles happening in our lives or through us, for even Judas did them. But let us be always aware of how far is our heart from the Heart of God so that evil may not overtake us suddenly.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, in Heaven all things were precious and good yet the craving for these without purpose led to greed being born in Lucifer. This greed added unto him so much that pride entered him and led him to deceive. His deceit cause man to sin and become sons of perdition. Lord, it was because of your love and mercy that You made available an eternal Sacrifice to cover us with your Righteousness to save us and bring us back to You. We may not be perfect but do not let us be far from You such that evil overtakes us and destroys us..
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
22 Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.
23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.
24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.
25 He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?
26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.
3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.
4 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?
5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.
6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.
7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.
8 She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.
9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.
10 And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them.
John 13:29 - For some thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus said unto him, Buy what things we have need of for the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.
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