Now the festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was near.2The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to put Jesus to death, for they were afraid of the people.3Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve;4he went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers of the temple police about how he might betray him to them.5They were greatly pleased and agreed to give him money.6So he consented and began to look for an opportunity to betray him to them when no crowd was present. Luke 22:1-6
Judas....He's a strange guy for most of us to understand. In some ways it's hard to imagine he would betray Jesus for a bag of coins. He had been so close to Jesus and was part of the inner circle of friends. So, why? Maybe he's just to too close to reality for our comfort.
Each of the Gospels deals with Judas a touch differently. Luke, is simple. Satan took over. Now, I'm not a big Satan believer. It's really hard for me to wrap my mind around a living Satan the way people think today. I've studied too much and know that many of our images and ideas come from Dante and other authors who wrote very good vivid images that have stuck in the societal mind's eye. Now, I do believe in evil. I've seen way too many people who were cruel and hatefilled. I've known the times when I was touched by evil and was hateful myself. For those moments I'm ashamed and seek forgiveness. Do you?
But this idea of Judas being entered by Satan and betraying Jesus still leaves the need for a solid answer that leaves me out. You know....Judas had to do it so God made him do it....It had to be someone...he was greedy. There are all kinds of theories about Judas that make him unrepeatable.
I think Judas is the reminder for all of us that we turn away from Jesus in our lives. We are tempted to betray Jesus. For most of us in the USA we live a very nice life with many comforts. Standing up for out faith really isn't a part of our community. In fact you can claim to be Christian and live a life that shows no sign of Jesus in it. The ways to betray Jesus in our lives are plentiful.
How do we betray Jesus? How do we deny our faith?