Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Satan Entered Judas Iscariot Twice

        The gospels report that Satan entered into Judas Iscariot twice, but they reveal the influence of Satan upon Judas only for the first entrance.

        Luke 22:3 reports the first entrance of Satan into Judas, and John 13:2 gives an explicit statement of Satan's influence - the devil "put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him."

        Luke 22:4-6 describes the betrayal.

        Matthew also describes the betrayal.

        Judas "went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?" (Matthew 26:15)  In other words, Judas offered aid to the enemies of Jesus. By definition, Judas betrayed Jesus.

        This betrayal is the trespass of which Jesus said, he "hath lifted up his heel against me." (John 13:18)

        This betrayal was diabolically motivated, and it is the sin that Judas would later confess to the chief priests and elders of the people, "I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood." (Matthew 27:4) Also, it is the transgression by which Judas fell from apostleship, that he might go to his own place. (Acts 1:25)

         Note: Judas will later serve as guide to those who arrest Jesus, but that service will be to Jesus. The actual delivering up of Jesus to the chief priests will not be a betrayal. It will not be diabolically motivated. It will not be a sin. It will not be the transgression by which Judas fell from apostleship. On the contrary, it will be the eating of the flesh of Jesus and the drinking of his blood. It will be the participation of Judas with Jesus in the laying down of his life. It will be the first instance of the Holy Communion.

        John 13:27 reports the second entrance of Satan into Judas, but no explicit statement of Satan's influence is reported anywhere. Verse 30 states only that he went out (to guide those who would take Jesus).(Acts 1:16)

        The reader of the Gospel of John, if he is to have an opinion about the influence of Satan upon Judas after Satan entered into him at John 13:27, must make an assumption about the nature of that influence. 


        The fact that there is a second entrance of Satan into Judas implies that there is a departure of Satan from him.  In fact, and it should be no surprise, Jesus cast that devil out of Judas.

        Jesus knew that the chief priests and Pharisees had commanded that, "if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him." (John 11:57) Also, he knew that Judas had gone to them and made a covenant with them to hand him over. Clearly, Judas was lost, and in that state of lostness, he had betrayed Jesus and was in danger of eternal destruction.

        We know what a man with an hundred sheep would do if he should lose one of them. (Luke 15:4-6) Why have we not known what the good shepherd would do?

        We know what a woman having ten pieces of silver would do, if she should lose one of them. (Luke 15:8,9) Why have we not known what he would do, who said, "Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost?"

        We know that he kept them in his Father's name, those that his Father gave him, and none of them was lost, but one. (John 17:12) Why have we denied him who said, "For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost?" (Matthew 18:11)

        We know what Jesus taught us. He said, "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone ... ." (Matthew 18:15)

        Dare we make of him an hypocrite?

        The hour had come for Jesus to depart out of this world unto the Father, and Judas was lost and had betrayed him. (John 13:1,2) Now, with time running out, the matter of Judas took precedence over all else.

        Jesus knew of betrayals in the scriptures. One such betrayal was described figuratively, "Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me." (Psalms 41:9) This figurative description of the betrayal suggested to Jesus a manner of confronting Judas which would in effect be private, although the two of them would be in assembly with the other apostles.

        Jesus washed the feet of his disciples because it offered him the opportunity to declare to them that one of them was not clean. That declaration, being nonspecific, was understood by none of the disciples, but Judas, who had betrayed him. In effect, Jesus told Judas his fault between him and Judas alone.

        Then, taking further advantage of the washing of their feet, he enabled himself to convey his message of forgiveness to Judas when he quoted the scripture and thus associated the uncleanness with a part of the foot, "He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me." (John 13:18)

        Symbolically, Jesus conveyed his message of forgiveness to Judas by washing the heel that Judas had lifted up against him. He knew that Judas would understand the symbolism.

        Judas understood that Jesus forgave him his trespass. Literally, he felt the cleanness of the heel that he had lifted up (figuratively) against him. Spiritually, he felt the departure of that devil that had put into his heart to betray Jesus.

        Jesus, in this manner, gained his brother.

        This is not a defense of Judas for his trespass against Jesus. It is a proclamation of the intent of Jesus  to forgive and of the power of Jesus to save. Let no man call unclean that which God has cleansed.  Let no man make of him an hypocrite.

        Now having saved that which was lost, Jesus took up again the cup which his Father had given him to drink. Jesus resumed his efforts to lay down his life as a once-and-for-all sacrifice to his Father for the sins of the world.

        Jesus was determined to lift himself up on a cross for all men to see. He needed assistance from men who would know not what they were doing.

        As his next step, he sent for those men. He sent the brother that he had just gained. He chose and sent his servant Judas Iscariot to deliver him up to those who would take him.

        Satan entered into Judas for the second time after Jesus identified him as the one to deliver him up. (John 13:27)

        What influence did Satan have upon Judas?

        He opposed him every step of the way. (Matt 16:21-23)


        I offer these words only in my own name.

2 comments:

  1. This is an interesting perspective you have. I haven't heard it put this way, but that certainly doesn't make it wrong. I will have to study it more though.

    If we assume that what you have written is correct, then I feel it makes the case I wrote about yesterday (Serving the Undeserving) even more convincing. Judas was not worthy by any human standard of having his feet washed by Jesus, but Jesus did it anyway. What an example to us.

    Thanks for the thought provoking post!

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  2. Thank you for your comment, Straight Talk Steve.

    "Satan Entered ... Twice" presents the footwashing as a strategic maneuver by Jesus to confront Judas about his fault and to convey symbolically his message of forgiveness.

    After the footwashing, the heel that had been lifted up against Jesus was clean.

    Thus, the example that Jesus gives us in the footwashing is one of forgiving those who trespass against us.

    If we understand the washing as a forgiveness of a trespass or as a cleansing from sin, then the idea of being worthy of the washing is an oxymoron.

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