The Devil’s door

“The devil having now put into the heart of Judas to betray him” (John 13:2)

How did he do it?  How did Satan turn Jesus’ friend, Judas into the biggest betrayer in all of history?  Judas had worked with Jesus, walked with Jesus, ate with Jesus, rested with Jesus.  He had seen all the miracles the other eleven disciples saw.  He had listened to the same sermons and teachings of Christ that the other eleven disciples had heard.  So, why Judas?  Why not Peter, or John, or Andrew, or Thomas?  Why was it Judas who betrayed Jesus Christ?  What was the thing about Judas that made him different from the other eleven men who had given their lives to be molded by the Savior?

Judas life gives us a lesson in how the Devil can get a foothold in a person’s life.  We find it in John chapter 12, verses 3 through 7.  Mary had brought a pound of spikenard and poured it on Jesus’ feet.  From Mary’s heart, it was an act of love.  Jesus saw it as an act of love.  However, to Judas it was something entirely different.  Judas saw it as a waste of money.  So, he took issue with Jesus about it.  Jesus responded to Judas by telling him to leave Mary alone and allow her to continue.  It was a gentle rebuke by Christ to Judas.  Judas could have taken it as an opportunity to learn a lesson about the priorities of love and devotion.  But instead, Judas heard the rebuke as an offense to him personally.  In the very next chapter of John (chapter 13), we read the fateful words in verse 2.  The words that nailed Jesus Christ to the cross. “And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him.”

Judas became offended when Christ corrected him, and it was at that moment of disagreement that the devil found an open door into Judas’ heart.  When the verse tells us that “the devil having put into the heart of Judas to betray him,” the term “Put into” is a Greek term that means to throw or to inject.”  It carries with it the idea of the forward thrust of a sharp knife.  This reveals to us how quickly Satan moved to inject a seed of betrayal into Judas’ heart.  That turned Judas from one of Jesus’ close associates, into a deceiver and betrayer.  Satan had penetrated Judas’ mind and emotions with a seed of disloyalty that deeply embedded and lodged in Judas’ soul.  Judas feelings of being offended had opened wide a door of opportunity for the devil to slip in.  Judas refused to let go of the disagreement and forget about it.  Instead, he allowed it to fester and become an issue to him.  He blew it out of proportion and fell into Satan’s web.  The devil succeeded because Judas refused to take control of his emotions. 

Be careful what you allow to offend you.  Be careful what you allow to fester in your heart and mind.  Proverbs 19:11 tells us, “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”  We live in a fallen world.  Of course, we’re going to be offended by things people say and do.  Of course, we’re going to feel insecure around others or rejected by them.  Satan wants to drive a wedge between us and others.  His way is to divide and conquer.  Whether it’s a family member, a friend, a co-worker, or even a spouse.  When those offenses happen, the best thing we can do is take them to God and ask him to protect us from blowing things out of proportion, by helping us to choose the path of forgiveness.  And he will help us do that – before the devil finds an open door into our heart.