Our Wednesday night Bible study has centered on the Gospel of John. We have put the life and ministry of Jesus under the microscope to learn from Him and to grow in our love for Him. One of the main episodes of Jesus’ life is His betrayal by Judas Iscariot. From a practical point of view, there is a lot that we can learn from this event.
The betrayal of Jesus gives us insight to how Satan works. Satan loves to exploit weaknesses. In Judas’ case, we see that Judas exploits his greed, specially his love of money and love for money (John 12:6). Satan wants to exploit our weaknesses too. The Apostle Paul gives these words in Ephesians 4:26-27: “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil” (emphasis mine). Satan operates under the proverb of “if you give him an inch, he will take a mile.” That is his goal. So how do we not give Satan opportunity? We do not give him opportunity when we seek to “put to death what is earthly in you” (Colossians 3:5a). Let’s make Satan’s goal, which is to get us to fall away from God, harder not easier to achieve.
When it comes to Judas, we learn that one can walk close to the light for an extended amount of time and remain in the darkness. For three years, Judas has walked with “the light of the world” (John 8:12). He has witnessed Jesus walk on water, feed 5,000 men not counting women and children, and even raise the dead. Yet, Judas has remained unaffected and unchanged by the light. Why is that? Jesus answers our question in John 3:19: “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” It is a very real possibility that Judas remains unchanged by the light because he loved his greed too much.
We all struggle with the darkness that is within us. Temptation comes from Satan and part of its test is to see who and what we love the most. Let us love the light more than the darkness. Let us love the One went to the cross and was raised from the dead to overcome the darkness!