Today we are getting a bird’s eye view of a plot in the making. We watch as Judas hatches a plot with the chief priests to betray Jesus, the Master he has followed for three and a half years. This is a very familiar story, as we have covered it twice already. When we looked at these events in Matthew’s account we looked at some possible reasons for Judas’ decision. From Mark’s gospel we pondered questions about what might have been if Judas had asked for forgiveness from Jesus after Judas struck his bargain. Today I want to look at a couple of items that caught my interest.
The first thing I noticed was that Luke tells us right off that, “Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot” (verse 3). I believe Luke’s account because I trust that the Holy Spirit was working through him while he wrote his account/letter. I don’t believe the Holy Spirit would have let him use this phrase if it wasn’t true. So this tells me that Satan took a personal role in insuring that Jesus was handed over to the religious leaders. He didn’t send his second in command to deal with this critical issue. I don’t know if Satan inhabited/possessed Judas like his demons did with other people. I would at least put him in the influenced/oppressed category.
Second, Judas was the answer to the chief priests’ problems. They wanted Jesus out of the way but couldn’t get Him away from the people. They also didn’t know how to get close to Him. He could see them coming a mile off and ALWAYS won in any confrontation with Him. Now they had someone on the inside who could feed them information. They didn’t even have to try and find one of Jesus’ followers that they could corrupt. Judas came to them!
Luke’s last statement about Judas’ secret mission brings me to my third topic I want to address. The religious leaders didn’t want to take Jesus in front of a crowd. They wanted it all done in secret. Judas’ secret mission then became “How do I get Jesus alone?” This was Passover week and Jesus was going to the temple to teach daily. He was always in high demand. Getting Him alone was not going to be easy. Judas actually failed to find an opportunity to get Jesus on His own. But Jesus provided him with one instead. At the Passover supper Jesus would tell Judas to go ahead with his plan. I don’t know if Judas realized that Jesus was saying the He knew his plan, but he was willing to take what he could get.
There were actually THREE undercover missions going on at the same time. The first was Satan trying to find a way to kill Jesus and spoil God’s plan of salvation. The second one was Judas secretly trying to get Jesus alone. And the third one was Jesus orchestrating His timing of events to meet the Father’s timeline. We know which one of these missions was successful.
I think it is interesting that the religious leaders wanted to take Jesus privately but used the public crowd when Pilot tried to let Him go. Talk about an about face! Their chosen method of execution couldn’t have been any more public. Chalk that up to God’s secret mission! He can move the hearts and minds of men to suit His plans.
Lord Jesus, You had to set the stage for Your work. You moved behind the scenes from the beginning. You brought Judas into Your inner group in the beginning. I know You knew from the beginning who would be the one to betray You, but did Judas act any different than the other 11? He certainly had the other 11 fooled as to his real intentions. I don’t believe he had these designs in the early years. I wonder when he started changing.
I’m SO glad You kept the plan secret from Satan. He walked right into God’s will without even knowing it. Thank You that he is still walking into the final phases too. You have shared some of that plan but are keeping some aspects under wraps. I’m looking forward to seeing it all laid out once everything is all said and done. I already know Who wins!