“Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.” Matthew 26:14
Just for fun, here’s a little background on Judas Iscariot. “Judas’ surname is more probably a corruption of the Latin sicarius (“murderer” or “assassin”) than an indication of family origin, suggesting that he would have belonged to the Sicarii, the most radical Jewish group, some of whom were terrorists.” (www.britannica.com) His birthplace also suggests he would most likely be from a hot spot of radical activity.
Something else we know about Judas – the Bible says Judas was the treasurer of the disciples: “…as keeper of the money bag…” (John 12:6) Unfortunately for the group, having Judas in charge of the money was like putting Bernie Madoff in charge of your 401K –“He (Judas) did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.” (John 12:4-6)
So he was a radical zealot-thief in charge of the money.
Judas sold Jesus out for 30 silver coins. To put that in perspective, 30 silver coins equaled about 120 denarii back in the day, or the equivalent of 3 months’ salary. So we aren’t talking about 30 cents or even 30 dollars. We’re talking about a pretty hefty sum of money that the chief priests put in front of a money-hungry, denarii-stealing Judas that day.
But we’re leaving out a very important part of the story. Yes, Judas had an issue – he was greedy and a thief. But don’t miss this point: instead of resisting the devil, Luke 22:3-4 tells us, “Then satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus.”
Judas’ issue led to a crack in the door which led to satan entering the crack which led to disobedience (sin).
So here’s what I learned studying this story about Judas for a bit. See satan didn’t approach Judas through alcohol or his golf game or his perfect children. None of those were his issue. Satan got TO him and IN him by means of the area he struggled with the most – greed.
(And just to freak you out a little, the enemy knows your issue, too.)
And once Satan knows what your issue is, he’ll use that issue to cut you off at the knees. He’ll use it to get you to do his bidding. He’s not stupid – in fact, satan is “the father of lies” (John 8:44) with plans to “steal, kill and destroy.” (John 10:10)
Just calling a spade a spade, my friends.
Judas had a weak spot and the father of all lies capitalized on it. Big time. We Christians have got to be better at standing up to the one who wants to use our weaknesses for his purposes instead of what our weaknesses are supposed to be used for – God’s glory. Come on, people. Let’s face our issues and stand up to Satan with a boldness that can only come from Jesus – it’s time!
Jesus said, “I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). He didn’t say, “I’ve overcome greed but not alcoholism, lying but not pornography, idolatry but not pride.” Easter morning is the validation that Jesus has indeed overcome the WORLD, and everything in it – including the enemy.
And you, with the power of the One who has overcome the WORLD, can overcome your issues, too.
“Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
You have the power to defeat the enemy when he tries to use your issue for his purposes.
So use it.