Satan Entered Judas

Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Jesus is so infamous that modern English dictionaries include an entry for his name. A “Judas” is a person treacherous enough to betray a friend; a traitor.

The Bible does not explicitly say what motivated Judas to betray Jesus. Judas was a thief (John 12:6), and money was involved, but there may have been more to it than that. The Bible does attribute the action to Satan, and it does so at two different times. Luke says “Satan entered into Judas,” prompting him to go to the Jewish leaders and arrange Jesus’ betrayal (Luke 22:3-4). That was sometime during Jesus’ final week. On the night the betrayal actually occurred, Jesus ate the Passover with His disciples and shared a morsel with Judas. John says, “After the morsel, Satan then entered into him” (13:27; cf. v. 2). Putting these two references together, Satan prompted Judas to arrange the betrayal, then again to follow through with it.

Neither of these references suggests any overpowering on Satan’s part. Like all temptation, Satan “entered” Judas by making the suggestion and urging him to act on it. Judas let Satan in by being receptive to the suggestion and carrying it out. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7b).

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