Bible Reading: John 18:1-11; Matthew 26:47-50
Yesterday we saw how Satan could only work if a person gave him a legal right to do so. We see a very sad but clear example of that in the life of Judas Iscariot. There are some powerful warnings for us in the lives of Bible characters, and not least in the life of Judas.
Judas had the amazing privilege of being chosen to be a disciple of Jesus, and to live with Him and learn from Him for three years. The problem with Judas was that he had a problem with money, and yet he was chosen to be the treasurer for Jesus and His disciples. He must have had a gift in handling money, and yet it was money that was the root of his downfall. Sometimes our greatest strength can also be our greatest weaknesses.
The Bible contains a lot of teaching about money. Writing to Timothy, Paul warned that, “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” [1 Timothy 6:10 NKJV]. This exactly describes what happened to Judas Iscariot.
Although we do not know a great deal about Judas Iscariot, we do know that the Bible called him a thief [John 12:6]. It was Judas who complained when Mary of Bethany poured the expensive perfume over Jesus. He sounded very upright when he said that the money could have been used to care for the poor, but actually he coveted the money for himself!
Because he condoned his sinful coveting of money Judas became a target of the enemy. Here was an entrance for the evil one. Imagine the temptation when he was offered thirty pieces of silver to betray Jesus. The temptation was too much for him. Tragically, full of remorse, he returned the thirty pieces of silver, but it was too late, and not long afterwards Judas committed suicide
[Matthew 27:3-6]. If only Judas had dealt with his root problem then it would not have given an open door for Satan to enter, and destroy him.
I have seen too many instances of Christians, and of Christian leaders who began well but were destroyed because of covetousness and the desire for more and more money, and for lavish lifestyles. In many respects we would do well to simplify our lifestyle. In my own life, I discovered that if I begin to like money too much, then it has become an idol, and I was best to give it away. For some people the root issue might not be coveting money but sexual issues, the desire for power and position, or even putting family before God. It has been well said that the three major issues that Satan uses to destroy Christians and Christian leaders are money, sex and power!
Is there an area in your own life that has not been surrendered to Jesus, and if the door is not shut, could give an entrance to the evil one? Are you prepared to let Jesus deal with that issue that could stumble you?
Read Psalm 139:23-24. Would you pray today this prayer of David?