As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. John 13:27 (NIV)
A man opens himself towards the enticements of evil. His eyes fill with the world. He has followed Jesus for some time, but he hasn´t given himself fully to the Lord. He keeps the pocket book held tightly. The teachings of Jesus have not moved him to turn from the world he lives in. He still sees how he can get ahead. He still looks for what he can get out of this life. He hasn´t sought to separate himself that much from his former ways. He hasn´t abandoned his love for personal gain. He hangs out with other followers of Jesus. One would expect him to be one of the select of God. He stands in a privileged position in those that Jesus called. Yet his heart is far from Jesus. Even as he sits in the presence of Jesus, he is selling out his Master.
Our blood begins to boil. When we think of Judas Iscariot, we struggle to come to terms with how he could sell out our Saviour. How on earth could a man walk with the Lord so long and see so much, and still betray Him? How could Judas spend so much time in the company of believers and still give himself to evil? How could one who actually stood in the Presence of the Lord still let the devil fill his heart? Do we just want to throw our accusations at this man who handed over our Lord? Is there much we could say about the crime he committed against our beloved Saviour? Are we right in feeling hostility towards him? Or are we often just like him?
Every day and in a thousand ways we get to choose how we will receive things. We walk in a world that would pull us into its way of acting and of thinking. We have been called out of this rat-race. We have a higher calling. We have the grand opportunity to fill ourselves with the love and devotion to the Lord. But how often do we still let our hearts fill with the things of our former life? How often do we see the bread and take it? How often do we directly divert our attention from Jesus and go after something we want in this world? Is it so easy for us just not to think about it? Has the devil blinded us to what we are doing? When we do anything less than fill our eyes and our hearts with Him, are we selling Him out? When we look to our gain, our position, our lives, are will letting evil enter in?
Perhaps it is time that we use the story of Judas to work in our favor. Could we learn from what happened long ago to a fellow follower of Christ? Could we check ourselves often? Could we draw close to our Lord? Could we ask Him to search our hearts? Could we ask Him to fill our eyes and our souls with hunger for God? Could we ask Him to guide us step by step as we follow Him Heavenward? Could we guard ourselves against opening our hearts to the enticements of where we live? Could we set our gaze firmly on our Lord? Could we look to see that our love for Jesus is really greater than our love for other things? Could we look now to see how we might be letting evil in?
There are so many ways we may let You down today. Please tell us our love for You is real. Draw us into a close embrace. Pull us so close that we are protected from our very selves. It is not enough for us just to call ourselves followers of You. We want to fill our entire lives so fully with You that there is no room left for any distraction to sneak in!