Betrayed (Luke 22 v 1-6)
As we return to Luke's Gospel, we reach the last 48 hours of teh Lord Jesus' life. The pace of the narrative slows, adn teh tension rises.
Jesus in Jerusalem
As Luke begins his account of the “passion”, we’re at stalemate. Jesus has entered Jerusalem as the King (19 v 28-38)—but Jerusalem doesn’t want Him (19 v 39-44). The religious leaders are set on killing Jesus (19 v 47, 20 v 19), but they’re concerned about the reaction of the crowd if they arrest Him in public (19 v 48, 20 v 19). They won’t be moved in their opposition to Jesus of Nazareth— but they don’t dare make a move on Him.
Something has to give. And something does.
Satan hasn’t appeared since 4 v 1-13, when his attempts to convince Jesus to be a king under his influence, rather than under God’s rule, failed. Thwarted, “he left him until an opportune time” (v 13). And this is that time.
- What does Satan do (22 v 3)?
What is shocking about:
- who Judas is (v 3)?
- what he does (v 4)?
- what he does it for (v 5)?
- How does Judas’ offer break the stalemate (v 6)?
- Who now appears to have the upper hand in the battle between Jesus and His human foes, and the struggle between the Son of God and His cosmic enemy?
Judas was directed by Satan; but he was not dictated to by him. He could have resisted, just as Jesus had. But he chose not to.
It’s a chilling moment. Here is Judas, a man who followed Jesus, who professed loyalty to Jesus, who knew and ate with and laughed with Jesus, who witnessed His power and love firsthand. And then who betrayed Him.
Perhaps Luke is challenging us to ask ourselves: Could I be like Judas? How might being the centre of attention... when might being feted by human power... how might the lure of wealth... cause me to forsake my Lord?
"For a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But ... while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5 v 7-8).
Thank Jesus that there is no sin His blood cannot cover, no betrayal His death cannot blot out. Ask Him to forgive how you have betrayed Him in the past; and ask Him to change you so that you will not do so today.
This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.
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