Satan Entered - by Greg Steggerda

The Bible is such a compelling story of people that sometimes I forget it’s really about God and Satan. This morning I was reminded of that as I continued reading the life of Jesus as recorded in Luke. The first part of Luke 22 pulls the curtain back again to show us, in verses 1-6, that this is really about ancient prophecy and the battle between the two competing powers of this world:

“Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. 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. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.”

We tend to look at the chief priests as the bad guys in this story, and Judas Iscariot as a traitorous pawn. Those things are true, but behind all of that there’s a hard truth: God predicted this struggle centuries ago. Had Jesus come in a different time and place, then a different set of people would have been suborned by Satan. This is a cosmic confrontation that had to take place, and human hearts will always be the battleground when Jesus and Satan collide.

It makes me think a couple of things. The first is that there is a supernatural element to all of human affairs in that so many of our conflicts arise from which supernatural being we serve. All of us either obey the words of Jesus, or the counsel we’re actually following is Satan’s whispered lies about what will make us happy.

The second is how grateful I am again that Jesus called me, and sent his Spirit to help me to make sense of his life and sacrifice. Because otherwise Satan’s lies would make just as much sense to me as they did to Judas, and a life of discipleship to Jesus would look like foolishness.

With these two thoughts come two prayers: Lord, thank you for not leaving me to fight Satan by myself. And give me the compassion and spiritual eyes to see myself in ones who repeat the Devil's lies simply because they haven’t met Jesus yet.