“Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve.” (Luke 22:3)
Puzzled people have tried to explain away Judas’ betrayal of Jesus. He has been portrayed as a righteous Zealot, upset that Jesus refused to destroy the Roman occupation forces. He has been portrayed as taking an action designed to force Jesus into a position where He had to act decisively against the Romans, only to be stricken with remorse when Jesus was crucified. Judas has even been portrayed as a victim, chosen by Jesus because He knew Judas would betray Him and, therefore, was an innocent victim of a divine play.
The fact is: We have no clear-cut knowledge of why Judas did what he did.
The closest we can get to knowing is from Luke’s statement: “Satan entered Judas.” Some would, again, call Judas a victim. They would say it is like being drugged or drunk: Judas was not the responsible party. But that doesn’t hold water either.
Judas walked with Jesus for three years. He saw the miracles. He heard the teachings. He fellowshipped with the Messiah, the Son of God. That means that Jesus, in choosing Judas, gave him three full years of opportunity for commitment. Eventually, whatever his reason or motivation, Judas turned away from Jesus, and THAT is when Satan entered Judas. Judas was not a victim. He was a perpetrator.
The Lord gives opportunity to everyone to turn to Him, to commit to Him. He holds each of us accountable for our decisions and the actions that follow. Choosing to commit to Him is the life path.
Lord, Choosing to follow You in faith and commitment has brought the greatest joy we can know. We thank You for Your grace. Amen.