Skip to content

No Footholds Here!

A fascinating drama unfolds in John 13:18ff. In it, Jesus reveals to his disciples that one of them will betray him. They are dumbstruck, and they wonder, who could it be?

And it is appropriate for them to wonder, because who would want to? Who, after having a first-row seat witnessing the miracles of Jesus, after seeing him bring back to life a man who had been dead four days, after hearing all his powerful sermons, would want to betray him?

And so Jesus proceeds to reveal to them who it is; he says, “It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread after I have dipped it into the dish.” He then dips a piece of bread into a dish, and gives it to Judas Iscariot. The bible says, in 13:27 “As soon as Judas had taken the bread, Satan entered into him.” Judas then leaves, and soon after, he sells Jesus out to his murderers for thirty pieces of silver.

If you haven’t met Judas before, you might believe him a victim here – Satan enters him, when he was busy being a disciple, and exploits him unto him betraying Jesus. But was he really? John, the writer of this gospel, doesn’t seem convinced that Judas was merely a victim.

In chapter 12, John describes another drama, wherein a woman pours this ultra-expensive perfume on his feet, and proceeds to wipe them with her

hair. Judas, observing this, objects to it. He remarks as to how wasteful it is, notes that if this perfume had been sold, the proceeds could have been used to lift many poor people out of poverty. Verse 6 says this about Judas, “He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.”

Judas was a thief! This disciple, who had seen with his own eyes Jesus do exploits, was a thief who routinely helped himself to the monies that were given to Jesus and his disciples to support his ministry.

But there is an even greater indictment against Judas than his thieving.

A certain state of heart about Jesus is necessary in Judas in order for him to take issue with the woman pouring this expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet, in order for him to interpret this as wasteful. It must be the case that he does not regard Jesus as God. If Judas understood and acknowledged that Jesus was God, he would have been perfectly at peace with any extravagance being shown him. He would have rejoiced at another person recognising his deity, and anointing his feet with perfume. He would have rejoiced that another had know the Lord for who he was. Instead, he was angry at the wastage.

Judas’ contempt for the deity of Christ

marks him out as a man who was never really a true disciple. And therefore, when Satan enters Judas, he isn’t struggling to break the door into the heart of a man who resists the entry. No. He finds it ajar, with a red carpet laid out for him. Satan hasn’t commandeered a victim; he has found a willing collaborator, a man he can work with, because the man lets him.

In Ephesians 4:25ff, the bible urges us to be children of the light, to speak truth, and to be careful that our anger does not lead us to sin. “Do not give the devil a foothold”, the writer urges us, before proceeding to instruct us, in summary, to be godly people.

Is your heart given wholly to the Lord? Have you known Jesus as Lord, recognised his deity and surrendered your will to him? Are you given to godliness?

Or are you merely tagging along with the Lord, like Judas, sinning routinely without remorse, and being contemptuous of Christ’s deity? Have you given the devil a foothold? Are the doors to your heart ajar, waiting for Satan to enter?

Shut them to him, I urge you, before the cost you incur far exceeds the thirty pieces of silver he is offering you to let him in.

Back To Top