The Demise of Judas: Matthew 26:20-25
“20) Now when evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples. 21) As they were eating, He said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me.” 23) Being deeply grieved, they each one began to say to Him, “Surely not I, Lord?” 24) And He answered, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me. 24) The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” 25) And Judas, who was betraying Him, said, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” Jesus *said to him, “You have said it yourself.”” Matthew‬ ‭26‬:‭20‬-‭25‬ ‭
This scene unfolded during the actual Passover meal between Jesus and His disciples. John’s account of the meal goes into much more detail and covers John 13-17. The account of Judas leaving is found in John 13:21-30. Judas was absent for all of the teaching that followed in John 14-17. It did not apply to him. He did not become a partaker of the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
What becomes most instructive is the love and gentleness with which Jesus dealt with Judas. He was not rude or harsh, but He was honest and truthful. He mentioned that one of them would betray Him. According to John 13:26-27, the moment Jesus dipped the morsel of bread and gave it to Judas, Satan entered into him.
Judas opened a door and Satan walked through it. The Bible warns of seven basic sins or strongholds in the life of a believer that can give ground to the devil. Ephesians 4:26-27 is an example of how unconfessed anger can give ground to the enemy. It is sobering that Paul was warning Christians about the consequences of anger and bitterness.
I maintain there is a huge difference between yielding ground in the flesh or soul versus what happened to Judas. A sinful bondage or stronghold is different from demon possession. The text is clear that Satan entered into Judas. It gained control of his body, soul and spirit.
But notice that Judas did not at all resemble or act like legion in Mark 5:1-20. Judas was in control. He looked and acted normal, but his deeds were predictable. He betrayed Jesus! I could argue that he was deceived, bitter over the rebuke from the pure nard perfume, full of pride and greed and overflowing with rebellion. He left the door open for Satan to walk through. Sadly, Judas was even in the inner circle of the twelve disciples with no suspicion or red flags from the other eleven.
Listen carefully to the next observation; “Legion was not Satan’s master piece, Judas was the Son of Perdition.” Satan can translate himself into an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15) It behooves us to test the spirit and examine the fruit before blindly trusting others. (See 1John 4:1-6 and 7:13-23) in
Yet, we must not expect perfection from others. Spiritual growth is a process and good people will fail. Peter is a prime example. He denied Jesus three times. I’m not sure if betrayal or denial is worse. Yet in John 21, Jesus extended grace and a second chance to Peter. After Pentecost Peter became mighty in Spirit. He was a very different man. His failure opened the door for grace, humility and genuine repentance.
Jesus made provision for human fault and weakness. The Holy Spirit does a deep work of sanctification and transformation in the life of genuine believers. Those who are “in Christ” undergo a deep and thorough transformation. The contrast between Judas and Peter punctuates the difference between the fake and the genuine.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global