Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. —Matthew 26:3-4

Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him. —Matthew 26:14-16

            We need to be aware of those around us who may seem to one of us but are actually being used by Satan to bring harm.  Judas was with the other disciples for about three years.  Three years they walked together, talked together, worked together, listened to Jesus together… and yet Judas was never one of them.  We need to ask our Lord to help us be sensitive to those around us.

            Jesus knew who Judas was from the time He chose the twelve— Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!”  So, we need to ask our Lord to help us understand those who are truly living for Him and those who are not.  Yes, we need to ask Him to help us be aware.

            Judas’ weakness that Satan used was “the love of money” which “is a root of all kinds of evil” (I Timothy 6:10).  His evil betrayal of Jesus was just for “thirty pieces of silver” —the price paid for a dead servant (Exodus 21:32).  “The love of money” can bring all kinds of destruction.  It can even cause some to wander “from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (I Timothy 6:10).

            Those that plot against the followers of Jesus will look for “professing” believers that are not truly believers to bring forth destruction.  Again, we need to be Holy Spirit discerning and be on guard because it is true that “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (I Peter 5:8) and we need to be aware of his schemes (II Corinthians 2:11).  So… “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:10-11).  Yes, Dear Father, may this be so by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son and my Lord, Jesus.

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