Luke 22:3 Then SATAN ENTERED Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve.
Luke 22:31 ‘Simon, Simon, SATAN HAS ASKED to sift you as wheat.
TWO MEN….Judas, the Iscariot and Simon Peter. Three years earlier, before Jesus entered the scene, they were just ordinary men. One was a fisherman at the shores of Galilee and the other, nothing much is said about him before then. But here there are,…three years on sitting with a man called Jesus of Nazareth…whom they have come to love, revere and have deep admiration for. Yes…here at the table of communion. The Lord’s heart is deeply troubled. Yes…because the time has come…THE TIME which His Father had been waiting for. To glorify His Son through a death…DEATH ON THE CROSS.
But while Jesus knows that His death is imminent, His heart is also deeply troubled by the fate of two men…men who had been part of His team. Men…who had shared bread at His dinner table, listened to His sermons and teachings, men who had witnessed great miracles. And yet…these two men, Judas, the Iscariot and Simon Peter has something else in common which the Lord knows about: SATAN’S PLANS WITH THEIR LIVES.
But wait a minute…there was one difference. You see…Satan did not bother to ask any permission before he could use Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus. No! The bible says…SATAN ENTERED…which means simply, HE HAD ACCESS into Judas’ life. Judas had given him a foothold and now there was not turning back. But Peter’s story read differently. Yes! The bible says …SATAN HAS ASKED…which means…without permission, SATAN HAD NO ACCESS into Peter’s life. This reminds me of another story some centuries before..THE JOB STORY! And yes, while it is true by reading Jesus’ words that Satan had been given permission to sift Peter as wheat…Jesus comforted Peter with these words.
But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. and when you have TURNED BACK, strengthen your brothers. Luke 22:32
You see, as a child of God, every once in a while, Satan will come before God to ask for permission to sift you. And even though you might look like you have failed the test…God knows you will TURN BACK. Where there is a SIFTING…there is purification and a TURNING BACK.
But sadly and incredibly tragic…where there is a BETRAYAL…there is only condemnation and A POINT OF NO RETURN. Jesus said this about Judas ….but WOE to that man who betrays him. Luke 22:22
Tomorrow, as we remember the our Lord’s last communion with His disciples, ask yourselves these questions. Of the two…which way do I represent? If the Lord was physically present in my life today…what would He say of me at His dinner table?