Tempted or tested.

Today I was reading in the book of Luke chapter 22. My word was “temptation”.

As I was reading over the word, I started thinking about Judas. I read how he was tempted by greed, which is why he was able to accept a price to betray Jesus. I get it, money is the root of all evil, but I still felt unsettled. I mean, let’s face it, we all face those same temptations right?

Then I was tempted to question why? Not question the obvious of why he would do it? But why God would allow Judas to bare the weight of that betrayal? It seemed like a high price to pay for a few coins. I guess I just felt bad that Judas ended up killing himself and that he died knowing that he betrayed Him.

I started praying for the Holy Spirit to give me understanding. As I continued to read over the word, that question of why didn’t leave my mind. God help me understand. He was one of your twelve. What was different between him and us?

It bothered me so much that I read over the entire chapter 3 times! I know I’m missing something. Then I read the part where it said in Luke 22:3 “that Satan entered Judas”. I read that verse in every translation, and it all said the same word.; “entered”.

That word instantly made me think of possession which means to take control of something. But what was crazier was that you can only control something that belongs to you. Although Judas walked with Jesus, sat with Him and ate with Him, he chose to grab hold of what tempted him.

Then I thought of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness. I thought, well He was tempted. And that’s when the Holy Spirit helped me see what the difference was (beside Jesus being nothing like us) He showed me that Jesus didn’t give in, He combated temptation with scripture. Jesus was being tested. He chose the will of the Father. His flesh didn’t want to endure what He knew was coming and so much so, it says He sweat blood over it.

Then it made me think of all the other people that were tested through out His word and what they all had in common was choosing God’s will to be done over their own. Abraham chose to sacrifice his son. He was being tested. David brought a rock to a sword fight and he was tested. Job lost everything and was tested but still chose God’s will to be done over their own.

Then I thought of Adam and Eve when they were tempted in the garden, they gave into their desire to be like God and that brought death. I thought about Judas and his temptation of greed which brought death. It was never the temptation but the test of whether they were going to choose their own way or the Lords. Our will brings death and separation from God, His will brings us life and freedom.

What stood out to me was that Judas had the same chance that Adam and Eve had. He had the same chance that the three men had when being thrown in the furnace had, they could have just knelt and worshiped the statue to avoid being burned to death. He had the same chance that Daniel had to choose His own way to avoid the lions den. So why Judas? If it wouldn’t have been Judas, it could and would be anyone of us, because like Judas we all must choose. And every day in our own ways we do. Jesus told all of them at the last super that one of them was going to betray him, Judas could have chose not to, but he gave into his greed.

Judas didn’t bare the weight of betrayal, he bore the weight of his choice. Jesus carried the weight and He died for it.

At first I thought that was sad, but what saddens me most is that when it all boils down to it, His children get tested but they still choose God’s will and those who who are not His, Satan controls. Free will is just the option to chose, it’s not the right to live your own way.

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