Peter’s Deception

In my last blog I shared that Satan deceived David in the Old Testament. Like Eve, David believed a lie and the consequences were devastating. Could that also happen to one of Christ’s apostles? It did! Luke records, “Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve” (22:3). In John’s gospel it is recorded that, “During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him” (Jn. 13:2). Judas was called by God, witnessed the miraculous ministry of Jesus, and yet betrayed Him. How could that happen?

Some may conclude that Judas was just a bad character, and therefore acting out his depraved nature. That may explain why he had stolen from the treasury, but that is not what Scripture teaches. The thought of betraying Christ was put into the heart of Judas by Satan. Having stolen the money is what made him vulnerable to Satan’s schemes (thoughts). When Judas realized what he had done, he hung himself.

Jesus said to Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers. Peter said to Him, Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death. Jesus said, I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me” (Lu. 22:31-34), and that happened. I believe that Peter had a good heart, as opposed to Judas, which is why Jesus said “when you have turned again.” Jesus knew that Peter would be repentant. It is noteworthy that Jesus didn’t rebuke Satan and prevent him from controlling Peter. The context reveals what right Satan had to sift Peter like wheat. “A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest” (Lu. 22:24). Pride comes before a fall.

Dr. Neil

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