…Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side, so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.
– John 13:21-30
Days before his death, Jesus ate a meal with His disciples. Included at the table was Judas Iscariot who had been stealing from Jesus and plotting against Him for some time. Jesus was a perfect friend to Judas, yet his response was pure evil. From the tragic example of Judas, we learn seven effects of evil people:
1. Evil people are dangerous and distressing. Jesus was “troubled in his spirit” knowing the depth of evil and betrayal in Judas’ heart.
2. Evil people intentionally cause harm. Foolish people do not usually mean to cause harm but do so through bad decisions. On the other hand, evil people plot and plan to cause harm intentionally and maliciously.
3. Evil people betray those who are in relationship with them. Judas used Jesus for three years as Jesus loved him, served him, fed him, and taught him. Judas betrayed Jesus because he never valued the relationship or loved Jesus.
4. Evil people hide who they truly are. Some people are overt and easy to get to know. Other people are covert and virtually impossible to get to know. Judas had so hidden his heart that when Jesus told the disciples one was a betrayer, it was not obvious that He was speaking about Judas.
5. Evil people do not want to change. In openly declaring that one of the disciples was plotting His murder, Jesus provided yet another opportunity for Judas to come clean, apologize, and ask for help to change. But, Judas did no such thing because he had no interest in changing.
6. Evil people are known to fake faith. Some people think that Judas lost his salvation, which he did not. You cannot lose your salvation, but we learn from Judas that you can fake your faith.
7. Evil people live by the power of the demonic and need to be released. Judas invited Satan into his life and as a result Jesus released him, knowing that nothing more could be done. Tragically, people like this cross our path now and then and at some point we need to release them and grieve as Jesus did.
Is there any area of your life in which you are evil and need to come clean and get help to change? Is there anyone in your life who is truly evil and you need to stop rescuing and start releasing?