Combatting Temptation

Suzie Eller

Day: 29 | Plan: Luke

Today’s Reading: Luke 22:1-38

Luke 22:23 (NIV) They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.

Temptation is an effort to lead us away from God and His best for us. Understanding the source of temptation is helpful. Knowing what to do when facing that pressure is empowering.

In today’s passage, Jesus and the disciples were celebrating a Passover meal when Jesus shared a startling announcement: Someone at the table would betray him.

There was nothing about Judas Iscariot to indicate he was about to commit an act he’d deeply regret. Judas had hidden his internal battle well, even from those closest to him.

Judas walked closely with Jesus. He witnessed the miracles that Jesus performed. Yet at some point, temptation crept in.

Everyone’s battleground is different, but Judas’ was greed. There had been glimpses that Judas Iscariot was losing his battle. Like the time Mary poured costly perfume over Jesus’ feet (John 12:3) and Judas protested, saying that the perfume could have been sold and the money put to better use.

He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it” (John 12:6).

One of Satan’s scheme is to isolate God’s people. When we are first tempted, the instinct might be to:

  • Pretend that it’s not happening
  • Feel shame that it is happening

Our strongest move is to bring it to the light.

At any point, Judas could have gone to one of the disciples to tell them he was heading in the wrong direction. These men had wrestled their own shortcomings, and could help put Judas’ feet back where they belong.

He could have also gone to Jesus, who would empathize with his struggle and offer help. (Hebrews 4:15)

Instead, he went to the men who conspired Jesus’ demise.

“They were delighted and agreed to give him money” (Luke 22:5).

That friend who delights in our temptation is no friend at all.

Judas Iscariot was tempted. He didn’t have to be the man who betrayed Jesus. At any point, he could have chosen a different path.

Temptation is not sin. It’s the perfect time to share our struggle with God, and a godly friend. If we have given in to temptation, it’s still not too late to make a U-turn. When we are honest about our sin, Jesus offers forgiveness and a second chance. (1 John 1:9)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You long that I walk closely with You, but the enemy desires to distract me from Your best. Today I acknowledge this temptation for what it is. Rather than being honest with You or godly friends, I’ve hidden this battle too long. I’m bringing it to the Light and asking for help. I refuse to struggle alone anymore. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

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