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We are initially told that Satan had put into the heart of Judas to betray Christ

John 13:2 NASB

And during supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him,

Again after having washed their feet during the meal Christ is said to have dipped a piece of bread and gave it to Judas and there after Satan entered him.

John 13:26-27 NASB

Jesus then *answered, “That man is the one for whom I shall dip the piece of bread and give it to him.” So when He had dipped the piece of bread, He took and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 After [l]this, Satan then entered him. Therefore Jesus *said to him, “What you are doing, do it quickly.”

Already it had been said earlier on that Satan had put into the heart of Judas to betray him so did the piece of bread make any difference in terms of being entered by Satan.

Does this mean the same thing?

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    Ecellent question. Up-voted +1. I think this has bearing on the parable of the sower and the four different conditions of heart seen in the parable.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 25, 2022 at 9:48

5 Answers 5

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The OP's question about the two significant events at the last supper teach something about how Satan "does" temptation so successfully.

In John 13:2 we learn that at the last supper, Satan had already suggested to Judas that he should betray Jesus. Indeed, he had already made significant preparations for this, such as a meeting and an agreement with the priests a few days earlier. However, and this is significant, he had not yet actually "done the deed" of betrayal.

[Note the Hebraism: "put into the heart of Judas" is idiom for "suggested to the mind of Judas", or, "put the idea in Judas' mind", or equivalent.]

Knowing humans as well as we all do, it is quite probable that Satan would have been unsuccessful in tempting Judas to betray Jesus in a single step. Instead, Judas was lead down a more gradual path of such great sin, in smaller steps. While each step led him closer, he still had not committed the great sin.

Having taken all the preparatory steps, both organizationally and psychologically, Judas was now fully prepared for the final act of treachery. In John 13:27 we finally learn that he opened his heart and allowed Satan to enter it and take control:

After this, Satan then entered him. ...

Commenting on this Ellicott says:

(27) And after the sop Satan entered into him.—The Greek expresses more vividly the very moment when the mind finally cast out love, and left itself as a possession for Satan. “And after the sop, then Satan entered into him.” It was at that moment, when the last effort had been tried, and tried in vain, when the heart hardened itself to receive from Jesus the sacred pledge of love, while it was plotting in black hatred how to betray Him; it was then that hope took her flight from a realm of gloom where she could no longer dwell, and light ceased to shine in a darkness that would not comprehend it.

Thus, the sad story of Judas and his steady progression from suggested sin to full-blown treachery is documented vividly. We see the distinction between a suggested sin and the act of committing the sin.

This is summarized by the Cambridge commentary:

  1. Satan entered into him Literally, at that moment Satan entered into him. At first Satan made suggestions to him (John 13:2) and Judas listened to them; now Satan takes full possession of him. Desire had conceived and brought forth sin, and the sin full grown had engendered death (James 1:15). Satan is mentioned here only in S. John.
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  • @FaithMendel - thanks for fixing my error.
    – Dottard
    Mar 31, 2022 at 21:31
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Jesus' parable of the four types of 'soil' where the 'seed of the word' lands, helps explain. Mark 4:1-20 needs to be read in full. Jesus explained the meaning of that parable to his followers (so, Judas Iscariot heard the explanation, leaving him without excuse when he evidenced not being 'good soil').

Judas had already received the baptism of John, the Preparative Messenger. The seed of the word that was then scattered about was the same seed in all four cases. What was different was the degree of preparation.

Satan is involved in the sowing of the word. He is intensely interested in every occasion when the seed of the word lands as a result of the gospel being preached by one who is prepared by God to preach it. Note that there is a difference between such God-ordained and God-sent preachers of the gospel of salvation, and the multitudes of Satan's preachers who either preach a corrupted message (i.e. not truly of the word of God) or an openly satanic gospel. Judas heard the pure word of God from the pure lips of the Son of God himself. This left him without excuse.

The seed of the gospel of grace is sown in the heart. Satan can gain access to such hearts. If he can, he will enter to take away the pure word that was sown in that heart. Wayside hearers have no preparation whatever so the word gets nowhere with them, as Satan's 'crows' find easy pickings on the surface of the hard soil. Without a changed mind, the heart is accessible to Satan and, unchallenged, that seed is snatched away immediately. Hardened ground is his ground.

The stony ground prevents roots developing. There are initial signs of response, but initial growth is not capable of producing fruit, and mere vegetation is worthless; the whole purpose of sown seed is to result in more seed (fruit). Although stoniness that blocks roots developing might not be apparent, circumstances will reveal it. Later on, during the few years of Jesus' ministry on earth, Judas was realised to have been pilfering money that should have gone to the ministry. His heart was on earthly treasure. And did not Satan know that, because he had seen the thieving actions of Judas?

Enough has been said on the matter of how Satan gets rid of the seed of the word, or prevents it taking root in a heart (where lies deceitfulness, desires for riches, desires to force Jesus' hand to make a political move etc). Now we can see how it was a heart unprepared to receive the gospel, the message of Christ, that enabled Satan to finally enter into the heart of Judas. The heart of Judas had become 'opened up' to Satan once Judas had prepared to betray Jesus, and had accepted money to do that.

The verses in question show that it was during the Passover supper, the last meal Jesus shared with all of the apostles, that Satan was able to 'seal' Judas's earlier preparations for betrayal so that his mind was now made up, and so Satan himself then entered into Judas once Satan had done that securing of Judas's mind.

So, the answer is that there was no distinct difference between 'putting into his heart' and 'entering into Judas'. The first led inexorably to the second, making them the warp and the woof of the one cloth. Satan has to corrupt the heart so fully that he can then enter into a person, to control them. And, in the case of Judas, it was to control him so that there would be no going back on what his hardened heart desired - betraying Christ unto crucifixion. Judas may not have thought his betrayal would result in crucifixion, but Satan knew that, once he had entered into Judas, that would happen to Jesus, the Christ. But he didn't know that the crucifixion of Christ would result in him being crushed in the head by the Son of God, the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15)!

[Largely taken from pages 47 to 56 of The Beginning of the Gospel, Nigel Johnstone, Belmont, 2012, http://www.belmontpublications.co.uk ]

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I think to understand this verse, we need to understand that there are four distinct Judas' in the gospels. In Mark, he has no motivation and is predicted to betray him at the last supper

Mark 14: 10-11

Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. 11 And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money. And he sought an opportunity to betray him.

He is seen here betraying Jesus by his own volition for no specific reason. In Matthew he is motivated by greed, his first priority is how much he'll be paid for the betrayal.

Matthew 26: 14-16

Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.

He takes advantage of their want to kill Jesus to get paid

In Luke, Judas seems to have no free will and is possessed by Satan before the Last Supper to carry out the betrayal.

Luke 22: 3-6

Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd

However, in John, Judas from the beginning seems to not be fully committed to Christ and we have signs of sin in his heart from early on

John 12:5-7

But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.

It seems like the act of taking the morsel seals the deal with Satan and the Devil is given the authority to possess him to carry out the betrayal

John 13:26-27

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.

I think the difference is whether Judas was conscious of what he was doing or not. Prior to the bread he is in control of his actions and Satan only suggests betrayal, for some reason after the morsel, Satan decides to possess him.

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  • So Satan can Posses a Man Fully ? Mar 31, 2022 at 19:05
  • @FaithMendel I'd like to understand what you mean by that? As in Satan can make a man lose all sense of reason?
    – lebaptiste
    Jun 3, 2022 at 0:40
  • I only asked based on what you said as your last words. Jun 3, 2022 at 21:21
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My question is if this is true and Judas took up his cross and followed Jesus why did Judas end up killing himself?

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First, translating the verb “paradidomi” as “betray” is anachronistic for texts written in the first century. See William Klassen, “Judas: Betrayer or Friend of Jesus,” Chapter 3 The Act of Judas: The Traditional Point of View.

Accordingly, John 13:2 is more accurately translated, “. . . the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to hand him (Jesus) over.” John 13:2 suggests an act of treachery only because of the involvement of the devil, not because of either the denotation or the connotation of the verb “paradidomi.”

John 13:1-4 is the preamble to the feet washing.

Verse 2 is the preamble’s clue to the need for the feet washing, which need is not addressed further until verse 18, where Jesus adopts the psalmist’s depiction of the trespass against him as an action of the foot: “[he] has lifted up his heel against me.”

We learn about Judas’ trespass against Jesus only from the synoptic Gospels: Judas went and made a covenant to hand Jesus over to the chief priests. (Mark 14:10,11)

We also learn there that Judas was still looking for an opportunity to hand him over when Jesus arose from supper and girded himself with a towel. (John 13:4).

The will of the Father of Jesus was that Jesus not raise Judas up again until the last day, the day that began at sunset during the last supper. (John 6:39)

In addition to raising Judas up again, Jesus also needed to respond to Judas’ trespass against him by telling him his fault so that he could hear him, in order to gain his brother Judas--all the while keeping his response to Judas between him and Judas alone. (Matthew 18:15)

Only Judas understood Jesus’ words, “You are clean, but not all.” (John 13:10) He was at that moment still looking for an opportunity to fulfill his obligation under the diabolical covenant he made.

Only Judas understood Jesus' words, “[he] has lifted up his heel against me.” Jesus’ words clearly depicted Judas’ making of the covenant to hand him over.

Truly, Jesus kept his response to Judas’ trespass against him between him and Judas alone.

Judas heard him, and Jesus gained his brother. (Matthew 18:15)

The effect of the washing by Jesus was to cleanse the one who was not clean. In other words, Jesus cast the devil out of Judas which put it into his heart to hand Jesus over. (John 12:31) Else, what God has cleansed is unclean. (John 5:19; Acts 10:15)

As a result of the cleansing by Jesus, Judas lost his desire to fulfill his obligation under the diabolical covenant he made.

Also as a result, Jesus had to choose and send an apostle to serve as guide for those who would take him. In other words, Jesus had to choose an apostle to eat his food with him. (John 4:34) What should not be a surprise, he chose the one who had already made arrangements to hand him over; he chose the one who had lifted up his heel against him. (John 13:18)

In effect, Jesus converted the diabolical covenant Judas made to deliver him into the cross which Judas had to take up in order to follow him. (Mark 8:34)

Jesus had staged the feet washing as a backdrop against which he could respond successfully to the needs of Judas. Against that backdrop, Jesus cast the devil out of him and gained his brother, Judas.

In anticipation of performing that special act of love for Judas, the feet washing, Jesus seated Judas to his right, the place of honor. Therefore, it was Judas, the newly gained brother of Jesus, who lay on his bosom and, at the beckoning of Simon Peter, asked, “Lord, who is it?” (John 13:25)

What the sop did at John 13:26 was confirm for Judas that Jesus chose him to hand him over.

What Satan did at John 13:27 was make Judas as adamantly opposed to the handing over of Jesus as Simon Peter. (Mark 8:31-33; John 18:10)

Nevertheless, Judas denied himself, took up his cross, and followed Jesus--the first of the twelve to do so. (Matthew 18:24; 20:16)

You see, it is not Judas who is possessed by Satan at John 13:27, but it is those who assume Satan at John 13:27 induced Judas to fulfill his obligation under the diabolical covenant he made who are possessed by Satan. (Matthew 7:1,2) It is they who savor not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. (Mark 8:31-33)

The sop symbolizes the work God gave Jesus to finish. (John 4:34)

Judas accepting the sop symbolizes his agreement to cooperate with Jesus as Jesus finishes his Father’s work.

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