Have you ever felt betrayed by a friend or by someone you dearly loved? When it happened, were you shocked? Did it feel like that person put a knife in your back by violating your trust and revealing things that should have been kept in confidence? Did you marvel that such a trusted friend could turn out to be so disloyal? Did you wonder, How in the world could a person so dear and close be used so viciously by the devil to attack me in this way? 

It’s painful when a friend betrays you. It’s even worse when the person is your best friend or someone you’ve known and trusted for many years.

Betrayal is something that has happened to people since the beginning of time. It is simply a fact that the devil is a master at distorting and ruining relationships. He knows how to lure people into situations where they end up feeling offended or hurt; then he coaxes them into nurturing their offense until it mutates into strife that separates even the best of friends and family.

Don’t forget — Satan was kicked out of Heaven because of his unique ability to create confusion, discord, and strife. Heaven is as perfect as an environment can be. Yet in that perfect environment, the devil was still able to affect one-third of the angels with his slanderous allegations against God. Angels who had worshiped together for eons of time now stood opposed to each other over issues the devil had conjured up in their minds.

That should tell you how clever the devil is at creating discord and strife! If the devil is persuasive enough to do this with angels, think how much easier it is for him to deceive people who live in a far-from-perfect environment and who wrestle daily with their own imperfections and self-images!

Satan watches for that opportune moment when a person is tired, weary, or exasperated; then he waits until someone does something that person doesn’t understand or agree with. Suddenly it is as if the devil shoots a fiery arrow of rage straight into the person’s emotions! Before long, strife, bitterness, unforgiveness, and division begin to mount. Friends who once stood side by side and cherished each other now stand facing each other as hostile rivals.

If this sounds familiar, be encouraged! This same scenario happened to Jesus! After working with Judas Iscariot for three years, the devil found his way into Judas’ soul, turning him so sour against Jesus that this disciple became His betrayer.

But we need to ask: What opened the door for this deception to occur inside Judas?

In John 13:2, the Bible gives us a very powerful insight into the way the devil establishes a foothold in people’s minds. Back in John 12:3-7, Mary brought a pound of spikenard and poured it on Jesus’ feet. Judas thought her act of love was a waste of money and took issue with Jesus about it. But Jesus told Judas to leave Mary alone and allowed her to continue. John 13:2 then tells us, “And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him.”

What was the exact moment that Satan put this thought into Judas’ heart? Apparently, it was when Judas became offended with Jesus about the spikenard. Perhaps Judas didn’t agree with Jesus’ decision, or maybe he didn’t like the fact that Jesus told him to leave Mary alone. Or maybe it was because Judas was a thief. As the ministry treasurer who stole regularly from the moneybag he held, he probably didn’t like it when money was spent elsewhere instead of being placed in the treasury!

Whatever the reason, it was at that moment of disagreement that the devil found an open door into Judas’ heart.

Especially notice the phrase “...the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot.…” The words “put into” come from the Greek word ballo, which means to throw, to cast, to thrust, or to inject. This word ballo carries the idea of a very fast action of throwing, thrusting, or injecting something forward, such as the throwing of a ball or rock, or the forward thrusting of a sharp knife.