“Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?” (John 6:70 NKJV)
Truthfully, I liked Scott until he got involved in politics. That’s when something about him changed. Maybe the political parties send their people to a special school to learn the craft of political persuasion, or at least they go to party powwows to plot strategy. In any case, words issued forth from Scott’s mouth that sounded suspiciously like the words that issued forth from almost everyone else of his political persuasion. But it was curious to me how his political opponents all seemed to have skeletons in their closets that only a select few seemed to know. His generosity was such that those skeletons were being shared with me.
Several years ago I was talking to a friend who had spent some time on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. He related an incident involving a prominent Congressman. At some social gathering the Congressman was approached by another, they spoke briefly, then separated, whereupon the Congressman turned to those who were around him and proceeded to tick off the man’s faults and foibles. I presume he went to the same training as my friend, who learned that if you can’t defeat your opponent’s ideas, then you attack the individual’s character.
Satan is called the “accuser of our brethren” (Revelation 12:10), and I never understood this fully until watching our politicians at work.
In a curious passage in John, Jesus tells his disciples, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, yet one of you is a devil?” (John 6:70 NKJV). The wording is curious because of what Jesus did not say. He did not say, “One of you has a demon.” He said, “One of you is a devil.” The Greek word is “diabolos”, which on one level means “devil”. But it means more than that. This same word appears in II Timothy 3:3 where it is translated “false accusers” (KJV) or “slanderers” (NKJV). Literally, “diabolos” means slanderer, and that’s exactly what the devil does, and it is exactly what that one disciple did who became a “devil”.
When it comes to evaluating people, I’m a bit naïve. I tend to trust people too much. But the knowledge of John 6:70 has saved me a lot of grief. We went through a bit of an episode in the office where someone with a little authority began a whispering campaign against certain employees. This was a prelude to eventual termination of the targets. The idea was to share evil reports whether fictional or true with other employees in an attempt to discredit them and to use as an excuse to fire them. It turned out the accuser was guilty of the same things he was accusing the others of doing, and worse. The ruse was less obvious at first, but became clear as we put the pieces together, and the evil was put to a stop before it could go too far.
The word of God gives us wisdom beyond that of our teachers (Psalm 119:99). Jesus knew what was in man, and he reveals to us the tools of the devil through his word. We cannot allow ourselves to be ignorant of Satan’s devices, for he does indeed deceive the whole world.