Daily Word

Kiss of betrayal | Matthew 26:47-50

47 And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came [ s ]accompanied by a large crowd with swords and clubs, who came from the chief priests and elders of the people. 48 Now he who was betraying Him gave them a sign previously, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the one; arrest Him.” 49 And immediately Judas went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. 50 But Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested Him.

Matthew 26:47-50 (NASB) 中文

Preparing, (not) praying, plotting

While Jesus was agonizing in prayer over His coming severest of self sacrifice, Judas was sealing the deal with the Jewish religious leaders. Jesus was preparing Himself mentally, psychologically and spiritually for this while His disciples were not praying but sleeping and the betrayer, Judas was plotting. 

Jewish leaders action

The Jewish leaders there in Jerusalem, led by the high priests, arranged this arrest. They got a large crowd together and possibly armed them with swords and clubs. Reading this for maybe the 20th time, I finally noticed that this was not a governmental official arrest, it was the local Jewish authority. In addition, the Romans did not seem to know about this arrest. I would have expected they’d be aware of a large crowd with clubs and swords! Maybe they were all “sleeping on the job” since it was getting late into the evening, possibly about midnight.

Poole suggests, however, “upon their great festivals, the Roman governors added a band of soldiers, who yet were under the command of the priests.” (Poole)

Kiss of betrayal

When we think of a kiss in American culture it implies some relationship, deeper than a casual friendship. In other cultures, it has other meanings, maybe similar to a handshake. Whatever the case, Judas uses a kiss of greeting or friendship as a kiss of betrayal, even death.

Face set like a flint

Jesus is clearly not trying to avoid this. He has prayed and prepared Himself. He knows it’s been prophesied. For example, He doesn’t try to run and hide. He knows that Judas knows He likes to go to the Garden of Gethsemane so He’d be easy to find if He goes there. And He does. If you read ahead in the next passage we see that He could have called thousands of Heavenly beings to come to His aid, but He holds back. His face was set like a flint. (Isaiah 50:7)

RЯeflection

  • When the going gets tough…people can break. If you were pushed to your limit, maybe persecuted to the verge of death, would you hold onto your faith? Jesus just taught about the end times. As we look around us today, many are wondering if this is it. Will Christians be persecuted and have to go through the tribulation period? Will more generalized, global persecution of Christians come even before the end?
  • Are we confident about our faith, so much that we will persevere to the end? I guess we can’t be certain until tested. Consider the daily tests we encounter. How do we respond? He who is faithful with a few things, Jesus will put in charge of many things (Matthew 25:14-23).
Judas betrays Jesus with kiss. Image from unsplash.com *

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