82. The betrayal, Judas’ Kiss
The betrayal, Judas’ Kiss…….NOW Judas had given them a token (sign), saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.
Judas went before, and drew near unto Jesus, to kiss him: and saith, Hail, Master; and kissed him.
Jesus said unto Judas,
Friend, wherefore art thou come? Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?
Then they laid hands on Jesus.
They which were about him said, Lord, shall we smite them with the sword?
And Simon Peter having a sword smote the high priest’s servant, Malchas, and cut off his right ear. Jesus said,
Suffer thus far.
And he touched his ear and healed him. Then said Jesus unto Peter,
Put up again thy sword into his place in the sheath: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
In that same hour said Jesus unto the multitude,
Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves for to take me?
When I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: ye laid no hold on me: ye took me not: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness. But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. The Scriptures must be fulfilled.
Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.
¶The officers of the Jews bound Jesus and led him away. They brought him into the palace of the high priest, Caiaphas that year.
Simon Peter followed, to see the end. And so did another disciple: that disciple was known to Caiaphas, and went with Jesus into the palace. But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that disciple and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter.
When they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, Peter sat amongst the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.
¶With Caiaphas the high priest were assembled the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.
Caiaphas asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine, Jesus answered,
I spake openly to the world: I ever taught in the synagogues, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort: and in secret have I said nothing. Ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said. Why askest thou me?
When Jesus had thus spoken, one of the officers struck him with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so? Jesus answered,
If I have spoken evil, bear witness to the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?
Gospel reading: Matthew 26:47-56
Meditation 1 of 1:
Do you know the pain of rejection from someone close to you? The greatest pain and injury comes not from our enemies but from those closest to us. Psalm 55 foretells the suffering of rejection which God’s anointed King and Messiah would endure for our sake: “It is not an enemy who taunts me– then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me– then I could hide from him But it is you, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. We used to hold sweet converse together; within God’s house we walked in fellowship” (Psalm 55:12-14). In the ancient world a kiss was a sign of intimate friendship and trust. Judas’ betrayal with a kiss shows the hypocrisy of his love and trust. This is literally a “kiss of death” not only because it leads to Jesus’ death but is also a sign of the death of one who lost all hope and abandoned God. In betraying Jesus Judas rejected the one and only hope for freedom from sin and condemnation and the hope of reconciliation and restoration to friendship with God. Jesus met rejection not with bitterness or resentment, but with love and pity. God will never stop loving us no matter how far we stray from him or abandon hope. When you encounter injury and rejection from others, how do you respond? With merciful love and a forgiving heart or with bitterness and revenge?
Jesus met his betrayal and arrest with serenity and with confident trust in his Father. He knew that this was Satan’s hour of darkness but God’s light and truth would prevail in the end. How did the other apostles meet this trial? They were unprepared even though Jesus has warned them about his betrayal. And they had forgotten God for the moment. Their will was to resist force with force rather than peaceably submit to God’s will. Jesus never failed to show mercy and compassion even to his enemies. Luke tells us that Jesus “touched” the severed ear and healed the high priest’s slave who had been struck by one of Jesus’ own disciples (Luke 22:51). When adversity strikes how do you respond? With fear and panic or with confident hope and trust in God?
“Lord, only you can save us from the blindness of sin and despair. May your light dispel the darkness of our lives and give us hope and joy. Fill our hearts with mercy and compassion that we may bring hope to those who have no hope and show them the light of Christ.”