While He was yet speaking, a crowd came. And he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said to him, “Judas, do you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” Luke 22:47-48
“Do you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” This is the question Jesus asked of Judas as he led Jesus’ enemies to Him in the Garden of Gethsemane and then kissed Jesus to point Him out to those who would arrest Him and lead Him away to crucify Him.
This was a fitting question for one who used a sign of friendship and affection to betray Jesus into the hands of those who would condemn Jesus to death and then turn Him over to Pontius Pilate to be crucified! But what about you and me? Are we also guilty of betraying Jesus with a kiss?
If asked today, “Do you love Jesus?” would not all of us say, “Yes, we love Jesus”? Indeed, we all profess our love and devotion to Jesus. But when it comes down to following Jesus in our daily lives, how often do we not betray Him with a kiss by saying that we love Him and then doing the opposite of what He would have us do?
We draw near to Jesus with our mouths and lips, but our hearts are far from Him, as Jesus said in Matthew 15:8 (cf. Isa. 29:13): “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.”
Jesus also said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). And we say that we love Jesus, but do we keep His commandments? Do we truly love Jesus and devote ourselves to Him? Do we continue in His Word as Jesus said in John 8:31-32: “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you remain in My word, then you are truly My disciples. You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.’”
And, do we follow Jesus wherever He leads? Do we profess His name and the truth of His Word in this present adulterous and sinful generation? Jesus said: “If anyone will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever will save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His own glory and in the glory of His Father and of the holy angels” (Luke 9:23-26).
We can be thankful that the love of our Lord Jesus for us goes far deeper than any outward sign of affection and friendship! Our Lord Jesus “loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Rev. 1:5). “While we were yet weak, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. Rarely for a righteous man will one die. Yet perhaps for a good man some would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:6-8).
Jesus did not betray us but, instead, went to the cross and paid in full the punishment due us for our sins and the sins of the whole world. “Jesus Christ the Righteous One … is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1-2).
Though we have oft betrayed Him, Jesus did not betray us! Rather, He gave Himself for us that we might have forgiveness for all our sins and life everlasting through faith in Him!
Dear Jesus, forgive us for so often betraying you with a kiss — for saying we love You and then sinning against You. Thank you for so loving us that You gave Your life a ransom for us. Graciously keep us trusting in You alone for forgiveness and life everlasting. Amen.
[Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.]