Thursday, July 28, 2011

Judas Served Jesus With A Kiss

The gospels of Mark and Matthew report that Judas kissed Jesus in order to identify him to the arresting officers. The gospel of Luke reports that Judas drew near unto Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus said unto him, “Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?”

If Jesus had in fact asked that question, then the answer would have been, “No.”

In fact, Judas had betrayed Jesus earlier, when he made a covenant with the chief priests to deliver Jesus to them, but Jesus had responded to that trespass against him by telling Judas his fault and forgiving him for it. As a result, Jesus gained his brother. Then, Jesus assigned him the task of delivering him to the chief priests, that the scripture might be fulfilled.

The kiss of Judas was not a kiss of betrayal.

But the question that Jesus did ask Judas was, “Judas, do you deliver up the Son of man with a kiss?” The question is rhetorical; it requires no answer. It is a comment by Jesus on the irony of the situation. Jesus made the comment to inject humor into the moment to assuage the anguish which had already engulfed Judas.

Perhaps in the planning the kiss was just a kiss, but the kiss was more than just a kiss.

An ominous cloud had overshadowed Judas since he left the last supper. That cloud was the work of Satan working within him. As he drew near to Jesus the cloud parted. The kiss began in the light of love. It continued in that light only for a moment, until Judas realized that it would have to end; and when it ended, he realized, the men for whom he served as guide would take Jesus away. The cloud had reformed. The kiss ended.

In a spirit of ill-will, Judas betrayed Jesus with a covenant. Later, after Jesus saved him, Judas served him with a kiss.

I offer these words only in my own name.

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