“While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, ‘Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?’” Luke 22:47-48
A kiss is a symbol of friendship, family, and love. A bride and groom seal their wedding vows with a kiss; mothers and fathers greet a newborn baby with a kiss; aunts and uncles kiss their nephews and nieces. In many cultures, a kiss is a mark of friendship. We tend to think of a kiss with fond memories of those who love and care about us. Likewise in Jesus’ day, people were people, and a kiss represented love, caring, family, and friendship.
In the Bible, the ultimate betrayal was also sealed with a kiss. Judas had already betrayed Jesus; he had the money in his hand, and the agreement had been struck. The final touches of the betrayal were all that was left to be carried out. Judas chose to carry out his diabolical plan with a kiss. It is amazing how Satan takes the most treasured actions and twists them into something evil.
Jesus knew everything, and He knew that Judas already betrayed Him. The kiss was only the physical manifestation of the betrayal; in other words, the kiss was the betrayal that the world saw. The betrayal itself had occurred in secret.
We tend to be like Judas when we betray Jesus by our actions, our words, our thoughts, and our attitudes. We keep secret the actual betrayal, and the world only sees the niceties of our actions. Meanwhile, we are hiding a whole closet full of betrayals. Fortunately, nothing is hidden from Jesus. He sees us just the way we are- all betrayals, all dishonesty, all the ugliness that goes along with fallen people. Jesus holds out to us the same forgiveness that He held out to Judas. May we be humble and softened enough to take the forgiveness that is held out to us. It may hurt to begin changing, but, as we are transformed, we will find that those niceties become the real us. Our kisses become true kisses, ones that represent all the love, family, and friendship that they are meant to represent.