March 10, 2014

Betrayed With a Kiss

Mark 14:43-46

Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him.
—Mark 14:45


Friendship usually comes from the depths of our heart. In the culture of that day, a kiss on the cheek was an ordinary greeting between friends.

For three years Judas had followed Jesus around the country-side. But now he turned on his Master. Shame must have regis-tered in his conscience when he made a pact with Jesus’ ene-mies. But with the cold heart of a hypocrite, he faked friendship and betrayed his Lord and teacher.

If Judas had reflected on the Scriptures, he might have realized the seriousness of his actions. Jacob, pretending to be his brother Esau, slyly kissed his father, Isaac, to receive the blessing reserved for Esau. And because of his deceit he had to leave home and family (Genesis 27). Absalom, in an effort to undermine the authority of his father, David, kissed anyone who bowed down to him (2 Samuel 15:5-6). Judas should have recalled the wise words of Proverbs 27:6: “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”

But we too can betray Jesus. We can sit in a church service on Sunday while our mind is a million miles away. We can have ten Bibles in our home and yet rarely open one.

Pretended affection is a dead-end street. But when we dwell in the presence of Jesus, true devotion and compassionate kind-ness flow through us. We can be loyal defenders of Jesus in all we think, say, and do.

Lord, help me to renounce disloyalty, pretense, and fakery in my life. Keep me loyal to you. Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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