“While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.” Matthew 26:47-56 ESV
“And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard.” And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” And he kissed him. And they laid hands on him and seized him. But one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.” And they all left him and fled.” Mark 14:43-50 ESV
“While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” Luke 22:47-53 ESV
As Jesus completes His time of prayer in the garden with the Father, He immediately looks up to see Judas approaching.
The time has come.
The shadow of the cross grows darker as Jesus now faces the beginning of a series of events that will leave Him heartbroken and crying out to the Father.
Judas greets Jesus with a term of honor – Rabbi [Rhabbi] (hrab-bee’) which is a title used when a Jewish student addresses their teacher.
Judas then completes his greeting with a kiss. There are three different words used in the Scriptures for this one kiss.
First, Judas tells the priests and scribes he will signal who Jesus is by a kiss:
Phileo [fil-eh’-o] – which means to befriend, some affection, great kindly
Then Scripture says once Judas greets Jesus with a term of honor, he gives him a kiss:
Kataphileo [kat-af-ee-leh’-o] – which means to kiss much, kiss again and again, kiss tenderly
In Luke’s account of this event, Jesus responds to Judas by asking if he has come to betray Him with a kiss:
Philema [fil’-ay-mah] – which was the custom of greeting one another.
So, in effect, Judas says, “Hey guys, I’m going to give you a sign and it’s going to be the person whom I show kindness towards by giving them a kiss.” His actions convey an outward show of kindness, yet the motive of his heart is not pure.
When Judas is actually facing Jesus, he kisses Him tenderly. He pretends to connect with his teacher; he pretends to show his affection toward Him.
But Jesus says, “No, no, no, Judas. This isn’t love. This is just a routine custom you are performing towards me. This is just an empty kiss – where is your heart?”
And how many times have we approached Jesus in worship with the same attitude – one that is an outward show of kindness toward Jesus but our heart is not right?
We pretend to give our affection to the Father, but in reality we are just going through the motions – carrying out a routine we are accustomed to.
Our hearts never connecting in true relationship with our Savior.
Jesus wants so much more from us. He deserves so much more from us.
As we walk a little closer to Jesus’ final moments, will we allow Christ to mend the places in our heart that aren’t right so we can give Him our true affection.
Lord, help me to trust you with the places in my heart that need healing. Help me to stop going through the routine of worship, but to connect with You in true relationship. Jesus, let me not speak empty words, but fill Your ears with honest praise.