Thursday, December 6, 2018

Betrayed with a Kiss

"But Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” (Luke 22:48).

While Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, a company of people showed up, led by Judas. Judas greeted Jesus with a kiss. Jesus asked him, “Do you betray Me with a kiss?” It is as if Jesus looked him straight in the eye and said, “Look, Judas, there were plenty of ways to betray Me. But you chose to use the very symbol of friendship as a way of marking Me out.”

When the disciples saw what was happening, they assumed Jesus wanted them to fight. He had, after all, told them to carry swords (Luke 22:36) and they had brought two along with them (v. 38). Peter swung his sword and struck a glancing blow against the head of the High Priest’s servant, slicing his right ear off. Jesus told His disciples not to fight, however, and then He healed the servant’s ear.

Then Jesus rebuked those who came to arrest Him. The crowd included chief priests, elders, and officers of the temple guard. These were not minor officials; the conspiracy reached all the way to the top. Jesus asked them why they had come out against Him with swords and clubs. “Have I been leading a rebellion?” He asked. “You saw Me every day in the temple. Why didn’t you arrest Me then?” Jesus was calling attention to their cowardice. They did not have the courage to arrest Him in public.

Jesus continued, “But this is your hour, when darkness reigns” (v. 53). God was going to let them have their way for a time, and Jesus identified them with Satan and the powers of darkness. Jesus was warning them that their time would be short, because evening always gives way to morning, and the darkness to dawn. The Day of the Lord would come, and then how would they stand?

Even in His time of greatest trial, the Savior of the world gave His enemies new opportunities to repent by rebuking them, healing them, and warning them to flee the wrath to come.

Look up Luke 6:27–31. How did Jesus fulfill these admonitions in the Garden of Gethsemane? How about you? How do you deal with your “enemies”?