by Pastor Lee Hemen
March 25, 2008
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)
When we meet someone we know, we usually greet them with a hug or by shaking their hand. It is a sign of affection and friendship. Many in the world greet one another by giving a small perfunctory kiss on each cheek. Others may stand and give a small bow in greeting. Here, we discover that during the time of Jesus it was customary for a disciple of a teacher, rabbi, to kiss him on the cheek. It was a sign of respect and humility. The one who would betray Jesus, Judas, uses it as a means to betray his master. How sad and in a way frightening are the words Jesus speaks, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” A sign of affection used as betrayal.
How often do we use a sign of affection to betray others? Telling them we care about them but in reality we do not. Smiling, wishing them well, and even saying we will pray for them and we do not. I have had people come to me as pastor who have stated, “Pastor, if I have a problem with you or the church, I will come to you. You can count on me,” and just within days they have left the church, created problems, or have acted in ways of personal betrayal. Judas and his kiss all over again.
Then there are the times that we betray Jesus with our “kisses of affection.” We confess to Him our sin problem telling Him that if we can only be forgiven, we will follow after Him. We may even ask Him for a kiss at this time wanting to feel His affection still. Then, we betray Him by stealing away to some other “lover” that attracts our attention. We share with Jesus that we are going to pray, kiss Him, and quickly quit talking with Him, our kiss still lingering on His cheek. We stand in church worshiping with our hands raised to the ceiling, praising Him with all our hearts, trying to reach out to Jesus, giving Him the perfunctory Sunday morning kiss only to forget its touch that very afternoon when we head for home. And, when Monday comes, the kiss we gave to our Savior and Lord on Sunday is forgotten as we angrily drive to work, moan about our circumstances at home, gossip at school about classmates, giggle over a dirty TV show, or regurgitate an off color joke we pass along the way.
We kiss the cheek of our Lord so easily, just as Judas did, yet we think we are not betraying Jesus at all. After all he will be there waiting for us to kiss Him again, and again, and… we betray Him. Beating His affection for us into the soil of sin. We slap His cheek with our indifference, disrespect, and dishonesty. Perhaps He should ask us, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour–when darkness reigns.” (Luke 22:52-53)
Make no mistake it is our “hour when darkness reigns” every time we “kiss” our Savior and curse Him with our actions. How startling are the words of the Psalmist when he writes, “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for His wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.” (Psalms 2:12) How wonderful then to know that we can take refuge in the Son and that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Never forget however that if you kiss Jesus and then sin that “If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.” (1 John 1:9-10)
Today dear child of God are your actions more like Judas or are you willing to “kiss the Son” and come to Him in confession and leave your betrayal behind you forever? Oh, I pray you are willing because if you are He always is. And this is the most wonderful thing of all! God’s grace and mercy is greater than our betrayal of a phony kiss! Come now, let’s go and touch our Master’s cheek and spend time with Him.
NOTE: This article is copyrighted by Pastor Lee Hemen © 2008 and the property of Pastor Lee Hemen. You are welcome to copy it, email it, or use it but please if you copy it, email it, or use it you must do so in its entirety. This devotional will follow Morning by Morning by C H Spurgeon. You may use it however you desire.