“Judas came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Rabbi!” he exclaimed and gave him the kiss.”
Kiss– verb (used with object) 1. to touch or press with the lips slightly pursed, and then often to part them and to emit a smacking sound, in an expression of affection, love, greeting, reverence, etc.: He kissed his son on the cheek.
“A man’s kiss is his signature.”
This singular verse (v. 49) should cause us to pause and think. It is part of an amazing account of the events surrounding the death of Jesus. At this point Judas leans over and kisses him. Now, a kiss can be used when you show affection and commitment for someone. Kisses are like a ‘x-ray’ into your very being, opening and quite revealing.
Judas shows everyone exactly what he is all about. The kisser declares to the kissed the intent and desire of their heart. It also says things to those who witness it.
This kiss of Judas set into motion a whole series of events. But more importantly, this kiss was an evil kiss. We kiss and are kissed. Its the way we tell others of our friendship and fidelity. It has always been so. The mechanics of it all seem a bit odd, when you think about it. Touching lips? (Ok. That’s odd.) But a real kiss goes further, injecting love and esteem and other intangibles into another.
Also, we should understand that a kiss has intense power. The kiss of Judas had this power. It wasn’t done to convey his commitment or affection, rather it was a powerful act of betrayal. Judas had drained this particular kiss of all its goodness and only evil remained.
It very well could be that Judas was attempting to manipulate a sequence of events to allow Jesus to become the messiah/king by force. He may have thought that this was a politically expedient thing to do. Maybe a good thing in his thinking. (But who can know?)
A “Judas kiss” is perhaps the most dastardly way one can be betrayed. It is not real common, but it happens, and it is devastating. Some have told me that it was like having your heart ripped out of your body. Betrayal with a “Judas kiss” is almost always a surprise, coming out of the blue, hitting you when you’re most vulnerable.
The English poet Milton envisioned hell with many levels. The very deepest level is reserved for Satan. Interestingly, Milton puts Judas at the bottom with Satan. They share the punishment of hell together, forever. I guess that this is as awful as it can get. In studying the character and the sin of Judas the following lessons may be brought out:
We must not be surprised if some bad men enter the Church, for even among the twelve was one Judas.
It is no proof that Christianity is untrue when some of its believers prove hypocrites. The defection of Judas did not leave a stain on the name of Christ, nor did it disprove the loyalty and fidelity of the other disciples.
One may be very near to Christ and not be made holy in character. Judas was three years with Christ, heard His words, lived in the atmosphere of His love, and remained unchanged. An empty bottle, hermetically sealed, may lie long in the ocean and continue perfectly dry within. A heart sealed to Christ’s love may lie near Him for years and not be blessed. Only when the heart is opened to receive His grace does closeness to Him change the heart.
Sin grows, and we never can know to what terrible and awful extent a wicked thought or desire may reach. Extrapolated, it has a vast magnitude of evil possibilities and potentialities beyond anything we would have ever dreamed.88
- Judas – The Man Who Never Knew (gospelbondservant.com)
- Caravaggio’s Easter: Witnessing the Kiss of Judas (musiqdragonfly.wordpress.com)
- Friend of God (domesticateddivablog.com)