2/11 Mark 14:45

45 And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, "Rabbi!" And he kissed him.

Betrayed with a kiss! That was the sign to the soldiers pointing out whom to arrest. It was customary to kiss a close friend as a greeting. Judas had probably kissed Jesus upon greeting Him many times before. This time was quite different. He had led a group of six hundred soldiers along with chief priests and elders out of the Beautiful Gate, across the Kidron Valley, and up to Gethsemane (John 18:3). Jesus could have watched the whole procession lit by their torches from His vantage point in the olive grove.

Jesus knew exactly why He had come. This is what He had warned the disciples about on a number of occasions. The kiss was preceded by the greeting, "Rabbi!" That meant "teacher." But Judas had not learned from the Teacher that God's way up is down. He had not learned that he couldn't force God's hand. He had not learned that hypocrisy is for fools. He had not learned the greatest commands: To love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself. He had heard them many times, but none of what he heard made it from his ears down to his heart.

We must ask ourselves if we have taken to heart what we have heard. We may know the words, but do our lives show that we have taken those words to heart? (Isaiah 29:13) We may call Jesus our teacher and kiss Him with our words when among Christians, but do our lives betray Him? I know a little of the deep sadness that comes with this kind of betrayal. I can almost see the grief in Jesus' eyes as He says, "Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?" (Luke 22:48)

Prayer: Lord, deliver me from hypocrisy and help me to live the words I have received!