Have you ever been betrayed or let down by a friend? Have you been double-crossed by people at work seeking their own personal gain? If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of that betrayal, the cut can be deep and hurtful. You can imagine the blow was just as tough for Jesus when he received that deceptive kiss from Judas. He knew one of his own would give him up. It was part of God’s plan. But it still broke his heart.
- Despite the hurt a past betrayal may have caused you, think of how God has used that—or can use that—experience in his greater plan in your life.
READ THE WORD: LUKE 22:47-53 (ESV)
47 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, 48 but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. 52 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? 53 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.”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- What did Jesus say to Judas after the kiss? Why do you think he said it in those particular words?
- Jesus’ disciples rose up to protect him when the men moved to claim him. Why do you think Jesus asked them to stand down? Why did he go willingly?
- In the passage previous to this one, Jesus was alone in the Garden of Gethsemane, praying for strength. How might this have impacted his ability to respond to God’s will in this situation, as opposed to react to the betrayal?
- At the end of the passage, Jesus asked the men why they’ve come after him, as if he were a violent villain, when they had all seen him many times preaching peacefully at the temple. What does this say about what they really believed about Jesus?
RESPOND TO GOD
The kiss from Judas was one of the key puzzle pieces in the last days of Jesus’ earthly life. It set in motion a series of events that would ultimately lead to his death on the cross. After the betraying kiss, Jesus could have lashed out. He could have demanded his own rights. But that wasn’t the plan. Christ didn’t come to prove he was the Son of God. He came to Earth to die for our sins. That was God’s plan for him. And because he trusted in the will of a sovereign God, he could endure the kiss.
- Take a few moments to ask God to give you the strength to yield to the plan he has for you and to react appropriately to others because of that yielding.