In Jesus’ culture, a kiss from a disciple was a sign of great regard and honor for his teacher. It was most unusual that Judas chose a kiss as the betrayal signal. Was he “rubbing salt in the wound,” or revealing his own deep inner conflict about betraying Jesus?
- Judas brought with him “a crowd armed with swords and clubs…from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders.” Jesus’ enemies treated him as a political and military threat, more than a spiritual one. What is the last problem or issue you saw solely on a human level, while forgetting to seek God’s perspective?
- Judas’ kiss was “a sign perhaps…of a love for this man and yet a desire to be free of him, of a love for God’s kingdom and a desire for the kingdoms of this world.” In what ways do you find yourself torn between love for God and love for “the kingdoms of this world”?
Speculation. I am not a big fan. Gas prices are way up and on the radio the otherday an analyst stated that the supply is fine, but “speculators” are driving up the cost. Betting on the future always has its price and rarely the big pay off.
Oh, I know I do it too, but sometimes we just can’t go anyfurther than what we know. We only know so much about Judas, and most of todays GPS asks us to go down roads that are purely speculative. Now there are some good questions there, but to be honest, we just don’t know why Judas did what he did, but he did in fact do it.
Often we look for reasons why and no reasons can be found. Sandy Hook, Super Storm Sandy and other such disasters often leave us reeling and searching for a cause to blame, or at the very least some preventative measure that might be put into place so this “never happens again.”
The problem is very often these things do happen again, in differing shades, with differnt players in differing situations and contexts, but they do happen. The only thing that stays the same is how we deal with them.
In his betrayal Christ shows us what we are to do, and we are to do what we can for the sake of the other in need. Betrayed as he was, he still poured himself out for the sake of all, the need for God’s saving grace flowed though the cross, and the empty tomb and into you and into you and me in the waters of baptism. Judas could never, would never have seen this happinging and maybe that is why he did what he did, I don’t know. What I do know is that in all of this God is up to something good, something life giving, something sure, and it is ours always, in each moment, and in each situation, through what Jesus did for us and for all!