The Judas Kiss

In our post last week I talked about the various failing of the apostles and how those failures did not impact our Savior's love for us.  I had a series of technical difficulties and though I could have included Judas's sin, I opted not to at the time, but since Judas was the motivation for the whole article, I wanted to take time today to write about him in more detail.

We all have sinned and we will continue to be sinners until the day that we are glorified in Heaven, but we should also become more and more like Christ as we navigate our life.  We have seen the various and repeated sins of the apostles, and we remember that Jesus called them all, even Judas.  Jesus knew what his heart was like, just as he knew all about the Samaritan woman (John 4:39) and the people accusing the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11).  Jesus knew from the moment He saw and called Judas, that this man would be the one to betray Him.

We know very little about the life of Judas.  Like most of the apostles, we also do not have a lot insight into him as an apostle, but John records some pertinent details.  Judas was a thief and he held the group's money (an interesting appointed role itself).  He was the apostle that had a problem with Mary anointing Jesus with fine oil (John 12:3-6).  This passage from John indicated that Judas had motives of personal gain, which explains the acceptance of thirty pieces of silver to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16).

Jesus knew more.  He knew that Judas would betray from the moment he first saw the apostle.  To Jesus, the coming betrayal was never a surprise.  I often wonder how Jesus felt when He looked at Judas, the one who was unclean (John 13:1-11).  During his final day, he prays for the disciples:

I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled (John 17:11-12).

Jesus knew that Judas would have to be lost for the scriptures to be fulfilled.  He knew that at that very moment during His prayers that Judas was working with the chief priest to betray Him, for this is exactly what Jesus excused him to do:

Jesus then answered, “That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.” So when He had dipped the morsel, He took and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. After the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Therefore Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” Now no one of those reclining at the table knew for what purpose He had said this to him. For some were supposing, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus was saying to him, “Buy the things we have need of for the feast”; or else, that he should give something to the poor. So after receiving the morsel he went out immediately; and it was night (John 13:26-30).

Taken all together, Jesus called Judas knowing that he was a thief and would be the one to betray Him to the Pharisees.  He knew this was all in God's plan, and he excused him from the table of the last supper to betray Him (Psalm 41:9).  Jesus knew that the price Judas received was 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12-13).  He knew that Judas would come to betray Him in the garden (Psalm 55:12-14).  At the time of the betrayal, He asks Judas a heart-piercing question: Do you betray me with a kiss?

Our sin should be real to us.  It should not cripple us, but as Paul's thorn in the flesh, it should humble us knowing that Jesus loves us all the more.  He knows our sins and still trusts us.  What interested me about Judas's story and what was the final motivation to write this piece is how much we knowingly and intentionally sin even while still confessing Jesus.  Let us overcome our sin by the renewing of our minds, and seek help and counsel to live more like Christ.