..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Do You Betray Him With A Kiss?

"But Jesus said to him, "Judas, are you
betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"
--Luke 22:48

There are many passages in the bible that
should cause one to cringe: this is one of them.

At the heart of the Passion Story is the
distressing betrayal of Judas. Here was
betrayal at the hands of a disciple, a comrade,
one who had walked the road with Jesus. Worse
yet, the betrayal came by means of an act
of intimacy: a kiss.

It makes one shudder.

David, too, speaks prophetically of the
betrayal of Jesus: "An evil disease," they say,
"clings to him, And now that he lies down
he will rise up no more." Even my own
familiar friend in whom I trusted, who
ate my bread, has lifted up his heel
against me." Psalm 41:8,9.

And, "For it not an enemy who reproaches
me; then I could bear it. Nor is it
one who hates me who has exalted himself
against me; then I could hide from him.
But it was you, a man my equal, my companion
and acquaintance, we took sweet counsel
together, and walked to the house of God
in the throng (Psalm 55:12-14).

There are few things worse than being
betrayed by a friend. And few things worse
yet but to use a sign of friendship to
accomplish the betrayal. Let us take this to
heart and be careful that we do not betray the
Lord. "I could never do that to the Lord,"
you say. Peter also said that and was
proved sorely wrong. Yet we, as the Lord's
people, are most capable of betraying the
Lord, in ways both blatant and subtle.

During this time of year when we remember
the Lord's passion and sacrifice for us,
let us purpose in our hearts to not betray

"And how would I betray Him?" you ask.
Every time you call Him, "Lord" and do
not do what He asks, you betray Him.
Every time He calls to you, and you turn
to other people and other things, you
betray Him. Every time you choose not
to speak up for Him when His voice is
needed, you betray Him. Whenever you
know the truth of His Word needs to be
spoken, and do not speak it, then you
betray Him. When you proclaim
yourself to be a Christian but follow
after your own desires, and respond to
things as you see fit, you betray
Him. Ah, I could say much more but I
already see that you are getting

Do you think that the Lord does not notice
even the smallest turn of our hearts? Do
you not think that our not choosing Him
whole-heartedly pains Him? He does not
expect those who are still in darkness
to love His light. Yet I wonder if He
is puzzled by why men and women, even
men and women who have come to know Him,
still sometimes, or often, choose darkness.

"He came unto His own, but His own received
Him not" (John 1:11). When we proclaim
that we know the Lord and yet do not
walk in intimacy with Him, we do ourselves
harm, and we do Him wrong. The Church often
has a bad testimony because they have subtly
or blatantly betrayed Him. When we do not
stand up for what He stands for, and we
do not oppose what He opposes, we are found
to be betrayers. If the Church of Jesus
stood together and obeyed even the most basic
commands of Jesus, the world would be

Thankfully, I have not yet met too
many people who would persecute me for being
true to the Lord in righteousness, holiness,
love, and mercy. Any I have met have
most sadly come from within the church,
rather than from without. I know many who would,
however, be quick to notice if I proclaim
myself to be a Christian and do not follow
through on that claim with a holy and
blameless life.

"But we are only human," you say. Yes,
and all the more reason to cling to Him!
All the more reason to exercise mercy to
our brothers and sisters, all the more
reason to watch our steps! Peter and
Judas both betrayed Jesus. What was the

Peter wept over his betrayal and repented.
Any remorse that Judas had was not mixed
with repentance. He would never understand
that true and deep intimacy with Jesus
is the best guard we have against betraying
Him. He heard the message from afar but
Judas did not let it penetrate the deepest
part of him. He only appeared to be Jesus'
friend. His heart was still self-contained,
still hard, still unmoved. He had not
fallen on the Rock, but the Rock was
poised to fall on him, and would crush
him to pieces.

How have you heard the gospel? Has it
left you any room for yourself? If so,
then it has left you room for betrayal.
For it is the flesh, left undealt with,
that will rise up and protect itself
at any cost. Peter had a scary go of
it when he found himself saying,
"I don't know Him." He was seeking
to protect himself and not the Lord.
Judas gave himself completely over to that
self-interest and self-protection. He
felt he knew best. He was sorely, sorely

We must take care that as we sing
our love songs to Jesus, as we think
fondly of what He has done for us, that
our hearts are found to match our lips,
and our lives are found to match what
we proclaim. Betrayal is insidious.
Who knows from what depths it springs
in our deceitful hearts? Who can say that
he is not capable of it? We can only
guard our hearts, turn to Him when
we are in turmoil, look to Him when
the world, the flesh or the Devil
try to turn us against Him.

Perhaps there is greater danger
of betrayal from within our hearts
then there is from an outside onslaught.
It is said, "Satan entered Judas,"
but what left the door open? Jealousy?
Pride? Intellectual reasoning?
Fear? Self-interest?

Where might our door be open? What could
get us to betray the Lord? Our Lord did
not betray us at the last minute, even
though, under pressure, He sweat great
drops of blood, and spilled His very
own Blood, in purchasing our salvation.
He went to the cross betrayed by us
all, alone, without the comfort and
support of the very people He had
come to save. If you have tasted
betrayal in even the smallest sense,
you would know how that felt.

Have you resisted to bloodshed striving
against sin (Heb. 12:4), striving against the
possibility of betraying the Lord?

Walk humbly with God. Strive against
hypocrisy. Hate evil. Guard your heart.
Do not betray Him with a kiss.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

that was darkly penetrating to the soul...