“While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd appeared, and the man named Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He walked up to Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, ‘Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?’ When those around him saw what was going to happen, they said, ‘Lord, should we use our swords?’ Then one of them struck the high priest’s slave, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus answered, ‘Enough of this!’ And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.” —Luke 22:47–51
Here we see the angry crowd led by one of Jesus’ own disciples, one of his closest friends—Judas. Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss. How ironic! To us, a kiss is generally a sweet sign of love, and in Bible times it was an act of friendship. Yet Judas desecrates and abuses it. Hmmm … I wonder how often we desecrate and abuse what is sweet and good?
“Man sees your actions, but God, your motives.” —Thomas a Kempis
“Beware of no man more than of yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us.” —Charles Spurgeon
God is looking for obedient behavior from His children stemming from proper motives! I am reminded of David’s words to his son Solomon regarding the building of the temple:
“And you, Solomon, my son, obey the God of your father and serve him with submissive attitude and willing spirit, for the LORD examines all minds and understands every motive of one’s thoughts. If you seek him, he will let you find him, but if you abandon him, he will reject you permanent. Realize now that the LORD has chosen you to build a temple as his sanctuary. Be strong and do it!” —1 Chronicles 28:9–10
Have you ever noticed that there are simply no secrets hidden from Jesus? Knowing full well who was to betray Him, Jesus was aware of Judas’ “secret” sign which would show the crowd accompanying him exactly who they were looking for to arrest. I am reminded of God’s words in Jeremiah:
“Do you really think anyone can hide himself where I cannot see him?” the LORD asks. “Do you not know that I am everywhere?” —Jeremiah 23:24
Nothing is outside the realm of God’s all-knowing plan—nothing!
“Jesus is the One who shows us the paradoxical route to meaning in a chaotic and hostile world. It’s the paradox of the gospel: Strength is found in weakness. Control is found in dependency. Power is found in surrender … God uses the frustrations of this life and the hurt of relationships to compel us to look beyond what we can control to the God who controls all things in order to woo us to himself. As we move from control to surrender, we move from chasing the wind under the sun to embracing God above it.” —Dan Allender, Breaking the Idols of You
“I am the LORD, and there is no peer; there is no God but me. I arm you for battle, even though you do not recognize me. I do this so people will recognize from east to west that there is no God but me; I am the LORD, I have no peer. I am the one who forms light and creates darkness; the one who brings about peace and creates calamity. I am the LORD, who accomplishes all these things.” —Isaiah 45:5–7