Luke 22:47-48 says, “And while He was speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said to him, ‘Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss’?” (NKJV). Now let’s read Mark 14:44, “Now His betrayer had given them a signal, saying, ‘Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him and lead Him away safely.”

We have, in these verses, the greatest act of betrayal in human history. Judas Iscariot had lived with the Lord Jesus for over three years. He had seen His power revealed in countless miracles; he had seen His love displayed in ministering constantly to every human need; and he had heard His words of hope as Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom to the people of Israel. Yet in spite of all that, he never believed on Him and was, in fact, simply a thief. We are told this in John 12:6, “This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.” In time, Judas saw that the Lord was being rejected by the nation and his opportunities to steal the money from the treasury box would come to an end, so he plotted with Jesus’ enemies to betray Him into their hands for 30 pieces of silver (see Mark 14:10-11 and Matthew 26:14-16). That fatal day finally arrived and Judas led a multitude of men with weapons to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and with a heart as cold as steel he pointed him out (as he said he would) WITH A KISS.

To understand the gravity of Judas betraying the Lord with a kiss, we need to understand what a kiss expressed in that day. A kiss was used to express love, honor and respect for a person. At the very least, it was used as an affectionate greeting. Consider the following scriptures:

*Luke 7:45, “You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet.”

*Romans 16:16, “Greet one another with a holy kiss.”

*1st Peter 5:14, “Greet one another with a kiss of love.”

For Judas to betray the Lord with a kiss was, as stated earlier, the greatest act of hypocrisy and betrayal ever recorded. One has said that “Judas was two-faced to the very end” and his kiss, which should have expressed his love and affection for the Lord, expressed his deceit and betrayal. His “kiss of betrayal” illustrates the truth of Proverbs 27:6, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but THE KISSES OF AN ENEMY ARE DECEITFUL.”

What makes this all the more solemn is that Jesus had pointed out Judas as one who would betray him and yet he still betrayed him! In John 13 we have Jesus eating the Passover with His disciples (shortly before the betrayal) and in verses 21 and 26 we read: “Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me…It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it. And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.” At this moment Judas had a golden opportunity to change his mind and to bow in true repentance before the Lord, yet we read in verse 30, “Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night.” He went out and was determined to perform his act of treacherous betrayal for a measly sum of 30 pieces of silver! But when he “kissed the Lord Jesus,” he also “sealed his doom,” for that very night he committed suicide and went out into “eternal night.” (264.1) (DO)