Mark 14:43-50 (ESV)

43 And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard.” 45 And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 46 And they laid hands on him and seized him. 47 But one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. 48 And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.” 50 And they all left him and fled.

While Jesus was speaking to his disciples, Judas approached him with a crowd of Roman soldiers. Judas knew where they would be, as the group had gone to the Garden of Gethsemane often in the past. But the Romans soldiers with him didn’t know, so they depended on Judas to lead the way. But how would they know which was one Jesus? No one wanted a commotion, especially during the Passover, so a plan was agreed upon. Judas would reveal to the Romans exactly who Jesus was with a kiss. Judas rushed right to Jesus and kissed him. That was all the Romans needed. They placed Jesus under arrest. Jesus made no attempt to free himself from the seizure. He had prayed about this hour, asking the Father for any way out, but God said “no.” This was the only route by which the salvation of the human race could be accomplished. So Jesus went peaceably. He did ask about the crowd of soldiers. Jesus had been with them in their midst, teaching and leading, and he didn’t try to flee from his enemies. Did they actually think he was a criminal? The crowd seemed like overkill. Yet again, Jesus knew this was what the Scripture had foretold. This was God’s plan for his Son.

Judas knew exactly what he was doing. His kiss wasn’t a small or insignificant act. The Greek word used for “kiss” implies passion and intensity. It is the type of kiss one would give to someone she cared deeply for. He also addressed Jesus as “rabbi.” This meant not only teacher, but it was an honorary title for an outstanding teacher, even a master. Judas had been taught and trained to lead others to Jesus that they might have eternal life. Now he was leading others to Jesus that they might execute God’s only Son. Judas knew he wasn’t really “on the same page” with Jesus and the disciples, but he pretended he was. Judas was the ultimate hypocrite. People will say they don’t follow Jesus because there are too many hypocrites in the church. Are there hypocrites? Yes. There always have been and there always will be. But when an individual stands before the throne of God to face judgment, the “too many hypocrites” excuse will be useless. Don’t let the hypocrisy of others keep you from doing what God expects of you. And make sure, in the end, you aren’t the hypocrite.