|Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
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“Confronting Hypocrisy with Love”
By Rev. Wayne Palmer
March 5, 2016
While He (Jesus) was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss Him, but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” (Luke 22:47-48).
Read Luke 22:47-48.
As Jesus wakens His disciples, a large company of soldiers with torches, lanterns and weapons draws near. The Jewish leaders intend to take no chances, so they bring enough guards and soldiers to prevent any interference when they take Jesus into custody. At their lead is Judas. He has arranged a sign with the soldiers so there will be no confusing Jesus with any of His disciples in the shadows of the garden. “The one I will kiss is the man; seize Him” (Matthew 26:48b).
Jesus points out the betrayer’s heartbreaking hypocrisy, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” Judas could have chosen any impersonal way to single out Jesus. Instead, he chooses a kiss, a gesture intended to show affection, kindness and love. Jesus’ gently pricks at Judas’ conscience, trying to lead him to see his horrendous sin.
Judas should melt in tears, but he feels no guilt, no regret-at least not at this moment when Jesus is present to forgive, restore and comfort him. Yet none of us should conclude that Jesus didn’t try hard enough to reach Judas. He washed his feet in the upper room, He shared his meal, and here in the garden He gently called him by name, Judas; and then even called him “friend” (see Matthew 26:50). Jesus was still holding out peace and forgiveness for Judas. It wasn’t too late for Judas; it’s not too late for you and me.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, Your deep love for Judas is simply amazing, especially when we see how deeply he hurt You. Give me grace to forgive those who cut me to the heart. Amen.