While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.

But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
(Luke 22:47-51)

In these verses we see the angry crowd led by one of Jesus’ own disciples–Judas. Judas, one of Jesus’ closest friends, betrays Him 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, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. Consider now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary. Be strong and do the work. (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:

Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?” declares the LORD. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:24)

Nothing is outside the realm of God’s omniscience–nothing!

I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me. I am the LORD, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things. (Isaiah 45:5-7)

I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. (Isaiah 46:10)

Take It to Heart

“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)