There comes a time when the hour of darkness (Luke 22:53) manifests itself in our own lives if we are not careful. Even as Christians we can give ourselves over to its impetuous evil. Peter did it, so did King David, why would we think we’re any different.
Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss and takes a crowd of others with him. It’s not like Judas grabbed some dudes off the street who knew nothing about God to come with him to fulfill this vicious plot. He took the chief priests and officers of the temple guard. These were people who either were teachers of the Torah of God (the scriptures) or Levites who served as people who were the temple police. Their primary job was to protect the temple from any potential outside threats to the work of God that went on inside the temple. In an ironic twist, the temple guards go after an innocent man whose desire is not to cause disruption, but peace.
Judas then betrays the Savior of the world with a kiss. I can’t help but think that Judas was never quite “with Jesus.” I think the evil of Judas’ heart quickly unravels and becomes revealed through the events during the last days of Jesus’ life. Therefore, it is true that someone can have the appearance of Godliness, but not actually know God.
I wonder if anyone in the crowd thought, maybe this is wrong? Maybe we shouldn’t be doing this, but the mob mentality won out as they carry Jesus off to condemn him for a crime he never committed.
I see a few things for us to draw out from this biblical account that could serve as an encouragement and a potential warning for us today.
1. Do not be surprised when men hate you on account of Christ. Don’t be surprised if because of your strong witness for him others will make fun, single you out or seek to destroy your witness in some way.
2. Do not think you, at the depth of your own deception could not give into betraying the son of God. Peter did it. Thankfully, he showed himself to be a true disciple by repenting. We, however, are capable at the depth of our flesh to do the very same. Lord, help us.
3. Do not follow the popular opinion of the crowd, follow the Lord Jesus Christ. The popular opinion is rarely if ever, centered around wisdom. Even if you stand alone, know that God stands with you.
4. Even in the hour of darkness, God sits on the throne. As Jesus was toted off to his death many felt as though the end had come. They lost hope. They wondered how anything could get better, but in God’s sovereignty, His light came bursting forth in the hour of darkness to bring forth redemption and glory. Do not despair in the hour of darkness, Jesus is in control.
Lord, we trust you. We know that even as Christian we are capable or betraying the son of man. Lord, we do not want to do that! Help us to walk in Godliness and to abide with you! May our hearts be tethered towards yours, may we always walk the path of truth with the Lord Jesus Christ. We need your help, without you, we are capable of grave evil. Give us your grace! In Jesus name, amen!