The worst kind of betrayal comes from those closest to us. Those who profess to love us, say all the right things, break our hearts when they show their true colors by contrary behavior. There are more songs written about this than any other specific subject. As BJ Thomas sang back in the 70’s, it’s “just another somebody done somebody wrong song.” Et tu Brute? It’s the professing friend who stabs you in the back.

If you look up the word in a dictionary you’d find a “Judas” is a traitor, a person who betrays a friend. A “Judas kiss” is a pretense of affection that conceals treachery. The one great betrayer used a symbol of love, the kiss, as his instrument of treachery. Our verse describes the event: “Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, the one I will kiss is the man; seize him. And he came up to Jesus at once and said, Greetings, Rabbi! And he kissed him.”

Throughout Matthew Jesus had to deal with the “Hypocrites.” They said one thing, but did another. Here, he exposes the one in his midst. I’m convinced that this is not something isolated from our present day experiences. I used to think taking the Lord’s name in vain was to speak from the gutters. To use the Lord’s name casually and without serious intent, is surely blasphemy. But, as G. Campbell Morgan wrote: “The blasphemy of the sanctuary is far more awful than the blasphemy of the slum.” The kind of faith that says, “Lord, Lord,” but then continues to pursue its own sinful agenda, is always going to be met with “depart from me, for I never knew you.” To say, “Lord, Lord,” and then disobey is a Judas kiss.

“And Judas came up to Jesus and kissed him…” Matthew 26:48