I bet you remember your first kiss. No doubt it meant something to you; you did it to show affection, in other words. Perhaps it meant a little more than you think, as that moment was a moment when you felt like somebody who was worthy to be loved. It was not just a kiss, but also a mirror: each person reflecting to the other a sense of worth.
The most famous kiss in history happened in the Garden of Gethsemane, when Judas brought the authorities to arrest Jesus. So that the authorities might arrest the right person in the darkness, Judas said to them, “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard” (Mark 13:44). Actually, in this verse, the writer, Mark, cannot even bring himself to call Judas by name, but simply refers to him as “the betrayer.”
So it says that Judas led the mob of authorities to the Son of God, carrying swords and clubs, greeted him with a friendly “Rabbi!,” and then kissed him. Directly after kissing the Son of God, the Son of God was seized, arrested, and led away to be executed.
Judas did one thing and meant another thing. He gave a sign—the kiss—that meant loyalty and affection, but he used it for the opposite reason, to betray and be cruel. He used his intimate access to Jesus, as a friend and disciple, in order to stab him in the back. The betrayer turned a kiss into a killer.
Even more, Judas did it for the money he was going to receive from the authorities. There were only a few people on earth who had “access” to the face of Jesus, Judas being one of them, and he used this privilege for financial gain.
I wonder how often I give this kind of lip-service to the Son of God. Do I use my access to him for selfish reasons and not because I love him? Would I kiss him just to get my way?
Sometimes we tell God things that we know are not true, only because we have an agenda. We fake our love with him because we have other priorities on our minds. We tell him that he’s the best and call him all sorts of wonderful names, all the while, we’re leading him to a mob of our own intentions.
We treat Jesus like a piñata, blindly swinging at him in order to get him to produce candy for us. I know that’s a pretty harsh thing for me to say; but know that I am just as guilty as Judas. Judas was blinded by the money that he was promised; we are blinded by a host of other false gods.
My prayer is that we would not use Jesus as a means to an end. Rather, I want my kiss to be full of worship and my intentions full of love.
© 2010 by Samuel Kee