Why was it especially wicked for Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus with a kiss?
In the culture in Jerusalem at that time, there were many ways that a person could greet someone. They could kiss the other person’s feet, which was what people who had been conquered in war, who were slaves, or who were meeting a monarch did. Ordinary people would kiss the back of the hand of the person they were greeting. But to kiss someone on the cheek then and embrace them was a sign of close affection and love, reserved for those with whom one had a close relationship.
That was how Judas greeted Jesus. And the original language implies that Judas kissed Jesus repeatedly. A literal translation would be, “He smothered Him with kisses.” Judas kissed Jesus again and again.
It was ultimate hypocrisy.
We say, “That’s so wrong. It’s so sinful!” Yet one of the definitions of worship is “to kiss forward.” Therefore, it’s not much different from when we come to church and lift our voices in song to God yet live in a way that’s not right with Him.
Those who go to great lengths to look the most spiritual or more committed to God than other people are actually the most wicked. In reality, they’re contradicting their appearance by the way they live.
God would rather that we didn’t sing a word in worship of Him than to sing loudly and contradict it by the way we live. This doesn’t mean, however, that if we have sinned, we shouldn’t worship. If this were the case, we would have very quiet worship services.
But if we’re deliberately doing the wrong thing again and again without any desire whatsoever to repent, that offends God. And it’s not much different from what Judas did in the Garden of Gethsemane.
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