Sealed with a Kiss
My Lord, the willing Suffering Servant, help me understand Your heart and follow.
Read Matthew 26:47-56
 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people.  Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.”  Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.  Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.  With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.  “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.  Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?  But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”  In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me.  But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWill you put down the sword?
As the Son of God is betrayed by a friend whom he had discipled for three years with a kiss in front of a crowd of people armed to the hilt, Matthew’s narrative is filled with the tension. The kiss as the means of betrayal is all the more poignant when Jesus calls Judas “friend” (50)–Jesus’ teaching to love our enemies and lay down our lives for our friends is actually lived out in this passage (see Matt. 5:44; John 15:13). His love here is a huge challenge to our own self-centeredness today. When one of the disciples cuts off the ear of the high priest’s servant, Jesus rebukes him and reminds him that, although deliverance is at his disposal, he has come to suffer and die (53,54). How desperately we need to remember this when suffering comes for us. Yes, sometimes we are delivered from it, but sometimes we have to follow in the footsteps of the suffering Christ.
Ask yourself: What am I willing to suffer for Jesus? Journal about it.
Lord, you are worthy of all praise. You humbled Yourself to the lowest place and the Father has exalted You over all.
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