Judas' Kiss

Why did Judas kiss Jesus?

Judas Kiss
John 18:4-9 (A) Jesus of Nazareth

John 18:4-9 (B) Judas' Kiss

John 18:10-12 Malchus


What convinces the mob that it is Jesus?
Judas’ kiss: "Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.” Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. But Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come?” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him" (Matthew 26:48-50).

Did Jesus know the meaning of Judas' kiss?
A kiss on the cheek was a sign of respect in those days, but Jesus knew Judas' kiss was one of betrayal: "But Jesus said to him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” (Luke 22:48)

Did Jesus' eleven disciples understand the meaning of Judas' kiss?
They hadn't understood what Jesus told them earlier in the evening while Judas Iscariot was still with them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.” Then the disciples began to look at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke (John 13:21-22). Even when Judas left them to fetch the mob to arrest Jesus, they had been clueless: Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him. For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, “Buy those things we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night." (John 13:27-29). When Jesus said, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" (Luke 22:48), they, facing "troops ... with lanterns, torches and weapons" (John 18:3), finally understood what Jesus had meant.

How did His eleven then react?
To their credit, they displayed the will to stay and fight against hundreds of Roman soldiers (see Judas Iscariot) instead of running away: "When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” (Luke 22:49)

If they are going to "strike with the sword" (Luke 22:49) who would you expect to be their first target?
Judas the betrayer.

Is that what happened?
Not quite.

What happens next, before Jesus answers their question in Luke 22:49?
Peter, true to his 'act first, think later' form, strikes, but not at Judas, as you will see next.