Betray with a kiss (Lk 22:48-22:48)

“Jesus said to Judas.

‘Judas!

Is it with a kiss

That you are betraying

The Son of Man?”

Ἰησοῦς δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἰούδα, φιλήματι τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδίδως;

Luke indicated that Jesus asked Judas (οῦς δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἰούδα) if it was with a kiss (φιλήματι) that he was going to betray the Son of Man (τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδίδως)?  Luke had just this abbreviated comment of Jesus before Judas kissed Jesus.  In John, chapter 18, there was no Judas kiss at all.  It is interesting to note that John left this out in his otherwise well detailed description.  However, both Mark, chapter 14:44-45, and Matthew, chapter 26:48-49 were similar to each other, with more details.  Mark said that this betrayer or deliverer of Jesus, Judas, had given the crowd a sign (δεδώκει δὲ ὁ παραδιδοὺς αὐτὸν σύσσημον αὐτοῖς).  Judas had told them that the one that he kissed (λέγων Ὃν ἂν φιλήσω) would be the man to seize or hold (αὐτός ἐστιν·κρατήσατε αὐτὸν).  They were to lead him away securely under guard (καὶ ἀπάγετε ἀσφαλῶς).  Judas had this all set up, so that there would be no mistaken identity, as regards Jesus.  Mark said that Judas suddenly came up to Jesus (καὶ ἐλθὼν εὐθὺς προσελθὼν αὐτῷ).  Then Judas called Jesus “Rabbi (λέγει Ῥαββεί)!”  Then he kissed Jesus (καὶ κατεφίλησεν αὐτόν).  Matthew said that this betrayer of Jesus (ὁ δὲ παραδιδοὺς αὐτὸν), Judas, had given the crowd a sign (ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς σημεῖον).  Judas had told them that the one that he kissed (λέγων Ὃν ἂν φιλήσω) would be the man to seize or hold (αὐτός ἐστιν· κρατήσατε αὐτόν).  Thus, Judas suddenly came up to Jesus (καὶ εὐθέως προσελθὼν τῷ Ἰησοῦ).  Then he said “Greetings (εἶπεν Χαῖρε)!  Rabbi (Ῥαββεί)!”  Then he kissed Jesus (καὶ κατεφίλησεν αὐτόν).  Notice that both Matthew and Mark used the Jewish title of Rabbi.  The kiss would have been the normal greeting, since it was certainly used by Christ’s followers, as indicated in the Pauline letters.  Yet it might also have been a practical way for others to recognize Jesus in the dark.  In John, chapter 18:4-11, there was a long dialogue of Jesus with those who came to get him, before he was arrested.  Mark said that Jesus did not respond to Judas at all.  They just put their hands upon him or grabbed Jesus (οἱ δὲ ἐπέβαλαν τὰς χεῖρας αὐτῷ).  Then they seized or arrested Jesus without any kind of conversation at all (καὶ ἐκράτησαν αὐτόν).  Here in Luke, Jesus reprimanded Judas for betraying him with a kiss.  Only in Matthew, chapter 26:50, did Jesus respond to Judas.  He remarked that Jesus called Judas “Friend!” (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἑταῖρε) sarcastically.  Jesus wanted to know what Judas was there to do (ἐφ’ ὃ πάρει).  What did he want?  The answer came quickly, as others came forward and put their hands upon or grabbed Jesus (τότε προσελθόντες ἐπέβαλον τὰς χεῖρας ἐπὶ τὸν Ἰησοῦν).  They seized or arrested him (καὶ ἐκράτησαν αὐτόν).  Do you greet people with a kiss?

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