In Matthew 26:48-49 we read of the sign that Judas gave by which Jesus would be identified for those who would come to arrest Him. Judas would betray the Lord of Glory with a kiss. But as we read verses 48-49 the Holy Spirit tells us that it wasn’t just a kiss, it was a kiss that was cruelly deceitful.
Matthew 26:48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” 49 And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him.
The word “kiss” in verse 48 is the word phileo. It is a word for the love of friendship and it was also used to speak of displays of that kind of love. But when it says in verse 49 that Judas “kissed” Him, it is a different word. It is the word kataphileo. It means to “kiss with fervency”, or it can mean “to kiss much, to kiss again and again.”
Judas not only betrayed the Son of God, he betrayed the son of God in a mock display of fervent friendship.
It brings to mind a warning in the book of Proverbs.
Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
Profuse, or “excessive” are the kisses of an enemy. A friend would wound you when an enemy will flatter you.
A couple of thoughts come to mind in the way of application.
1. Beware flattery. It is the sign of false teachers to flatter people in order to gain advantage. Be real. Be kind and loving, yes, but let it be genuine and let it be toward all.
2. Beware those who flatter. If someone is guilty of flattery it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are a Judas. We all have areas in our personalities and character that the Lord is refining and correcting and transforming. People can struggle with this for different reasons. Sometimes it is insecurity and just the desire to be liked. Regardless, however, God’s word never warns for no reason. Realize that kisses aren’t always coming from friends and be wise in your conduct and with your words.
3. Let us be faithful to wound. I didn’t say “let’s be hateful”. What I am saying is that where love would wound then we must be faithful to love. We must speak the truth in love and that includes timely correction.
4. Let us appreciate the wounds of friends. Are you defensive? Can no one correct you? Are you teachable? Are you grateful for those who love you enough to help you?
May God keep us from deceitful kisses.
By His Grace and for His Glory,