by the Rev. Henry Huenemann
And he said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:15).
47And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.
48Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.
49And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.
50And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus and took him.
51And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear.
52Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
53Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
54But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
55In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.
56But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.
57And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
As soon as Judas Iscariot had agreed with the Jews on how much money he was to receive for betraying Jesus into their hands, he sought opportunity to do so. He knew the place where Jesus gathered with his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, and he came thither with a multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders, and he betrayed his Lord with a kiss. What ingratitude, what hypocrisy!
He had been instructed by Jesus as well as the other disciples. He had received nothing but good from him. He even had repeatedly been warned as to the betrayal of Jesus. Jesus had told his disciples one of them would do it. He told them he that would dip his hand with him in the dish would betray him. He told them, "it had been good for that man if he had not been born." Did Judas repent? No. Satan had entered into him and he hardened his heart. How it must have grieved Jesus that his own familiar friend, in whom he trusted, who did eat of his bread, had lifted up his heel against him. Yet, Jesus did not pronounce his curse upon him. In Judas it became evident how the wicked wilfully run into perdition, and also, how longsuffering the Lord is even with them. May we not be highminded, but fear, and remember that "we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace."
O Lord, help us to remember that we are flesh, sinful flesh by nature, and that in us, that is, in our flesh, dwelleth no good thing, and that by grace we are what we are. May we not be highminded and proud, but may we be truly humble, and magnify Thy grace. Help us to study Thy Word, to meditate on its truths, that we may grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, that Thy name through us may not be blasphemed, but honored and glorified. Amen.
Scripture in Devotional: Matt. 26:15, 16; 26:47-49; 26:23, 24; Luke 22:3; Ps. 41:9; Rom. 11:20; Eph. 1:7.
Click here for background on Light and Comfort and the author.