Summary: Even when Jesus was being arrested He revealed grace...
Luke 22:47-53 [ESV]
47 While He was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss Him, 48 but Jesus said to him, "Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?" 49 And when those who were around Him saw what would follow, they said, "Lord, shall we strike with the sword?" 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus said, "No more of this!" And He touched his ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, "Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53 When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness."
The arrest and seizing of Jesus by the authorities is a very sad moment in the life of Jesus and the disciples. This story is actually found in all four Gospels; however, Luke’s rendition is the most succinct and possibly the most accurate of the four.
When we look at these verses there is a natural division that leads us to three separate ‘movements’ or ‘acts’ to this event. V.47-48 reflect the actual betrayal by Judas, v. 49-51 represent the disciples attempts to defend Jesus, and finally act 3 is found in v.52-53 where Jesus rebukes His captors for their blatant hypocrisy of action by arresting Him at night out and away from the city…
So tonight lets divide up these verses by those parameters and see what we can glean from God’s word to help us to learn and grow in our understanding…
ACT ONE!! v. 47-48
47 While He was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss Him, 48 but Jesus said to him, "Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?"
The interconnectedness of these passages is hard to ignore… although this particular passage is about an entirely separate issue than the one preceding it… it is linked together seamlessly by Luke.
47 While He was still speaking
Jesus is still speaking to His disciples about the importance of prayer so that they can stand strong in temptation… Jesus knew what was coming but they did not… Jesus had told them what was coming, but they did not listen OR did not understand.
I believe this speaks to the focus of Jesus. His desire was to FULLY disciple these men. He did not give up on them… He continued to teach up to the very last minute. Jesus could have thrown His hands in the air and retreated back to His prayer with the Father…leaving them exposed and vulnerable when this crowd comes on the scene, but He did NOT do this… He continued to teach them!
…there came a crowd,
But Jesus’ teaching is interrupted… while He is speaking to His disciples there is a ruckus that gets their attention… that ruckus is a crowd coming their way.
…and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them.
Here Judas is out front and the others of the crowd are behind him. Judas is leading but he is NOT the leader. The leader is not actually with the crowd as he is the High Priest… but the High Priest would have had a representative with this ‘posse’. However, Luke is merely pointing out here that Judas was the one in the lead or out front, it is NOT an indication that Judas was behind this betrayal, although he plays a major part!
We can also know that this is historical fact… the historicity of this event rings true because NONE of the disciples or followers of Jesus would have implicated another follower as being the one who betrayed Jesus if it were not a fact. Judas was part of the 12 and Judas had gone out and turned his back on this teacher he had followed for over 3 yrs…
...He drew near to Jesus to kiss Him,
The irony is thick in this verse. Here is a man who had pledged his support and had been with Jesus thru all the miracles and all the healings and all the great works Jesus had done… Judas had seen Jesus turn the Pharisees accusations upside down with His wisdom… Judas had experienced Jesus as NONE other outside of the 12… but yet here he was ready to betray Jesus!
The sad part of this is that Judas chooses to use what was a common practice of greeting a FRIEND as his method of identifying Jesus. The friendly greeting used to bring about a deadly ending. I am sure that Judas had NO idea what this would bring about.