Summary: While pretending to kiss Jesus, we may be betraying Him without even thinking about it.
April 8, 2001 John 13:18-30
“The Kiss of Betrayal”
What do you think of when I say the word “kiss”? Now, I’m not talking about the rock group by that name, and I’m not using it as an acronym (Keep It Simple Stupid). I’m talking about that thing that two people who are in love with each other do to express that love. Hopefully when I say that word, the first thing that comes into your mind is your husband or your wife. If you’re a parent, it’s ok if your kids are the first thing that pops into your mind. If you’re a teenager, you probably think about that young man or young girl that you’ve been dreaming about and hoping that they will go on a date with you. It was kind of nice when Victoria was younger. She covered her face whenever Tammy and I would kiss. She thought it was gross. But now, she stares at us. I think that maybe she is thinking about the day when she will have someone that she can kiss. Most of you know what a kiss is for.
What do you think of when I say the word “betrayal”? For a child who likes Pokemon, you might think of Charazar who will never do what his master, Ashe, wants him to do even though they are in the heat of battle. Maybe you think of the “Survivor” series where the only way to survive is to depend on your teammates until it comes time to vote one of them off of the show. Betrayal is when you get in the car to go to work, and the car won’t start. Betrayal is when you’re on the cell phone in the middle of the most important call of your life, and the battery goes dead, or you go out of signal range. Betrayal is when you go to turn on the light in your California home or the air conditioning in the 95-degree heat, and neither will turn on because there is no electricity. These are all things that we can handle. We will get over them rather quickly. We may kick the car for not starting. We might throw the cell phone out the window. But as mad as we are, and as much as we want to take our aggression out on the cause of our problem, we know that that thing that betrayed us did not mean to. So we will get over it.
But it is when people betray us that we don’t get over it quite so easily. People have control over their actions. They make the decision to abandon us or to turn us over to the enemy. It doesn’t just happen.
Some names have become synonymous with betrayal. Benedict Arnold, who betrayed George Washington. Robert Hannsen, who spent 15 years spying for the Soviet gov’t while working for the FBI. Judas Iscariot, who betrayed the greatest friend he ever had with a kiss.
Everyone in this room has had to deal with betrayal. Either you have been betrayed, or you have betrayed someone else. Probably, you have been in both situations. Maybe you were told something by a friend who asked you to keep it in confidence, and soon, it was over the whole school. Maybe you had an idea about how things could be done better at work, but the friend that you told it to used your idea to get the promotion that you deserved. Or maybe the vow of complete faithfulness that you made to your spouse when you got married has not kept you from straying into territory where you did not belong. What does it feel like to be betrayed – to be abandoned? What does it feel like to have someone that you trusted suddenly turn on you? When we find out that someone has betrayed us, it makes us angry. It makes us feel vulnerable. Jesus knows what it feels like. It happened to Him. (Mt 26:47-50)
1. Betrayal comes at the most crucial times of our lives.
2. Betrayal comes at the hands of those who are the closest to us. (Jn 13:18 cf Ps 41:9, 55:12-14)
Judas Iscariot ate bread with Jesus that night, but that was not the 1st time. Judas had eaten bread with Jesus at Lazarus’ house and at Zachaeous’ house. They had enjoyed fish grilled over the fire on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. To eat bread – a meal – with someone was to indicate your closeness to that person. It showed your agreement with one another in lifestyle and beliefs. That’s why Jesus was criticized for eating with tax collectors and sinners and why Jews were forbidden to eat with Gentiles.
Judas was a highly trusted member of the group. That’s why he was allowed to carry the money bag.