Each day this week we will follow Jesus from the moment of his arrest, through his trial to his execution. Before you read the passage you may find it helpful to pause, take a few long, deep breaths, and offer the time and space to God. Ask his Spirit to lead your thoughts and responses. As you read the passage, or even reading the reflection, if your thoughts or emotions take you in a different direction follow them – see where God might lead you.
Are you one of the disciples struggling to catch up with what is happening having fallen asleep (v.45)?
Are you in the crowd waiting to see what is going to happen?
Perhaps you are even Judas, greeting Jesus with a kiss?
Do you plan to take out the opposition?
Are you angry with Jesus and wanting to get rid of him?
Wherever you are in the narrative, re-read it and consider what Jesus would say to you if the scene was paused for a moment and it was just you and Jesus.
Jesus didn’t refuse Judas’s kiss. Matthew tells us that Judas kissed Jesus. Luke tells us that in response Jesus pointed out the hypocritical nature of what Judas was doing. A kiss usually signified devotion, warmth, love. Judas’s kiss signified disillusionment, betrayal, hate.
Jesus welcomes us all. He accepts us with our mixed motives, our misunderstanding, even our hypocrisy. There is no mistake he cannot redeem (even cutting off someone’s ear!). There is nobody he does not love.
Prayer: Jesus take me as I am, I can come no other way. Help me to be honest with myself and with you. Thank you that you welcome me as I am. Thank you that you can redeem any situation. Help me to let go of confusion, insincerity, anger, defensiveness and instead respond to those around me with your grace and acceptance.
Be blessed, be a blessing