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"Confronting Hypocrisy with Love"
By Rev. Wayne Palmer

Lenten Devotion

While He (Jesus) 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, but Jesus said
to him, "Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a
kiss?" (Luke 22:47-48).

Read Luke 22:47-48.

As Jesus wakens His disciples, a large company of soldiers
with torches, lanterns and weapons draws near. The Jewish
leaders intend to take no chances, so they bring enough
guards and soldiers to prevent any interference when they
take Jesus into custody. At their lead is Judas. He has
arranged a sign with the soldiers so there will be no
confusing Jesus with any of His disciples in the shadows of
the garden. "The one I will kiss is the man; seize Him"
(Matthew 26:48b).

Jesus points out the betrayer's heartbreaking hypocrisy,
"Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?"
Judas could have chosen any impersonal way to single out
Jesus. Instead, he chooses a kiss, a gesture intended to
show affection, kindness and love. Jesus' gently pricks at
Judas' conscience, trying to lead him to see his horrendous

Judas should melt in tears, but he feels no guilt, no regret-at
least not at this moment when Jesus is present to forgive,
restore and comfort him. Yet none of us should conclude that
Jesus didn't try hard enough to reach Judas. He washed his
feet in the upper room, He shared his meal, and here in the
garden He gently called him by name, Judas; and then even
called him "friend" (see Matthew 26:50). Jesus was still
 holding out peace and forgiveness for Judas. It wasn't too late
for Judas; it's not too late for you and me.


Lord Jesus, Your deep love for Judas is simply amazing,
especially when we see how deeply he hurt You. Give me
grace to forgive those who cut me to the heart. Amen.

(Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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