Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders.
Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. The men seized Jesus and arrested him. Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
“Am I leading a rebellion,” said Jesus, “that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.”
The betrayal is at hand. Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss – a symbol associated at the time with devotion and certainly now with love and closeness. It’s ironic that a symbol of care and closeness could be used to signal betrayal.
I’m reminded of how many times in my own life that the things I try to do right end up backfiring. A friendly gesture mistaken for being underhanded; an act of friendship seen as bribery – even the positive and pleasant things of this world can be used against us.