Luke 22:47

Verse of the Day Devotion.  Luke 22:47 

“While He was still speaking, behold, a multitude came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceding them; and he approached Jesus to kiss Him.” – Luke 22:47 

This verse addresses the betrayal by one of His twelve disciples, Judas, that ended in the arrest of Jesus, and ultimately His death. First, lets go back a bit at the deal he made with the Chief Priests. “Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people.” Luke 22:1-2. The Jewish leadership believed that if Jesus continued with what He was doing, their positions of leadership may be minimized or forever abolished. This was not acceptable to them, so they were looking for ways to capture and then kill Him without angering the people.

Next, based on the next set of verses, Satan was working with the leadership. “And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve. And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them. And they were glad and agreed to give him money. And he consented and began seeking a good opportunity to betray Him to them apart from the multitude. Luke 22:3-6. Based on this verse, Judas was not a true follower of Christ, or in today’s vernacular, a Christian.  They can be influenced by them, but not possessed by them. But specifically regarding Judas, he continually did wrong for His own benefit. Here is one example. “But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii, and given to poor people? Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.” John 12:4-6. He would actually steal money from Jesus. And I would go on to say that Satan, using Judas’ body, worked out a deal with the chief priests.

Now, we come to our focus verse. “While He was still speaking, behold, a multitude came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceding them; and he approached Jesus to kiss Him.” Luke 22:47. Now, it is important to understand why Judas would kiss Him. In the culture of first-century Israel, a kiss was not always a romantic expression of love; rather, a kiss on the cheek was a common greeting, a sign of deep respect, honor, and brotherly love. We see this in the writings of Peter, “Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you all who are in Christ.” 1 Peter 5:14. The type of kiss mentioned here is considered a ‘holy kiss’ through much of the New Testament. Also, for a student who had great respect for his teacher, a kiss fell well within the healthy expression of honor.

However, what really stands out in the mode of Judas’s betrayal is that Judas used such an intimate expression of love and respect to betray Jesus. Judas’s actions were, without question, hypocritical to an extreme. His actions essentially said, ‘I respect and honor you,’ while at the very same time betraying Him to be murdered. His actions can be seen illustrated in Proverbs. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.” Proverbs 27:6. Often, foes disguise themselves as friends when they are not. Actually, they are deceivers wearing a mask to conceal their true purpose. And this is what Judas did with Jesus.  He came dressed in the costume of an intimate friend. And as a side note, we need to be careful with this as well.

Jesus was betrayed by one who pretended being an intimate friend, to the point that he kissed Jesus as a sign of who was to be arrested. And when the betrayal was in process Jesus asked Judas, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” Luke 22:48. Jesus knew this would happen, and so the question was rhetorical.  But Jesus still loved him and it was no doubt painful to see Judas playing out what He knew would come. How difficult this may have been, but it shows His following what He taught. “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:27-28.  This is a perfect picture of love as laid out by our Messiah, who showed us here, through His arrest, what true love actually looks like.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.

Luke 9:1

Verse of the Day Devotion Luke 9:1 

“And He called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all the demons, and to heal diseases. ” – Luke 9:1 

These verses of Jesus, from our focus verse through verse 6, recounts a new phase in Jesus’ ministry.  Up to that time, His disciples watched Jesus minister to the people while helping Him where they could.  Now, Jesus is involving them directly by sending them out to do the work they were being called to do. Now He was sending them out to permit them to participate with Him.  He commissioned them to go out and do what He had been doing.

First, He “gave them power and authority over all the demons, and to heal diseases.” Luke 9:1b. Jesus gave them a share of His authority given Him by the Father, as well as the power to heal the sick and cast out demons.  Without receiving this power, the mission would not be fulfillable, but he gives them what is required to do the work He taught them.  This was not given them to build up themselves and their power and abilities, but to bring freedom and healing to those they would minister to.  For their mission was to go out and preach and proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick and deliver those who have demons. The idea with the phrase ‘He Sent’ in verse 2 is clarified by the Greek word apostello, which means to send forth as a messenger.  In essence, He was sending them out to reach out just as He was doing.

Then Jesus lets them know some rules He expects them to follow what He did, which will help them be fruitful in this task.  First, they were told not to take anything for the journey. “And He said to them, take nothing for your journey, neither a staff, nor a bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics apiece. “ Luke 9:3. The Twelve were to travel without equipment or extra goods, such as clothing, money, food, etc. This may have been due to the brevity of their mission or to Jesus’ desire to have them avoid the appearance of preaching for profit. This was something no doubt done by many Jewish and cultic leaders. It may also have been in order to require them to trust in God alone to supply their needs. Paul put it like this, “And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19.   

Then in verse 4, Jesus says “And whatever house you enter, stay there, and take your leave from there.” Luke 9:4. Those ministering in Jesus’ name should not use their ministry for personal gain and seek better housing if it becomes available later. The implications of this, while clear and forever applicable, is to not put down those of a lower state or puff up those of a higher state. Matthew puts it like this, “And into whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it; and abide there until you go away.” Matthew 10:11.  John Wesley understood this as they should abide with him: who is disposed to receive the Gospel. Then abide in that house until you leave the town.

And then in the next verse, “And as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” Luke 9:5. Their job as preachers wasn’t primarily to change people’s minds. They were to persuasively present the message, but if their listeners didn’t receive it they could leave and shake the very dust from your feet as they left.  If Jewish people of that time had to go in or through a Gentile city, as they left they often shook the dust off their feet as a gesture saying, We don’t want to take anything from this Gentile city with us. Essentially, Jesus told His disciples to regard a Jewish city that rejected their message as if it were a Gentile city.

Then they left and went out to do the Lord’s work.  “And departing, they began going about among the villages, preaching the gospel, and healing everywhere.” Luke 9:6. These twelve men went out and proclaimed the Kingdom of God, essentially that the Messiah is with them providing salvation for all who accept His words.  Jesus was, in a way,  helping them by allowing them to go out and do the work they would eventually do at the ascension of Jesus after His resurrection.  And through the scriptures, we see how we are to spread the word of the Kingdom of God to the world as well.  Just as the disciples of Jesus prepared the way for the word of God regarding Jesus, we are to do the same.  Both with words and with deeds.  Similarly, while we may get excited about visible miracles and demonstrations of supernatural power, the greatest miracle of all is the fact that unworthy sinners can become righteous children of God. When our focus moves to ourselves and how God is using us, we are headed the wrong direction. It is a good reminder that, since their names are unimportant, ours are as well. It is the name of Jesus Christ alone who deserves all attention and glory.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.