The Apostate Judas Kiss

Now he who was betraying Him gave them a sign, saying, "Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him." Immediately Judas went to Jesus and said, "Hail, Rabbi!" and kissed Him. (Matthew 26:48-49)

The Judas Kiss is one of the most illustrated themes in art, one of the most famous kisses of all time, the most devastating scene among friends there could ever be. The horror of it is an eternal warning to all of us. How so you ask?

Kiss of Judas (1304–06), fresco by Giotto, Scrovegni Chapel, Padua, Italy

Because apostates inwardly operate for satan with an outward veneer of loving Jesus. It is a horrendous life, outwardly of unity with the brethren under the salvation from and sanctification in Jesus, but inwardly as a ravening wolf out to lie, destroy, and exploit the brethren.

Judas spent three and a half years directly being taught and loved by the God of the Universe. He was close witness to miracles, the glory of God, and pure truth. He  was given a position of trust, being the treasurer of the group. Despite Judas' hate for Jesus, he masked it so well that when Jesus said at the Last Supper that one of the 12 will betray him, no one suspected Judas. That is usually how it is with apostates.

In studying the verse above I learned that not only did Judas kiss Jesus, but the Greek word used for kiss means fervently and for a while. Judas probably did so because it was dark (no streetlights 2000 years ago) and it took a few seconds for the soldiers to identify correctly who Jesus was. In any case, the display of love which was actually hate for our Savior, is enough to crash the mind.

The kiss scene has me thinking a lot these past two days on the nature of apostasy. This thought is helped along by a couple of wonderful sermons I'd heard a while back which I never forgot. A Tale of Two Sorrows (comparing the sorrow of Peter and the sorrow of Judas) and "Common Men, Uncommon Calling: Judas Iscariot, Part 1"

Apostates don't come in all fire and noise. The bible says they creep in. They come unnoticed. (Jude 1:4) They bring heresies secretly. An apostate will come in apparent love, not in identifiable hate.
The most devastating attacks, however, that come on the truth come from those who claim to love and believe it. The devastating attacks come from those who say they believe it, are attached to it and, in fact, assault it. ... Thomas Manton said they are libertines who like worms bred within the body seek to devour the entrails and eat the very heart. They cause people to turn aside from the truth. They cause people to be corrupted. They cause the fellowship of the faithful to be lost. They call worship...they cause worship to become a travesty. The church turns itself over to fables and follies. MacArthur: "Unveiling the Apostates"
They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good. (Titus 1:16)

More broadly, a Judas kiss may refer to "an act appearing to be an act of friendship, which is in fact harmful to the recipient."

For example, when resurrected Jesus appeared to Christian-persecuting Saul/Paul, Jesus said, "Why do you persecute Me?" (Acts 9:4). Apostates claim to love Jesus but by their actions deny Him. (Titus 1:6). They harm Jesus by blaspheming Him. They harm Him by uttering praises from a polluted heart.

With all that there is in pondering the Judas Kiss, the one thought that I kept coming back to is the evil softness of it. So often when I say "So and so is a false teacher" I am given a reply of, "But they speak of Jesus...". Judas spoke of Jesus, lived with Jesus, worked for Jesus, for years. Not one of his colleagues thought Judas was the betrayer. Not one gave a second thought to allowing Judas to handle the purse. Judas was only unmasked at the last moment.

I found Charles Spurgeon's sermon of the Judas Kiss. His thoughts perfectly encapsulated what I was trying to get at.
Judas betrayed his Master with a kiss. That is how most apostates do it; it is always with a kiss. Did you ever read an infidel book in your life which did not begin with profound respect for truth? I never have. Even modern ones, when bishops write them, always begin like that. They betray the Son of man with a kiss. Did you ever read a bank of bitter controversy which did not begin with such a sickly lot of humility, such sugar, such butter, such treacle, such everything sweet and soft, that you said, "Ah! there is sure to be something bad here, for when people begin so softly and sweetly, so humbly and so smoothly, depend upon it they have rank hatred in their hearts." The most devout looking people are often the most hypocritical in the world.

Apostates don't reject the truth with a fist. They reject the truth with a kiss.


  1. So spot on that it is actually scary.


  2. I have heard people suggest that not all of those teaching a false Gospel are insincere and inherently evil. They try to convince themselves that somehow God views the Satan appointed preachers as evil but the nice yet deceived preachers as somehow less vile. Neither the intentional nor the non-intentional teaching of a false Gospel is acceptable and both are considered equally dangerous and abhorrent to God.

    The Benny Hinns are easy to spot. Not so with many other apostates in the pulpit. And just because some are more difficult to spot than others is no reason to justify or excuse their false teachings in any way whatsoever.

    It is ironic indeed that Judas handled all of the finances! Health and Wealth Gospel in its infancy? lol

  3. Hi Stephen and Gates, thanks so much for reading and for yoru comments!

    For people unfamiliar with the Judas-thievery issue, it is in John 12:6, "He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it."

    Gates, so true! Prosperity Gospel germ of origin for sure. What was sent to the ministry for the poor was skimmed by apostate ministers for themselves (i.e. Judas)

    1. Do you think that Judas had an administrative fee exceeding that of our New Age churches? Obviously Jesus knew Judas was skimming. That just tells me that the value of eternal life was far more important to Jesus than anything of earthly significance.

    2. I agree Jesus knew every aspect of Judas. Jesus chose Judas sot he scriptures would be fulfilled. One example is in

      See Psalm 41:9, "Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me."

      Judas betrays Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. According to Exodus this was the price of a slave. Ex 21:32

      Judas would bring about Jesus' death which was necessary for the redemption of the world.

  4. I have a question. Why didnt the apostles still not know who Judas really was?
    John 13:26
    Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.

    1. To me it shows that even the elect can be deceived. If the apostles did not know the true Judas then we should be all the more careful when it comes to those we trust with the Gospel.

    2. It's a good question Anonynmous and I dotn' have the answer except to say that the scriptures say they didn't know.

      Likely for the same reason they didn't know Jesus was going to die, or be resurrected, or that the scriptures concerning Him would be fulfilled, or for the same reason they needed parables explained to them...

      Because they did not have the indwelling Holy Spirit yet. Some things were too difficult to understand until their minds were opened by the Spirit.

    3. Gates the elect cannot be deceived as to the truth of Jesus Christ. Cannot. We *can* be deceived by apostates.

      They went around the table saying "Is it I?" because they couldn't believe the deceiver/betrayer was any of the others. Judas masked it so well. They would be more inclined to believe it was their own self than one of the other 11.

      How many times do we see on the news, some horrific crime or some heinous moral failure, and the ones who used to be close to the person saying over and over, "I just can't believe it!"

      Man's hidden sin goes deep. Satan's evil penetrates the closest of inner circles.

    4. Elizabeth, I think I was agreeing with what you said. lol

      Turning 68 yesterday might have had been more than my little brain could handle!

    5. I'm sorry for misunderstanding that Gates. Please accept my apologies. And, Happy Birthday! 68? Were does the time go?! :>

    6. Thanks for your answers!


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