Betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss? — Luke 22:48
“The kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Proverbs 27:5. Let me be on my guard when the world puts on a loving face, for it will, if possible, betray me as it did my Master, with a kiss! Whenever a man is about to stab true religion, he usually professes very great reverence for it. Let me beware of the sleek-faced hypocrisy which is armor-bearer to heresy and infidelity. Knowing the deceivableness of unrighteousness, let me be wise as a serpent to detect and avoid the designs of the enemy.
The young man in the book of Proverbs, void of understanding, was led astray by the kiss of the immoral woman. May my soul be so graciously instructed all this day, that “the much fair speech” of the world may have no effect upon me. Holy Spirit, let me not, a poor frail son of man, be betrayed with a kiss!
But what if I should be guilty of the same accursed sin as Judas, that son of perdition? I have been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus; I am a member of His visible Church; I sit at the communion table—all these are so many kisses of my lips. Am I sincere in them? If not, I am a base traitor. Do I live in the world as carelessly as others do, and yet make a profession of being a follower of Jesus? Then I must expose religion to ridicule, and lead men to speak evil of the holy name by which I am called. Surely if I act thus inconsistently, I am a Judas, and it were better for me that I had never been born! Dare I hope that I am clear in this matter? Then, O Lord, keep me so. O Lord, make me sincere and true. Preserve me from every false way. Never let me betray my Savior. I do love You, Jesus, and though I often grieve You—yet I would desire to abide faithful even unto death. O God, forbid that I should be a high-soaring professor, and then fall at last into the lake of fire, because I betrayed my Master with a kiss.
The Son of man. — John 3:13
How constantly our Master used the title, the “Son of man!” If He had chosen, He might always have spoken of Himself as the Son of God, the Everlasting Father, the Wonderful, the Counselor, the Prince of Peace; but behold the lowliness of Jesus! He prefers to call Himself the Son of man. Let us learn a lesson of humility from our Savior; let us never court great titles nor proud degrees.
There is here, however, a far sweeter thought. Jesus loved manhood so much, that He delighted to honor it; and since it is a high honor, and indeed, the greatest dignity of manhood, that Jesus is the Son of man, He is accustomed to display this name, that He may as it were hang royal stars upon the breast of manhood, and show forth the love of God to Abraham’s seed. Son of man — whenever He said that word, He shed a halo round the head of Adam’s children.
Yet there is perhaps a more precious thought still. Jesus Christ called Himself the Son of man to express His oneness and sympathy with His people. He thus reminds us that He is the one whom we may approach without fear. As a man, we may take to Him all our griefs and troubles, for He knows them by experience; in that He Himself has suffered as the “Son of man,” He is able to succor and comfort us.
All hail, O blessed Jesus! inasmuch as You are evermore using the sweet name which acknowledges that You are a brother and a near kinsman, it is to us a dear token of Your grace, Your humility, Your love!