If Jesus performed so many miracles, he would have been well known in and around Jerusalem. Then, what was the need for judah to identify him with kiss before his arrest by authorities.
ANSWER: Amtry. Thanks for your question. This is a good question. One reason was to fulfill prophesy about that Jesus would be betrayed.
Jesus did many miracles. Some biblical scholars estimated at the time of Pentecost in Jerusalem there could be as many as 500,000 people. So Jesus was very popular. Mark 11:1-11 tells about this event.
The prophesy of the betrayal of Jesus is found in Zech. 11:12-13. In this prophesy The Lord commissioned Zechariah to play the role of a worthy shepherd to illustrate the nature of the true Shepherd, Jesus the Messiah. Keeping this is mind, Zech. Verse 12 states “I told them, "If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it." This is where Zechariah is prophesying that the Shepherd (meaning the Messiah) would be rejected. This prophesy was fulfilled in Matt. 26: 14-15 which states “Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests. and said, “What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?”
Zech. 11: 13 states “So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said to me, "Throw it to the potter"-- the handsome price at which they priced me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD to the potter.” This prophesy was fulfilled in the second part of Matt. 26:15 “…And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him.”
The part of Zech. 11:13 that states “threw them into the house of the LORD to the potter” was fulfilled in Matt. 27:3 which states “When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.” So prophesy had to be fulfilled as seen in the betrayal of Jesus.
Now your question “Then, what was the need for Judah to identify him with kiss before his arrest by authorities.” The kiss is common in eastern lands and in Judah as a form of salutation on the cheek, the forehead, the beard, the hands, the feet. A very common practice.
I believe we have to look at many things here to identify Jesus . Jesus did not look any different than any other man from Galilee. So Jesus’s appearance was just as any man. Isiah 53:1-3 tells us about the what the Messiah would look like which states “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.” So the coming Messiah was common in appearance, had no certain beauty, and he did not stand out. So Jesus could blend in with the any crowd.
The Pharisees wanted to kill Jesus and apprehend him, but not in the Temple as the crowds would riot. As the center of attention in the Temple, Jesus could be found easily. But at night, he looked like any of the thousands of Jewish men that was present at Passover. The only way to make sure you've got the right guy in a situation like the Passover is to get someone who personally knows your target to identify him. And so that's exactly what they did. In order to identify Jesus from other plain-jane Jewish man, Judas would give a signal which was the kiss. And Romans guards that were to seize Jesus did not know what he looked like either. So the kiss as the signal.
Mark 14:44 tells us about how he will give the signal “Now he who was betraying Him had given them a signal, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him and lead Him away under guard.”
Amtry, in this deceitfulness of Judas with the kiss. I was thinking what it says in Proverbs 27:6 comes to my mind “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.”
I hope this helps.
Blessings to you this day.
Dr Don Howe, RN, PhD, ThD CARN
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Thanks for your reply. You wrote:
"But at night, he looked like any of the thousands of Jewish men that was present at Passover."
There should have been enough light from lamp which authorities would have used to identify Jesus. Also, everyone has generally unique face that makes us to identify a person. So how could your answer be justified.
Amtry, The Romans guards would not know who Jesus was or what he looked like. It does not really matter if they could or could not recognize him. What is important is that prophesy had to be fulfilled and the Son of Man would be betrayed. Judas wanted to be sure Jesus was identified and so he kissed Jesus to point out to the Romans who he was.