Matthew 26:46-49. Rise, let us be going Namely, to meet those who are coming to arrest me, and to go along with them whithersoever they shall lead us. Behold, he is at hand that doth betray me Though they had not come within sight, our Lord perfectly knew the precise moment of their approach, and gave his disciples notice of it. And while he yet spake, Judas came Judas found Christ in the most heavenly and excellent employment when he came to apprehend him. O how happy is it when our sufferings find us in God’s way, engaged in his service, and engaging his assistance by fervent supplication! Thus did our Lord’s sufferings meet him; may ours so meet us! And with him a great multitude The chief priests and elders being informed by Judas that the proper time of apprehending his Master was come, sent a band of soldiers along with him, and servants Υπηρετας , (John 18:3,) carrying lanterns and torches to show them the way, because, though it was always full moon at the passover, the sky was dark by reason of the clouds, and the place whither they were going was shaded with trees. At the same time, a deputation of their number accompanied the band, to see that every one did his duty, (Luke 22:52,) for they were exceedingly anxious to get Jesus into their hands. He that betrayed him gave them a sign, &c. As the soldiers probably had never seen Jesus before, and it was now night, and there were twelve persons together, probably dressed much alike, Judas found it necessary to point him out to them by some such sign as he now gave: a sign, the design of which was less to be suspected by his other disciples, as it was a Jewish custom, after a long absence, or at departing from each other, to make use of the ceremony of a kiss. They used it likewise as a sign of affection to their equals, and as a mark of homage and reverence to their superiors. See Psalms 2:12; Luke 7:45. It is very probable that our Lord, in great condescension, had used, agreeably to this custom, to permit his disciples thus to salute him when they returned, after having been any time absent. And forthwith he came to Jesus Here we see it was the portion of our blessed Redeemer to be betrayed into the hands of his mortal enemies by the treachery of a false and dissembling friend, whose sin was greatly aggravated by the eminence of his place and station, and by the peculiar honour done him and trust reposed in him. For he bare the bag; that is, he was, as it were, almoner and steward of Christ’s family, to take care for the necessary accommodations of Christ and his apostles; and yet this man, thus called, thus honoured, thus respectfully treated by Christ, for the lucre of a little money, perfidiously betrays him! “O whither,” says Burkitt, “will not a bad heart and busy devil carry a man?” Hail, Master, and kissed him “Here was honey on the tongue, and poison in the heart. This treacherous kiss enhanced his crime beyond expression. O vilest of hypocrites, how durst thou approach so near thy Lord in the exercise of so much baseness and ingratitude! But none sin with so much impudence as hypocrites and apostates.”
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