II: Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested

  1. Mark 14: 43-46

43 Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; and with him there was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. 44Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.’ 45So when he came, he went up to him at once and said, ‘Rabbi!’ and kissed him. 46Then they laid hands on him and arrested him.

 

Some Background to the Scripture

Those sent to arrest Jesus were not the Temple guards who had the discipline of the military, but an undisciplined crowd of individuals armed with weapons. Many Jews had come up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, the great festival of freedom.  Judas had to identify Jesus to them with a kiss, because they did not know which man was Jesus.

To call Jesus Rabbi and to identify him with a kiss is a deep violation of the relationship Judas had with Jesus.

 Reflection

One of Judaism’s most distinctive and challenging ideas is its ethics of responsibility, the idea that God invites us to become, in the rabbinic phrase, his ‘partners in the world of creation’. The God who created the world in love calls on us to create in love. The God who gave us the gift of freedom asks us to use it to honour and enhance the freedom of others.

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (previous Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth).  2005.  To Heal a Fractured World: The Ethics of Responsibility, Schoken Books: NY.

 Reflection Question

How do I respond when my friend and I do not see eye to eye?

 Prayer

Lord, forgive me for the times I limit the freedom of others by my attitudes, words and actions.

 Response

Do not say, “What can I do, I am only in school?”.  Visit the Free The Children website to see what twelve year-old Craig Kielburger began and how this work continues worldwide today.  What can you do to help give others freedom?

 

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