NT Sunday School Lesson 26 (JF): Matthew 26:47-27:66; Mark 14:43-15:39; Luke 22:47-23:56; John 18-19

Matthew 26

Verse 47: This crowd came from the temple priests, so it may have been the temple police rather than a mere mob.

Verses 48-49: Just as it is today for many, a kiss on the cheek seems to have been a standard greeting, but it seems not merely to have been that. Ulrich Luz (Hermeneia commentary on Matthew, page 415-17) says that in first-century Palestine, the kiss was a sign of solidarity and reconciliation and, so, “One would hardly be able to say that the kiss of greeting was a completely normal and thus meaningless ritual in the Jewish society of that day.” For two millenia writers have taken this kiss to be the symbol of betrayal. The only alternate voice seems to have been that of Origen, who recognized that Judas was neither fully good nor fully evil and, so, probably vacillated in his feelings for the Savior (Luz 412).

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