Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" and kissed him. Jesus replied, "Friend, do what you came for." Matthew 26:49-50
As presented on *The Lutheran Hour® by Dr. Oswald Hoffmann, March 27, 1960.
It looked as if Judas was doing the right thing. He came to Jesus, sought Him out. The armed friends he brought could have come along in order to protect Christ against His enemies. Judas greeted his Master with a friendly kiss, but our Lord cut through all pretensions and appearances with one question: “Friend, why are you here?”
Meet Christ, and sham is dispelled. Tell me how good a person you are and I shall have to believe you, for I have to judge by appearances. But tell Christ how good a person you are and He will not have to judge by appearances. His question confronts us all with shocking force: “Friend, why are you here?”
Christ is always interested in the why of our actions, not just what we do. It is possible to do the right thing for the wrong reason. Judas is an outstanding example of this. He came to Jesus for the wrong reason, kissed Him for the wrong reason, and brought along his people for the wrong reason. His actions looked good, but they were essentially evil.
“Friend, why are you here?” This is Christ’s searching question to you today – asked not in condemnation but in invitation. By His invitation you will live. Christ’s invitation is His promise that He will deal with that old self of yours and bring about a new man within you, loyal and loving, faithful and true.
Lord God, help us to examine our hearts honestly and to trust Your forgiveness for our selfish motives. By the power of Your Spirit, give us the motivation of Your love in all that we do. Amen.
Taken from A Message of Hope: Proclaiming the Cross (selections from messages broadcast on *The Lutheran Hour, celebrating 75 years of proclaiming the promise).
Copyright © 2006 by Lutheran Hour Ministries
*The Lutheran Hour is the longest-running Christian radio broadcast in the world. It is a production of Lutheran Hour Ministries. For more information, visit www.lutheranhour.org.