Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 26:47-56
Do you remember your first kiss? I do. When I was a seminary student, I met my wife-to-be, Hyesung. We studied together late and I used to walk with her to her house. It was a raining day. I held up an umbrella for us. We came close to her house. We stopped. Then she turned around. This was the time that we said good-bye and good night. She smiled. And she closed her eyes. My heart was pumping. I did not know what to do. I could not breathe. Then I found myself kissing her. I drop the umbrella. We were soaking wet in the rain. I said in my heart, “I will be with her, I will protect her, I will do everything for her, and I will not leave her!” It was like eternity.
Kiss is a language. Usually it delivers the message of love and commitment. Do you remember the woman who kissed the feet of Jesus? Luke 7:36-50 tells a story of a woman. When Jesus was invited by a Pharisees to have dinner with him, a woman came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. Pharisees were angry both at her and at Jesus. However, Jesus knew that she was saying in her heart, “I give my life to you, I will follow you, I will do everything for you, and I will not leave you!” Why? Because her sins had been forgiven!
However, not all the kisses are the signs of love and commitment. Here is Judas Iscariot. Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. That was the signal for the Roman soldiers to arrest Jesus. That was the kiss of betrayal. Judas finally departed from Jesus, from what Jesus was teaching and preaching, and from the vision of the Kingdom of God. It was too scary for him to accept. What he wanted was the secular kingdom and power in it. He did not want to serve others as Jesus did. He did not want to share what he had as Jesus did. He ultimately did not want to die sacrificial death as Jesus would do. He clearly understood what Jesus was up to. So he decided to go the other way. His kiss was his message against the love of God.
To this strong objection and evil thought, Jesus replied with unconditional love and forgiveness. Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Jesus even loved Judas. As he washed his feet, he held his hands. As Jesus gave Judas bread and wine, he gave Judas permission to betray him. He softly and lovingly whispered to his ears. “I have already forgiven you. I will die even for you!” This is the love of God. Our promises are broken but God’s promises are still standing. Our love is conditional but God’s love is unconditional. Our kiss is fluctuating but God’s saving Grace is steady and faithful.
With this love, Jesus is inviting you and me to come closer to God. You and I may have had many things that now we regret. We may have departed from Jesus many times. We are sinners. However, that is why Jesus died on the Cross. He is now risen and waiting for you and me to share his victory and joy. Would you accept his love and invitation today?
- What make you hesitate to accept Jesus as your savior?
- When you accepted Jesus as your savior what happened in your life?