Scripture: Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” Mark 14:44, NIV
This Is the Man
   I took time to count a few of my blessings as I sat in the midst of that great urban tradition, the morning crush of traffic, as workers streamed into the heart of the city. I am thankful that I don’t have to do this often. But I allowed extra time this particular morning, and I was able to contemplate the vanity license plates on many of the autos surrounding me. I followed DBRA RAE for a while. FLOSS seemed to remind me of a dental technician, while DENTS possibly worked in a similar office. PARODOX held one person, so half of a pair of doctors? The AB MD auto surely was also a doctor. The car with the tag BLUE HEN puzzled me. Neither the car or the driver was blue, nor a hen.
    Individualized license plates, all. Even the regular issue plates can be traced to a particular owner, and the driver had best be carrying  a permit to drive, bearing a photo identification. Our society depends upon that ability to show who we are, or who we claim to be. We often need that identification to make a purchase with anything other than pure cash.
    We recognize people from pictures in newspapers, on television, and plastered on billboards across the land. Images sell products, especially happy, smiling people. While we hope that   our personal image never appears upon a “Wanted!”  poster,  we are  grateful  for the process that is often responsible for the apprehension of someone who has commited a crime. But take a moment from our “total surveillance” society to think about one where none of these techniques is available. No photos, no ID cards. No real knowledge of what someone known to you only by name actually looks like. How would you pick a particular person out from a large crowd?  You would probably have to rely on someone who knew that person intimately.
    Jesus lived in such a society.  The people who most wanted to find Jesus this particular night were not personally acquainted with him. The city of Jerusalem was also jammed with crowds of pilgrims, spending the week celebrating the Passover. They were packed into every inn and guest room, and overflowed into the streets and public places, even into the orchards outside the city walls.
    True, Jesus appeared openly in the temple area, but the authorities freely admitted that they feared a riot would ensue if they tried to arrest him in the midst of the throng. The Roman soldiers were quite efficient at quelling riots, and delt severely with those who permitted such breaches of the peace to occur. The authorities knew quite well who they wanted arrested; they just didn’t know where Jesus stayed when apart from the crowds, nor how to make sure they had the right man. Soldiers and temple guards, unfamiliar with Jesus, were sent out to locate and identify him amongst the multitudes, under the cover of darkness. Judas, therefore, was their means of identification.
         “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard."  
 Judas said.
                “This is the man.
    Interesting thought - Today, we need to point to Jesus and say, "This is the Man!
Instead, we are more apt, like Peter, to say, “I know him not!"

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