Mark 14:45 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Mark 14:45, NIV: "Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, 'Rabbi!' and kissed him."

Mark 14:45, ESV: "And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” And he kissed him."

Mark 14:45, KJV: "And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him."

Mark 14:45, NASB: "And after coming, Judas immediately went to Him and *said, 'Rabbi!' and kissed Him."

Mark 14:45, NLT: "As soon as they arrived, Judas walked up to Jesus. 'Rabbi!' he exclaimed, and gave him the kiss."

Mark 14:45, CSB: "So when he came, immediately he went up to Jesus and said, "Rabbi!" and kissed him."

What does Mark 14:45 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Rabbi is Hebrew for "honorable sir." Jews use it to address or refer to their teacher. The disciples use it for Jesus regularly (Mark 9:5; 11:21; John 1:49; 4:31; 6:25). In many places of the world, people kiss each other in greeting. This is not a romantic or sexual act, but a display of brotherly love. Judas' use of such signs of respect are very clever. The disciples may be confused by the guards who accompany Judas, but Judas' greeting reassures them long enough for the guards to draw nearer.

Of course, Judas' greeting is also incredibly hypocritical, and Jesus calls Judas out on it (Luke 22:48). Judas has followed Jesus for three years, appearing to be His devoted disciple. The other eleven are not completely noble. They follow Jesus in large part because they expect to rule once He comes into His kingdom (Matthew 19:28). But in their ambition is real affection for Jesus and the humility to know they will rule under His authority (Mark 10:35–37).

Scholars debate over Judas' motivation for betraying Jesus. Some say that "Iscariot" is a term associating Judas with the Sicarii, the assassination force of the Zealots. If so, Judas may have come to the realization that Jesus is not going to bring his hoped-for military and political rebellion that will free the Jews from their Roman rulers. Jesus' only use to Judas, then, is what Judas can get for betraying Him.

Scripture doesn't say if Judas was a Zealot, but it does say he likes money. When Mary of Bethany spends a year's wages worth of oil on Jesus, Judas complains that she should have given it to the poor. What he meant was that he'd prefer she put the money somewhere he can more easily steal it (John 12:6).

Satan enters Judas before he talks to the chief priests about betraying Jesus (Luke 22:3–4) and again when Judas leaves the Passover dinner to coordinate the arrest (John 13:27). But Satan doesn't compel Judas to do anything he isn't willing to do. Satan merely acts as a catalyst to get Judas moving on his timetable.

Satan also apparently muddles Judas' mind so that he does not understand the implications of what he is doing. He doesn't understand that the Sanhedrin will successfully manipulate the Roman officials into crucifying Jesus. When Judas realizes what his actions have led to, he tries to undo what he has done. It's too late, however, and instead of asking Jesus for forgiveness, Judas kills himself (Matthew 27:3–10).

The application of Judas' work is obvious and far-reaching. God gives us standards to live by for a reason. He offers to work in our hearts to eliminate things like greed so that our selfish actions won't hurt others. When we act self-centeredly, we don't realize—or don't care—that we don't know the bigger picture and the possible repercussions. Jesus says, "One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much" (Luke 16:10). This is certainly true for Judas who stole from the moneybag and sold Jesus.