43 ¶ And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44 And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely.
This was apparently a custom at the time. We don’t feel comfortable with this today but sometimes people will hug you. I, personally, don’t feel comfortable with such familiarity. A handshake or a nod or a smile are good enough for me. This is probably easier in a church under persecution. Perhaps, by necessity they must trust each other and be close.
Romans16:16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.
1Corinthians 16:20 All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.
2Corinthians 13:12 Greet one another with an holy kiss.
1Thessalonians 5:26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.
It is funny that fundamentalists who insist on long hair and dresses for women and no women preachers don’t seem to have a problem ignoring these verses. I don’t recall ever seeing a fundamentalist giving a “holy kiss” and doubt if they would even know what one was.
But beware of such a kiss.
Genesis 29:13 And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister’s son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things.
2Samuel 15:4 Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice! 5 And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him.
2 Samuel 20:9 And Joab said to Amasa, Art thou in health, my brother? And Joab took Amasa by the beard with the right hand to kiss him. 10 But Amasa took no heed to the sword that was in Joab’s hand: so he smote him therewith in the fifth rib, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and struck him not again; and he died. So Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bichri.
45 And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him.
This was the signal. Judas called him Master.
46 And they laid their hands on him, and took him. 47 And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
Jesus heals him as related in Luke 22:51.
48 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me? 49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled. 50 And they all forsook him, and fled.
Zechariah 13:7 ¶ Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.
51 And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him: 52 And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.
Commentators throughout history have tried to guess who this was. I’ve heard things so radical that this was an angel or that this might have been Paul as Saul. But, we don’t know who it was, really. I assume it was the apostle John, the youngest of the twelve.