One of a series of wall paintings in fresco at Stavronikita Monastery on Mount Athos painted by the master iconographer Theophanes the Cretan in the mid 16th century, this icon shows Judas betraying the Lord with a hypocritical kiss as he says, “Hail, Master!” Judas was overcome by avarice, and by disappointment with Christ for not being the Messiah that he was looking for. This was a common problem at the time of Christ’s public ministry, and it was the most common among the educated and religious people and leaders at that time. This can often be a problem even today.
Why is this so? Because there is an enormous shift in changing our awareness and preconceptions necessary to see a new and different world view, even if surrounded by major evidence that this is so. The fullness of the Godhead becoming incarnate with a full human nature, while maintaining His eternal Divine nature, was something so radically new, no one knew that this was going to happen until the Archangel Gabriel announced it when Christ became incarnate. Only through humility and meekness of heart can we see with clear sight and an unclouded mind.