Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, January 8, 2024

Salutations and Summary, part 3 – Romans, part 253

From Romans 16:3 through Romans 16:15 there are 11 verses in a row that start with the word “greet.”  The twelfth such consecutive verse is this…

Romans 16:16  Greet one another with a holy kiss. All of Messiah’s communities greet you. 

Paul is overflowing with greetings, with a double portion of greeting in this final one, both to “one another” and “all of Messiah’s communities.  What’s the point here?  Affirmation!

Paul, himself, was a recipient of much community affection and affirmation after his farewell address to the Ephesians.  Acts 20:37 They all began weeping and falling upon Paul’s neck and kissing him, 38a grieving most of all over the statement he made that they would never see his face again.

Paul invites various communities to share in a “holy kiss” on no less than four other occasions.  What distinguishes a holy kiss from an unholy kiss?  Like everything, “It’s a heart thang!”  A holy kiss is precious, sincere and pure.  It is motivated by the heart to express affirmation, appreciation and affection while being void of amorous motives.

Examples of an unholy kiss are found in 2 Samuel 20:9 when Joab grabbed Amasa’s beard to kiss him with his right hand while stabbing him with the sword with his left hand.  Secondly, there is the infamous betrayal.  Matthew 26:48 Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘The One I kiss, He’s the One—seize Him!’ 49 And immediately Judah (Iscariot) drew near to Yeshua and said, “Shalom, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.

But we are the family of God.  John 1:12 But whoever did receive Him, those trusting in His name, to these He gave the right to become children of God.  The next verse even says, “born of God.”  Paul has already affirmed this… Romans 12:5 so we, who are many, are one body in Messiah and everyone parts of one another.  As Ted Pearce sang, “One people, one God.”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXqqm1MEyxI

Near the start of every worship service at Shomair, we have a time of “meet and greet.”  Based on our study today, there is a biblical reason for it.  Everyone is welcome to be part of the family.  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Monday 8-Jan-24
Exodus 6:14-28 2 Samuel 14  Psalm 81  Luke 9:1-26 Ephesians 3