Uplook Fridays: The Kiss

A kiss has many meanings in Scripture. Joseph kissed all his brethren
as a token of reconciliation ({{Gen. 45:15}}). Orpah kissed Naomi, but
returned to her paganism in Moab, while Ruth “clave” to her
mother-in-law ({{Ruth 1:14}}). David kissed Jonathan in their final
farewell—a kiss of friendship ({{1 Sam. 20:41}}). The father of the
prodigal son “fell on his neck and kissed him” on the son’s return
({{Lk. 15:20}}). In the Church, Paul admonished believers to “greet ye
one another with an holy kiss” ({{1 Cor. 16:20}}).

As to the latter, we must remember that as in the Far East today,
men and women sat separately, and greeted one another separately, so
that this kiss was no doubt confined to members of the same gender. It
was a “kiss of charity” ({{1 Pet. 5:14}}) and had the same effect as a
love feast in India—it abolished all social distinctions and any spirit
of discrimination and partiality among the Lord’s people.

The Kiss of Judas
“Now he that betrayed Him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall
kiss, that same is He: hold Him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus,
and said, Hail, Master—and kissed Him” ({{Mt. 26:48-49}}). The word
used here means fervently. This betrayal kiss was more demonstrative
than the ordinary kiss of a formal greeting. Never in all the years of
His association with the intimate band of disciples did Judas ever call
Jesus, “Lord”! His discipleship had been play acting, the very essence
of hypocrisy.

Judas had privileges few men ever had. He companied with our Lord
and belonged to a band of men who were to attend Him in His impeccable
walk on earth, to hear His purpose to undergo the uttermost of God’s
wrath and to drink the very dregs of anguish for man’s redemption. He
must have seen the signs of coming distress on our Lord’s face as He
approached the mysterious depths of His substitutionary sacrifice and
the shameful cross.

Was Judas so perverse and hardened that he never at any time read
the language of the Saviour’s heart, interpreted His incessant prayers,
the meaning of His mighty pleadings, the appeal of His outstretched
hands? Yet Judas betrayed Him, and did so with the sweetest symbol of
love. It is the only time we read of anyone kissing the Saviour’s face,
and it was with the filthy lips of this betrayer, whose very name has
become a symbol of infamy.

The Kisses of Love by a Woman
“Seest thou this woman?” said our Lord in a gentle but stinging rebuke
to Simon the Pharisee, who had given Him no water to wash His feet, no
kiss of greeting, no oil for His refreshing. “This woman since the time
I came in hath not ceased to kiss My feet” ({{Lk. 7:45}}). It is not
likely that the woman was Mary Magdalene, nor Mary of Bethany, though
the latter did much the same in anointing the Lord. This woman was a
woman of sin, and our Lord’s forgiveness had brought forth this act of
pure devotion. She had tasted that the Lord is gracious and expressed
her love of Him in this lowly and loving act of covering His feet with
her kisses, the beautiful feet of the One who brought news from a very
far country.

This act of complete devotion brought from the Saviour an assurance
to Simon of her sins forgiven, “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven:
for she loved much” (v. 47). That word must have dropped in her
guilt-ridden soul like “sweet smelling myrrh” and carried its own
blessing and refreshing. Her kisses upon His feet expressed her deep
sense of unworthiness, but also demonstrated a soul now filled with
love of Him. She had no doubt heard His public utterances of good news
and sought Him out. What passion of affection! How much her heart was
set on God’s beloved Son! How desirous she was of His word of
forgiveness! Her kisses on His feet were out of the abundance of her
heart and must have given a great deal of satisfaction to our Lord.

The Kiss Desired by His Bride
“Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth” ({{Song of Sol. 1:2}}).
This book is “the song of songs”—that is, unexcelled by any other song;
and unsurpassed by any other song, whether of divine or human origin.
There is no adequate interpretation of this song except that which
relates it to the love union between Christ and His people. He is the
Bridegroom-lover; she the bride.

Here she desires a new discovery of His affection, a new touch of
His love upon her life. Here the kiss has spiritual significance since
in this book we are in the realm of heavenly things. She seeks
something more intimate and real than mere form and ceremony. Rather,
she seeks “the kisses of His mouth.” The love of Christ is a believer’s
true desire. It is the purest desire of the human soul to long after
some special demonstration of it, which has the effect of raising our
affections toward Him.

To have such a touch of His love on our lives is a believer’s heaven
on earth, and the beginning of glory. A believer prefers this to the
most excellent things of earth. It is a surprising and astonishing
grace that the blessed Lord of glory would stoop to kiss such wretches
as we are, and to receive us into His loving embrace.

When we gather to Him, we should do so with this fond desire. True,
we are here at the remembrance feast to express our devotion to Him,
but the best incentive to do that will be to feel His touch of love
upon our own lives. It would not be inappropriate at all to come to
this feast of love with this desire: “Let Him kiss me with the kisses
of His mouth.”

Longing for the Bride, Lord Jesus,
Of Thy heart,
To be with Thee in the glory,
Where Thou art:
Love so groundless, grace so boundless,
Wins my heart.

When Thy blood-bought Church, Lord Jesus,
Is complete;
When each soul is safely landed
At Thy feet;
What a story in the glory
She’ll repeat!

Then Thy Church will be, Lord Jesus,
The display
Of Thy richest grace and kindness
In that day;
Marking pages, wondrous stages,
O’er earth’s way.

—Miss C. A. Wellesley

From “Worship & Remembrance” by Daniel Smith
Published by Gospel Folio Press

Used by Permission. This material is protected by copyright. © 2005 Uplook Ministries.

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