James Cagle

James Cagle

The Bible says, “Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Proverbs 27:5-6, KJV).

A kiss is a physical sign of affection, the universal symbol of love.

Kisses were given at the time of departure and separation (Genesis 31:28, 55; Acts 20:37). They were given at reunions (Luke 15:20). They were used when greeting another (Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26; 1 Peter 5:14). They were given at times of great joy (Luke 7:38, 45). They were given when blessings were given (Genesis 48:10-16). They were given at anointings (1 Samuel 10:1), at times of reconciliation (Genesis 33:4; Luke 15:20), and at death (Genesis 50:1).

Kisses showed ones submission to evil (Hosea 13:2). They show ones submission to God (Psalms 2:12), brotherly love and fellowship (Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26; 1 Peter 5:14), and utmost affection in marriage (Song of Solomon 1:2).

Those that kissed the calves were showing submission to idolatry (Hosea 13:2). Those that kissed the Son were showing homage and submission to the rule and authority of Jesus Christ (Psalms 2:12). Those that kissed the brethren, kissed on the cheek, and it was a show of brotherly love and fellowship, and was called a “holy kiss” to “guard against impropriety.” Today the brethren give the right hand of fellowship when greeting one another. The kiss between husband and wife was the passionate kiss of affection (Song of Solomon 1:2).

But a kiss can be deceitful and the one that kisses insincere. This universal symbol of love is prostituted to its lowest level when used by an enemy.

Joab feigned to kiss Amasa, his cousin, with the kiss of friendship, but instead killed him with his sword (2 Samuel 20:9). There is the kiss of illicit love, when the harlot has caught her prey (Proverbs 7:13). And he is our enemy who would give the kiss of friendship or the right hand of fellowship, but would not rebuke us for our faults (Proverbs 27:5-6).

Then there is the “Judas kiss.” That universal symbol of love was used by Judas as a symbol of betrayal. With a kiss he betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:48-49). His kiss was a deceitful act of courtesy or simulated affection that is used today as a way of betraying one thought to be a friend and ally as our enemy.

So, what’s in a kiss? There can be passion, love, friendship or hate in a kiss.

James H. Cagle lives in Ray City, Ga., and is a former Hamilton County resident.

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