Matthew 28:9 “And behold, Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.

Matthew 26:49 “And he came up to Jesus at once and said, ‘Greetings, Rabbi!’ And he kissed him.”

Two greetings from two people who used the same words, but with vastly different meanings. The first was from Jesus to Mary Magdalene and Mary right after the resurrection. The second from Judas to Jesus, in his act of betrayal.  The word both Jesus and Judas used was “Greetings!”  Elsewhere this salutation is sometimes translated as “Rejoice!”

As a greeting then, the deeper meaning is something like “I wish you joy,” “I want what is best for you,” or “it’s my joy to bring you greetings.”  Obviously, this is exactly what Jesus meant when he greeted the women at the tomb. What greater expression of joy to them than this greeting that was an announcement of victory over death for not only Jesus but also for the women as the result of His own resurrection.  On the other hand, what treachery as Judas used this same expression to greet Christ. 

This gives me pause in how I address others around me. It’s a common thing to say to others “Hi! How are you doing?” or to wish them a “good day.”  However, if we know that that other person is not a Christian, and we’ve never told them about the greatest story ever told, i.e., the story of the life-giving gospel of Jesus, is our greeting ever really sincere? Do we really wish for them a “good day” or do we really care about how they are doing?  if we don’t have enough love for them to share with them the gospel when we know that without the gospel they are doomed to an eternity of agony in Hell, how can we so casually give them our greetings?  It may be hard to think about, but are we any better than Judas when we wish good on others upon whom we’ve never given the most critical information in all of life while at the same time we know that death awaits them. 

Something to think about the next time we say “Hi” to someone with a smile on our face.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: