to kiss a king

by Zach Neese

"You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little."

Luke 7:45–47 (NKJV)

Love Expressed

The most often used word for worship in the New Testament is the Greek word proskuneo. It captures both the love response and the lordship response of a worshipper towards God, but one meaning of the word has always intrigued me. It also means: “to kiss the hand towards.”

Let me put this in a more modern idiom. The word proskuneo simply means to blow kisses to God. When I go off to work in the morning, my kids come running to the door to receive their hugs and blessings from me before I leave. They often race my car down the road, waving and blowing kisses as they go.

Why do they blow me kisses? Because they adore me. Blowing kisses is an expression of love to someone who’s a little further away than you wish they were. If there weren’t a little bit of distance, you would simply kiss them on the face.

We know Jesus recognizes kisses as expressions of love, because in Luke 7, a sinful woman came weeping at His feet, anointing them and kissing them. When the Pharisees reproached her for publicly inappropriate behavior, Jesus defended her.

Jesus recognized her behavior, including her kisses, as expressions of love. In fact, this passage is the only place in the Gospel where Jesus says someone (besides His heavenly Father) has demonstrated love to Him.

Did you get that? There’s only one place in the Bible where Jesus says someone has shown Him love. How tragically sad. May the Lord teach us to better love Him.

Just like a kiss, worship is an expression of intimate love. And, as is true in our human relationships, the more intimate our relationship is with God, the more passionately we express our affection.

I have two little sisters. There’s a certain way I kiss them—right on top of their heads. It would just be weird if I kissed other people that way. That’s my sister-kiss.

I also have six children. I don’t kiss them the same way I kiss my sisters, because our relationship is more intimate. I kiss my kids to pieces—even my sons—and the baby gets the best of it. Almost every part of any baby that doesn’t go in a diaper is fair game for kisses. They’re so chubby and cute and edible. I kiss their fat little biscuit feet and their chubby chins. I nibble on their gooshy legs, smooch their stout little bellies and blow raspberries on their armpits.

And you know what? They love it!

If I tried to kiss one of my friends that way, it probably wouldn’t be well received. The reason I kiss my kids that way is because our relationship is different. It’s more intimate.

Now, there’s also a type of kiss I give my wife that is hers and hers alone—it is reserved. I would not (and dare not) share it with any other living person. Why? Because of all of my human relationships, my relationship with her is most intimate. So our kisses are most passionate.

The greater the intimacy of a relationship, the more passionately its love is expressed. The greater the intimacy our relationship with God, the more passionate our worship will be. After all, He defined passion for us on the cross. When we reciprocate that passion, we are demonstrating our love for Him appropriately. As you go about your business today, ask yourself, “How is my life blowing kisses to God? How are my behaviors, my affections, my thoughts and my conversations expressing love to the God who has already so well expressed His love for me?”

I have a profoundly full relationship with my wife, so how much more of an overwhelming, intimate, all-encompassing relationship should I have with God? I should be more in love with God, and that relationship should make me more complete, even than my own marriage.

MARTIN SMITH

Prayer

God, I want to experience greater intimacy in my relationship with You and worship You more passionately. My desire is to reciprocate the passion You have demonstrated for me. Through my actions, words and thoughts, I will “blow kisses” to You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Activation

  • Ask God to lead you into a more intimate relationship with Him.
  • Out of intimacy with Him, find ways to express your love to God in ways that you don’t express love to anyone else. Find ways to “blow kisses” to Him!

For Further Study

  • Psalm 84:2–4
  • Psalm 63:1–8
  • Luke 7:36–47
  • Mark 12:28–29
  • read How to Worship a King by Zach Neese
Psalm 84:2–4Psalm 63:1–8Luke 7:36–47Mark 12:28–29read How to Worship a King by Zach Neese
Zach Neese
Luke 7:45–47 (NKJV)