2nd December 2016


The report they sent him read as follows:
To King Darius:
Cordial greetings.”
Ezra 5:7 (NIVUK)

Greetings! The custom of sending greetings at the beginning of correspondence goes back into antiquity. Here we see how it happened when Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and their associates wrote to King Darius to question the temple construction work that was being spearheaded by Ezra. Other translations read “all peace” (KJV), “complete shalom!” (CJB), and “most friendly greetings” (NIRV).

Later, in his epistles, Paul uses similar wording in his epistles to the churches and to Timothy, Titus and Philemon. For example, “Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi…grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:1-2). Jesus extended the idea to the importance of verbal greetings when we meet people we know and also those we don’t know: “And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?” (Matthew 5:47)

Even the angels use greetings! When Gabriel came to Mary to announce that she would give birth to the Messiah, he said “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28).

Is there a lesson here for us? I think so. Let’s be polite, and greet one another!

Heavenly Father, help us to be polite and to greet one another in love and with respect. In Jesus’ name.

Study by James Henderson


About the Author: bible-at-pastega-house
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.

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