I look, I saw, I saw

A few weeks ago in church, our lead pastor, Craig, gave the Easter message. The verses he used were from John 20:

3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.

Craig explained that there are three words used in English they are translated: looked (vs5), saw (vs6) and saw (vs8). But they are three completely different words in the Greek.

In verse 5, the word for “looked” is (phonetically) blepo, which means to cast a casual glance around. John, who had run ahead arrived at the entrance to the tomb and glanced around and remained unaffected. Craig compared it to approach an intersection where a homeless person stands with a sign, you see it, you glance at it, but it doesn’t affect you, because you won’t let it.

In the second instance, where Peter runs straight into the tomb, the word is theoreo, which means to look at something with a new eye, look for the detail, and begin to theorize. Peter saw the cloth folded and placed to the side, the empty strips of linen and he began to try to put the pieces together. It sounds like Peter, doesn’t it? He’d be trying to decide what this meant and what he should do next!

The last use of the word is when John finally went into the tomb and he “saw and believed.” This word is eido, which means to pay careful attention, get a mental perception and draw a conclusion. John jumped from theories to faith! For John, everything that Jesus had told them just became instantly clear and he didn’t need to argue his way through them, he just knew what had occurred in the tomb and he believed!

I like the Greek. I like the interesting words and the little intonations that change the story for me. I wonder how my world would change if I became less of a blepo-type, less of a theoreo-zer and if I walked forward in eido.

Its incredibly easy for me to just look and not include God in my perspective at all. All too often, I want to make my own theories, trying always to figure out how God is working and whether or not I can manipulate situations for my purposes or pleasure.

But, I find that I often have the choice in various situations to choose to walk forward in “eido” and to see my life through the eyes of a certain and sure faith. A long time ago, someone said to me, “Doubt your doubts, not your beliefs” and it works for me. I know what I know what I know. . I can stand in the truth that God loves me, His purposes are good, and He is trustworthy. Amen.


About rickandjan

We are missionaries serving as the SE Region Director of Operations with Cru Military. Rick handles the operations and Jan tries to keep up with the communications.
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