Are You Perceiving the Significance of the Resurrection?

 

Today’s Reading:
John 20:8 —

 So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed.

 John several times in his account humbly refers to himself in the third person as he does here as “the other disciple”. He tells us that he and Peter ran to the tomb,  and that he was faster than Peter and got there first. Apparently, he wasn’t bolder than Peter, because he just stooped and peered into the tomb. When Peter arrived, John tells us — Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there…
These verses cannot be properly understood in English. A small translational similarity of verbs which have been translated as a single word in English but are very different in Greek, can prevent this verse from opening the eyes of our hearts. In verse 6 above, Peter saw the linen wrappings lying empty in the tomb. The Greek verb translated as saw is theoreo – to observe and contemplate. Peter saw a strange sight and it made him contemplate or wonder what it could all mean. Then John tells us that he — also entered, and he saw…. The Greek verb here translated to English as saw is the  word eido meaning, to perceive the significance of. When John saw the empty grave clothes, he immediately perceived the significance of the resurrection. Peter later perceived the significance of what He saw and wrote this to us — Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead… (1 Peter 1:3). Peter was born again to a living hope through the resurrection he did not perceive the significance of when he first observed it. John tells us that as soon as he perceived the significance of the empty grave, he (immediately) saw and believed

     We see this difference today in the variation of the length of time it takes people  exposed to the truth of the resurrection of Jesus to perceive the significance of it and believe. It makes no difference if we experience a more gradual conversion like Peter, or an immediate conversion like John, as long as we eventual transition from observing to perceiving. I have prayed with many people at the moment they have initially perceived the significance of the resurrection. They have an exact date for their re-birthday. I am numbered among the slower to perceive, and although I can describe the moment when I first reached the tipping point of faith perception and I know where I was and who I was with, I do not know the exact date, because time passed and I looked back a little later and knew that it was at that previous moment when I first — saw and believed.  
 
    
Here’s the problem. Many people have the same initial reaction as Peter and I when they are exposed the truth of the Gospel and the resurrection of Jesus. They  view the events with theoreo eyes. They observe and begin to contemplate what it all could mean. It is possible to remain in a state of perpetual theoreo contemplation but never have an eido moment and perceive the significance of the resurrection in our own lives in a way that substitutes saving faith in Jesus for continuous contemplation. After years of contemplation without submission, the Truth can get very difficult to perceive. I believe it is these continuous contemplators Jesus spoke of when he said that on Judgment Day He will say to many who stand before Him — I will declare to them, `I never knew you.

      Do you know Jesus? Have you fully perceived the significance of His resurrection? Or are you stuck, still contemplating, still observing, still waiting to commit? Peter and John were inches apart in the tiny tomb, but light years apart in faith. If you are not certain that you have perceived the significance of Jesus’ resurrection, just pray your way from Peter to John by submitting to Jesus and the seed of faith He is planting in your heart, and today you’ll know your re-birthday. Perceive the significance of the resurrection and simply pray, Jesus, save me.

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