Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Come and See

John 1:46 Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see."

46 καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ναθαναήλ· ἐκ Ναζαρὲτ δύναταί τι ἀγαθὸν εἶναι; λέγει αὐτῷ [ὁ] Φίλιππος· ἔρχου καὶ ἴδε.

There is a repeated phrase in John 1 that I think bears mentioning.  Here Philip says  ἔρχου καὶ ἴδε, which means "come and see" or "come and behold."  Both are in the imperative.  Earlier when one of the first two disciples asked Jesus where He was staying He commanded him to ἔρχεσθε with the promise ὄψεσθε.

The book of John rocks my theological world a bit because it focuses a bit more on the experiential than I typically like.  I tend to be more about raw facts.  The raw facts are of course important, but here Jesus reminds us that we need to experience Him as well.  He is not just an interesting historical figure in a book on a shelf.  He is someone real and living.

It seems that this is part of the vocabulary of good evangelism.  The invitation is to "come and see."  This is a repeated refrain throughout Scripture.  We can invite folks to do this with the confidence that what they see will be compelling.  However, they still need to obey the call to come.

Where are you?  Have you seen the Lord?  Do you trust Him?  If not, I invite you to come and see.  You won't be disappointed.

1 comment:

Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

Interesting, the "come and see" of both Jesus speaking directly to those who ask Him "Where do you stay?" and of His disciple telling another that they have found the Messiah and being met with the challenge "Are you kidding?" (modern paraphrase!)

The verbs differ between the plural you spoken by Jesus, and the singular spoken by Philip, and of course the different verbs for "seeing".

From inside the Greek world, we have different nuances attached to the different verbs, vlepo (look at something with the physical eyes), orao (see, but also to see with the heart, not just the physical eyes), and eidho (take a look at something, be aware of something). This colors how we understand the original Greek and helps us choose the best English translation when we need to, or sometimes we just paraphrase.

I've noticed that the freedom with which the Message version was translated or paraphrased really often reveals those nuances missed by more straightforward translations. Tho I shunned it at first, I think I will get a copy for study, one with a metal cover.

Good post, brother!