Monday 22 February 2021
Title: How Do You See?
By : Ong Hwee Soo
This passage depicts the First Easter scene and describes the initial reactions of three eyewitnesses of the empty tomb, which is best elucidated by highlighting the three different Greek words for ‘see’ originally used in the text here.
V 1: Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb.
V 5: And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in.
V 6: Then Simon Peter came, following him and went into the tomb. He saw the linen clothes ⁷lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths there, but folded up in a place by itself.
V 8: Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and saw and believed;
In verses 1 and 5, the original Greek word is ‘blepo’ which means ‘the simple act of looking’. Mary Magdalene, the first at the scene, simply saw the tomb ajar and empty (v 2). John (described as the disciple ‘whom Jesus loved’ in v 2 and 21:7, 20) who had outrun Peter to reach the tomb first, saw the grave clothes when he stooped to look in but did not venture into the tomb. While Mary caught sight of the empty tomb and John, the grave clothes, neither of them could relate what they saw with the Lord’s resurrection. They noticed only optically.
In verse 6, the original word is ‘theoreo’, meaning ‘to be a spectator of’; ‘to view attentively’, indicating the careful observation of details. When Peter entered the tomb, he saw the grave clothes as well as the face cloth (napkin). Peter’s observation caused him to ‘theorize’ (derivative of the root word) what might be the link between the linen items and Jesus’ missing body.
In verse 8, the Greek original is ‘eido’ which means ‘to perceive with the eyes’; ‘to discern’, implying the act of seeing and perceiving as well as the quality of being perceptive and understanding. Shortly, John ventured into the tomb and when he saw the burial linens, he could grasp the significance of the undisturbed grave clothes. This time he saw and believed that the Lord has resurrected from death. John now saw beyond the optical sense and saw with the eye of his mind resulting in his perceiving the truth that laid beneath the phenomenon. John saw clearly now and he soared in faith.
For conclusion of the resurrection story here, do read the chapter till the end. If you are reading this Bible text for the first time or have heard the Easter story many times but have not come to faith in Jesus, I urge you to read the whole Gospel of John and examine the claims of Christ that He indeed is “ the resurrection and the life ” ( John 11:25 ).
Frank Morrison (pen-name of Albert Henry Ross, 1881-1950) was a sceptic who set out to debunk the Easter belief. He was influenced by his contemporary, Aldous Huxley (author of ‘A Brave New World’), a hardcore sceptic whose maxim was “miracles do not happen”. Although he was attracted to and admired the biblical Jesus, Morrison viewed the Easter story as a mere myth. Armed with his writing talent, a natural scientific mind, coupled with a grasp of legal and forensic perspectives, Morrison examined both biblical as well as secular historical records in his endeavour to disprove Christ’s resurrection. However, his findings led him to the truth he was determined to debunk which resulted in his classic book, ‘ Who Moved the Stone? ’. In his investigations, Morrison journeyed from ‘theoreo’ to ‘eido’, as he finally ‘saw and believed’.
I encourage you to read his book and take the journey towards faith. For believers, the book is also a classic of Christian Apologetics. ‘Who Moved The Stone’ is available online.
For us at PBC, let me apply this Devotional in line with Deacon Shaun Ling’s sermon (31 January) on social action, wherein he exhorted us to “Open Our Eyes” to the social needs around us. As a reminder, while we look, may I ask ‘how we see’:
- Do we ‘blepo’, merely to blink a blank look, blur to the burdens of the ‘Quartet of the Vulnerables’ (the poor, the foreigner, the orphan, the widow) in our midst?
- Do we ‘theoreo’, merely hypothesizing the balance between social action and evangelism; with analysis that results in paralysis of inaction?
- Do we ‘eido’, seeing God’s purposes, getting a grasp of God’s global cause, and reaching out in faith, such as in diaspora mission in our community?
Another recommended reading, helpful in handling social concerns is ‘Ministries of Mercy’ by Timothy Keller (also available online). Keller wrote, “Mercy is not optional or an addition to being Christian. Rather, a life poured out in deeds of mercy is the inevitable sign of true faith.”
Last Christmas, PBC Youth raised funds for a refugee school. This small hinge has swung open a door for us to be engaged with a refugee community. There are openings for volunteer teachers (for school subjects and Sunday School lessons). The community needs ten computers for two teaching centres. Contributions for new or used computers are welcome.
Let’s Live the Life, with Faith and Charity, in Word and Deed.
Dear God, as we look to You, The Father of the Fatherless, Protector of the Poor, Watcher of the Widow and Saviour of the Sojourner, helps us see clearly the roles You have for us, individually and corporately, in carrying out your command to care for the vulnerable people in our midst. AMEN.
这篇文章描绘了第一个复活节的场景，并描述了空墓的三名目击者的最初反应，着眼于此文中原初使用的三个不同的希腊语单词 “看见see” 是最好的阐述。
【约20:8】然后先到坟墓的那门徒也进去，他 看见 就信了。
在第1和第5节中，希腊语的原文是 “blepo”，指 “看的简单行为”。抹大拉的马利亚，第一个到现场，只是看到半开的坟墓，而里面是空的(第2节)。约翰(在第2节和21:7，20节中被描述为耶稣所爱的那门徒)比彼得跑得更快，先到了坟墓。当他低头往里面看的时候，他看到了坟墓里的细麻布（裹尸布），但没有冒险进入坟墓。马利亚看到了空坟墓，约翰看到了细麻布，但他们都不能把他们所看到的与主的复活联系起来。他们只从视觉上注意到了这一点。
在第6节，原文 “theoro”，意思是 “成为旁观者” ；“用心观察”，表示对细节的仔细观察。彼得进入坟墓时，看见了细麻布和裹头巾（面巾）。彼得的观察使他将细麻布和耶稣失踪了的身体之间可能存在的联系 “theorize 理论化” (词根的派生词)了。
第8节中，希腊语的原文 “Eido”，意为 “用眼睛感知”、“识别”，意味着观察和感知的行为，以及感知和理解的质量。不多时，约翰大胆地进入坟墓，当他看到墓葬的细麻布时，他可以领会到这些未受干扰的细麻布（裹尸布）的意义。这一次，他 看到并相信 主已经从死里复活了。约翰现在看到了超越视觉之外的东西，且用他心灵的眼睛看到了这一现象背后的真相。约翰现在看得很清楚了，他信心高涨。
为了在此结束复活的故事，请务必阅读本章直到结束。如果您是第一次阅读这段圣经经文，或者曾多次听过复活节的故事，但尚未相信耶稣，我敦促您阅读整本约翰福音，审查基督所宣称的，祂确实是 “复活和生命” (约翰福音11:25)。
弗兰克·莫里森(Frank Morrison, 笔名阿尔伯特·亨利·罗斯 Albert Henry Ross，1881-1950)是一个怀疑论者，他着手要揭穿复活节信仰。他受到了同时代的奥尔德斯·赫胥黎(Aldous Huxley，“美丽新世界” 的作者)的影响，赫胥黎是一位顽固的怀疑论者，他的座右铭是 “奇迹不会发生”。尽管莫里森被圣经中的耶稣所吸引并钦佩祂，但他认为复活节故事仅是一个神话。莫里森凭借他的写作天赋、天生的科学头脑，再加上对法律和法医观点的把握，审查了圣经和世俗历史记录，试图反驳基督的复活。然而，他的发现让他找到了他决心揭穿的真相，并促成了他的经典著作 《墓石悬谜》。在他的调查核实中，莫里森从 “theoreo 仔细观察” 走到了 “Eido 感知识别” ，他最终 “看到并相信” 了。
对于我们班底浸信教会来说，让我将这篇灵修与执事Shaun Ling于1月31日关于社会行动的证道一致地应用，他在证道信息中切嘱我们 “张开眼睛” 关注我们周围的社会需求。作为提醒，当我们在看的时候，允许我问 “我们是怎么看的”：
1.我们是否 “blepo” ，仅仅眨了眨眼，对我们当中的 “弱者四重奏”(贫穷人、外国人、孤儿、寡妇)的负担视而不见？
2.我们是否 “theoreo” ，仅仅假设社会行动和传福音之间的平衡的 “理论”，导致无所作为的瘫痪的分析？
另一本有助于处理社会关怀的推荐读物是蒂莫西·凯勒(Timothy Keller)的 “怜悯事工” (Ministries of Mercy)(也可在线查阅)。凯勒写道：“怜悯不是选择性的，也不是作为基督徒的附加条件；反之，一个涌现怜悯的行动的生命才是真正信仰的必然标志。”