Number One or Number Two?

“Which is better?  Number one or number two?“ 

“Two,” I said. 

The ophthalmologist made an adjustment and flipped to another lens.  “Now which is better?  Number one or number two?” 

“One,” I responded. 

Back and forth we went until the correct lens prescription for each eye was determined.  It had been a few years since my eyes had been examined, so it did not surprise me that a different prescription was given to me.  But what did surprise me was the difference in clarity, crispness, and color that I could see when I wore my new glasses.  The change in my eyesight had been so gradual that it was unnoticed until it got to the point that I increasingly had a difficult time focusing while reading.  I did not realize that my focus was that indistinct until I took the time to get an examination.  The need for a periodic eye checkup became apparent.

Eyesight is an amazing thing.  It is commonly thought of in the physical realm; but the word “see” is closely related, and that word has some interesting meanings in the Bible.  In fact, the English word “see” is used to translate at least eleven or twelve different Greek words.   Those various Greek words have very distinctive meanings and can really help unlock some passages of Scripture.  Let me explain.

Chapter twenty of the Gospel of John is one of my favorite passages, especially the first nine verses.  It is there that the resurrection story begins to unfold.  Mary Magdalene runs to deliver the news of the open sepulcher to Simon Peter and John.  John outruns Peter in a foot race to the tomb, but does not go inside.  Verse five reports he looked in and “saw” the linen clothes lying.  The Greek word there for “saw” is blepoBlepo is used of bodily vision and mental acknowledgement, and seems to stress the thought of the person who sees.  

Then Peter arrives at the grave according to verse six, goes in, and “sees” the linen clothes lie and the napkin which had wrapped the head of Jesus.  There the word translated “sees” is the Greek word theoreo, which involves more than just being a spectator.  It indicates a careful examination and observation of details.  In other words, Peter is really checking things out and processing the facts. 

After that, John enters the tomb and, according to verse eight, he “saw” and believed.  Horao is the Greek word this time, and it conveys the idea of grasping and understanding the thing seen.  To put it another way, John got it!  Sight had turned to faith; he believed.  It all began to make sense.

Christian parents need to do more than just look (blepo) around and thoughtfully see a few facts.  They need to do more than carefully examine (theoreo) ideas and opportunities.  They must get a firm understanding (horao) that the best parenting is about a solid relationship with the risen Lord Jesus Christ and how their family can serve Him more effectively.

Check your eyesight.  Will it renew your purpose and revive your spirit?  Will it encourage and equip you?  Will it help you see from an eternal perspective.  We are praying that the Lord will give you a fresh vision for your family.