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amen!


These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;”
(Revelation 3:14)


Recently we went to lunch with some friends from out of town. Our waitress paused when we gave thanks for our food and echoed our “amen” at the end of the prayer. Suddenly she became self-conscious, “Is it OK that I said ‘amen’ with you all?” she asked, “I was trying to be respectful.” We assured her that it was very appropriate. The term “amen” comes from ancient Hebrew and has carried over into Greek and now into our common English. The term signifies firmness and solidity. By extension, it refers to the truthfulness and dependability of a statement or firm agreement with that statement or with a solemn request. “Amen” may therefore be variously translated depending on context. It can mean “so it is,” “so be it,” “may it be fulfilled,” and “may it be so.” In the synagogues, and now in Christian churches, God’s people have responded with “amen” to the humble request of one of their members, thus making his request their own. In using this simple term this way, God’s people display their unity; here in one word we see care and concern for others in the household of faith. Surely this is pleasing to our Savior Who Himself was touched with the feeling of our infirmities (Hebrews 4:15). Truly, there is no God like our God, Who sees the distresses of His people as His own (Isaiah 63:9; Zechariah 2:8; Matthew 25:34-45; Acts 9:4-5; 1 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 5:30). As mentioned, the term “amen” signifies solidity, firmness, and by extension certainty and dependability. In the Old Testament, prophets would preface their divine pronouncements with the phrase, “the saith the LORD!” Curiously, the Lord Jesus never used the phrase even though He was without a doubt the most spectacular and authoritative of all the prophets. Instead, He chose to preface many of His teachings with “Amen, amen” (sometimes translated as “verily, verily” or “truly, truly”). In using the term this way, perhaps the Lord was revealing something of His divine nature and authority. Being very God of very God, there was no need to preface His truth statements as God’s representatives of old did theirs. Rather, the form and content of His speech revealed that our Lord could speak on His own authority. “Verily, verily,” said Jesus, “He that believeth on me hath everlasting life” (John 6:47). To the Pharisees who reacted against His self-attestation, our Lord responded, “Though I bear record of myself yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go . . . Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world” (John 8:14, 23). Today’s verse passage reminds us that Christ is God’s Authoritative “Amen!” He is the living seal of dependability and reliability, resting securely upon every utterance of our covenant-keeping God.

God bless you,

Pastor John


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