We finished one more semester at Bethlehem College & Seminary (with one more to go!) and over this break, I’m trying to refresh on a lot of my original language skills. I still get fairly frequent workouts in Greek, but my Hebrew vocabulary is already kinda slipping. Getting in some quality time with flashcards as well as some Bible texts. I’m starting at the beginning for Hebrew (Gen 1) and picking back up some reading in the Gospel of John (ch 5). Even now, I’m struck by an interesting parallel in these two passages (not necessarily based in original language studies, other than reading on the OLs make me slow waaaaay down).
In Gen 1, you see God say something (וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֖ים) and immediately following, the thing spoken happens. No delay (at least in the narrative as written), no hesitation, it just happens.
In John 5, a similar thing happens when Jesus speaks:
“Get up,” Jesus told him, “pick up your mat and walk.” Instantly the man got well, picked up his mat, and started to walk. (John 5:8)
The creation/restoration parallel strikes me as an instance of a “recreation” which is promised in Rev 21:5: “Look, I am making everything new.” God’s power in creation continues in his recreation of all things, demonstrated by the power Jesus possessed in his earthly ministry. The new creation begins to break in at word of Jesus and even now, in the age-between-the-ages, we are still waiting for the finality of this new-creation Kingdom to overtake all ills and lameness.
Christmas reminds of the arrival of God’s agent of both the first and second creations (Col 1:16). We long for more evidences of his work among us both in new inner-people being born a second time (John 3) or in the renewal of our outer-selves (2 Cor 4:16). Come again, Lord Jesus!