How to See Beyond Sight


August 9, 2020

John 1:35-39 (NIV)

The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”

When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”

They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”

“Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”

So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.


Don’t you love how John lets us know it was four in the afternoon?  Why is that important? Think about it. This is not a “once upon a time” story we are reading here. This is a historical account. It has particularity.

The big story in today’s text is John’s clarion call to action:

“Look, the Lamb of God!”

The NIV doesn’t adequately render the Greek text behind the word, “Look.” The Greek word ὁράω (pronounced hor-ah’-o) means far more than to “turn your head.” It means to “perceive inwardly.” It means to open the eyes of your heart. The better English word is “Behold.” To “behold” means to offer the totality of one’s attention to something or someone. To say, “Behold the Lamb of God,” carries a completely different sense than, “Look at that guy over there.” To behold requires far more than one’s eyes. It requires a complete yielding of one’s deepest self.

We can see something once or twice and consider that we have seen it. With beholding, the more we look, the more we see. To behold Jesus means moving in the ever-deepening kind of humility that requires me to confess that though I love him I scarcely know him.

The truth is, I can’t behold without the Holy Spirit’s help. Beholding moves us into the realm of revelation where perception transcends observation, where believing gives way to true seeing.


Abba Father, teach my heart to behold. I know it’s not a matter of how hard I try but how attuned I am to your Spirit. Come, Holy Spirit, and open the eyes of my heart that I might behold Jesus. I pray in his name, amen.


  1. What does this call to “behold” call to mind for you?
  2. What will be required of you to become one who “beholds,” or who grows in beholding?
  3. What keeps people from “beholding”? What keeps you from it?


For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt

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Comments and Discussion

One Response

  1. Todays text reminded me of the three greek words used in the account of John and Peter running to the tomb and “Seeing” that Jesus was not there. There are different ways to see.

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