… which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at … (NIV)
We saw him with our own eyes. We looked at him … (Worldwide English)
This interesting juxtaposition of “we saw” and “we looked at” caught my attention.
I found that in the Greek, the first verb, harao, has the primary definition “to see with the eyes.” As it is most often translated.
The second, theaomai, has the primary definition, “to behold, look upon, view attentively, contemplate (often used of public shows)/of important persons that are looked on with admiration.”
It’s clearer now why John used both these terms in his avowal that he had both seen, and contemplated, Jesus.
I’m reminded of the Easter song called “I’ve Just Seen Jesus.” I’ve only ever seen or heard it done overly dramatically, and it’s not a favorite. So sappy.
It’s the meeting of two people after the resurrection, and the one who has seen the living Christ is crazed with joy and proclaims that “I’ve just seen Jesus, I tell you He’s alive … all that I was before, won’t matter anymore, I’ve just seen Jesus, and I’ll never be the same again.”
This very song, performed in the same overdone, dramatic way I once saw Sandi Patti and Larnelle Harris perform it, was what touched the heart of my friend Kristina and caused her to realize she had come to believe that Jesus was alive, loved her, and was waiting for her to turn to Him.
Why? Why would such a sappy song bring such realizations to the fore? Perhaps because it speaks of the most powerful, wonderful thing that can happen to us …
“I’ve just seen Jesus.” Not just to see Him (harao), but to look on Him (theaomai), and know Him, and know that He knows you, too.
And I knew, he really saw me too
As if till now, I’d never lived
All that I’d done before
Won’t matter anymore
I’ve just seen Jesus
And I’ll never be the same again
See Him … and look at Him … today, every day! You will be transformed.