…Come, Lord! (NIV).
…Our Lord, come! (ESV).
…Marana tha that is, Lord, come! (HCSB).
Paul closes out his first letter to the Corinthian church by using the Aramaic expression, Maranatha.
3134. μαράν ἀθὰ marán athá. Maranatha, two Aramaic words meaning “our Lord has come. [emphasis added]” (1 Cor. 16:22), an exclamation uttered in connection with the approaching judgment when the Lord returns (cf. Jude 1:14, 15). Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
12.11 μαρανα (an Aramaic expression)—‘our Lord.’ μαρανα θα ‘our Lord, come’ [emphasis added]. The expression μαρανα θα in 1 Cor 16:22 is an Aramaic formula evidently associated with early Christian liturgy. It must have been widely used, since it occurs in 1 Cor 16:22 without explanation. Louw- Nida Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament
Consider Him Who Has Come and Will Come Again
This Aramaic use of Maranatha, inserted into the Greek text, suggests this was a very familiar expression frequently used in the early church. It has been translated both in the present perfect tense (signifying an action either occurred at an indefinite time in the past or began in the past and continued to the present time), and in the future tense (an action that has yet to occur).
And wrapped up in this phrase and in the two verb tenses is His astounding Truth; He Has Come, He continues with us to our present time, and He Will Come Again.
- He Has Come
- “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness,” (John 12:46).
- Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice,” (John 18:37).
- He Continues With Us In Our Present Time
- “…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age,” (Matthew 28:20).
- for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” 6 so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:4-6).
- He Will Come Again
- “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also,” (John 14:3).
- And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. 11 They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven,” (Acts 1:10-11).
How do we respond to Him Who Has Come and Will Come Again?
Being convinced that He Has Come to save us from His judgment of our sins, is the very foundation that strengthens our faith to believe He continues with us in the present and that He Will Come again.
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds... 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire,” (Revelation 20:11-12, 15).
“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end,” (Revelation 22:12-13).
As Paul closes this letter, he provides additional instructions as he refers to fellow workers of the faith. And if we would stake our lives on Him Who Has Come; and stay ever mindful that He continues with us in every moment; and that in one moment He Will Come Again; then in every life choice and activity, we will agree and submit to Paul’s instructions given and follow the examples of others mentioned in his final words of this letter.
Paul and his fellow workers believed Jesus would return during their lifetime. Yet, they did not use that as an excuse to sit and just wait around; they committed to live as though each and every day mattered for eternity. Because it does.
And because He Has Come, and because He continues with us until He Will Come Again, let us also commit to live in the present for His purposes and His glory.
- Let us commit to be generous in our giving.
- Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also, (16:1).
- Let us commit to serve and plan as He leads.
- For I do not wish to see you now just in passing; for I hope to remain with you for some time, if the Lord permits. 8 But I will remain in Ephesus until Pentecost; 9 for a wide door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries, (16:7-9).
- Let us commit to encourage and support others who do the Lord’s work.
- Now if Timothy comes, see that he is with you without cause to be afraid, for he is doing the Lord’s work, as I also am. 11 So let no one despise him. But send him on his way in peace, so that he may come to me; (16:10-11).
- Let us commit to be watchful; never slack or weak in our faith.
- Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong, (16:13).
- Let us commit to do everything in love.
- Let all that you do be done in love, (16:14).
- Let us commit to devote ourselves to ministry for the saints.
- Now I urge you, brethren (you know the household of Stephanas, that they were the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves for ministry to the saints), (16:15).
- Let us commit to submit and support our spiritual leaders.
- that you also be in subjection to such men and to everyone who helps in the work and labors, (16:16).
- Let us commit to be intentional to share the gospel, that others would come to know His love, before it is too late.
- If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed. Maranatha, (16:22).
- Let us commit to treat others with His grace.
- The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you, 16:23).
- Let us commit to love others with the love we share in Christ.
- My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen. (16:24).
Oh, that we would be ready when He Comes Again! Maranatha! Our Lord Come!