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By Gail Schmidt, Volunteer for Setting Captives Free
July 10, 2022
My curiosity was raised when I heard verses from the Bible that started with the word "behold." That is not a word that is used very often in everyday language anymore. In fact, it is considered archaic. It has been used in older versions of the Bible about 1500 times, depending on the version or translation being used.
I know I grew up using the King James Bible and was used to hearing the word “Behold”. I know that, for me, the verse in John 1:29 is one of the most iconic verses that uses the word "behold." It states, “The next day, he saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John is speaking of Jesus, bearing witness to who Jesus is. In verse 34, John states, "And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”
What does “Behold” mean? The Oxford Dictionary’s definition of the word "behold" is “to see or observe someone or something especially remarkable or of an impressive nature.” We are to stop and cease all that we are doing and pay attention to what is before us. Behold is a command to pay attention to something we are ignoring.
How many times have I glossed over who Jesus is in my life? I know He is my Savior. I know He is the Son of God. I know many facts, but have I become too familiar with what I think I know and ignored the reality of who Jesus is?
Do I fix my eyes on my Savior? Do I see him with my complete attention? Do I observe what the Bible tells me about Him with great care?
I know that I do not. Behold has become an old word that seems out of place in a modern Bible translation. BUT “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” is one of the most important verses for me. For without the coming of Jesus to this earth to die for my sins, I am lost for all eternity in my sins. Jesus is that person who should have my undivided attention at all times. I need to be searching out what the Bible tells me about my Savior. My eyes should always be on Him. I need to pay close attention and observe with care each verse I read from Genesis to Revelation. All that is in the Bible is about the Son of God, who came to take away the sin of the world.
So next time you read a verse that starts with "BEHOLD,” sit up and take notice of what we are commanded to see. Revelation 21:3 declares, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God."
Now that is something to pay attention to with all that we are.