Tuesday, April 8, 2008

elpizomen - "we had hoped"

ἡμεῖς δὲ ἠλπίζομεν ὅτι αὐτός ἐστιν ὁ μέλλων λυτροῦσθαι τὸν Ἰσραήλ (read)

hêmeis de êlpizomen hoti autos estin ho mellôn lutrousthai ton Israêl (read)

To me one of the saddest verses in the Bible is Luke 24:21, spoken by Cleopas on the road to Emmaus: "But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel." ἠλπίζομεν - we had hoped. John Witvliet says:

“Had hoped” means that the hope is gone. This is hope in the past tense. It is this candor that draws us in. This is the story about those who are sympathetic to Jesus’ message, but whose lives are in limbo because of the apparent failure of God’s promises. It is about those of us who quite can’t get our minds around the Easter message. It’s about two people on the road to Emmaus and all those in the 2000 years since whose hope is past tense hope.

As with the Emmaus travelers, the fulfillment of our hope lies in what we do not see unless it is revealed ("then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him").

"But if we hope -- ἐλπίζομεν -- for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience." (Romans 8)

1 comment:

mike said...

That was a profoundly enjoyable post, thanks you!