Important Words About Jesus – #94

Word #94 – Again

An adverb that suggests repeated action (and that echoes the gospel when found on the lips of Jesus)

“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)

Is there a better word than again?

  • She said she’d like to go out…again.
  • Your child made the honor roll…again.
  • Your year end bonus was bigger than you expected…again.

Is there a more discouraging word than again?

  • The insurance company denied you…again.
  • The baby has an ear infection…again.
  • You did that thing (that you swore you wouldn’t do)…again.

The Greek adverb translated ‘again” (more than one hundred times) in the New Testament means “once more.” It’s the idea of repeating an action.

In the Gospels, we see Jesus repeatedly doing good things traveling again and again to where needy people were (Mark 2:13; 3:1; 7:31; 11:27; John 4:46); patiently announcing God’s truth again and again; assuring His nervous disciples (as the time of His death drew near) that they would see Him again (John 16:16-22), because He would come again (John 14:3)!

The people in the Gospels are a different story:

  • The Jewish leaders getting infuriated with Jesus again and again (John 10:31, 39).
  • The disciples falling asleep again and again when Jesus asked them to stay away and pray (Matthew 26:36-46).
  • Peter denying again and again that he knew Jesus (Matthew 26;72; John 18:27).
  • The crowd calling again and again for Jesus’s crucifixion (Luke 23:21).

When referencing our behavior or circumstances, again often has a bleak effect. We sin again or troubles come again. In such moments, it’s easy to doubt-again-that we’re God’s children, or wonder-again-if He is really good.

Those are the times we need the other meaning of the word again. (I’m referring to those places in the New Testament where it conveys the idea of “on the other hand.”)

Yes, it might be true that you failed or that life is hard. But then again (on the other hand), that’s not the only truth in town.

The word again-used so often by Jesus and in descriptions of him-is a gospel word. It suggests persistence and love. In it, we see the Lord’s dogged determination to always go the extra mile, to come back once more. The again of Jesus doesn’t obsess over what happened yesterday. It’s gracious and forward looking. It says, “Now is the only moment that matters.”

Put your hope in this glorious truth: the redemptive agains of Jesus are bigger than your regrettable ones.

Study Question

In what ways is the word again a gospel word?




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