Worship Sermon Series – “Behold!” 2020
Week 1 8/16/20 “The ‘Behold’ in Our History”
Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25
The first “Behold” is an echo, a remembrance of the words of the prophet Isaiah in conversation with King Ahaz about hope in the future. In Isaiah 7:14, the actual Hebrew doesn’t have any kind of exclamation quoted, just the truth that a young woman would conceive and bear a son and his name shall be called Immanuel. When the author of Matthew describes the circumstances of Jesus’ birth, he adds the word that has come to be translated “Behold.” So the Gospel telling of the story overlays a “Behold” onto a place that didn’t seem that important at the time. How often we realize those moments that deserve a “Behold” after the fact.
Greek Word for Behold
ἰδού idou; second person singular imperative middle voice of 1492; used as imperative
lo!; — behold, lo, see.
AV (213) – behold 181, lo 29, see 3;
behold, see, lo
“Courage is being scared to death—but saddling up anyway.” —John Wayne
“Truth and the morning become light with time.” –South African Proverb
About the Series:
An old-fashioned word was woven through our old-fashioned King James Bible. We grew up with the word, many of us memorizing it in place, only having the context to tell us what it meant. This word isn’t used in common speech, and just to say it makes you sound oh, so serious. Later translations of the Bible have come up with alternatives for the word because it is no longer in common use. That word is – “Behold!”
be·hold | \ bi-ˈhōld, bē- \ beheld\ bi- ˈheld, bē- \;
1: to perceive through sight or apprehension : SEE
2: to gaze upon : OBSERVE
It was a pleasure to behold the beauty of the sunset.
The enormous crowd was a sight to behold.
—used in the imperative especially to call attention
We’re going to look at a variety of places “Behold” was used in the New Testament to catch people’s attention, to alert the readers of something important being said. The original Greek isn’t always the same word, but the effect is the same. Someone is saying, “Listen up!” “Check this out!” “Pay attention!” Will we? Or, to use another of Jesus’ turns of phrase, “May those with ears hear!”