Scripture Reading: John 20:1-18
Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes. –John 20:3-10
What was it that the other disciple believed? My first thought was he believed Jesus had been raised from the dead, but then it goes on to say that they did not yet understand about Jesus’ rising from the dead.
English is a challenging language. We have, for example, transitive and intransitive verbs. The former requires an object for its action. The later does not. The verb “believe” can be either. When used in the intransitive form it means: to have a firm or wholehearted religious conviction or persuasion: to regard the existence of God as a fact. When used as a transitive verb it means: to take as true, valid, or honest.* The Greek word translated here, pisteuó, is more in line with the intransitive form of the English word believed—had faith in.
At that moment in time and place, the other disciple, at the very least, felt deeply that there indeed was much more to this story than he could comprehend and at the same moment had complete faith that this Jesus, he had followed so devoutly, was the real deal.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. —Hebrews 11:1
Prayer: Lord, at times we get hung up on proving things, fact checking. Guide us in differentiated the things for which it is important to fact check and the great mysteries of your love that deepens each time we experience faith in you without proof. Amen.
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.