Catholic Faith: Blog
This Catholic Faith Blog is Maintained by the Catholic Rebuttals Research Team. Here You Will Find Responses to Reader's Questions, Catholic Commentary and Other Resources!
Have you ever thought about the popular phrases we use to communicate a sense of certainty to others? Things like, “What I’m about to tell you, you can take it to the bank." Some others are, “Trust me, what I’m telling you is the truth,” or “Just take my word for it." When we attempt to communicate the seriousness of what we are saying, and we want our listener to receive our thoughts as accurate, we usually pour our emotions into the mix. We give it our all – we swing for the fences.
Jesus Christ was no different. He was very emotional when he spoke. Due to His divinity and His humanity, He knows us better than we know ourselves; therefore, Jesus used emotionally charged body language to communicate the importance of his words. For instance, when He flipped over the money tables at the temple, and said that they were using His Father’s House for a den of thieves. I’m sure He got their attention pretty quickly, after money went crashing to the floor.
Jesus also used specific phrases to capture His audience's attention, but more importantly, to help them realize, the importance of what He was saying. Our contemporary “…take it to the bank;” was most likely predeceased with ‘amen,’ in the Bible. ‘Amen’ is a derivative from the Hebrew verb aman, which means "to strengthen" or "Confirm". The verb form of the word ‘amen,’ can take on different meanings, such as: to take care, to be faithful, reliable or established, or to believe someone or something. In short, it means “so be it,” and it is used more than a hundred times throughout the Old Testament. It is used to end or confirm the prayers of Israel, see (1 Chron 16:36, Neh 8:6). It is used at the end of each of the first four books of Psalms, see (Psalms 41:13, 72:19; 89:52, 106:48).
‘Amen’ has other meanings also; it is used as a proclamation, to assure God is the ultimate ‘Amen,’ and He is the epitome of trustworthiness and faithfulness. ‘Amen’ can be used as an oath, to bind the contract between people, see (Isa 65:16; see also Rev 3:14). Jesus’ alliterative of ‘amen’ in the Gospel of John seems to be an assertion that His words are certainly true.
So, when Jesus uses the term, “Amen, Amen I say to you,” or “Truly, Truly,” (some translations use, “Verily, Verily”) we can be sure what follows these introductions is extremely important and true. Would you not agree?
In the gospel of John, chapter 6:22-59, known as, The Bread of Life Discourse, Jesus uses a double ‘amen,’ as a way to grab his disciple’s attention. Keep in mind, what he is about to say is a crucial teaching of his - there is no negotiation on this command. Pay attention as I lay the details out for you…
The Walk to Emmaus, found in Luke 24:13-35, takes my points even further. Take notice in verses 30 - 35 how their eyes were opened at the breaking of the bread, which Jesus had blessed. Why did their eyes finally open to the truth?
The Holy Eucharist is truly, truly, the real presence of our Savior Jesus the Christ.
May God bless you all.