I have to remind myself frequently that I am not learning Greek for fun. Sure, it can be fun at times, but more often than not these days it stresses me out and frustrates me greatly. I think I would like to imagine that learning a not just foreign, but DEAD language would be easy and enjoyable. Quite the contrary is true. There are endless forms, root changes, and things that straight up cannot be explained. My professor frequently answers our questions of ‘Why?’ with, ‘Well, why do we call a car a car? We just do.’
I must remind myself that I am learning Greek so that I can more accurately teach the Word of God. I am learning Greek so that as I study and write and teach, as I believe God has so strongly called me to do, I can do it to the best of my ability. That I might be able to look at the original text and determine the meaning for which it was written and the implications that can only be seen in the Greek.
And there are days, though fewer than I would wish, where I am awakened to an insight I would no have known. May I share one with you?
As I am learning the 38562947 different forms of verbs I am learning why they are different and what the endings and extra letters mean (because they always mean something!). I learned that the Perfect tense “describes an action that was brought to completion and whose effects are felt in the present.” So when Scripture says, “It is written.” If this is in the perfect tense it means that it was written in the past but has implications applicable to the present. The word is alive, my friends!
Alright, almost done! This is the most beautiful thing I could possibly share… In John 19:30 Jesus says, “It is finished.” The word is tetelestai ((τετελεσται)) and it means “to complete” and it is in the perfect tense. Jesus is saying that the work He did for us in receiving full payment and punishment for our sin was not just finished. It was surely completed and perfected in the moment but it also carries an ongoing meaning! The beauty was not completed at His death to stop there… It is ongoing and alive right now, that we might receive the gift of salvation and walk in Him all the days of our lives. We will live with Him forever! Hallelujah, “it is finished.”