February 28, 2021

"Come, Lord Jesus!"

Revelation 22:20-21

He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

—  Revelation 22:20

Prayer is so essential to the Christian life that the Bible closes with a short prayer: “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”

The words “Come, Lord” probably draw from an Aramaic expression used by early Christians: “Maranatha!” For example, the apostle Paul used this Aramaic phrase as he closed his first letter to the church in Corinth (see 1 Corinthians 16:22).

Why would Paul use an Aramaic phrase while writing to a Greek-speaking church? Well, Aramaic was the common, local language spoken in the region where Jesus and his disciples lived. Some have suggested that maran was a word the people used to voice their longing for the Messiah to come. And by adding atha, they say, Paul echoed a confession of the early Christians in his day. Pointing to Christ, those words mean, “Our Lord has come.”

In Paul’s day, Christians apparently also used maranatha as a mutual greeting, identifying themselves in a world that was hostile to them. They also used similar words as a short prayer repeated throughout the day, Maranatha, “Come, O Lord.”

Significantly, at the close of the Bible, this prayer for Jesus’ second coming is preceded by a promise from Jesus himself: “Yes, I am coming soon.” Can there be any greater assurance?

As we work and long for the coming of God’s kingdom, may our prayers often include these words from the closing lines of Scripture: “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”

Maranatha. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!