The Real Meaning of the Phrase - Maranatha
What is Maranatha?
Maranatha - Even So Come, Lord Jesus
An Illustration of Maranatha
Farmer Bill was not the most successful farmer. He worked his few acres, and barely eked out a living for himself, his wife, and their dog, “Wagner.” To say they loved that old hound would not just be an understatement; it would have been like describing Niagara Falls as a trickle. Wagner would follow Bill like a shadow, and when the farmer would work the fields, the dog would sit in the shade and watch his master between his rest-filled naps. In the evening, the farmer’s wife would spoil their beloved canine with cuisine straight from the kitchen table. They were poor but happy. Then, one morning, Wagner was gone. He had strayed from the home during the night and was nowhere to be found. The couple was at first alarmed, but soon settled down and returned to their practice of setting food out for the dog. Night after night, this unusual exercise was followed, and still no Wagner. A nearby neighbor thought something odd about this behavior and couraged a personal question, “Why do you keep putting the food out, Mr. Bill?” The old farmer smiled and said, “We believe that Wagner will return; He knows where his home is, and we just want him to know how welcome he is!”
Second Coming of the LORD
The Lord Cometh!
Maranatha - The Lord has come!
Maranatha - Are You Ready For the Second Coming
Maranatha - Our Blessed Hope
Maranatha - The LORD is coming!
Maranatha! “The LORD comes!”
The amusing illustration of Farmer Bill is apropos to the early Christian greeting of “Maranatha” (The Lord comes). It is meant to give an upward look in a downward time. The word “maranatha” is a phrase (from a Syriac dialect of the Aramaic) that, according to present consensus, means: “our Lord comes.” It is used as a greeting in the early church. As Christian believers gather they express welcomes and departures by saying, Maranatha. Think with me how great it would be if our churches could keep the same upward look today. It would transfigure the churches to a deeper awareness of the forthcoming return of our Savior!
What does Maranatha mean?
1st Corinthians 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. (KJV Bible)
This phrase as understood here would mean, “O LORD, come!” However, the Aramaic words can be (and are) dichotomized differently leading to several variants as seen below!”
(AMPLIFIED BIBLE) If anyone does not love the Lord [does not have a friendly affection for Him and is not kindly disposed toward Him], he shall be accursed ! Our Lord will come! (Maranatha!)
(BASIC BIBLE ENGLISH TRANSLATION) If any man has not love for the Lord, let him be cursed. Maran atha our Lord comes.
(CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH VERSION) I pray that God will put a curse on everyone who doesn't love the Lord. And may the Lord come soon.
(ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION) If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come!
(INTERNATIONAL STANDARD VERSION) If anyone doesn't love the Lord, let him be condemned! May our Lord come!
(LITERAL TRANSLATION OF THE HOLY BIBLE) If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. The Lord comes!
(Murdock) Whoever loveth not our Lord Jesus the Messiah, let him be accursed: our Lord cometh.
(WEYMOUTH NEW TESTAMENT) If any one is destitute of love to the Lord, let him be accursed. OUR LORD IS COMING.
(YONGS LITERAL TRANSLATION) if any one doth not love the Lord Jesus Christ--let him be anathema! The Lord hath come!
The phrase Maranatha is combined with the word “Anathema” in the 1st Corinthians text. It almost seems like Paul is joining opposites together. It appears that Paul is proclaiming a curse upon those who do not love the Lord, and, in the same breath, proclaims the LORD’s coming. It is like a judgment and a blessing are but different sides to the same coin! The original Greek meaning of "anathema" is that of a gift or sacrifice to the LORD. This would lead me to believe that Paul is saying, “The LORD is coming to execute judgment upon the ones who do not love God."♠
If we (as I think we should) separate the two phrases and major on Maranatha as an early Christian greeting, the term is meant to bring hope to a movement during difficult times. “The Lord is coming!”; “The Lord comes!”; “The Lord hath come!”; “Come, O Lord!” It is not hard to see and understand how such a welcome strengthens the church!
While on a South Pole mission, British voyager, Sir Ernest Shackleton, left a small number of men on Elephant Island, promising that he would come back. Later, when he tried to go back, huge icebergs blocked the way. However, abruptly, as if by a miracle, a path opened in the ice and the explorer was able to get through. His men were ready and waiting, and hurried aboard. The expedition cleared the island, and almost immediately the ice crashed together after them.
Mulling over their escape, Shackleton said to his men, “It was fortunate you were all packed and ready to go!” “We never gave up hope. Whenever the sea was clear of ice, we rolled up our sleeping bags and reminded each other, ‘The boss may come today.’” This was the joy filled, upward gleam of the weary crew!
Revelation 22:17, 20, 21 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. … (20) He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. (21) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. (KJV Bible)
As you leave home today, don’t say good-bye—say “Maranatha!”