What is the meant by the greeting 'Maranatha!'?

Early Christians who lived under Roman rule would greet each other with the hopeful Aramaic word "Maranatha," meaning "the Lord is coming" or "come, O Lord." This encouraged others in a time of persecution.

Romans treated Christians as traitors because they would not declare Caesar a god. Those under Roman rule were required to refer to Caesar as "Lord," but Christians would refuse because they believed Jesus was the only Lord and the only God was the One True God.

So, Christians encouraged each other with the reminder that Jesus said He would return (Luke 21:28; John 14:1–4, 18–20; Acts 1:10–11; Revelation 22:12). Their thoughts, trust, and hope were not in the political leaders or system of the day, but on awaiting and preparing for Jesus' return (Matthew 25:1–13; Luke 12:35–40).

Jewish believers often used "maranatha" instead of the standard Hebrew "shalom," meaning peace, because they knew there would be no peace without Jesus (Matthew 10:34; Luke 12:51). True shalom comes only in Christ, who will return and fully establish His kingdom.

Now, centuries later, Christians still await Jesus' return with great hope. Christians are told to be ready at all times and to prepare for His second coming, just as the first century Christians did. "Maranatha" is a word that reminds us of His plans.

Colossians 3:2–4 says, "Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." "Maranatha" reminds us of this truth.

When we are discouraged, Maranatha! When we are worried, Maranatha! When we are joyful, Maranatha! Our Lord is coming back, and it is an appropriate reminder at all times (Hebrews 10:19–25).


Related Truth:

What does the Bible say about the Christian's hope?

Is the return of Christ truly imminent?

In light of Christ's return, how are we to live our lives?

What does 'godspeed' mean? What is the definition of 'godspeed' / 'god speed'?

What does the word 'hallelujah' mean?


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