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Greek Word Study - Bless

Sometimes words change in their meanings. If we go back too far in history we might find a meaning that is not right for a given N.T. passage. Or, if we use a more recent meaning, we may not be going back far enough. Let me show you what I mean with the word “bless.”

In its earliest use the Greek word “I bless” (eulogeo - you loh GEH oh) meant to speak well of (as in our English word “eulogy”). We still use it in this sense when we “bless” the Lord. We speak well of Him and praise His name. But this is not what happens when the Lord “blesses” us.

The latest use of this word, on the other hand, is to give benefits to someone. That is almost exclusively what we have in mind when we think of God “blessing” us. We get money, health, family, fame -- and we say we are “blessed.”

Neither of these two meanings, however, fit several N.T. passages. When Jesus “blessed” the bread of the Last Supper, he neither bragged on it (“You sure are a fine loaf of bread!”) nor gave it benefits (“Let me give you a box to live in, Mr. Bread, and a fine new wrapper to wear”). What Jesus did was to consecrate that bread to a noble purpose. What Jesus did to or for the bread was also true for the fish that He blessed to feed the 4000 (Mark 8:7). And was it not also “consecrating to a noble purpose” when Jesus “blessed” the little children (Mark 10:16), and when Peter said Jesus was sent to “bless” all of us (Acts 3:26)?

We who are “blessed by the Father” (Matthew 25:34) are given many benefits, it is true. But the more important aspect of our blessings is that they consecrate us to God’s service. God gives us much, and He expects much from us (Luke 12:48).

So when we consider our “blessings” from God, we should not only think of WHAT they are, but also of WHY they are. Every blessing we recognize from the hand of God is part of His way of consecrating us to His work!

May this thought be a “blessing” to you!