Gathering the family together at the table for the evening meal required but two words—words that rang through the house and, frequently, out the back door. “Supper’s ready!” was a welcomed invitation, needing no follow up exhortation. We were slowed to the table only by the occasional “Go wash your hands!” prerequisite. Few occasions were met with such willing cooperation.

Other events were met with passive resistance. Lively feet dancing to the table twelve hours previous were strangely replaced by their dragging counterparts at the prospect of getting ready for school. “Hurry up, you’re going to be late!” sometimes gave way to a louder and more threatening, “Hurry! Hurry!”

A word repeated carries greater impact. Repetition can be used as a warning. Imagine alerting someone to the presence of a fire without loudly and forcefully repeating, “Fire! Fire!” Jesus used name repetition as a warning of coming danger or judgment as in the case of Simon (Lk. 22:31) and Jerusalem (Mt. 23:37).

Other times, Jesus used repetition to indicate the certainty of what He was about to say. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (Jn. 3:6). Twenty-four times such statements are found in the gospel of John—a gospel written with the intent of producing confident trust in Jesus as the Son of God (Jn. 20:30-31).

Finally, there is the repetition of Jesus at the cross where He was wounded for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities (Is. 53:5). Having no sin; He became sin on our behalf (2 Cor. 5:21). Acquainted with grief, the man of sorrows, in His indescribable anguish and sorrow, twice repeats the name of His beloved Father as He cries out in a loud voice, saying, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” (Mt. 27:46). Indeed, a word repeated carries great impact.

–Glen Elliott–