As we read through the New Testament Gospels, it doesn’t take very long before we recognize that Jesus emphasized certain truths by prefacing them with the words “Verily, verily” or “Truly, truly”. “Verily, verily” means “most assuredly”, “in all sincerity”, “I am solemnly telling you the truth” or “very truly”. These different expressions all use the Greek word amēn, taken directly from the Hebrew word āˈmēn. This word has different implications, depending on how and where it is used. Jesus’ application of the term is noticeably different from prior uses.
I’ve learned to take special note of these truths that Jesus emphasizes, as His way of alerting us that this particular truth is vital, to comprehend or understand.
If I was to paraphrase His words, it might be something along the line of . . . “I need you to pay really special attention to this truth! This is vital understanding that is critical to how you will comprehend other truths that are encompassed within this truth!” Or another way of paraphrasing it could be . . . ” Take special note of this truth. Write it down. Make sure you really understand it. If there was an exam on this, showing that you understand this truth, would be on the exam!”
Gotquestions.org has an excellent overview of how Jesus used this particular word, and you can read it here. I strongly encourage you to take the time to read it, because if you don’t, you will miss the associated connection to Jesus’ divinity, that is contained therein. And that “connection” is also vital. Please keep this “divine” connotation in mind, as you read through the list of “Truly, truly’s” I provide later on.
All of the Gospels include quotes of Jesus making these “Verily, verily” statements, but the Gospel of John quotes Jesus using these words more than any of the other Gospels. John quotes Jesus using these words 25 times. I can’t expand upon each of the “truths” that Jesus prefaced in this manner, in the Gospels, because that would necessitate authoring a book in itself. I will however, list these 25 statements in John, later in this post.
But before I do that, the following is noteworthy. Jesus frequently said “Amen” (“Truly”) (as in singular Amen) to preface a statement (as compared to saying “Amen” at the end.
In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus used a single Amen (Truly, Verily) to introduce over 50 statements of truth (see The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible,” Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995 – note, based on the King James Version of the Bible). Consider these references: Matthew 5:18, Matthew 18:12-13, Matthew 25:11-12, Mark 9:41, Mark 11:23, Luke 18:17. To the criminal on the cross who asked Jesus to remember him, Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43).
However, as previously stated, when Jesus says “Truly, truly” (a double Amen) at the beginning of a statement, He is telling us that the following words are extremely important. Here is the list of the 25 statements in the Gospel of John (NASB) where Jesus uses the double Amen.
John 1:51 – And He said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
John 3:3 – Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
John 3:5 – Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
John 3:11 – Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony.
John 5:19 – Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.”
John 5:24 – Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
John 5:25 – Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.
John 6:26 – Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.”
John 6:32 – Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven.”
John 6:47 – Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.
John 6:53 – So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.”
John 8:34 – Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.”
John 8:51 – Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death.
John 8:58 – Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”
John 10:1 – Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.
John 10:7 – So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
John 12:24 – Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
John 13:16 – Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him.
John 13:20 – Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.
John 13:21 – When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me.”
John 13:38 – Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times.”
John 14:12 – Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.
John 16:20 – Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy.
John 16:23 – In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.
John 21:18 – Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go.
Conclusion: These are not the words of an ordinary man. These assurances and realities that Jesus verified transcend this world and the material realm we walk in. Jesus was and is the light of God that came into this world and we need to comprehend this to our very core.
Post Note: Craig from Crosswise, graciously noted in the comments, that John the Revelator records Jesus self-referencing as “The Amen” in Revelation 3:14 which reads as follows: “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Origin of the creation of God, says this:”. Of course John does. Amazing!
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!