Now, on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and say that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out the tomb, and we do not know where they have lain him." So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but He did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen clothes lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. The the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet the did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes.
John (aka 'the one whom Jesus loved') was the very first believer! The six verbs in blue in the passage above track the progression of his belief and, I feel, the progression of most believers. I'm also going to add another verb, to listen/hear, to the beginning because clearly he listened to/heard Mary.
hear -> run -> stoop -> see -> go in to -> understand -> believe
Hear: To believe, we must first hear the word of God, whether directly from Him, from the Bible, or from someone else.
Run: Once we have had ears to hear we "run." We are filled with eagerness and awe and a longing to see for ourselves what's going on.
Stoop: We must "stoop" or humble ourselves to truly see what's going on and who Jesus is.
See: Once we have humbled ourselves we see the truth.
Go in to: We must take a step of faith and immerse ourselves in the mystery of what we see.
Understand: There are three Greek words for see: blepo, theoreo, and orao. Blepo is used in verse 5 and means to see/look at/ notice(physically). Theoreo is used in verse 6 and means to scrutinize/examine/analyze (intellectual). Orao is used in verse 8 and it means to see with understanding (spiritual). That is how John saw the tomb and the lack of thing in it, with understanding. Once we have immersed ourselves in the truth, we understand what it means.
Believe: Yay! Welcome to the family of God!
Side note: If you noticed that verse nine says quite plainly that he didn't understand the scripture and think that is a little contradictory to the understanding step I put before believe, props to you! Hopefully you always double check in scripture. But the thing about his particular example is that you can know who Jesus is and understand the reality of his love, sacrifice, and salvation without understanding the intellectual and scriptural side. In fact most new believers are probably not all that familiar with the Bible! :) This is awesome because it means that one does not have to be a learned scholar to follow our Lord, He will make Himself known to those who can't own a Bible just as clearly as He reveals Himself to those who can. But, since we have the privilege to own Bible's, we should treat it's words like the treasure it is!
To help those around the world gain access to God's written treasure, visit VOM (Voice of the Martyrs).