Mar 262016
 

Word of GodMatthew 1:1-17 – The genealogy

If I began this class by saying “turn in your bible to the book of the last days, the end times”, I am sure that most would be flipping to the back to the Book of Revelation. No, right here at the very beginning of the New Testament we are at the end times.

The end times have come not with Blood Moons, but with the birth of Jesus Christ.

1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

  • If something depended on your showing or proving your genealogy what would you do? What would you show? Could you do it? Would Ancestry.com satisfy?
  • Why would a Jew need a genealogy? – To show that he was part of the covenant.
  • What was the promise to David?- Someone from your line will rule on the throne.
  • Was King Herod from the Davidic line? NO! Keep looking.

Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,

  • It is very interesting the narrow selection of names to make the genealogy list.
  • Sarah the wife of Abraham – Rebekka the wife of Isaac – Rachel & Leah the wives of Jacob
  • The 4 Matriarchs of the Bible – of the 12 tribes of Israel … don’t make the list.
  • Tamar – Rahab – Ruth – Bathsheba (listed as ‘the wife of Uriah’) all of a ‘non pure past’ are mentioned.

and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram,

  • How Tamar contributed to the line – Genesis 38 (Judah & Tamar)

and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon,

and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse,

  • Rahab the prostitute (if you read her story, she was probably a madam) – what does this say about the bloodline of Jesus?
  • Ruth – a Moabite outsider

and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah,

  • It’s interesting that Matthew does not say Bathsheba’s name.
  • I think it may be his way of saying – “don’t take pride in your lineage.”
  • Bringing in Uriah, brings in David’s sin.

and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph,

  • At Solomon we see the split with Luke’s genealogy which instead of descending from Solomon, descends from another son Nathan.

8 and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah,

and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,

10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos and Amos the father of Josiah,

11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

  • The deportation is an important historical event in the genealogy.
  • It’s like saying “if you are proud of your lineage, look at these ancestors – who gave away all of God’s promises.”

12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,

13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor,

14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud,

  • Look at all of these unrecognizable names – but they are all tied in a chain to Messiah… forever.

15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob,

16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.

  • Why is this important? What have we learned?
  • Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament!!!

The Birth of Jesus Christ — Everything above this is Jesus’ earthly genealogy.

Everything below is his heavenly genealogy.

The above genealogy really only gets Jesus to having a right to be the king of Israel – not the savior – not the deliverer. He could have never redeemed men, never conquered death, never conquered sin, never conquered Satan and hell. For that He had to be God, and so Jesus was the God-man, 100% deity, 100% humanity, that is the message of Matthew 1, and so Matthew splits his chapter into two parts dealing with the human and then the divine.

 

  205 Responses to “The Weekend Word”

  1. i can’t think of many more qualified to teach this book than MLD and i agree with much of what he’ll say (what i think he will) regarding the prophesies our Lord gives here – that He is warning of what will happen immediately following His departure … alas and alack (whatever that means) i am not qualified to teach, but i won’t agree with all of it – the end times did begin here… but they are still in progress

  2. End times section.A point well made.

  3. Excellent Bible study! I find it interesting the listing of the women who were, as you said, largely women of ill-repute. I think maybe this is to show Jesus’ 100% human side.

  4. As points of introduction for my view on the proper perspective to keep throughout the entire gospel are these 3.
    1.) I think Matthew is writing this gospel not for the world’s consumption (although God uses it for such) but as a catechism for those who have come under his Apostolic jurisdiction
    2.) I think that Matthew did title his gospel. I think verse 1 is the title – “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” The gospel of Matthew is how that genealogy came about from Jesus in his lifetime. We as individuals and we as the church are of the lineage of Jesus Christ. I may be in a minority, but I think this is the theme.
    3.) Matthew 22: 41-42, Jesus asked them a question, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.”
    This question needs to be asked in every age, to every person. Whose son is He?
    Matthew is writing his gospel to his charges to make sure they can answer that question.
    Can you?
    Today, many liberal ‘christian’ churches, flat out deny who Jesus is.
    Also, many individual ‘christians’ are ignorant about who Jesus is.

  5. So, I think as we go through this, if you find a part or passage of scripture confusing, just put it in the context of those 3 points.

  6. MLD,

    Your observation that Matthew 1 describes the birth of Jesus from both a human and divine perspective if very good. This twofold beginning is made vivid if we consider the Greek word used in both headings:

    1st: “The book of the genealogy [Greek: Genesis] of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”

    2nd: “Now the birth [Greek: Genesis] of Jesus Christ took place in this way.”

    “He could have never redeemed men, never conquered death, never conquered sin, never conquered Satan and hell. For that He had to be God….”

    I want to add to your point that the virginal conception and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit allowed Jesus to be the second Adam (as St. Paul describes him). He was conceived in this way without original sin.

  7. Jean,
    Yes to #6 – but we need to wait until next week.

    The important thing as a point of introduction and to frame the study is to realize that htis gospel, as with all the gospels is about Jesus Christ only – there is / are no other singular topics. If you see what you think is something else., you (the plural you – the reader) need to step it back and say, ‘what is this teaching me about Jesus?’

  8. well, i’ll just lurk on this Matthew study as Jesus the Christ IS always the main thing :smile;

  9. Em, not the main thing – the only thing. It’s not about Israel, the Jews or Last Days. It’s about Jesus.

  10. Taught through Matthew last quarter. I was struck this time around with Matthews stress on “The Kingdom”.

  11. Jean – Interesting observation from the Greek. Thanks!

  12. “what is this teaching me about Jesus?”
    Couldn’t you really just say that about anything in the Bible?

  13. Josh – You are 1005 correct.
    I have said many times in the case of the OT that is it all about Jesus and I have used that exact phrase in that use. Any time you teach in the OT you must ask the question “what does this teach me about Jesus?” If you teach a Bible passage and it is not about Jesus (not just mentioning Jesus, but the message is about Jesus) then it is not a Christian message.

    I just want to frame the study so that when we come to other topics, we see them as background scenery that Matthew is using to further highlight the works and person of Jesus.

  14. Now, that is much easier to do in a Gospel account than in certain portions of Job, but ys, I agree.

  15. And it is the task of the pastor or teacher to find Jesus.
    There are passages I would skip over and wait until I was a more mature teacher before approaching if I couldn’t find Jesus or couldn’t preach / teach Jesus from the passage.

  16. Josh – I would like to hear how you would frame a book study in the Bible.

    I would like to hear from others – I think Michael and Steve Wright are currently teaching in Matthew.

  17. My overarching hermeneutic is that the entire bible is sort of “Salvation History” culminating in Jesus. Old Testament is leading up to Jesus, pointing towards Him, preparing the way. New Testament includes accounts of Jesus’s time on earth, and the aftermath of such.

    So when I introduce a book, we usually talk a bit about where the book fits into Salvation History (that’s just a name a stole from some place, not perfect). Then we will talk some about the author, approximate date the book was published, and major themes that occur in the book.

    So, specifically for Matthew, we talked about this Gospel account being the perfect link between the Testaments. Matthew was particularly aware of all that had been said in the Old Testament, and made the effort to show that Jesus was, in fact, the one that all of history had been leading up to.
    We talked about the disciple Matthew, (we believe in the traditional authors), and the few things we know about him (tax-collector, etc.) would color his view of Jesus.
    The date of this one doesn’t make a lot of difference, but we talked about how it ties into the other synoptics, probably came after Mark, but before Luke. Compare and contrast some points with the other Gospels, pointing out why those would be there, and how they are more proof for the authority of this Gospel.

    Is that what you were asking?

  18. The Orthodox consider most (if not all) events in the OT to be a typology for Christ. So whatever OT passage is under consideration, it’s either a prophecy about Christ or typology about Him. Not isolated verses, necessarily (versification is fairly recent) but an episode taken as a whole. We don’t talk about the OT unless we include the connection to Christ.

  19. “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,” (John 5:39 ESV)

    This is an odd tangent, because it appears so obvious. That probably means I’m out of the loop on some hermeneutical dispute.

  20. Jean, you would be surprised how many messages in the OT center on the narrative, Jesus may get honorable mention and if not, will be brought up at the end of the message “if you would like to know this Jesus (what Jesus your only spoke about David numbering his men) …”

    But to a larger point even within just the book of Matthew – for example, whenever Matthew places the Pharisees in the narrative – it is not about the Pharisees at all. It is always about Jesus dismissing old Israel as he builds a whole new Israel of his own. But that is getting ahead of the game and we will see that clearly in the middle chapters of the book.

  21. I’ve heard a good number of verse by verse teachings through the historical books of the OT where the big picture was lost in all the minutia.

  22. MLD,

    You ask a really good question.
    There is much that could be said, but I’ll narrow it down.
    The Bible is about Jesus.
    That is the central point we look to exposit.
    Topic 1B is the kingdom.

    Thus, especially in Matthew, we are unblinkingly focused on the King and His kingdom…and how radically different it is from the kingdoms of men.

  23. Many of the popular mega-church guys (yes, SBC even) take every verse of scripture, or even phrase, and make it some direct message to “ME”.

    For instance, I know of one celeb pastor who preached the David numbering his men passage, as a passage about counting the numerical growth of his particular church.

  24. This time teaching through Matthew has been very different for me.
    We can teach for years without being changed or even hearing what we are saying.
    This time has pretty much made me a radical and left me undone.

    Jesus doesn’t just deconstruct our cultural paradigms, He guts them, turns them upside down and inside out and the only way you can survive it, let alone live it, is to cling to Him with both hands.

    Every week I teach, I’m left reeling from what has been taught…

  25. I doubt there are too many people who do not confess that “the volume of the book” is written of Jesus Christ. Even those of us who teach verse by verse through the Old Testament books recognize that was the only Scripture referenced in the New Testament and used in the evangelism taking place in Acts by the early Church. (There are two verses of exception in the NT – duly noted).

    Many a message has centered on “the road to Emmaus” at the end of Luke, and I would wager if we could hear a summary of every Easter message yesterday in evangelicalism – more than a few would have centered or at least referenced the “Bible study” Jesus gave the two men after He rose – and noted it was entirely based on the Old Testament references to Him.

    So having gotten that out of the way, where I think some (here) may go to far is that, at least in my opinion, we are to EXEGETE the Bible. Not EISEGETE. If one believes exegesis is secondary or irrelevant than we obviously have no point of discussion.

    Eisegesis can not only lead to inaccuracies and uncertainty, but in some hands can be dangerous as truly one can make the Bible say anything you want it to say.

    Exegesis, by definition, involves the original writer to an original audience. We know with certainty the original audience of the OT did not see all the typology that Christians have stated exists – even though the original audience most definitely saw a multitude of prophetic verses about the coming Christ. God gave His people His word for His purposes and did not simply get some non-prophetic history down on paper to make for Christian sermon illustrations. Frankly, I am more sympathetic to the school of thought in Christian circles that ignores the Old Testament as having faded away (other than the prophecies of Christ) and thus never teaches it at all….than those who do dig into the OT and give lengthy messages explaining how this river represents grace and it flows into another river that represents mercy etc. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    Typology, as explained and declared in the inspired NT text, is not the same as allegorical hermeneutics using eisegesis. So I try to exegete the text with the understanding that all Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable and instructive

  26. “The original writer to the original audience” standard is blown up by the writers of the NT and by Jesus Himself, who re interprets many OT passages and applies them directly to Himself.

    It’s not a false standard, but not a definitive one either.

  27. Steve, I understand what you are saying, but just because the original audience didn’t understand the typology at the time, does not mean that it wasn’t there and the NT as the divine interpreter of the OT does point out what should be taught today about those OT passages. Why do you think modern day Jewish apologists get so agitated by the way we explain OT passages? Because they do not have the NT that explains it to them.

    If we just stick to a wooden exegesis and teach only what the original audience understood – then what makes it a Christian message?

  28. Just look at the Elijah prophecy in Malachi. The Jews are waiting for the return of Elijah – a real Elijah – they will even set a table setting for him at every Passover table – but we know Jesus gave his own interpretation of that passage.

  29. But so we don’t get too far off track – does anyone have their own comments to add to the genealogy?

    What about my comment about v 1 being Matthews title for the book?

  30. “Christ was murdered in order to stop all preaching and election. The cross failed to do this, despite all human efforts, and now that Christ cannot be killed again, the next best thing is to execute the ambassadorial preacher. Sometimes blood is spilled again and we
    call it martyrdom, but more often it is easier to execute a preacher in a bloodless coup. If the preacher can be enticed to give something else than Christ as the proper predicate for the true Subject, the Creator, then a death occurs with no apparent violence. It seems
    like the perfect crime. Just predicate something other of God than Christ—you have the freedom to say whatever you want, do you not? Consequently, the largest offenders against God’s mission on earth are preachers themselves.” – Steven Paulson

  31. blown up by the writers of the NT and by Jesus Himself, who re interprets many OT passages and applies them directly to Himself.
    ——————————————————————-
    Thus my point in the original comment that typology when explained (blown up) in the inspired New Testament is far different than when random preacher A comes up with some “Jesus message” from a random historical note in the book of 2 Kings.

    (Reply works for MLD’s 27 as well).

    Rest assured, if the NT has any commentary whatsoever on an OT passage, most decent verse by verse teachers of the word are going to bring it out. However, I for one tremble at the thought of telling people God’s word means X when I am making it up or quoting some commentator who made it up.

    I find a lot of value in seeing how God dealt with His people in the past, and don’t have a lot of problem finding a Christian application or for that matter making the point when necessary that the change in covenants does necessitate a change in our understanding on some of the specifics. God does not change as we all would agree (as to His Being, Attributes and Essence)

    I think that when MLD finishes Matthew it would be a great lesson for us all to have him lead us through a study of 1 Kings or Judges. Verse by verse, chapter by chapter – showing this hermeneutic in action so to speak.

  32. MLD,

    I think this is a very good start.
    I view this chapter in a similar fashion…this is an announcement of the arrival of the king and the kingdom…(while at the same time showing in the genealogy) that Herod was most certainly not a legit king.

    There is a political subversiveness in that genealogy that will continue to manifest through the book.

  33. By the way, the “Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament” by Carson and Beale is very helpful…

  34. Why do you think modern day Jewish apologists get so agitated by the way we explain OT passages? Because they do not have the NT that explains it to them.
    ———————————————————————————-
    And yet, Jews got saved in Acts – just as other Jews got “agitated”. Nothing new under the sun. The Holy Spirit’s role and purposes in salvation have not altered. Surely you are not saying we can argue Jews into the kingdom using the NT.

    And I have heard more than a few testimonies of modern educated (in the OT) Jews getting saved entirely from the OT and not needing to be taken down “the Romans road”

  35. Interestingly, I too am teaching through Matthew at this time. Halfway through chapter six.

    Here is how I taught (if interested) the first 17 verses which, like MLD, I used as one Sunday message

    http://calvaryle.org/Matt%201_1-17.Mp3

  36. Steve,
    ” it would be a great lesson for us all to have him lead us through a study of 1 Kings or Judges”

    This is my point – if I couldn’t it would mean that I wasn’t bright enough or not trained well enough to do it. So, if I taught through I would have to warn my class that they were not going to hear a Christian message that day – they would be hearing at best a biblical message, at least an historical message – but not a Christian message. They will be hearing Jewish narrative.

  37. So, MLD, you would be under the assumption that handing someone a copy of Ecclesiastes would be useless, as far as Christianity goes. Correct?

  38. Before I have to run…
    I would also note that not only is this book about the king and the kingdom, it speaks to how the citizens of the kingdom should think and act if they are following the king.

    I think it would be helpful as well if all of us who will contribute here list the commentaries and resources we have used in making our messages…

  39. Josh, no I think you missed it somewhere – my point is that all the Bible is a Christian Bible about a Christian God and a Christian savior – written to the Church … at one time in the past called Israel.

  40. I agree MLD, but the average citizen reading Ecclesiastes for himself will see no obvious connection to Jesus. You have said you wouldn’t teach a passage that you couldn’t make about Jesus. So, would you advise someone to read Ecclesiastes, knowing that the connection to Christ will probably go unseen?

  41. Josh – most “the average citizen” reading any of the OT will not see the connection to Jesus – this is where teaching and the Holy Spirit come in.

    Don’t miss my point in bringing this up – there are many out there today being taught that other things in the Bible are important and for those passages Jesus gets benched. Just look at sermon titles.

  42. “I think it would be helpful as well if all of us who will contribute here list the commentaries and resources we have used in making our messages…”

    I like the idea, too. Because most my references are just checking little things here and there, I’ll have to wait until I get home to post most of them, but if you’ll notice my gravatar…

    That is a picture of my John Phillips commentary collection. So yeah, I’m sure I went to Phillips a lot. 🙂

    I remember referencing Charles Talbert and Ben Witherington.

  43. Ok, MLD, let me make my point clearer. Let’s say I taught Ecclesiastes, but my teaching consisted mostly of reading the text. Is that bad?

  44. Josh, I wouldn’t say good or bad – but I would ask, what is Christian about the message. If you taught Ecclesiastes just the way that the Rabbi down the street would teach it, I would ask what made that message a Christian message? Unless you are making the case that the rabbi down the street is teaching the Christian message.

  45. The entire bible IS the Christian message. I don’t have to make it the Christian message.

    If I present Ecclesiastes, without comment, I trust the the Word of God will do what God said it would do.

  46. Josh – you have gone a long way off target from your #12

    “what is this teaching me about Jesus?”
    Couldn’t you really just say that about anything in the Bible?”

    So now you think it is OK to skip teaching about Jesus in an OT book – and now we are back to my original point about not teaching Jesus.

    But I don’t want us lost in the weeds – I am speaking of how to frame Matthew.

  47. Jean,
    Well said by Paulson

  48. MLD @36 – I am confused. I was not denigrating your intelligence or ability to study. I was sincere in wanting to see what a verse by verse study through Judges would look like from you. My confusion centers in that it SEEMS you are saying that one can’t find Jesus in all the details of Judges, and thus it would make no sense to teach it??? Am I wrong there?

    Question. Have you (or will you) teach your class through the historical books of Israel in the OT? Not Genesis or Exodus etc. Not the prophecies or the psalms. The historical books.

  49. To Michael’s question.

    R.T. France – (NICNT)
    Leon Morris – (Pillar)
    John Nolland – (NIGTC)

    Those are the three “go-to” exegetical commentaries I am using for study and preparation.

  50. “So now you think it is OK to skip teaching about Jesus in an OT book – and now we are back to my original point about not teaching Jesus.”

    Not what I said, for the record, and you never answered my question. No biggie.

    What about my framing of Matthew?

  51. Now – a question on this study. MLD – Any significance to the choice of 14 and the deliberate layout to make that happen (as you know, some omissions are there).

    Also – side note, did you notice the “whom” in verse 16 and the significance?

  52. Craig Blomberg
    Michael Greene
    Ian Campbell
    John Chrysostym
    N.T. Wright
    John Calvin
    Hendriksen N.T. Commentary
    Kent Hughes
    James Boice

    Leaned more heavily on Blomberg and Wright.
    Depending on time, I also consulted both the Orthodox and Lutheran Study bibles.

  53. Steve, I would prefer outside input – my study is limited by word count and Michael is not a fan of book introductions.
    Let us know what you think – also the significance that David is listed twice.

    So everyone knows, my studies are set up to be interactive with my class – it’s why I ask open ended questions to the class (and included here) and I don’t just go by what’s in the text but delve into what has been left out — like why the matriarchs are not included – and I leave it open for others to jump in.

  54. (Wanted to add France and Carson on the commentaries. I’m remembering Carson being part of a larger set though?)

    I see Steve and I are asking MLD the same basic question, so I’ll go on from that.

    Michael, I see you also mentioned the Kingdom theme. This is probably the third or 4th time I’ve taught through Matthew (2nd with this class). The Kingdom theme really stood out to me this time, but I didn’t catch it so much in the past. I think Matthew is using the Kingdom theme to point out that the OT is fulfilled in Christ, and that the Kingdom that the Jews are waiting for is already here. You?

  55. my mistake on the question in #53 – I was thinking of something else while reviewing someone’s tax returns.
    **about David twice.**

  56. “I think Matthew is using the Kingdom theme to point out that the OT is fulfilled in Christ, and that the Kingdom that the Jews are waiting for is already here. You?”

    Yes, that’s the baseline.

    The sub themes about the nature of the kingdom and it’s citizens and why the Jews missed recognizing their King are both where I think the rubber hits the road for me.

  57. David is described as “the king” too even though Solomon and others were also kings. Son of David is of course a Messianic phrase and gets the lead even before Abraham at verse one. And of course, Jesus is called, Christ, right at the start too. It’s all about David’s kingly line and the promise for the coming King.

    David’s name, numerically in Hebrew, is 14. This is the only place in the entire Bible I think that might have relevance. Mainly because, the numerical stuff did not exist during the writing of the OT (it came into being a century or two BC) – so using Hebrew words to make numerical points is not exegesis at all.

    But it did exist when Matthew wrote, and it was something known on coinage – and given Matthew was a tax collector, something he would have been familiar with – and since it DOES center on and point back to David who is the start, middle and (with the 14) the conclusion of the genealogy, I think it has merit. Nobody else seems to have as solid a reason for the 14 that I could find, though even I do not “sell it” too aggressively. Again, there were omissions in this genealogy in order to make the 14 generations “fit”

    And after all this kingly talk and male descendency to get us to Joseph and his legal right to the throne (if it had been in existence), verse 16 switches gears and not only does not say Joseph begot Jesus (which of course he did not), but connects the “whom” by using a feminine pronoun in Greek making clear the antecedent is Mary. Joseph has no connection whatsoever in any way shape or form to the humanity of Jesus – but the legal claim and aspect to the throne is all Joseph by way of David – and David is central to the entire genealogy – Jesus, aka Son of David, Messiah and King of Israel.

  58. As to whether or not I will teach through Kings or Judges – I doubt it. In a couple of weeks I will be 67 – I have been teaching the past 15 months to get into Ch 18 of Matthew and have committed to go through Revelation next. I may be on the other side of the turf by the time I get done. 🙂

    By the way, I will teach Revelation as a gospel account. I taught Daniel as the Gospel According to Daniel.

    I just looked – after 45 years John MacArthur has not taught through either Kings or Judges.

  59. MLD,

    We’re in the exact same place on the same path… I’m doing Revelation after Matthew as well.
    I’m also going to be grateful if I have time to teach something else afterwards… 🙂

  60. With 90 minutes of teaching each week (30 Sunday, 60 Wednesday), I estimate around a 10-11 year journey to teach every book of the Bible to CCLE. Based on what I still have to go….I’m year 8+. Of course there are several deviations so that not every week has 90 minutes, but most do.

    Interestingly, I believe Dave Rolph who finished a couple years ago said it took him about 10 years or so too.

  61. My class wanted to do Revelation quite sometime ago. I told them we would but the first must go through Galatians, Daniel, Hebrews and Matthew. I think they have only put up with me this long to get to Revelation.

  62. MLD, if you were a younger man and at your church for a lengthy stay WOULD you teach one of those books I mentioned or would you feel like taking a 2nd trip through Matthew or Hebrews…..

    (As an aside, I hope there is no mistake made that I think Kings or Judges are somehow as significant and relevant as Matthew, Hebrews or other such books. I have certain books in mind that I will teach on Sundays, and others on Wednesdays. I have yet to teach Ephesians but when I do, it will be on Sunday. Likewise, I have not done Ezekiel but it will be done on Wednesday.

    I do like to occasionally teach an OT book on Sundays and a NT on Wednesdays, but the general rule is NT for Sundays, maybe a paragraph or two and OT on Wednesdays, usually a chapter or 2 (or 3)

  63. My class wanted to do Revelation quite sometime ago. I told them we would but the first must go through Galatians, Daniel, Hebrews and Matthew. I think they have only put up with me this long to get to Revelation.
    ———————————————————-
    LOL @61. I get Revelation requests too. I think I will do it last, that way they won’t send me to pasture early… 🙂

  64. I have nothing against the historical books like Kings and Judges — in fact I really like the book of Judges – reminds me of old Charles Bronson movies. 😉

    I would teach them with no problem, but you know, I believe that it is most important for people to hear clear gospel messages of “Jesus for you” teachings – so they will first hear those from me before we move on.

  65. I believe that it is most important for people to hear clear gospel messages of “Jesus for you” teachings – so they will first hear those from me before we move on.
    ——————————————————————————
    So back to my original question. The clear gospel message of Jesus is not found in those books…correct? That’s what you seem to be directly saying here.

    Yet why do you knock on teachers of those books who don’t allegorize everything away to fit Jesus in places where He is not there?

    You don’t have a problem with 2 Tim 3:16-17 do you?

    (Will have to read your answer much later. Have to split now)

  66. Steve,
    First I never said anything about a clear gospel message from those books – I spoke only of finding Jesus in a passage and preaching Jesus from that passage and not preaching David numbering his troops as if it were the sum and substance of the passage.

    In some of those books it is definitely hard rock mining to get to Jesus – but you know he is there. You may have to broaden the passage a bit and not teach a 5 verse passage that week. You may need to look at 5 chapters in one offering to cover Jesus — but you know he is there.

    But you still have not answered if Jesus is not in Kings – what is Christian about your teaching through Kings?

  67. Why does I Kings even need to be taught verse by verse on a Sunday morning? Especially if the pastor has difficulty locating Jesus in the week’s chapter? Save it for another time of the week and stick to a clear message about Christ on Sunday, as Steve is doing.

  68. The only OT book I may teach for the rest of my life may be Isaiah.
    Otherwise I’ll stay in the NT and never go more than a couple of years without teaching through a Gospel.

  69. There was a belief that I was indoctrinated in that said unless you taught through every single book of the Bible that you weren’t teaching the “whole counsel of God”.

    I am no longer under that indoctrination.

    My church will be more healthy if I teach the Gospels and the NT rightly than if I spend a month measuring Ezekials temple…

  70. Most people in a church don’t hang around long enough to go through the whole Bible any way.
    Besides, the job of a pastor is to preach Jesus into people – not cover all the books.

  71. “My church will be more healthy if I teach the Gospels and the NT rightly than if I spend a month measuring Ezekials temple…”

    I think you are on the right track Michael. The primary issue begins back at “what is preaching”? ” Why a preacher”?

    There’s a old saying: Theology is for proclamation (not the other way around).

  72. My class is just that, a class, not the weekly sermon. They do want to learn what Judges and Kings are all about. We’ve gone through all those pretty thoroughly in the past 3-4 years.I and II Kings were fantastic studies, Given that I have the same basic group that comes every week for 6 years now, I can be a little more patient. I can paint a big picture over several weeks. I don’t have to draw all the conclusions immediately.

  73. Matthew has arranged the names so as to make this point even clearer. Most Jews, telling the story of Israel’s ancestry, would begin with Abraham; but only a select few, by the first century AD, would trace their own line through King David.

    Even fewer would be able to continue by going on through Solomon and the other kings of Judah all the way to the exile.

    For most of the time after the Babylonian exile, Israel had not had a functioning monarchy. The kings and queens they had had in the last 200 years before the birth of Jesus were not from David’s family. Herod the Great, the old king we shall presently meet, had no royal blood, and was not even fully Jewish, but was simply an opportunist military commander whom the Romans made into a king to further their own Middle Eastern agendas.

    But there were some who knew that they were descended from the line of true and ancient kings. Even to tell that story, to list those names, was therefore making a political statement. You wouldn’t want Herod’s spies to overhear you boasting that you were part of the true royal family.

    But that’s what Matthew does, on Jesus’ behalf. And, as though to emphasize that Jesus isn’t just one member in an ongoing family, but actually the goal of the whole list, he arranges the genealogy into three groups of 14 names—or, perhaps we should say, into six groups of seven names. The number seven was and is one of the most powerful symbolic numbers, and to be born at the beginning of the seventh seven in the sequence is clearly to be the climax of the whole list. This birth, Matthew is saying, is what Israel has been waiting for for two thousand years.

    Wright, T. (2004). Matthew for Everyone, Part 1: Chapters 1-15 (pp. 2–3). London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

  74. Otherwise the most notable break in pattern in Matthew’s genealogy involves the introduction of five women, both unnecessary and unusual in Jewish genealogies. These include Tamar (v. 3; cf. Gen 38), Rahab5 (v. 5; cf. Josh 2), Ruth (v. 5; cf. Ruth 3), Bathsheba (v. 6; cf. 2 Sam 11)—referred to only as “Uriah’s wife,” perhaps to remind the reader of David’s adulterous and murderous behavior—and Mary (v. 16).

    Why are the first four of these women included? Suggestions have included viewing them as examples of sinners Jesus came to save, representative Gentiles to whom the Christian mission would be extended, or women who had illicit marriages and/or illegitimate children.

    The only factor that clearly applies to all four is that suspicions of illegitimacy surrounded their sexual activity and childbearing.6 This suspicion of illegitimacy fits perfectly with that which surrounded Mary, which Matthew immediately takes pains to refute (vv. 18–25). In fact, the grammar of v. 16 makes clear that Joseph was not the human father of Jesus because the pronoun “whom” is feminine and therefore can refer only to Mary as a human parent of the Christ child.

    Within the Gospels, Jewish polemic hinted (John 8:48) and in the early centuries of the Christian era explicitly charged that Jesus was an illegitimate child. Matthew here strenuously denies the charge, but he also points out that key members of the messianic genealogy were haunted by similar suspicions (justified in at least the two cases of Tamar and Bathsheba and probably unjustified in the case of Ruth).

    Such suspicions, nevertheless, did not impugn the spiritual character of the individuals involved. In fact, Jesus comes to save precisely such people. Already here in the genealogy, Jesus is presented as the one who will ignore human labels of legitimacy and illegitimacy to offer his gospel of salvation to all, including the most despised and outcast of society.
    Blomberg, C. (1992). Matthew (Vol. 22, pp. 55–56). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

  75. If all scripture is God-breathed and profitable as 2 Timothy goes on to explain, then I think it is proper for the guy who has been called by God to that church to teach God’s people in that church all the scripture. As Xenia said, that does not have to be on Sunday morning if the book and passages don’t really fit for it.

    For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Rom 15:4

    I like to give hope to God’s people.

  76. Here’s the other issue. I assume everyone would encourage Christians to read their Bibles. I assume nobody’s church tells the people to not read certain books in their Bibles.

    Well…as people read the entire Bible at home, sometimes they have questions. Who should they go for the answers to those questions – Put another way, whose “job” before God would it be to be available for their questions.

    I got an email from a Christian sister in Canada once, who was studying Chronicles of all things and had chosen to listen to my messages to help her study. She wrote to inquire about something in one of them and explained that she did not have a church in her rural area of Canada within 50 miles that taught through the Bible. She liked listening free online to the study while she studied the Bible at home.

    When I was a brand new Christian and started reading and rereading the Bible over and over and wanting to study it but not really knowing enough to know even where to turn for resources it was such a blessing to simply go to the tape library and listen to Chuck’s messages through any book of the Bible I wanted – all for free. God used that time to work His calling in my life – way before I ever began to teach anyone.

    We get hits to the message archive on the website from all over. If my pastoral ministry at CCLE can also in some way be used in the lives of others besides those who worship here, even though I will never know them personally, that is a nice side blessing.

  77. I think that’s awesome, Steve!

  78. Steve,
    No one suggested not teaching the whole Bible (you just consider the whole Bible as verse by verse and others do not) – my objection was that if you refuse to teach the whole Bible as being about Jesus then you are doing a poor job.

    But you spoke earlier about eisegesis, the bringing of something into the text that is not there. But if you read the 2 commentary passages Michael posted above, is that not a case of eisegesis as nothing they say is directly out of the scripture but is brought to the scripture to aid in understanding.

    So if I teach say Judges and I bring in other thought to help explain the passage – to point to Jesus how is that wrong. Isn’t the job of the teacher to bring out the truth or is it just to deliver the stats?

  79. Let me see if I can unwrap this in the original context of Matthew. I am getting ahead of myself but when we get to it, it will be long forgotten.

    When Matthew brings up the end times – is he teaching the order and detail of the end times or is he teaching about the person and work of Jesus in the end times? Many have written books, had 80 hour tape series, drawn out many charts on the order and details of the last days — and from my view that is not the point at all.

    The point is 100% about Jesus. Find those books for me in the bookstore?

  80. Being aided by the studies of those who have gone before us, and hopefully those who are more learned than we are, is hardly eisegesis.

    The commentaries I cited above that I am using probably took well over a year of committed study to write (not to mention the lifetime of study of the author), reference a hundred plus other works in their bibliographies, went through an editing process by another scholar and his team. Learning from others insights from the text (especially the cultural, historical, linguistic stuff) is at the heart of exegesis.

    On the other hand, and this happens in CC as well as everywhere else, there is the Christian “rabbi”, who basically teaches by quoting other “rabbis” and parrots whatever those men have said about the passage. Instead of Hillel and Shammai it is Smith or Courson. I’m not that sort of teacher, and from the depth of your study, MLD, I would guess you are not either – I know you don’t just parrot what Martin Luther wrote when you teach, right?

    Now, the added bonus is if the rabbi one parrots who finds Jesus where He is not, and then repeats that, is guilty of eisegesis.

    You have asked “how can it be a Christian message?” – I think you ask this because it goes back to your fundamental view of what it means to be a Christian. As you say many times, Lutheranism is all about breaking you with the law and then pouring in Christ’s grace. You call preaching how we can live for Christ in this world the equivalent of preaching the Christian instead of the Christ. I disagree.

    Is a message centered on loving your neighbor, Christian?
    How about a message on repentance?
    How about a message on God’s purposes in trials?
    God’s power? God’s faithfulness? God’s love and mercy? God’s plan in all things?

    I could go on with such examples. I think all such messages can certainly be given in such a way as to be Christian – and all of the above messages can be found in the pages of the Old Testament.

  81. I wanted to add a little about my process, and would be interested in hearing from others as well.
    My people aren’t scholars, and so I only check the heavy scholarly sources for certain passages, or opposing viewpoints. Usually, I’ll look to Phillips, Weirsbe, Matthew Henry…that kind of stuff, which I have on my shelf, for insight, exposition, and application.

    For Matthew, David Jenkins and Jerry Batson wrote the curriculum that I use. They provide some pretty good commentary on certain passages, and offer good questions for discussion.

    Past that, I’ll reference my school library. They have about 60,000 books in print and another 200,000 eBooks – all theological, biblical studies, etc. If there is a “must have” commentary on a certain book, I’ll check it out of the library for a couple months.

    When I search the eBook page for “Matthew Commentary” I get a couple of pages. This is where Talbert, France, and others come in. If there is something sticky about a passage, something odd in translation, I’ll check that specific passage in one or more of the ebooks for clarity. These “more scholarly” sources, I really only use for a verse or two each. Often, I don’t even remember which one it came from, because I’ll just check a few and close them.

    Other than that, I try to spend the most time with the text itself, just reading it over and over. Usually, something will end up jumping off the page at me, and I’ll kind of build the weekly lesson around that.

  82. Steve,
    The point I made about eisegesis was really to yank your chain over your definition of the term. You use eisegesis as a pejorative but when I bring up NT Wright and Blomberg’s work, there is nothing they said that came directly out of the text. That is where you made the proclamation – when preach you exegete – you take out of the text only what is there. None of what they said was directly out of the text in Matt 1. So, they brought something to the text.

    I do too – I bring Jesus because I know that he is there.

    To your question about a text being Christian and you listed 4
    Is a message centered on loving your neighbor, Christian?
    How about a message on repentance?
    How about a message on God’s purposes in trials?
    God’s power? God’s faithfulness? God’s love and mercy? God’s plan in all things?

    I think you are confusing something I tried to make a distinction of early on – you are confusing biblical and christian. Without bringing Jesus into those OT texts you and the local Lake Elsinore rabbi may be preaching the exact same message – and I can guarantee you that he is not preaching a christian message.

    Jesus and Jesus alone is what makes a message christian. No Jesus in your message, no christian message.

  83. Josh,
    “Other than that, I try to spend the most time with the text itself, just reading it over and over. Usually, something will end up jumping off the page at me, and I’ll kind of build the weekly lesson around that.”

    I like that – in fact I like it a lot. I do similar – and then I wonder a lot while I am reading the passage – like in verse 2 as I wondered “why didn’t the 4 matriarchs of the 12 tribes of Israel make the list?”

    And I do start every study with “where’s Waldo? — I mean Jesus 😉 – You know, Waldo was always hard to find, but you knew he was in the picture, you just needed to stay focused until you found him. I think it is the same with Jesus in the OT.

  84. Regarding the purpose of church and the sermon:

    In Article III of the Apostles Creed, Christians historically have confessed: “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.”

    Article III teaches, among other things, that the specific office and work of the Holy Spirit is to sanctify, to make holy, a people for God by granting them faith in Christ the Redeemer. The Holy Spirit sanctifies people through the Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, etc.

    How does the Holy Spirit work? One cannot believe in Christ or obtain him as Lord (i.e., be sanctified), unless it is offered to him and granted to his heart by the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the Gospel (faith comes by hearing). Christ’s work is done and accomplished, but if His work is neglected or concealed, then it avails no one. Thus, sanctification requires the Holy Spirit working through the hearing of the Gospel. Sanctifying is nothing else than bringing sinners to Christ to receive His promises that sinners cannot obtain of themselves.

    Where Christ is not preached, there, it is not a Christian church (at least not on that day). Because, where Christ is not preached, there is no Holy Spirit who creates, calls and gathers the Christian church.

    I’m sorry if this sounds harsh to some of you.

  85. I wish I had the talent to be the wordsmith as is Jean. What it takes me 20 posts to try to explain, he does in a couple of paragraphs.

    Good word … or is it good words? 🙂

  86. “Where Christ is not preached, there, it is not a Christian church (at least not on that day). Because, where Christ is not preached, there is no Holy Spirit who creates, calls and gathers the Christian church.”

    I think we all agree on that. The disagreement is what constitutes “Christ being preached”, and how often you must use the name of Jesus in a particular bible study. No one here is advocating that Jesus should not be preached.

  87. Curious Jean, when those words were written was the church having midweek Bible studies?

    You see, that is what is being lost in this discussion. Xenia seems to be the only one who gets it. Sunday morning is different than a midweek Bible study. If our church was a lot smaller, and rented a place on Sundays and so had a little home bible study for 10 people on Wednesday night that involved taking people through books like Judges. Would there still be this beef?

    Josh gets it too. As he said, he is not leading the Sunday sermon.

    And I would say the Holy Spirit works through the hearing of the Word, not JUST the Gospel. Almost everyone at my church is saved each Sunday. They need to grow, be comforted, be edified, be exhorted, be instructed, but not be saved (again).

    As an aside, anyone familiar with CC knows this is a pretty fundamental agreement we have in philosophy of ministry and it goes back to Chuck’s early days where he was always trying to convert the converted and then beating on them for not inviting the lost to church to hear his evangelistic sermons each week.

  88. I just wanted to add, so there is no mistake, Christ is most definitely preached each Sunday, including the Gospel message, by me. As I said, I save the Judges and Kings for midweek and Matthew, Ephesians, Romans etc are Sundays

  89. One funny irony that catches my attention in all this is that guys like me are the ones who say the Church began at Pentecost in Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit was given to the believers after Christ had risen and ascended and when the believers went out and preached Christ.

    Others here say the Church is all of God’s people throughout history and not to be seen as a distinct dispensation.

    And yet, all this talk about there can be no Christian church without Christ being preached, without the gospel proclaimed etc.

    Would seem like a quandry for some here…but I’m sure you have an explanation for it…

  90. “Chuck’s early days where he was always trying to convert the converted and then beating on them for not inviting the lost to church to hear his evangelistic sermons each week.”

    That’s interesting. I’d like to know more about that.

  91. Josh,

    My people aren’t scholars either…the bigger issue is neither am I.
    When I was in a different tradition the method was “read the passage until the Holy Spirit speaks to you”.
    Thus, the Holy Spirit was blamed for vast amounts of nonsense that passed for bible teaching, which was copied by others who thought it was inspired.
    I prepare by reading the Scriptures in the company of scholars, lest I parse some new revelation out my backside.

    I radically over prepare…then I trust the Holy Spirit to guide me in choosing what I actually teach to our group that Sunday.

    For example, my folks aren’t going to care much in this passage about the significance of the number 14.
    They will care that it was unusual to list women in genealogies.
    They will care that not only were women listed, they were women whose character was called into question.
    They will care that Jesus through the book goes to the insignificant and disenfranchised with His offer of the Gospel.
    They really need to know about their king and His kingdom…especially in this season of strife over the kingdoms of men.

  92. Similar here. I looked at my notes last night, and see I didn’t spend much time at all on the genealogy this time.

  93. “Others here say the Church is all of God’s people throughout history and not to be seen as a distinct dispensation.”

    This is statement, along with all of #89, demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of “Church” and Christ as “Redeemer.” It makes me ill and pessimistic for the American Church to read this coming from a non-fringe evangelical source. I don’t have time to provide a full refutation, but for anyone who wants to begin their own study, I can provide some verses to get one started.

    “’In that day I will raise up
    the booth of David that is fallen
    and repair its breaches,
    and raise up its ruins
    and rebuild it as in the days of old,

    that they may possess the remnant of Edom
    and all the nations who are called by my name,’
    declares the Lord who does this.” (Amos 9:11-12)
    [quoted as fulfilled by James in Acts]

    “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,” [The Scriptures are the OT and the “me” is Jesus]

    “Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called ‘the uncircumcision’ by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” [In this remarkable passage, the Gentile Christians are told that in the OT, they were separated from Christ.]

    “By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.” [In this passage, Christ was influencing Moses.]

    It should be Christian 101 that there is a (one) household of God. Moses was faithful “in” the house, but Jesus was and is faithful “over” the house [does that ring any bells?] Redemption always, always, from the past, to the present to the future, depends on one Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

    After the whole cloud of witnesses is read, and the hall of saints is celebrated, the author says this:

    “And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.”

    Conclusion: It’s all about Jesus.

    The problem with the prior posts about preaching the Gospel to the converted is also repugnant, but if you want to do funerals for converted unbelievers, that you can answer for that.

  94. ?^

  95. Instead of insulting, you could simply answer the post.

    For instance, did the church exist before Acts 2?

    If so, where is the preaching of Christ that must be present (according to you) in order to have a Church?

  96. For instance, did the church exist before Acts 2?
    Answered: “It should be Christian 101 that there is a (one) household of God. Moses was faithful “in” the house, but Jesus was and is faithful “over” the house [does that ring any bells?]”

    “If so, where is the preaching of Chris that must be present (according to you) in order to have a Church?” In the OT, they had the Word, who spoke to them through angels and prophets, and they had the promises. They had sacrifices which were confirmed in the ultimate sacrifice. As I quoted above:

    “And all these [OT saints], though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.”

    Christ’s atonement is trans-historical. It not only atones going forward (e.g., for us), but it atones going back, all the way to Adam and Eve.

  97. If they weren’t preaching Christ through the imagery, prophecies and sacrifices – what the heck were they preaching?

  98. So, again, for both of you – There should be no issue with me preaching Ecclesiastes, and just letting the Word speak for itself.

  99. Josh,
    What is your objective when you preach? Is your gathering like a book club, where you read and explain a book together? Or is your objective to proclaim Christ crucified for your sins and raised for your justification?

    Here is how St. Paul answered your question:

    “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony[b] of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”

  100. Just reading it might work that way. But if you preach it with out Christ and – I keep asking this with no reply – how is that different that what your local NC rabbi preaches. He will tell you that he preaches Ecclesiastes without a Christ involved — are you doing the same?

  101. You are speaking in circles. First you claim that the church was alive before Acts 2 and that Christ is in the images, etc. But now, that’s not good enough. Strait answers to the two questions in #95 would be sufficient.

  102. What did the church preach about Ecclesiastes prior to Acts 2, assuming the church existed.

  103. #102 – they should have been preaching Christ – but they were a disobedient people who ignored what God wanted. Not different than what we see in much of the church today.

    To answer your #95 – the answer is pretty much the same – the prophets tried to preach Christ but the deeds not creeds people killed them just as they do today.

    Are you really saying that preaching / teaching about messiah was non existent before acts 2? John the Baptist was the last of the OT prophets and long before Acts 2 – he was preaching Christ.

  104. And I don’t necessarily call the OT guys the Church – I have always said that the people of God are one people throughout history – in the OT they were called Israel and today they are called the Church.

    I know that is disturbing to dispensationalists but you guys make the division of people — not me.

  105. “Are you really saying that preaching / teaching about messiah was non existent before acts 2?”
    Of course not. I’m saying God’s Word,. Old and New Testament is sufficient. You are just now agreeing. Which is cool.

    Now all you claims changed in #103, and I can’t kick through the moving goalposts. There was just no need for Jean to get all insulting towards other traditions.

  106. “I know that is disturbing”

    Not disturbing, just inconsistent.

  107. No goalposts were moved and no inconsistencies were introduced.

  108. Incorrect, Jean, but I appreciate the thorough rebuke.

    Now, I read the two Lutheran studies from Ecc. that you posted…and guess what: Very similar to how I teach it. No more Christ-centered than any time I’ve heard it taught in Baptist churches. I’m sure Steve would think about the same.

    So whatever it is you think we are teaching or not teaching, relax. We are teaching Christ as much as your Lutheran guy here is.

    I liked the studies though, as far as short introductory material goes, they looked very good. I will probably save the website and reference it in the future.

  109. Josh,
    I appreciate that you gave the studies a look. Thank you.

  110. Josh – I see nothing in my #103 that moves any goal posts.

    Go way, way back up – I proclaimed that all of Matthew was about Jesus and should be preached / taught as such.

    You jumped in and said the same should be true of the whole Bible (#12) – and then you have spent the rest of the thread walking it back.

  111. I haven’t walked one thing back. I have sought to better define our terms so that we are all talking about the same thing. Hard to do, because Jean has his hand on the condemnation trigger, but I still stand by (as WE ALL DO) that the entire Bible is about Jesus.

  112. Jean – that is a valuable site. You would be surprised that Baptist studies on the topic wouldn’t differ much from what you have posted.

  113. MLD – look at my #86. I’m not walking back on anything.

  114. This is descending into a semantic quagmire.

    When we say the bible is about Jesus, different traditions mean different things by that statement.

    That’s ok.

    Some of the worst messages I’ve ever heard were where some of my tribe tried to shoehorn Jesus into a passage just to make sure He was preached.

    The Bible is about Jesus, his person and work.
    It is also about His kingdom, His disciples, and how we function inside and out of the kingdom.

    All of it comes back to Him…but sometimes the routes are different.

  115. Agreed – and look, I’ve already admitted that some of my tribe make the Bible about themselves. Makes for great motivational speaking, but not necessarily Christian preaching.

    But Jeans condemnations weren’t to those people we all know who get it wrong (maybe even Lutheran has gotten something wrong before) . He was accusing brothers in this thread for not upholding some Christian purity standard that he can’t even explain himself.

  116. “The Bible is about Jesus, his person and work.
    It is also about His kingdom”

    Michael,
    I suspect we’re on the same page in describing Christ’s 3 offices, as Prophet, Priest and King. His proclamation of the kingdom of God was prophetic and He is, of course, our King.

    I appreciate how N.T. Wright reminds us of those offices. He adds one additional item regarding the Gospels, which is of course the fulfillment of Israel’s story.

  117. “1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”

    One thing I would like to note, regarding 1:1, in light of our discussion today, is that Jesus is proclaimed “son of David.” This means more than a simple genealogy, and more than verifying Jesus’ lineage to qualify as Messiah.

    Jesus is the king, the last in the line, the present tense king of the house of God, which we refer to as the church. Hossana to the Son of David!

  118. As a part of my wondering through Matthew – I wonder how we justify 17 verses as “the book”
    I go back to my comment that I think Matthew used v1 as the title page and the “book” is his Gospel — we are his genealogy – the Church is his genealogy. .

  119. MLD,

    Let’s compare Matt 1:1 with Gen 5:1:

    “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”

    “This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God.”

    Matthew is making a huge statement and setting up a dramatic contrast: “For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.”

    Adam’s genesis led to the flood and catastrophic loss of life. Jesus’ genesis leads to the grace of God and eternal life for many.

  120. Jean,
    None of the genealogy above gives Jesus the right of the new Adam. The genealogy above gives him a right to be a king – and even then Jesus would need to fight it out with others who descended from a similar line.

    But the genealogy below is the one I find fascinating – the one from above and those who flow spiritually out of that.

    Jesus is Israel reduced to one, who will spawn a new Israel of billions.

  121. “None of the genealogy above gives Jesus the right of the new Adam.”

    The literary parallelism must have been a coincidence. Maybe it was just plagiarism.
    But, then, maybe Matthew wasn’t talking about a right; maybe he, inspired by the Holy Spirit, perceived something about Jesus that he wanted to share with us.

    I do agree with you that Jesus was the singular righteous remnant of the Israel. Does that rub anyone here the wrong way?

  122. Josh @90 – I’ll message you off blog. I exited this discussion….

  123. I haven’t taught my class in March at all and won’t be back to it until 4/10. I am teaching in Matt 18 and working this morning on ch 21 – and I began to wonder how Matthew actually wrote his Gospel. As I stated earlier, I think it is a catechism for the believers that were under his apostolic authority – so did he write his gospel out as I write out my studies?

    Depending what you believe about authorship and the order of the books etc – did he sit in his study with his OT scrolls? Did he have a copy of Mark and perhaps a copy of the mysterious Q? Had some of Paul’s writings circulated back to some of Matthew’s associates who perhaps helped him edit?

    Did he rewrite some of his later chapters based on some questions asked earlier in the classroom? Hmmm, just wondering – because I doubt it fell out of the sky like the Koran.

  124. Steve – Don’t blame you. Jean’s insults were uncalled for.

    MLD – I think the Gospels were compiled, more than written, around certain church communities. I think Matthew’s gospel started to come together very soon after the resurrection in the form of sermons and personal stories that were told at that particular congregation. Basically oral tradition. Where those congregations overlap and interact with one another explains the similarities in the synoptics. They heard the same sermons, the same stories, and read the same letters. At some point Matthew, or more likely a scribe, started to compile it into one volume and distribute it around the churches.

    I don’t think Paul was directly influential to Matthew. The only Gospel that I think Paul directly affected was Luke.

  125. Josh,

    You’ve mentioned several times that I’ve insulted someone. I assume you are referring to my #93, where I admitted that certain false teaching is repugnant and makes me feel ill. However, although I called out false teaching, I didn’t insult any individual qua person.

    If a person is going to come in here and tell everyone about their seminary level theological education at a top level seminary, then their theology is going to be fair game for critique and they’re going to be held to a higher level than a lay person.

    And when I get a whiff that someone’s theology denies that the New Covenant is for the Church, then I’m not going to remain silent. This isn’t toasts masters; this is the Word of God.

    So, get off your high horse if you want to discuss MLD’s teaching, and quit whining about imaginary insults.

  126. Josh – I guess my big wonder is did he edit his writings after the first presentation. I do that all the time – I teach my class and realize I was not clear enough so I go back and rewrite it so the next time I teach it, it will be more clear. Or something comes up in class that I think would be a good point to fit into a future chapter in the study – say something comes up in ch 5 that I think would work in ch 22 that I have already written out.

    Or we there any conversations where he said, “you know, you are right, the event did happen that way and not the way I said — and he goes back and makes the revisions. Wouldn’t that be cool?

  127. Jean, your insults, YES INSULTS, were ignorant bullcrap. You can’t even offer the simplest explanation of what you think should be different. Humble yourself, and learn something.

  128. ” I guess my big wonder is did he edit his writings after the first presentation”

    I think yes, constantly, for many years. I don’t think content was changed, but almost definitely the presentation was changed, and the order it was presented was changed many times before it was pieced together.

  129. “You can’t even offer the simplest explanation of what you think should be different.”

    Josh,
    “Simple” is a relative term. I answered every question posed to me in what I thought were simple answers, and I have no desire to go back through yesterday’s comments and argue about them. However, if you think I missed a question or gave a complicated answer, please restate your question, and I will try to give a simple answer.

  130. Jean, you are an arrogant know-it-all. I’ll exit this conversation as well. You two enjoy yourselves.

  131. Josh – “You two enjoy yourselves”

    Who are the you two? I thought we were having a good conversation.

  132. You and I were. I don’t want to be in a discussion with Jean. That’s leaves the two of you.

  133. So dont be in convo with jean

  134. But his thoughts make me ill.

  135. I will bow out of your discussion, but I just ask that my name not be used, since I am not participating. I have no desire to antagonize anyone personally, and apologize if I did.

  136. Physically ill. Not just drama-queen ill. I’ve been dry-heaving every time he types a sentence.

  137. Well, now we’ve all bowed out. It’s just you MLD.

  138. MLD…and me!

  139. Have you been throwing up?

  140. Josh – I don’t get it. Jean may have strong opinions and be vocal about them – but he didn’t call anyone out by name … in other words he was not slighting individuals – he was ‘attacking’ positions. If what he attacks is not your position, why be offended?

    If someone came here and said “some folks believe if you get people wet with a fire hose, they believe that person is saved. I wouldn’t be offended – that’s not my position, in fact I would agree that is a wrong headed position.

    Help me out here.

  141. Costco Cal to the rescue. 🙂

  142. “Help me out here”.

    MLD… I just did!

  143. Internet Monk on Matthew as a catechism
    http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/the-torah-of-jesus

    I don’t have any idea why that simple concept evaded me until MLD wrote it, but I embrace it with great vigor.

  144. I don’t get the high offense.
    I reside in the most loathed of theological homes, that of the dreaded Calvinist.
    People say harsh things about what they perceive we believe all the time.
    I’m ok with that if we can have reasonable discussions around the gagging.

  145. The Internet Monk article was a great introduction. It summarized about 50 pages of the introduction to some commentaries.

    I agree with this: “encourages Christians and churches to make the Gospels (and Acts) the primary documents for forming our Christian identity, theology, and calling.”

    I love Paul, but sometimes I (we?) get so caught up in theories and transactions, that I (we?) can lose sight of what actually happened in space and time at ground level.

  146. I think all the gospels were written first as catechisms from that apostle’s viewpoint. But I have strange views – I think John actually wrote his gospel after he wrote The Revelation.

  147. Jean,

    I agree with your # 146.

    Let me also offer up a thought here.

    In my tribe we often go through a stage in life called “cage stage Calvinism”.

    Often, when people come from evangelicalism to the Reformed faith,they are so excited and exuberant over what they have discovered that they proceed to tell the rest of the church how wrong they are with great enthusiasm.
    Thus, the need to be in a cage until they mellow out a bit… 🙂

    I spent a lot of time in that stage, regrettably.

    I also have seen some of the same tendencies with recent converts to Lutheranism.

    Sometimes we need to dial our passion back a bit in order to be heard by the rest of the family…

  148. “Sometimes we need to dial our passion back a bit in order to be heard by the rest of the family…”

    I have no idea who you’re talking about, but your advice is well taken. 🙂

  149. I’ll translate for you Jean – If you don’t tell someone they are making you ill, you will likely have better conversations.

  150. Jean,

    Trust me, I understand.
    There are opinions I will voice to my confidants offline, that I won’t say online.
    Sometimes I sound a lot like you with a Genevan accent. 🙂

    You are a valuable voice here and I want to continue to have it heard.

    Let’s all reboot…

  151. You know, folks, if it wasn’t for the bare knuckle treatment that MLD gave me over an extended period of time, like months and months, I might still be lost in Methodism. Now that he’s gone soft, others are becoming sissies. Fine. I get it. But, just to check, is the term “poppycock” allowed?

  152. Michael,
    I didn’t see your 151 before I posted my 152. I’m rebooting.

  153. According to my #128 – “bullcrap” seems to be acceptable.

  154. Let me take a moment here and explain my philosophy on theological articles.

    I think God allowed all these different tribes and traditions for a purpose and I think we all bring something to the table.

    Along with bringing well done, delicious, dishes to the potluck, we all also bring some hot mess.

    There are hundreds of people reading these threads that have never been exposed to these ideas…and they are looking at all of us as teachers and guides to the various traditions we hold.

    Represent well…differ with as much grace as you can muster…and know you’re wrong about some things as well.

    I know I am…I just am not sure what those are yet. 🙂

  155. Agreed Michael. I think there is wisdom in diversity.

    And I’m done being mad now 🙂

  156. and I might add, I have asked 2 or 3 times for people to give their views on the passages. It seems that the heat comes when people make comments on the comments – when it is directed at the passages, everything seems to go smoother.

  157. I would like to get back to MLD’s point.
    I’ve been teaching this in our church as if it were a catechism…I just somehow couldn’t put that word to it.

    If this is indeed a catechism for Christians, that has important ramifications.

    Because this Gospel contains the Sermon on the Mount, I believe it is the primary catechism for Christians.

    Yea or nay?

  158. I haven’t thought about it that way. Not sure that I agree.

    Dallas Willard says the Sermon on the Mount is like an athlete in the pros. It is the ultimate dream to work towards, knowing that getting it right will be rare.

  159. Getting anything right is rare…and I’m sure when we get there our Lutheran brethren will talk much about law and gospel.

    My point is that it is the ideal type…and it turns everything in the world upside down.

  160. Let’s be clear on one thing. At least speaking for myself, it’s not about getting indignant, feathers ruffled, and fleeing the coop in a huff.

    It’s just a matter of effort, repetition and getting tired….I think I posted several times where I was coming from as far as teaching the Bible and this is not the first time having this discussion with MLD on this forum – but when it devolves to arguing whether I am really having a Christian service or giving a Christian message…I mean seriously (and even then I hung in for a couple more posts)

    I write primarily to express an alternate point of view when one is mostly lacking and thus write not to convince anyone I actually am posting with, but to simply explain that point of view to the silent readership.

    When I was more local and MLD and I used to meet personally over coffee or lunch, we almost never debated theology.

    I would conclude by noting that to my knowledge there is no other member of this forum who has online, available for any to listen to at any time, freely, every Bible study he has taught for the last 8 years – if anyone really cares deeply enough to investigate and challenge whether our services are “Christian” – just listen to them.

  161. I felt my friend was being attacked and responded accordingly.

  162. Agreed with your 161 Michael. As I’m thinking, I guess all the Gospels, especially if the were compiled the way I said earlier, I guess all the Gospels were catechisms of sort. However, they don’t seem to be very formal catechisms anyway.

  163. “Because this Gospel contains the Sermon on the Mount, I believe it is the primary catechism for Christians.”

    I would say, nay.

    I wish I had the exact quote by MLJ, but in his book The Cross he says

    “…the Apostle speaks about what he describes as the offence of the cross…. Nevertheless, in spite of the fact that it was not liked and that it was thoroughly unpopular, this was the very thing that all the apostles preached. They went on preaching and eventually suffered martyrdom and death because they persisted in doing so.”
    “What is the message of the Christian gospel, and of the Christian church? Now at the risk of being misunderstood I will put it like this. It is not primarily the teaching of our Lord. I say that, of course, because there are so many today who think that this is Christianity. They say: ‘What we need is Jesus’ teaching. He is the greatest religious genius of all times…. Let us have a look at his teaching, at the Sermon on the Mount and so on…. A dose of his ethical teaching. We must preach this to people and teach them how to live.’ But according to the apostle Paul, that is not their first need….
    “It was not the teaching of Christ, nor the example of Christ either. That is often preached, is it not? … Read the Gospels,’ they say, ‘and see how he lived. That is the way we all ought to live, so let us decide to do so…. I say once more that that is not the centre and the heart of the Christian message.”

  164. I think the Sermon on the Mount in large measure is about Jesus ripping up the rocky soil made so largely through centuries of Jewish tradition in the Mosaic Law….and then starting to plant the seeds….I believe there is a reason Jesus did not teach about his crucifixion and resurrection until He chose to later, and likewise a reason He did not teach about the coming of the Holy Spirit to the believers until later than that.

    The Sermon is truly revolutionary and would have been mind blowing to His original audience. Your righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees? I’m not sure we culturally are capable of grasping what that would sound like in the 1st Century – no matter how well we study the Pharisees today.

    Of course, I am not exactly going out on a limb noting that Jesus’ timing was perfect on when and what He taught and as He revealed Himself throughout the earthly ministry (and to whom). Noting that I do think the Sermon must be seen in some context of that timing.

  165. Steve I never questioned whether you had a Christian Church or a Christian service – I know in the Lutheran church if the liturgy is followed properly it doesn’t matter how poorly the pastor butchers the passage and sermon – because the liturgy through the readings, the sacraments, prayers and hymns all speak of Jesus and cover the law and the gospel.

    The only thing I asked was if Jesus wasn’t in the text, and you could not add him to the text (eisegesis) how was the lesson in Kings and whatever other book was mentioned, different from what the rabbi down the street teaches? I even offered up that it might be biblical but not necessarily Christian.(because the rabbi is also teaching a biblical passage.)

    I may be wrong but I think a congregation deserves a distinctly Christian message – either Sunday or Wednesday. You may be doing so.

  166. And again…how I have chosen to teach it (at least ch 5 and halfway through 6) can be listened to online if interested. Still in progress on it as we will finish ch 6 this Sunday

  167. The Sermon on the Mount is for us today.

  168. I agree that it is for today, and I will add that it is the business Christians are to be about.

  169. I strongly object to any form of teaching that attempts to marginalize the Sermon by claiming it belongs to a special dispensation, or any other attempt to explain it away.

  170. The Sermon on the Mount is for us today.
    —————————————-
    Absolutely.

    However, when we read it today, we read it recognizing Jesus came to earth first and foremost to die for our sins (not just another rabbi or even prophet).

    We read it knowing He rose and ascended too, that He is Lord and Christ.

    We read it knowing He has sent us the Holy Spirit to abide with us forever, and to enable us to keep His commands.

    But this is my point on exegesis. If you believe this was in fact a message from Christ to His disciples at the time (as I most certainly do) and you believe it took place in a chronological setting early in the ministry (as I most certainly do) – then we MUST recognize that the original audience of Jesus did NOT have the knowledge all of us have of the big picture at the time He spoke those words.

    And so our first duty as expositors is to come at it from that angle, in my opinion, then of course the applications as to our lives today, in light of all that would develop after the Sermon, can be made and elaborated upon.

  171. I agree with Xenia, and strongly disagree with the ML Jones quote above. If Christians are not to follow Jesus and His teachings, let’s stop calling them Christians.

  172. We also need to recognize that a whole lot of that Sermon, as literally spoken by Jesus, was taught in the Jewish Mosaic Law sense. Don’t misunderstand me on this – I am not saying there is not a perfectly proper application for Christian living that can be drawn – but Jesus was born under the Mosaic Law, He lived under it, He died under it

    And yeah, He taught while under it

    (though once more, leading the people to what would be a whole new way, not destroying the Law, but fulfilling it)

  173. I haven’t read MLJ on this in context, so I’m not completely sure where he’s coming from.

    If he’s arguing that the Gospel as presented in a passage like 1 Cor 15 is the foundation of Christianity, I can affirm that.

    Once the Gospel has been received…I think you go right to the Sermon on the Mount to understand where you go from there.

  174. Steve, did you ever read Grasping God’s Word by Duvall and Hays? I had it as a hermeneutic text book a couple of years ago. They teach a similar method that you are presenting, within the imagery of building a bridge. It’s very good. Probably one of my favorite text books, really.

  175. Look, the entire new testament is full of instructions for how Christians are to behave. You can chop it up into Law / Gospel if you like, but there is still a prescribed way that Christians are supposed to live.

  176. Is the Sermon on the Mount going to explain salvation, or by living it are we going to be saved?

    No way.

    Its not that the Sermon on the Mount is less important, it just doesn’t point the way of salvation. the Cross does though.

    MLJ was teaching Gal 6:14 when he preached 9 sermons that make up his book.

  177. The sermon is not the way to salvation. The One who preached it is.

    I’m not sure that there is such a big gap between faith and works, like we often portray.

  178. I perceived where MLD was going with his questions and I regret that he’s brought up some things that really should be addressed as we get to them in the Gospel. However, since we’ve gone down this path, let’s see if we can agree on the following:

    (1) Jesus intensified the Law in the Sermon on the Mount (“Sermon”). He also intensified what level of righteousness the Law requires, if one is to be righteous before God. So, we can ask, why? Why would the Rabbi who has the easy yoke, the Rabbi who will not break the reed, do that?

    (2) Secondly, we should acknowledge that the Sermon reflects God’s eternal, unchanging will, according to which man is to conduct his life. This is who God is, who Jesus is.

    (3) And this is from Matthew’s Gospel, “For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Jesus’ ministry appears to be calling sinners, saving sinners. So, how to we reconcile these 3 points? How does Jesus convert the righteous to being sinners?

  179. I don’t have my notes here at work and I really hate jumping 5 chapters ahead, )which is probably 10 weeks from now), but I don’t think that the SoM is an action plan for the Christian. I think it is an attitude developed through a lifetime of being a Christian and maybe, perhaps on your deathbed you get a glimpse of it in your own life. When Luther, on his deathbed is supposed to have said ““We are all beggars. This is true.” – I think that was his moment of a SoM realization. Before that, I don’t know we are capable.

    But it should be our view of others.

    I think you would spiritually kill a new believer if the first thing you turned him too was the SoM and said “go home and work on this.”

  180. Jean,
    “I perceived where MLD was going with his questions and I regret that he’s brought up some things that really should be addressed as we get to them in the Gospel.”

    I didn’t bring it up

  181. Good stuff here…but lets wait for the right chapter to come up or we’ll lose where we’re at.

  182. Jones lived in an era where there was really a push to make Christianity ONLY about an ethic in some circles and not the cross and resurrection miracle and man’s need for salvation.

    I’m studying some secular stuff on the rise and influence of evolution in the late 19th and early-mid 20th centuries and that reality of the day is pretty significant.

    I think we can filter Jones’ remarks quoted through that timeframe for this discussion.

  183. Josh and Papias both sound like they might agree with my take about the whole “plowing the rocky ground” aspect of the Sermon. Saying somewhat the same thing but differently

    No, Josh, I don’t know that particular book, but I think the principle is essential in Bible study and teaching.

    I’ll defer more until we get to ch 5 as requested.

  184. Yes, Steve. I liked that comment a lot. When I was starting our youth ministry last fall and signing up adults to help, I did a little study of the soils with them.

    But THAT will have to wait til Chapter 13 🙂

  185. You’d love that book though. They relate the whole thing to building a bridge. First you visit the town. (Learn about the original audience) Then you measure the width of the river ( the differences between the original audience and us)…etc.

  186. Book sounds good, Josh.

    So I’m finishing some prep for 2 Kings 1 & 2 – We have two different situations where God’s man (once with Elijah, once with Elisha) call down death on people who disrespect them.

    Provides a great example to teach on the holiness of God. The fear of the Lord, set in the context of the pagan rivalry going on in that day. I happen to think speaking about the true nature of the true and living God is always “Christian”

    But it also provides a great contrast in the life of the Christian in this dispensation. Where we do not call fire on our enemies (remember the disciples made that mistake). Where instead we are told by our Lord that we are blessed when persecuted for His sake. In fact, to expect it. We are to bless our enemies.

    So we learn about God, we learn about Jesus and His teachings, we learn how we are to live out Jesus’ teachings in our lives.

    Likewise, the use of “man of God” in the Kings books was in reference to the prophets – but once more a reminder that the term applies to any follower of Christ today. Using 1 Tim 6 as an example of Paul telling Timothy (and us) what a man of God should pursue in life. Again, more application to put into practice in our lives, straight from the Scripture.

    I think it will most definitely be a “Christian Bible study” and quite different than one any Jewish rabbi might teach on the same 2 chapters of 2 Kings.

    But I am not “finding” and “fitting” Jesus directly into the text. Elijah is not Jesus. Elisha is not Jesus. The school of the prophets are not Jesus. The fire is not Jesus. The two bears are not Jesus. Nor the Jordan river. Certainly the pagan king. mocking youths, and crispy soldiers are not Jesus.

    I believe it will be edifying, with the added benefit that people who probably do scratch their head over the deaths in those chapters will have a better understanding of possibly why such events took place.

  187. Steve,
    I agree with your method – you eisegete just like the rest of us – you bring outside material into the text – you bring the NT insight into a closed book.

    I guess here is the thing when we play “where’s Jesus in this book” – In the book of Esther – God is not mentioned and to the untrained eye is not present. But is he there? Could you even teach about God from the Book of Esther?

    btw, I think we should all go listen to a Rabbi teach on the Old Testament – they are few and far between in America.

  188. Well, you see why eventually people leave the threads…..

    first a silly comment that not only does not accurately reflect what I said but implies a silly definition of eisegesis that nobody certainly could ever affirm. Interpreting Scripture with Scripture is not eisegesis and whoever thinks of the Bible as a collection of 66 “closed books” anyway? How is that even worthy of debating, but since it was included with an implication “yeah, just like the rest of us” even though “the rest of us” have been arguing a totally different thing all thread.

    To recap, evangelicals who teach the OT are not giving Christian sermons like Lutherans who find Christ hidden in the passage. And any evangelical who does give a Christian message out of the OT is no different than “the rest of” the Lutherans – whether the evangelical finds Jesus hiding in the forest somewhere or not.

    then, quick dismissal, and a total change of subject – so now the topic is Esther??

    Should have stuck with my #123.

    Well, hopefully it made a point to someone reading.

  189. You must be reading a different post than I wrote – I said I agreed with your method and I pointed out that you need to bring God in where he may not be in the text but you know he is really there (Esther).

    I have said nothing to support Lutheran preaching in fact I made the point that the pastor could totally butcher the sermon and the liturgy would help the pewsters survive.

  190. And one other thing – since when is the OT not a collection of closed books without the insight of the NT?

  191. Hey guys. When Jesus declared “Be perfect as God the Father is perfect” in the Sermon on the Mount, do you think that has to do with our behavior? As in, it is His directive to us to be perfect? If not, then that would give us insight to the end point or the purpose of His sermon.

  192. ..the Sermon on the Mount is both beautiful and agonizing. No?

  193. The teaching of this book came up in discussion. Here is a sample of a Christian teaching of that OT book:

    “Starting with Moses, Jesus teaches his disciples that all the Old Testament Scriptures are about the sufferings and glory of Christ (Luke 24:27). That hermeneutical rule is more obviously applicable to some passages than to others, but there is no problem applying it to 2 kgs. 2. Elijah is a type of John the Baptist (citations omitted), and the transition from Elijah to Elisha foreshadows the succession from John to Jesus. Like John, Elijah is a lone voice in the wilderness, but Elisha is surrounded by disciples. Jesus’s ministry is a ministry of life-giving miracles—cleansing lepers, raising dead sons and restoring them to their mothers, relieving distress. Similarly, Elisha raises the dead (citation omitted), provides a meal for one hundred men from twenty loaves of barley bread (citation omitted), cleanses a leper (citation omitted). On the surface of things, Elisha is a type of Jesus.

    But the typology works another way as well: Elijah is a type of Jesus himself, and Elisha of the disciples who continued Jesus’s ministry after his ascension. Elisha first appears plowing a field, but he leaves home and family (citation omitted) like the disciples of Jesus who leave their fishing boats and tax booths to follow him. At the beginning of [citation omitted], Elisha doggedly follows his master, refusing to stay behind, until Elijah is taken from him in a whirlwind. Because he follows Elijah, Elisha becomes like his master, and after Elijah departs he immediately begins to replicate his ministry. Having received the promised double portion of Elijah’s spirit, Elisha is a “reincarnation” (or “reanimation”) of Elijah, as the church is the body of Christ in the Spirit of Jesus. The sons of the prophets recognize the family resemblance between Elisha and his predecessor, just as the Jews perceive the courage of Peter and the apostles and
    remember they have been with Jesus (citation omitted).” – Peter J. Leithart, Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible [Books omitted]

    This is how Jesus and the apostles thought the OT should be taught by Christian teachers. You may not always agree that a teacher taught Jesus correctly from a text, but not teaching Jesus at all is the greater malpractice.

  194. Good point at #193.

  195. It sure is. 🙂

  196. Who is perfect? Only Christ is perfect. We are to strive to become like Him.

  197. Jesus commands us to be perfect. So if that is His commandment, when I do not keep it, then I have transgressed. Perfection of mind, body, and soul. That is something which at any moment of any day is being violated. Sometimes it is conscience and sometimes it is not. Therefore, I make a conscience choice to not view my works as the means to righteousness but to place my trust only in His finished work. From that, I can than inch toward that powerful command to “be perfect”.

  198. …Jesus does not say, “Strive to be perfect”. He says, “Be ye perfect”.

  199. #199, amen!

  200. We are also commanded love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
    I don’t think I have ever done that one either – so Costco, are you telling me that God would actually command me to do something I am incapable of doing? If so, no wonder my confession is “I a poor miserable sinner”

  201. MLD…..Yes! And Holy is the LORD.

  202. Old Covenant: Love God with all your heart.

    New Covenant: Jesus loves you through a broken heart.

  203. that’s pretty cool – I may steal that and use it some day 🙂

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