Hosea 13:14

Hosea 13:14 Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol?
Shall I redeem them from death?
O Death, where are your thorns?
O Sheol, where is your sting?
Compassion will be hidden from My sight.

Who was held by the power of Sheol?  Everyone.

Who needed redemption from death?  Everyone.

Thus when God removed the thorns from death, and the sting from Sheol, it was for the benefit of…everyone.

The New Testament gives more detail about this operation of God:

Hebrews 2:14 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
Heb 2:15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.

That is, it was Jesus our Lord who removed the thorns from death and the sting from Sheol.  For this reason, He is rightly called “the author of life” (Acts 3:15 NIV and ESV).

As Satan was the author of death, so Jesus is the author of life out of death.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.  

The Bible Is a Book for Jews at Heart

Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh.
Romans 2:29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

With the coming of the kingdom of God, the age-old distinction between Jew and  Gentile was erased.  A new creation came.  In this new creation, your physical descent matters not.  What matters is your heart before God.

God has always looked at the human heart, but in this new age of the kingdom of God heart matters more than ever.  It’s no longer the physical descendants of Abraham who are heirs of the promises and who are assigned the task of showing God’s light in the world.  Rather it’s those who through their love for God have proven themselves in God’s sight to be worthy spiritual descendants of Abraham.  These are “the true Jews” in our day.

Thus the Jewish people which produced the Bible, and about which we read in the Bible, were a type (i.e. a foreshadowing) of the people to come who would bear faithful witness to the one true God.  This “people to come” would not be Jews outwardly, but rather they would be Jew inwardly.  Their circumcision would be of the heart by the Spirit.  and they would seek praise only from God and not from men.

If you aspire to be this kind of Jew, it is a good thing you desire.  These are the true people of God in our day.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.  

Theophilus – a Lover of God

The books of Luke and Acts are each addressed to an individual named “Theophilus.”  You might recognize the two Greek root words which form it.  “Theos,” which is the word for God; and “philos” which is the word for love.  Thus, Theophilus is a way of saying “a lover of God.”

As the books of Luke and Acts were written to “a lover of God,” so the entirety of the Bible is written to the lovers of God.  The apostle Paul once used the expression “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:4).  And, indeed, lovers of pleasure do not seem to get much out of the Bible, whereas lovers of God seem to thrive on it.

Cultivate your love for God and your appreciation of the Bible will grow.  Jesus identified “love for God” as the greatest commandment for those who followed Him.  It only makes sense that following that command would cause us to understand the Bible better:

Psalm 111:10 …A good understanding have all those who do His commandments…

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.  

The Bible Is a Book for People Who Love God

You don’t have to love God to read the Bible, but you do have to love God to properly appreciate it.

The Bible is the story of Jesus Christ.  You will either be attracted to him or you will be repelled by him. He is a polarizing figure.  That polarization can be seen in the Bible itself for while some of his contemporaries adored Him, others crucified Him.  Thus it cannot be said that “all men spoke well of him” (Luke 6:26).

You can look around the people you know today and see that some consider the words of the Bible to be life itself.  Others would rather read any book than to read the Bible.  Thus you can see that the polarization continues.

There’s no sense forcing the Bible on people who don’t appreciate Jesus.  Jesus and the Bible spring from the same source. We can even say that the only Jesus we can know today is from the Bible, for it’s not as if the Romans or the Greeks were writing his life story or his teachings.  The only people today who say they like Jesus but not the Bible are people who like a Jesus of their own imagination.  That sort of Jesus is not rooted in history or reality.

As Jesus said:

Matthew 7:6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Therefore, don’t expect “the holy Bible” to be appreciated by such people.

Those who love their Creator, however, will discern the Bible as the language of love – a love letter from God to man.  They will be able to discern the Bible’s intentions, even if haltingly.  Any new language takes time to learn.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.  

Zephaniah 3:12 – The Humble and Lowly People

Zephaniah 3:12 “But I will leave among you
A humble and lowly people,
And they will take refuge in the name of the LORD.

Who would these people be but the those conformed to the image of the Son, for He Himself said:

Matthew 11:29 … I am gentle and humble in heart…

Mustn’t His people be like Him?

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.  

Haggai 2:9

Haggai 2:9 ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts…

This scripture was fulfilled the New Testament church, which was the body of Christ bearing witness to the whole world of the great work of redemption performed by God through Christ.  This glory was greater than all the glory of Israel in the days of David and Solomon by just so much as spiritual glory is eternal and therefore greater and infinitely more enduring than any earthly glory.

Thus the last days of Israel were more glorious than her first days.  Let me say that again: Thus the last days of Israel through Messiah Jesus were more glorious than her first days through Abraham and Moses, David and Solomon.

As Jesus Himself said, “Something greater than Solomon or the temple” was present in Him (Matthew 12:6, 42).

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.  

Deuteronomy 33:3 – Jesus as the Lord

Deuteronomy 33:3
…All Your holy ones are in Your hand,
And they followed in Your steps…

Note how Jesus echoes these words of Moses:

John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
John 10:28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.

Note also that while Moses was speaking of God, Jesus was speaking of Himself.

Thus Jesus fulfills these words of Moses, and for this reason Jesus said to those Jews who resisted Him:

John 5:46 “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me.
John 5:47 “But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

And even all the Scriptures are about Jesus our Lord.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Psalm 78 as a Microcosm of the Bible

Psalm 78 is a microcosm of the entire Bible in that it was written in ancient times, chronicling the works of the Lord in the face of the faithlessness of man, that all succeeding generations might learn from this written record that God is good and that there reward in obeying Him.

Note the first eight verses of the psalm which are a preamble to the chronicle that follows.  Note especially verses 4, 5, and 6 which explicitly mention the generations to come and their privilege to learn from the mistakes of their ancestors.

Let us therefore learn from Psalm 78 – and from the entirety of the Bible as well – that we would do well to imitate and reciprocate the faithfulness of God.  Let us imitate the things our fathers did right, and shun the things our fathers did wrong.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Psalm 78:5 – He Appointed a Law in Israel

Psalm 78:5 ..He…appointed a law in Israel…

Who is He?  Jesus our Lord.  What law did He appoint in Israel?  The law of love.  (If you’re seeking the kingdom of God, this is the law of that kingdom.)

The Old Testament – including, of course, the Psalms – speaks of Christ.  (The Old Testament (that is, the Hebrew Bible) Is About Jesus Christ)

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Psalm 78:5 – He Established a Testimony in Jacob

Psalm 78:5 For He established a testimony in Jacob…

We have the Scriptures – that is, the Old and New Testaments.  These Scriptures are the product of ancient Israel – more specifically, the products of its prophets and apostles.  The Lord’s prophets produced the documents we call the Old Testament and His apostles produced the documents we call the New Testament.

These Scriptures testify to the works of God, most especially His great work through Jesus Christ.  This testimony was rendered solemnly and soberly by the prophets and apostles who shed their blood in faithfulness to the word of the Lord.

As Jesus said, “Salvation is from the Jews”  (John 4:22), and He Himself shed His own blood bearing witness to the testimony of these prophets and apostles (John 17:20; 18:37).  It is the history of salvation, and it can never be changed.

This testimony of ancient Israel (Jacob) is firmly established.  It cannot and will not change.  It is an inheritance for all modernity to treasure and enjoy.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.

Ezekiel 21:2 – Seeing Jesus

Ezekiel 21:2 “Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem, and speak against the sanctuaries and prophesy against the land of Israel;

Jesus referred to Himself often as “the Son of Man.”  In this scripture the term originally addressed Ezekiel, but it’s obvious to us now that it spoke prophetically of Jesus.  That is, Ezekiel was acting as a type of Jesus.

Indeed Luke evokes the memory of Ezekiel’s words when He describes Jesus’ march on Jerusalem.

Luke 9:51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,  (King James Version)

And when He got there, Jesus had to lament:

Matthew 23:37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.

The leaders of Jerusalem had apparently learned nothing from the history of their own city.

Jesus was thus the consummate “son of man” in the consummate prophetic role of warning about judgment to come.  That judgment certainly came – in 70 A.D.  That is, His words of warning were fulfilled within the generation of those who heard Him uttter them.

Jesus is the Son of Man.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.

Seeing Jesus in Judges 5:31

Judges 5:31 “Thus let all Your enemies perish, O LORD;
But let those who love Him be like the rising of the sun in its might.”…

Who showed more love for God than Jesus?  (Asked another way, who did a better job of obeying the greatest commandment?)

And who of His enemies did not perish?  (Was not Jerusalem itself destroyed in 70 AD?)

And who rose like the sun in its might?  (Is He not called “the Sun of Righteousness” who rose?)

Jesus our Lord is the one who loved God with all His heart and soul and mind and strength, and who rose, and whose enemies have perished.

As He loved the Lord His God, let us love Him – the Lord our God.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Seeing Jesus in 1 Samuel 20:31

1 Samuel 20:31 “For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established.

King Saul is speaking these words to his son Jonathan about David (the son of Jesse).  It reminds us of the parable Jesus told in which the vine-growers realized how they could keep from losing control of the vineyard:

Matthew 21:38 …’This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’

Thus in 1 Samuel 20:31 Saul is analogous to Satan, Jonathan is analogous to the chief priests and elders to whom Jesus was addressing the parable, and David is analogous to Jesus.

There is the heir according to the flesh and the heir according to the spirit.  It is the heir according to the spirit who will prevail because God will see that this is the outcome.  (See Galatians 4:21-31 for a similar example.)

The pattern is that sinful man resists and fights against God’s choice.  However, resistance is futile.  Resisting appears to work in the flesh, but it is heaven that ultimately rules.  The most notable example of this is that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified in the flesh but raised to eternal kingship in the spirit.  Fleshly authority reigned over Him only for a moment, while His vindication, by contrast, was eternally permanent.

It turned out that Jonathan was wiser than his father.  May we similarly be wiser than Satan.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

2 Chronicles 16:9 – Seeing Jesus

2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His…”

Did God strongly support Jesus?  Absolutely!  In fact, God did more miracles through Jesus of Nazareth than through any other human being who ever lived.  Therefore, when it comes to “strongly supporting,” God outdid Himself when it came to Jesus.  We may therefore say that Jesus must have given His heart completely to God in a way that no one before Him ever had.

In other words, this verse is teaching us – among other things – cause and effect.  The heart given to God is the cause; the response of God on behalf of the individual is the effect.

If you would that God do more through your life, release more of your heart to Him.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Sometimes the Ignorant Know More Than the Learned

When the crowds took Jesus seriously, the Pharisees complained that it was because the crowd did not know Moses’ law:

John 7:49 “But this crowd which does not know the Law is accursed.”

Apparently, however, these Jewish leaders had never read – or at least never taken to heart – what Jeremiah had written centuries before:

Jeremiah 2:8 “The priests did not say, ‘Where is the LORD?’
And those who handle the law did not know Me;
The rulers also transgressed against Me,
And the prophets prophesied by Baal
And walked after things that did not profit.

Thus it was the leaders who did not know the law, and this was because they did not seek to know the Lawgiver.  Thus people in the unlearned crowd could actually know more than they.  For example, one man blind from birth had been given his sight by Jesus.  The religious leaders later cornered him and pressed him to acknowledge that they were right about Jesus being a sinner.

John 9:25 He then answered, “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”

You don’t get more pragmatic that that.  The man went on to say:

John 9:32 “Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind.
John 9:33 “If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.”

In spite of the common sense coming out of this man, the Pharisees rejected him as well as his point of view – a grown man who everyone knew had just been healed of a blindness that had afflicted him from his birth!

John 9:34 They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?” So they put him out.

Thus the learned remained ignorant of Jesus while the unlearned became knowledgeable about Him.  And so it is today.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

“Where Did This Man Get This Wisdom?”

After traveling in ministry for some time, Jesus came to His hometown, where people asked:

Matthew 13:54 …”Where did this man get this wisdom…?

They did not know that He got His wisdom from the same Scriptures to which they pledged allegiance.  It seems, however, that He must have given those Scriptures more heed than they did.

It’s not how much of the Scripture we know that counts; it’s how much we believe and do.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.  

Ezra 7:10 – Not Short-Circuiting the Wiring Sequence of God

Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.

In this verse, the proper sequence God would have us follow is presented as:

  1. Study the law of the Lord
  2. Practice it.
  3. Teach it.

Jesus had to point out that the scribes and Pharisees of His day created a short-circuit (electricians tell me this is not a good thing) in this sequence by jumping over the second step.  Thus Jesus said of them [emphasis added]:

Matthew 23:3 …they say things and do not do them.

(Some short-cuts are just not worth it…and can actually be quite harmful.)

Thus Jesus said to those who would follow Him [emphasis added]:

Matthew 5:19 “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Let us therefore imitate Jesus by only executing step three on subjects where we are already executing step two.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.  

Matthew 7:6 – Peter Remembered What Jesus Taught

This statement is taken from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount:

Matthew 7:6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Peter echoes its thoughts about “dogs” and “pigs” in his second letter:

2 Peter 2:22 It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”

In echoing the idea, Peter quotes Proverbs 26:11, which could very well have been Jesus’ source as well.

These “dogs” and “pigs” are, as Peter says earlier in his letter, the sort of people who act like “unreasoning animals” (2 Peter 2:12).  Jesus made clear, and Peter repeats the point, that such people do not appreciate “holy” ideas.  Neither do they appreciate those who offer them the holy ideas.

Therefore, if you find someone barking or squealing at your presentation of Christ, it’s best to move on.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.  (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Who Has Loved His Appearing?

In this portion of what was perhaps the final letter written by the apostle Paul, he blesses those who have loved the appearing of Jesus Christ:

2 Timothy 4:8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

The One of whom Paul spoke appeared, of course, as Jesus of Nazareth – humble and gentle, yet regal in character and zealous for truth.  He cared for the uncared for, and quietly stood firm against lies.

This was no less than God manifested in the flesh.  Who could not love such an appearing?

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.  

How Is It That All Know God?

Jeremiah prophesied for God when he wrote:

Jeremiah 31:34 …”they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD…

How could all know Him?  Because He would walk before us in the earth…as Jesus of Nazareth.

By coming out from the shadows and taking upon Himself human flesh, God made sure that He would not merely be the province of those who prayed, or those who sought visions, or those who searched their dreams looking for God.  He would live a life that anyone could see.  And in so doing, He would demonstrate that His love was impervious to rejection – that while He would judge us for our sins, He would deliver us from them as well.

Who can say he does not know God after Jesus of Nazareth has walked the earth?

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.  

The Reverberations of the Life of Jesus of Nazareth Are Continuing Today and Will Never Cease

Jesus lived in an age without television, books, or Internet.  He did not hold any high earthly office.  He had no organization to sponsor Him.  He went to his death penniless and humiliated.  Once he was killed and buried by His opponents, His few remaining followers gave in to defeat and discouragement.  How in the world did Jesus ever become famous?

Yet he did become famous…and his fame is still increasing almost two thousand years later!  It will never stop increasing, for more than anyone else who ever lived, He is worthy of His reputation.

Jesus of Nazareth was the manifestation of God in the earth.  That is the reason the reverberations of His earthly life have not stopped…and won’t stop.  You can either listen to those reverberations or muffle them.  Either way, they are there.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.  

The Manifestation of God

Jesus of Nazareth was the manifestation of God in the time-space continuum of which we are a part – God manifested in the flesh, God revealing Himself to us.

No vision, no dream, no utterance of a prophet could ever tell us as much about our Creator as what He Himself told us when He came among us and lived as we live (that is. tempted… but sinless).

Thus the letter to the Hebrews would say:

Hebrews 1:1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,
Hebrews 1:2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son…

Are we listening to Him?

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.  

Who Was the “Me” of Genesis 17:1?

Genesis 17:1 …”Walk before Me, and be blameless.”

These are words God spoke to Abraham.  Only when Jesus Christ lived His life and died His death, however, could Abraham – or anyone else – have truly known the “Me” of that command.

Only when we see the love that continued to come forth from Jesus in the face of utterly unwarranted and vile rejection can we begin to appreciate just how much the word love characterizes the nature of God – so much so that our understanding of love is redefined as much as is our understanding of God’s nature.  Neither idea will ever be the same.

Jesus Christ reveals the “Me” that is our Creator.  We could never have imagined His true nature.  We would never have dared imagine it.  He had to demonstrate it to us if we were ever to perceive it.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.  

Jesus in Deuteronomy 17:15

Deuteronomy 17:15 you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses, one from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your countryman.

God was saving place for Jesus, eh?

In fact, God has set Jesus “over” all.  That’s what being “raised from the dead” (that is, “over”) to “the right hand of God” (that is, “all”) means.

To the Jews, this verse meant that their king had to be a Jew…and He was.  But to the human race it meant that he had to be a human being…and he was (1 Timothy 2:5).  But He was also more than a human being.  He was God Himself.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.  

Jesus in Psalm 68:18

Psalm 68:18 You have ascended on high, You have led captive Your captives;
You have received gifts among men…

The apostle Paul made clear that these words applied to the risen Christ when he wrote:

Ephesians 4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
Ephesians 4:8 Therefore it says,
“WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH,
HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES,
AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.”
Ephesians 4:9 (Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth?
Ephesians 4:10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.)

Jesus is the one who “ascended on high.”  He leads captive the captives of death, for all were in Sheol (Hades) before He released them.  (He was “the Breaker” who went up before them.)  Therefore, as the King James Version says, “He led captivity captive, ” just as Abram and David had done before Him.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.  (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Psalm 68:5

Psalm 68:5 A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows,
Is God in His holy habitation.

How is Jesus “a father of the fatherless?”  Did He not promise:

John 14:18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

And how is He “a judge for the widows?”  Was it not said:

Acts 10:42 “And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead.

And thus James could remind in his letter about the needs of orphans and widows (1:27) and later warn about the coming of the Judge who would deliver them:

James 5:9 Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.

Truly the Lord Jesus is “a father to the fatherless and a judge for the widows.”

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.  

Psalm 68:1

Psalm 68:1 Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered,
And let those who hate Him flee before Him.

This scripture was fulfilled when Jesus rose from the dead.

Those who hate Him are still fleeing before Him.  Only the righteous seek His presence.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Psalm 68:20

Psalm 68:20 God is to us a God of deliverances;
And to GOD the Lord belong escapes from death.

Jesus escaped from death.  And because He did, everyone else escapes it by His hand.  Thus this scripture is fulfilled in Jesus Christ!

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.  

Psalm 61:6

Psalm 61:6 You will prolong the king’s life;
His years will be as many generations.

Jesus was mockingly crucified as “King of the Jews” (Matthew 27:29, 37).  Having been given up for dead, and buried, God raised Him from the dead according to promise.  When raised from the dead, Jesus was elevated to everlasting life.  That is, He is never to die again (Romans 6:9).  Has God not thus “prolonged the king’s life?”  Are this king’s years not “as many generations?”

Truly, God has done “exceeding abundantly beyond all we could have asked or thought” (Ephesians 3:20) in our Lord Jesus Christ.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Isaiah 51:2 Again

Isaiah 51:2 “Look to Abraham your father
And to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain;
When he was but one I called him,
Then I blessed him and multiplied him.”

In this passage, Abraham is a type of our wonderful Lord Jesus Christ.  For as Abraham was one when called, so also Jesus was one when called.  And just as many came from Abraham, many more came from Christ.

And who was Sarah representing in this verse but the apostles of Christ and the New Testament church who bore so much pain that we might learn of Christ (John 17:20).  So much pain that she died in childbirth.    That generation bore more pain for God than any other (Matthew 24:21-22).

For more on this verse, see this prior post on it.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.  

Isaiah 51:1

Isaiah 51:1 “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness,
Who seek the LORD:
Look to the rock from which you were hewn
And to the quarry from which you were dug.

Do you pursue righteousness?  If so, read on.

If you seek the Lord, you must pursue righteousness because that is what He cares about.  If you pursue righteousness, you must seek the Lord for He is the source of all righteousness.  You cannot truly do one without doing the other.

As Jesus said:

Matt 6:33 “…seek first His kingdom and His righteousness…”

And who is “the rock from which you were hewn?”  Paul tells us:

1 Corinthians 10:4 …the rock was Christ.

Peter concurs by quoting Isaiah 8:14, and identifying Jesus as:

1 Peter 2:8 …”A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE”

Let us never forget this rock from which we came, and let us always “look to the rock”:

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus…  [King James Version]

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.  (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them stand out in the text.)