John 7:46

John 7:46 The officers answered, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.”

How profoundly true are these words!  It was true then.  And it’s true today.

Look for a human being whose rhetoric matches that of Jesus.  No one comes close!

Therefore, when you pray, don’t expect Him to speak the way you do, or the way that anyone else does.  But whatever He says to you, do it! (John 2:5; Luke 6:46)

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Why do people who accept Jesus Christ descend to lesser themes in the Bible?

Jesus Christ is the main point of the Bible.  This wasn’t made clear to the Jews, of course, until He came.  Yet once He did come, and demonstrate that everything about the Scriptures was intended to bear ultimate witness to Him, why do those who follow Him seek to use the Bible for other purposes?

For example, why study the history of the Old Testament if it doesn’t enrich your understanding of Christ?  Why try rummage through the Law of Moses to look for laws to obey if you can’t understand them according to Christ’s interpretation of them?  Why study biblical prophesy if you’re not going to relate it directly to the One to whom all prophecy points?

The Bible is about Jesus Christ.  Period.  Let us never study it except in the light of Him.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.

Jesus in Isaiah 45:22

Isaiah 45:22 “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth;
For I am God, and there is no other.

Is Jesus not the one to whom we should turn?  Yes; see Hebrews 12:2.  Is He not available to us from any place on earth we happen to be?  Yes; see Romans 10:12.

He is God, and there is no other.

To whom else can we turn?  (Psalm 73:25).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Jesus in Isaiah 60:1

Isaiah 60:1 “Arise, shine; for your light has come,
And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.

Who is the light but Jesus?  He is the light of the world!

And when has the glory of the Lord risen upon us but when He rose from the dead!  And His resurrection is eternal, for He is never to die again.

Let us therefore glory in Him who has risen for our good and who shines forever as our light!

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

1 Peter 3:21 Shows the Necessity of Christ for the Redemption of Conscience

…an appeal to God for a good conscience – through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  –  1 Peter 3:21

Only in Christ can the human conscience be redeemed.  For only in Christ is the true nature of God fully revealed.

Christ suffered crucifixion…and was raised to eternal glory.  Love conquers all things.

Why didn’t God just tell humanity to walk according to conscience and not go through with Messiah and His cross?  Because only through Messiah and His cross could the human conscience be properly calibrated to God.  Only in Christ can we truly see the love of God.  No words could have explained it to the point that we would understand and accept.  God had to demonstrate His love toward us.  We had to see His love in action in order to believe it.

Let your conscience be redeemed through connection to Jesus Christ our Lord.  Without Him as its standard, conscience can never operate in full godliness.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Jeremiah 45:5 in the Day of the Lord

Jeremiah 45:5 ‘But you, are you seeking great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I am going to bring disaster on all flesh,’ declares the LORD, ‘but I will give your life to you as booty in all the places where you may go.'”

These words that Jeremiah spoke to Baruch on behalf of the Lord are relevant to us today – for we live in the day of the Lord.  The “disaster on all flesh” speaks of the judgment that is upon the earth.  Our “life” speaks to us of the grace the Lord gives us in the midst of this judgment – we who look to Him and live righteously for His sake.

Christ is our Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7).  Thus the “disaster on all flesh” passes over us as we enjoy fellowship with the Lamb of God.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Jesus in Haggai 1:12

Haggai 1:12 …And the people showed reverence for the LORD.

These words were fulfilled in Acts through Revelation.  That is, God raised Jesus from the dead and the people of God – the true people of God – showed Him reverence.  That includes Peter and James and John and Mary and Paul and Apollos and many, many others.

The saints of the New Testament showed reverence for the Lord.  And because they did, we have the New Testament, and through it the knowledge of God’s all-encompassing work through Jesus Christ.

Let us walk in the footsteps of the New Testament church by showing reverence for the Lord in our generation!  (A common biblical exhortation to show reverence for the Lord is the expression “Fear the Lord!”)

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Jesus in Haggai 1:13

Haggai 1:13 …”I am with you,” declares the LORD.

Who is saying this but Jesus Christ our Lord?  And when He says “I am with you,” He means it in the most significant and relevant way possible.  That is, He became one of us.  He became a human being and experienced life as we experience it.  Only He lived it without sin.  None of the rest of us can say that.

This is Immanuel: God with us:

Matthew 1:23 “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.”

What the Lord Jesus declares is eternally true.  He is with us.  Always!

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: Matthew 1:23 is referring to Isaiah 7:14; 8:10; 9:6.)

Jesus in Obadiah 1:15

Obadiah 1:15 “For the day of the LORD draws near on all the nations.
As you have done, it will be done to you.
Your dealings will return on your own head.

Jesus is the Lord and this is His day.  And He is judging us according to our ways.

As we do, so it shall be done to us.  Therefore, let us fear Him and turn away from evil.

Proverbs 3:7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Jesus in Zechariah 13:6

Zechariah 13:6 “And one will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will say, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’

Jesus may have been crucified by Roman authorities, but it was His friends – His own countrymen – who turned Him over to the Romans.  Thus the apostle John says:

John 1:11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.

“Did not receive Him”?  That’s putting it mildly.

He was rejected by the nation that had the most reason to accept Him.  That’s how it will be for all those who walk in His steps.  So, do not be surprised when it happens to you.  And, if it does, love those who oppose you as He loved those who opposed Him.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Zechariah 14:17

Zechariah 14:17 And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them.

Jesus sent His apostles into the world…to the Jews first.  The King was Jesus of Nazareth, He who was crucified with the sign “King of the Jews” hung above His head.  He was made Lord of all (Acts 10:36) – thus He was “Lord of hosts.”

Gifts of the Holy Spirit were poured out like rain (Acts 2:17; Hebrews 6:7-9) on those who came to the Jerusalem above (Galatians 4:26).

Let us rejoice in this King…the One who reigns forever and ever!

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Jesus in Malachi 3:3

Malachi 3:3 “He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness.

This is our Jesus…seated in glory.  His eyes are like – well, let me have the apostle say it:

Revelation 1:14 …His eyes were like a flame of fire.

These eyes see into the deepest parts of our soul.  And if we remain mindful of these eyes, they will purge the evil from our hearts, for we only want to think and be motivated by what pleases Him.  Thus will we be purified for Him.  As Paul wrote to Titus:

Titus 2:14 [Christ] gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

Thus is Jesus Christ our Lord the fulfillment of what God promised through the prophet Malachi in Malachi 3:3.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Jesus in Ezekiel 38:1

Ezekiel 38:1 And the word of the LORD came to me saying,

Is Jesus not “the word of the Lord” to us?  See what the apostle John says about Him:

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

So, yes, Jesus is “the word” of the Lord to us.  John also said this:

1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

And so we can see that Jesus is “the word of the Lord” come to us.  And that word says:

1 Peter 1:16 …”YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”

Therefore, let us heed the word of the Lord…and be holy unto Him.

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: 1 Peter 1:16 is quoting Leviticus 11:44; 19:2; 20:7.)

This Is Not the Day of Church; It is the Day of the Lord

The day of the church was New Testament times.  We can read there the glory of that church that bore glorious witness to her Lord.  The light of that witness shines so bright that it is still enlightening us today – and will be lighting creation for all eternity.  Their witness shall never be silenced.

But they did not live in the day of the Lord.  Read their letters: they looked forward to the day of the Lord and saw themselves as on the eve of it.  That day came as that generation was passing away.  And since it is an eternal day, it burns as brightly for us.

The members of the New Testament church would be the first to tell you; relinquish your grasp of the church that you might fully grasp the Lord.  For this is His day!

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

The Feast of Booths

The first biblical reference to booths is found here:

Genesis 33:17 Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built for himself a house and made booths for his livestock; therefore the place is named Succoth.

Moses expanded this idea into a time of celebration for Israel:

Leviticus 23:34 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘On the fifteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to the LORD.

Booths were temporary housing which foreshadowed the church of saints first drawn to the resurrected Christ that we see in the New Testament.

It was not God’s intent that Israel live indefinitely in booths.  Neither was it His intent that the New Testament church go on indefinitely.  It was only to house the believing until the kingdom of God came.  And that was to happen, of course, before the generation of Jesus’ contemporaries had all passed away (Matthew 10:23; 16:28; 24:34).  (If you are in doubt, see Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again.)

See also these posts:

The Feast of Temporary Housing

When Christ Was King of Israel and When He Became King of All Nations

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Jesus Was Anointed on Earth, and the Son of God in Heaven

The New Testament confession of Jesus was “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” as voiced famously by the disciple Peter in Matthew 16:16.  This confession was echoed in John 20:31.  These and other such confessions are echoes, of course, of Psalm 2 – quoted most extensively in Acts 4:25-26.

Jesus was certainly seen as anointed by God while on earth.  As Peter said:

Acts 10:38 “You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

And Jesus was seen as the Son of God most notably in His resurrection from the dead.  As Paul wrote of Him:

Romans 1:4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead…

Linking the resurrection of Jesus to Psalm 2, Paul says:

Acts 13:32 “And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers,
Acts 13:33 that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘YOU ARE MY SON; TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU.’

Thus Jesus was viewed as anointed like a prophet while on earth (Isaiah 61:1), and crowned as the Son of God in His resurrection (Psalm 110:1).  This is not to say that He could not be seen as the Son of God on earth or as anointed in heaven.  It is to say, however, that He ministered as a prophet on earth and not as a king.  He didn’t begin to reign as king until His elevation to heaven.

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 – e.g. Acts 13:33 above which is quoting Psalm 2:7.)

The Righteous Scepter of the King

The righteous scepter of the King of the kingdom of God – who is, of course, Jesus our Lord – is the life He lived on earth.

A rod is a branch that is cut off from the tree.  And, of course, Jesus was the Branch (Isaiah 4:2 and elsewhere) and He was cut off from the living (Isaiah 53:8).

Jesus lived a perfect life.  He loved everyone – even His enemies.  He turned the other cheek; He walked the extra mile.  To put it succinctly, He practiced what He preached.  That perfect life was cut short (“cut off”).

It is by this life that He measures righteousness.  If you want to be righteous, measure up to that.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Daniel 2:44

Daniel 2:44 “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.

“The days” being spoken of here are the days we read about in the New Testament, for it was in those days that the kingdom of God was established to reign eternally.

This prophecy was being given in the days of Daniel, centuries before the kingdom of God would be established.  Thus Daniel was subsequently told that the ultimate meaning of these words would be concealed until “the end time” (Daniel 12:9) – that is, what we call New Testament times.  For in New Testament times, prophecy was no longer under seal (Revelation 22:10).  The end had come.  We therefore live in the new and eternal age which was to come after “the end” to which Daniel was pointed.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Daniel 2:34

Daniel 2:34 “You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them.

Jesus – the Messiah – is “the stone” (Psalm 118:22 and elsewhere).  That it was a stone “cut without hands” is a reference to our Creator.  That is, Messiah was not the work of men; Messiah was the work of God.

Messiah’s kingdom struck down and prevailed over Satan’s kingdom of the world.  Thus the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of God through His Messiah (Revelation 11:15).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Luke 2:38

Luke 2:38 At that very moment she [i.e. Anna, an 84-year-old woman who prayed regularly in the temple] came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him [i.e. the infant Jesus, who was being presented in the temple by his parents] to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

Just as Anna spoke of Jesus to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem, so we should speak of Jesus to all those who are looking for the redemption of the earth – for it is the same Jesus who redeems them both.  First, He redeems Jerusalem, and through Jerusalem, all creation.

Let us never stop speaking of Him…even if people are dull of hearing (Hebrews 5:11).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Luke 2:32

Luke 2:32 A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”

Even in infancy, Jesus was called “a light of revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of God’s people Israel.”  Truly, this was the light of the world in the early stages of His human life.  He was the most glorious Israelite who ever lived, and He became the brightest light to the Gentiles that the Jewish people had ever given.

This infant grew up to reveal to the world what God was like, and simultaneously to reveal to humans how they should live if they wanted to please their Creator.

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.  Luke 2:32 is quoting Isaiah 42:6; 49:6.)

Genesis 24:36

Genesis 24:36 “Now Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master in her old age, and he has given him all that he has.

As Sarah bore Isaac to Abraham in her old age, so ancient Israel bore Jesus of Nazareth to God in her old age.  And as Abraham gave Isaac all that he had, so God the Father gave Jesus all that He had.  As it is written:

Matthew 11:27 “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father…

The Son is indeed “heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:1-2).  Let us therefore worship and serve Him with all of our hearts!

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Exodus 4:16

Exodus 4:16 “Moreover, he shall speak for you to the people; and he will be as a mouth for you and you will be as God to him.

In this verse, God is telling Moses to use his brother Aaron as a spokesman.  God is using the following analogy:  As God uses a prophet to speak for God, so Moses should use Aaron to speak for Moses.

I want to draw your attention to the word mouth, and how it is being used as figurative speech for spokesman.  Thus we may say that Jesus Christ is the ultimate spokesman for, or mouth of, God.

In this light, consider this verse (which is quoting Deuteronomy 8:3):

Matthew 4:4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'”

We, therefore, should heed “every word that proceeds out of…Jesus!”

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.)

The Book of Hebrews

The epistle “to the Hebrews” is a “brief word of exhortation” (Hebrews 13:22).

What is being exhorted?  That we should listen to the voice of the Son of God (see specifically Hebrews 1:1-2; 2:3; 3:7-11, 14-15; 4:7; 5:11; 8:10; 12:25 for the recurrence of this theme).  For this reason, the letter can be regarded as an exposition of, or an elaboration on, this New Testament verse:

Matthew 17:5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”

For the same reason, the letter to the Hebrews can be regarded as reinforcing this Old Testament verse as well:

Deuteronomy 18:15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.

Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, all Scripture is revealed as pointers to Him…that we might listen to Him.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

The Inadequacy of the Scriptures

Normally, we would speak of the adequacy of the Scriptures for they are the word of God.  However, is there is sense in which they are inadequate?  Yes.

Here is the sense in which the Bible is inadequate:

John 5:39 “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me;
John 5:40 and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.

The Scriptures are given to us as testimony – a faithful witness – to God.  If we do not then trust God based on what the Scriptures tell us, what good is that?

Jesus goes on to say to those Jews who professed loyalty to the Bible but rejected Jesus:

John 5:45 “Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope.
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?”

Likewise, today many profess as much loyalty to the Scriptures as those Jews did, but they reject Jesus in the Spirit just as those Jews rejected Him in the flesh.

The Spirit of Jesus is omnipresent in this world in which we live.  The purpose of the Scriptures is to make us knowledgeable of, and confident in, this reality.  If, however, we only pay lip service to that reality, then we have not allowed the Bible to fulfill its purpose in our lives…no matter how much we may claim our devotion to it.

Therefore, the Scriptures are inadequate to save us if merely profess loyalty to them rather than trust what they say.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Jesus Is the Bread for Us

John 6:31 “Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘HE GAVE THEM BREAD OUT OF HEAVEN TO EAT.'”

John 6:51 “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven;

In the light of these two verses from John, consider now this verse from Matthew:

Matthew 4:4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'”

“Every word” from God is summed up in Jesus.  In Him we find sustenance.  He is our meditation every day…all day.

Therefore:

John 6:27 “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”

The bread Jesus has given us is Himself:

Ezekiel 34:23 “Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd.

This point is, of course, the thrust of John 6.  Jesus Himself is able to meet our daily need for spiritual nourishment.  (Our physical nourishment is supplied as a byproduct.)

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.)

If You Are Going to Meditate the Word, Meditate Jesus

If you are going to meditate the word of God each day, be sure to meditate “The Word.”  (John 1:1; Revelation 19:13).  That is, be sure that you are meditating the word that is Jesus.

No line of the Bible should be read or meditated out of context.  Christ is the context.  Christ is the living word.

The words in your Bible point to Him whom you cannot see but who is nonetheless there.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Luke 1:68

Luke 1:68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people,

The Lord has indeed visited us in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.  And through the life He lived, the death He died, and the resurrection He achieved, He has truly accomplished the redemption of the people He created.

The Lord established a new heavens and new earth in which righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13).  These new heavens give us a place to go when life on earth is over.  During Old Testament days, all the dead went below to Sheol (Hades), but in the new creation there is no more such underworld.  This is the import of Revelation 21:1.  In our day, the dead all rise to heaven (the place He made for us – John 14:2).  Do not be among those who refuse to believe this great accomplishment of His:

Acts 13:40 “Therefore take heed, so that the thing spoken of in the Prophets may not come upon you:
Acts 13:41 ‘BEHOLD, YOU SCOFFERS, AND MARVEL, AND PERISH;
FOR I AM ACCOMPLISHING A WORK IN YOUR DAYS,
A WORK WHICH YOU WILL NEVER BELIEVE, THOUGH SOMEONE SHOULD DESCRIBE IT TO YOU.'”

(The capitalized words are a quotation of Habakkuk 1:5.)

Our redemption is accomplished!  Past tense.  Therefore, let us rejoice in this day that the Lord has made.  There is no need to be afraid of death.

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.)

Jeremiah 50:20

Jeremiah 50:20 ‘In those days and at that time,’ declares the LORD, ‘search will be made for the iniquity of Israel, but there will be none; and for the sins of Judah, but they will not be found; for I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.’

This verse speaks of the New Testament saints who were faithful to the end.  The angel of the Lord had promised Joseph that Mary’s child would save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).  Paul wrote that Jesus was indeed purifying a people for His own possession (Titus 2:14).  Paul also wrote that it would be “the remnant” that was saved (Rom 9:27).

The New Testament period was a time of calling faithful Jews and God-fearing Gentiles to the Savior whom God had sent.  Many were called, but few would be chosen (Matthew 22:14; 7:13-14).  For this reason, the apostles’ letters are filled with exhortations to moral rectitude (e.g. 1 Corinthians 15:34; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; 2 Peter 1:2-11).  Paul said that “in the last days difficult times would come” (2 Timothy 3:1).

This is why Jesus warned His disciples to be faithful to the end:

Matthew 24:12 “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.
Matthew 24:13 “But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

The very last of the last days were particularly difficult (Matthew 24:21).  That’s why those who were faithful through it deserved the special commendation implied by prophecies like Jeremiah 50:20.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Jeremiah 50:6

Jeremiah 50:6 “My people have become lost sheep;
Their shepherds have led them astray.
They have made them turn aside on the mountains;
They have gone along from mountain to hill
And have forgotten their resting place.

Jeremiah was prophesying of New Testament times.  God’s sheep had become lost and Jesus was sent to search for them, saying:

Matthew15:24 …”I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

This also Ezekiel prophesied:

Ezekiel 34:11 For thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.

As for a resting place for the sheep, Ezekiel also said:

Ezekiel 34:15 “I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest,” declares the Lord GOD.

Thus God took upon Himself human flesh and became the Good Shepherd who would seek the lost sheep.

The 23rd chapter of the Gospel of Matthew is Jesus’ indictment of the shepherds who “led them astray.”  In the 11th chapter of that same Gospel, Jesus spoke of the rest He would give the lost sheep:

Matthew 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.

(The capitalized portion of Matthew 11:29 above is a quotation of Jeremiah 6:16.  True and false shepherds is a prophetic theme of both Jeremiah and Ezekiel.  Of course, Jesus is the true Shepherd…and those two men looked forward to His day.)

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.)

Jeremiah 50:5

Jeremiah 50:5 “They will ask for the way to Zion, turning their faces in its direction; they will come that they may join themselves to the LORD in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten.

This is just as Isaiah had prophesied:

Isaiah 2:3 And many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
That He may teach us concerning His ways
And that we may walk in His paths.”
For the law will go forth from Zion
And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Thus, both Jeremiah and Isaiah were prophesying what would happen in the New Testament times.  New Testament days were “the last days.”  We live in the new age, which began after that.  This age in which we live is eternal.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Jeremiah 50:4

Jeremiah 50:4 “In those days and at that time,” declares the LORD, “the sons of Israel will come, both they and the sons of Judah as well; they will go along weeping as they go, and it will be the LORD their God they will seek.

This prophecy of Jeremiah’s was fulfilled in New Testament days.  That is, when we see Jews following the prophet from Nazareth, it reveals that they were seeking the one true God and living for Him.  Remember that Jesus said:

John 6:44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him…

And He also said:

John 6:37 “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.

The God of Israel was drawing His true devotees to His Son.  In pursuing the Son, these saints were coming home to the Father.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Hosea 6:7

Hosea 6:7 But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant;
There they have dealt treacherously against Me.

The Old Testament could be described as a history of human beings breaking covenants with God.  This covenant-breaking begins with Adam and is manifested on the broadest scale as described in Israel’s experience in the promised land.  Their apostasies finally led to God vanquishing them from the very land that He had vanquished other sinning nations to originally make room for Israel.

Because of these broken covenants, God took on human flesh that He might establish a perfect covenant between a perfect man and a perfect God.  God thus established both sides of the agreement.  Therefore, Jesus could say on the night before He was to give up His life in sacrifice:

Luke 22:20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.

This is the eternal covenant about which we read in the book of Hebrews:

Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord,

Because God has established both sides of this covenant, it can never be broken.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Isaiah 30:30

Isaiah 30:30 And the LORD will cause His voice of authority to be heard…

Consider the connection between the words above from the Old Testament and the words just below from the New Testament:

Matthew 7:28 …the crowds were amazed at His teaching;
Matthew 7:29 for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

He who had authority in heaven had it also on earth.  And, after His resurrection, inherited all authority that ever was or would be:

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

Let us therefore give attention to the One who speaks with this authority!

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Isaiah 30:20

Isaiah 30:20 …He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher.

God had taught His people from heaven.  Nevertheless, He gave up the privileges and comforts of heaven to live as one of us – Jesus of Nazareth by name.

Thus the one who spoke the words of Isaiah 30:20 from heaven, spoke these words from earth:

John 13:13 “You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am.

The One who spoke from heaven was the One who spoke from earth and who now, – because of His resurrection from the dead – speaks from heaven once again.

The Old Testament and New Testament are thus inexticably intertwined.

(Keep in mind always that The Old Testament (that is, the Hebrew Bible) Is About Jesus Christ.)

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Isaiah 25:9

Isaiah 25:9 And it will be said in that day,
“Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us.
This is the LORD for whom we have waited;
Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.”

This is “that day.”  That is, the descendants of Abraham may now say (and have been able to say ever since Jesus Christ accomplished the promised redemption), “This is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us.”

The promises of redemption were made

  • some 700 years before Christ to Isaiah (including this verse),
  • some 1,000 years before Christ to David, some 1,500 years before Christ to Moses,
  • some 2,000 years before Christ to Abraham,
  • and some 4,000 years before Christ to Adam and Eve.

God is patient.  And He is faithful.

The wait for the accomplishment of God’s promises was a long wait…but well worth it.  His people can truly “rejoice and be glad in His salvation” – forever.  And “forever” will be infinitely longer than the wait.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.

Isaiah 25:8

Isaiah 25:8 He will swallow up death for all time,
And the Lord GOD will wipe tears away from all faces,
And He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth;
For the LORD has spoken.

Through Jesus Christ, God “swallowed up death for all time.”  This swallowing occurred in the Second Coming of Christ when he brought in the new heavens and new earth.  The dead were raised to heaven and Sheol (Hades) was done away (Revelation 21:1).

For this reason we can all say, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21) meaning that there is no way to go but up when we die.

Having done away with death, we can now be free from the fear of death (Hebrews 2:14-15).

Humans need no longer bear the reproach of death, for our Maker has redeemed us from it.  Let us therefore live for Him!

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Deuteronomy 31:8

Deuteronomy 31:8 “The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

If we follow Christ it stands to reason that He goes before us.  Indeed, He was the forerunner (Hebrews 6:20) and we run the race that He pioneered for us (Hebrews 12:1-2).  He truly never fails us nor forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5-6).

When following Him, we are walking in His love.  Therefore, we need not “fear or be dismayed” because “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18).

Thus the key is to keep the Lord Jesus at our head:

Micah 2:13 “The breaker goes up before them;
They break out, pass through the gate and go out by it.
So their king goes on before them,
And the LORD at their head.”

Truly, The Old Testament (that is, the Hebrew Bible) Is About Jesus Christ.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Deuteronomy 31:7

Deuteronomy 31:7 Then Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall give it to them as an inheritance.

When Jesus was growing up in Nazareth we can imagine His hearing “the call of Moses” as He learned the Scriptures from His earthly parents and from the townsfolk at the synagogue.  (Remember that “Jesus” in Hebrew was “Joshua.”)  As a young Jew, He would have been taught to study and revere the Law of Moses.  For this reason, when He was asked what was the greatest commandment in the Law, He did not hesitate to give an answer.  He had spent the requisite time meditating that Law.  Therefore also He was strong and courageous when it came time to expound it.

The land to which Jesus would lead God’s people was into the new heavens and new earth.  The dead would be raised to heaven and the believing would be raised to resurrection life on earth.  This would be the fulfillment of what God had promised through Moses in Deuteronomy 18:15-18 and elsewhere.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Deuteronomy 21:22-23

Deuteronomy 21:22 “If a man has committed a sin worthy of death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree,
Deuteronomy 21:23 his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance.

This passage is a somber foreshadowing of what would happen to the Messiah.  Even though Jesus was crucified by the Romans rather than the Jews, nevertheless this ordinance was followed when Jesus was buried on the day of His crucifixion (i.e. His being “hung on a tree”).  And even though Jesus was a man of honor and not a man of shame, yet He was shamed in His death.  That He bore this shame and did not utter threats against those who treated Him so unfairly is to the eternal glory of God.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Ezekiel 34:24

Ezekiel 34:24 “And I, the LORD, will be their God, and My servant David will be prince among them; I the LORD have spoken.

The days were dark in Israel when God made this promise through Ezekiel.  He was looking forward to the time when He would reign over and in His people as the descendant of David whom He promised.  This that time.  We are those people.

God became man in Jesus of Nazareth that He might lead us out of our sins into His righteousness.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Isaiah 40:8

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.

Who is the one who stands forever but our Lord Jesus Christ. And for this reason He is called “the word of God,” by John (John 1), by Paul (Romans 10 and Titus 1), and by Peter (1 Peter 1 and 2) – but even before all of them by Isaiah (Isaiah 40 and 55).

We are like the grass that withers and the flowers that fade (James 1:10-11).  He is the One who stands forever.  And He stands forever for us!

Truly our God reigns!

Isaiah 52:7 How lovely on the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who announces peace
And brings good news of happiness,
Who announces salvation,
And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

The One who was crucifed reigns supreme!

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.

2 Samuel 3:17-18

2 Samuel 3:17 Now Abner had consultation with the elders of Israel, saying, “In times past you were seeking for David to be king over you.
2 Samuel 3:18 “Now then, do it! For the LORD has spoken of David, saying, ‘By the hand of My servant David I will save My people Israel from the hand of the Philistines and from the hand of all their enemies.'”

O Christian, you have cried out so often for Jesus to be head, for Him to be truly king of the kingdom of God – not in name only, but in actuality.  So now do it!  Make Him king.  Do away with earthly potentates; that is, set aside human spiritual leaders.  Make Jesus alone the authority.

Pastors, drop your authority and simply preach Him who is the only necessary Shepherd.  Only Jesus can save His people.  We cannot.  Therefore, let us stop standing between Him and His people.  Let the people see Him!

Let the cry of Paul and Timothy become yours:

2 Corinthians 4:5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Deuteronomy 1:37-38

Deuteronomy 1:37 “The LORD was angry with me also on your account, saying, ‘Not even you shall enter there.
Deuteronomy 1:38 ‘Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter there; encourage him, for he will cause Israel to inherit it.

Moses could not get the people of God into the promised land.  Another would have to take on that task.  In the flesh, it was Joshua, son of Nun.  In the spirit, it was Joshua, son of Joseph and Mary.

Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, causes true Israel to inherit the true promised land – which is the entire new creation.

Jesus is our Joshua.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.

1 Chronicles 4:10 – The Prayer of Jabez

1 Chronicles 4:10 Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested.

The prayer of Jabez should make us think of Christ.  The only impediment to this meditation, of course, would be the request of protection from harm or pain.  However, when you consider that Christ suffered briefly in comparison to the eternal redemption He is, and always will be, enjoying, it does rather seem like the pain mothers experience bringing new life into the world:

John 16:21 “Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world.

Jesus is thus our Jabez, whose “borders” have been infinitely enlarged – both geographically and chronologically.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

The Post-Church Age

We live in the post-church age.  What was the church age?  That which we see in the New Testament.

What could be greater than the church?  The kingdom of God.

Those who seek and find the kingdom of God are the true church of God and they have no human leaders.  Jesus Christ is their Leader, and they have need of no other.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

2 Kings 11:17

2 Kings 11:17 Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD and the king and the people, that they would be the LORD’S people, also between the king and the people.

Paul said that he ministered the gospel “as a priest” (Romans 15:16).  A true priest does what Jehoida the priest did, as described in this verse.  That is, he connects the people of God to their King.  The priest does not try to become the leader of the people of God.  Rather, He points his fellow citizens to the Leader.

This is just what the priest Samuel did at the inception of Israel’s monarchy.  He anointed the king for the sake of the people.  So we should anoint Jesus with our words that He might be the king of the people.  We have no need of popes or pastors in this the post-apostolic age.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Adonijah and Solomon

In 1 Kings 1 we see a pattern involving Adonijah and Solomon that reminds us of 1) the man of lawlessness prophesied to rise in the latter days of the New Testament church, and 2) the shepherds who try to lord it over God’s flock in our day.

First, the apostles made clear that in the last days, “the man of lawlessness” (2 Thessalonians 2:3) or “antichrist” (1 John 2:18) would appear.   The “man of lawlessness” title refers to an outward profession of spirituality but an inward condition of death (Matthew 7:22-23).  The “antichrist” title refers to  the actual opposing of Christ – in the same way that the Pharisees and Sadducees opposed Christ and sought themselves to sit in the seat of Moses (Matthew 23:2).  Only there wouldn’t be one of them – there would be many of them.  This is why the apostle John wrote:

1 John 2:18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.

And this is just as Paul himself had said things would go when he was giving his farewell exhortation to to the leaders of the church in Ephesus:

Acts 20:29 “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;
Acts 20:30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.

For this reason the apostle Peter wrote to church leaders as follows:

1 Peter 5:1 Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed,
1 Peter 5:2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;
1 Peter 5:3 nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.
1 Peter 5:4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Peter didn’t want any of the elders lording it over people as we certainly never saw the apostles lording it over people.  Peter did not worry about successors for the elders because the Lord Himself was soon coming.

This brings us to the second point: the leaders of today’s organized church.  They are seeking to take Christ’s place as shepherd of the flock.  There is, however, only one shepherd of the flock in this the eternal age.

Therefore, watch how Adonijah seeks to acquire the glory that is due the king alone.  Solomon is the true king; Adonijah is a usurper.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.

2 Samuel 22:3-4

2 Samuel 23:3 …
‘He who rules over men righteously,
Who rules in the fear of God,
2 Samuel 23:4 Is as the light of the morning when the sun rises,
A morning without clouds,
When the tender grass springs out of the earth,
Through sunshine after rain.’

Is this not “the strong man” who “rejoices to run his course,” the one of whom David spoke?  Yes:

Psalm 19:4 …
In them He has placed a tent for the sun,
Psalm 19:5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber;
It rejoices as a strong man to run his course.

And is this not “the sun” of whom Malachi spoke?  Yes.

Malachi 4:2 “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings…

In the book of Revelation the apostle John puts an exclamation point on the idea:

Revelation 1:16 … His face was like the sun shining in its strength.

Of course, by the time of the book of Revelation, we had actually seen His face.  Therefore, it was a point worth emphasizing!

This “sun” is truly “the light of the world.”

His name is Jesus.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

2 Samuel 18:2-3

2 Samuel 18:2 David sent the people out, one third under the command of Joab, one third under the command of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and one third under the command of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said to the people, “I myself will surely go out with you also.”
2 Samuel 18:3 But the people said, “You should not go out; for if we indeed flee, they will not care about us; even if half of us die, they will not care about us. But you are worth ten thousand of us; therefore now it is better that you be ready to help us from the city.”

The people knew that David was the one whom the enemy wanted; their own lives were inconsequential in the light of his.  Therefore, they rightly sought to guard their king at all costs.

For this reason, David’s descendant – the heir to his throne and the Messiah of Israel – said this to Pontius Pilate:

John 18:36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”

Jesus was bringing in a new covenant, wherein He would reign from heaven and not earth.  This is why David was protected but Jesus was sacrificed.  Once sacrificed, Jesus was raised from the dead, never to die again and therefore never to be at risk from enemies again.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

From Judah Comes the Leader

In the first book of Chronicles we find these two verses [emphasis added, here and throughout]:

1 Chronicles 5:2 Though Judah prevailed over his brothers, and from him came the leader, yet the birthright belonged to Joseph),

1 Chronicles 28:4 “Yet, the LORD, the God of Israel, chose me from all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever. For He has chosen Judah to be a leader; and in the house of Judah, my father’s house, and among the sons of my father He took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel.

This idea of Judah being the leader goes back to the prophecy of Jacob:

Genesis 49:10 “The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
Until Shiloh comes,
And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

And thus Jesus relied upon this prophecy from His earthly ancestor when He pointed out to the Samaritan woman that it was from His side of the house of Israel and not hers that Messiah would come:

John 4:22 “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.

The term “Jew” is, of course, derived from the name “Judah.”

The book of Revelation adds its own emphasis to this unique role for Judah:

Revelation 5:5 and one of the elders *said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.”

Thus from one end of the Bible (Genesis) to the other (Revelation), the promise of salvation and thus of Messiah is through Judah.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

The Day of the Church Versus the Day of the Lord

The day of Israel gave way to the day of church.  That is, when Jesus was raised from the dead, He called to Himself all of the true sons of Israel.  The faithful of Israel became the faithful of the church, and we read about them in the New Testament.

However, the day of the church quickly gave way to the day of the Lord, for the New Testament’s vibrant pulse is the expectation of the coming of the Lord in that generation.  Indeed, Christ came in the kingdom of God and thus ushered in the eternal day of the Lord.

Of course, we live in that day.  Let us therefore stop focusing attention on church and focus it instead on the Lord.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Deuteronomy 34:9

Deuteronomy 34:9 Now Joshua the son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; and the sons of Israel listened to him and did as the LORD had commanded Moses.

Numbers 13:16 tells us that the name Joshua was given by Moses to Hoshea the son of Nun.  This anticipated the naming the Messiah, for in Matthew 1:21 an angel of the Lord instructed the carpenter to name Mary’s child Joshua – the Greek form of which is Jesus.

Thus, Deuteronomy 34:9 foreshadowed Messiah who would be filled with wisdom like no other.  Moses “laid his hands on” Messiah through the Law, for the Messiah heeded all the Law of Moses.  All the true sons of Israel listened to Jesus; false sons of Israel persecuted Him.

Jesus is the greater Joshua.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Revelation 19:10

Revelation 19:10 …For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

The prophets who wrote the Old Testament testified of Messiah who would come.  The apostles who wrote the New Testament testified of Messiah who came.  Both testaments testify of Christ and both are thus imbued with the spirit of prophecy.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Isaiah 53:7

Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.

These words could have been written by the apostles who witnessed Jesus being falsely accused at His trial before the Jewish and Gentile rulers.  However, they weren’t.  They were written centuries before His crucifixion by Isaiah the prophet.  Such is the glory of God.  He tells us in advance what is going to happen and yet we still so seldom see it coming.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Isaiah 42:22

Isaiah 42:22 But this is a people plundered and despoiled;
All of them are trapped in caves,
Or are hidden away in prisons;
They have become a prey with none to deliver them,
And a spoil, with none to say, “Give them back!”

Who would go on God’s behalf to demand that the dead be given back to Him?  Who could make such a demand?  Only Jesus our Lord.  He said to God’s enemies, “Give them back!”  And they did!

As Paul said:

Romans 14:9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

And thus the dead were raised at the Second Coming of Christ (see chapters 7 and 8 of The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Isaiah 22:21

Isaiah 22:21 And I will clothe him with your tunic
And tie your sash securely about him.
I will entrust him with your authority,
And he will become a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.

These words of Isaiah are fulfilled in our Lord Jesus Christ who, through the plan and power of the Father, became “a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.”  As Isaiah said in Isaiah 9:6, an “eternal father!”

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Jeremiah 50:5

Jeremiah 50:5 “They will ask for the way to Zion, turning their faces in its direction; they will come that they may join themselves to the LORD in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten.

Jeremiah is here prophesying of New Testament times, when the Jesus of Nazareth – the promised Messiah of Israel – came to do the great work of God.  For this reason, it says in the New Testament [emphasis added, here and in the verses following]:

Hebrews 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,
Hebrews 12:23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,
Hebrews 12:24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.

In the following chapter of Hebrews this new covenant was called the “eternal covenant,” making even more clear to us the connection with Jeremiah 50:5:

Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord,

As for being “joined to the Lord,” Paul uses this language in 1 Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 6:17 But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

Let us therefore rejoice over the fulfillment of what God spoke through His prophet Jeremiah!  And let us glory that this covenant has not been forgotten, just as Jeremiah said!

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

1 Chronicles 29:23-25

1 Chronicles 29:23 Then Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king instead of David his father; and he prospered, and all Israel obeyed him.
1 Chronicles 29:24 All the officials, the mighty men, and also all the sons of King David pledged allegiance to King Solomon.
1 Chronicles 29:25 The LORD highly exalted Solomon in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed on him royal majesty which had not been on any king before him in Israel.

Much like what we saw in this post on 1 Kings 1:47, these verses foreshadow what God would do through Christ.  This is the great transfer of saints from the Father to the Son, which is chronicled in the New Testament.  The mighty men of David became the mighty men of Solomon.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

1 Kings 10:24

1 Kings 10:24 All the earth was seeking the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom which God had put in his heart.

Jesus said, “Something greater than Solomon is here” (Matthew 12:42).  Therefore we can see this verse from 1 Kings foreshadowing what the apostle John wrote:

John 12:19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are not doing any good; look, the world has gone after Him.”

And people are still going after Him today – almost two thousand years after His enemies thought they had Him nailed.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

1 Kings 1:47

1 Kings 1:47 “Moreover, the king’s servants came to bless our lord King David, saying, ‘May your God make the name of Solomon better than your name and his throne greater than your throne!’…

We know that Solomon is a type of Christ.  This knowledge helps us to see that the relationship of David and Solomon is a type of the relationship between God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  That is, as David was a man of war and Solomon a man of peace, so God the Father helped Israel in its wars but Jesus would never take up the sword.  Also, as David planned the construction of the temple but Solomon was the one who built it, so God the Father planned the salvation of humanity but Jesus was the one who executed it.  Thus the wish of the servants that Solomon would have a greater name than David has application to God and Christ as well.

What loving father does not want his son to outdo him?  How much more than did God want the name of Christ to be above every name (Philippians 2:9-11).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Jesus as the Christ and the Son of God

Often in the New Testament, we see Jesus referred to as the Christ (i.e. the Messiah) and the Son of God in the same breath.  These two titles were prominently paired in Psalm 2 where verse 2 speaks of God’s “Anointed” (or Christ or Messiah, since all have the same meaning) and verse 7 has God calling Him “My Son.”  These paired titles were also alluded to in 2 Samuel 7 when Nathan prophesied to David of his royal descendant – a descendant to whom God Himself promised to be “a father.”  For this reason, “the Christ” and “the Son of God” titles are easily and often coupled when speaking of this special descendant of David. Here are some obvious examples [emphasis added]:

Matthew 16:16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Matthew 26:63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.”

Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Luke 4:41 Demons also were coming out of many, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But rebuking them, He would not allow them to speak, because they knew Him to be the Christ.

John 11:27 She *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.”

John 20:31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

2 Corinthians 1:19 For the Son of God, Christ Jesus, who was preached among you by us–by me and Silvanus and Timothy–was not yes and no, but is yes in Him.

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Ephesians 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

2 John 1:3 Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

The promise of an Anointed king for Israel who would also be the Son of God was well known among the Jewish people.  What was not so well known was the startling greatness to which these titles pointed.  Only in the wake of Jesus having come and having been raised from the dead have we begun to see the glorious and profound meanings God has invested in these terms.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Titles for Jesus Used in the Gospel of Matthew

Here are the primary names or titles ascribed to Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew:

Matthew Presents Jesus as the Son of God

Matthew Presents Jesus as the King of the Jews

Matthew Presents Jesus as the Son of David

Matthew Presents Jesus as the Messiah (Christ)

Matthew Presents Jesus as the Son of Man

Matthew Presents Jesus as Lord

These names had been prophesied in the Old Testament, but no one was sure what they all meant nor how they related to each other.  In Jesus of Nazareth, however, all the puzzle pieces fit together.  Jesus suffered as a man that He might be glorified as God.  For more on this, see The Old Testament (that is, the Hebrew Bible) Is About Jesus Christ – His Suffering and Glory.

Other names were applied to Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, including Teacher and Rabbi.  The names listed above, however, are the most notable ones – and all of them have prophetic significance (which means, among others things, an Old Testament background).

Of course, the most common way that Matthew refers to Jesus is as, simply, “Jesus.”  Over 170 times, Matthew speaks of Jesus.  “Jesus did this; Jesus did that.”  “Jesus said this; Jesus said that.”  Matthew does not normally say, “The Messiah did this,” or “The Son of God did that.”  Those titles are usually employed when someone Matthew is quoting is speaking to or about Jesus.

You may recall that “Jesus” was the name given to Mary’s first child by an angel of the Lord (Matthew 1:21).  “Jesus” is the Greek form of the Hebrew name “Joshua.”  Therefore, a Jewish contemporary of Jesus would probably see His connection with Moses even more quickly than we would.

There’s a lot in a name.  Especially when it comes to someone so true to His name.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Matthew Presents Jesus as Lord

In the 1st Century, the term “Lord” could be used in a wide variety of ways.  It could simply be a way of showing respect to a social superior (akin to saying, “Sir”) or it could be a way of referencing God Almighty.  We need to keep this elasticity of application in mind as we consider that “Lord” was the most common form of direct address that people used with Jesus.

Occasionally in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus referred to Himself as Lord*.  You find that in these verses:

Matthew 7:21-22

Matthew 12:8

Matthew 24:42

Matthew 25:11, 37, 44

Here are those occasions where others address Jesus as Lord:

Matthew 8:2, 6, 8, 21, 25

Matthew 9:28

Matthew 14:28, 30

Matthew 15:22, 27

Matthew 16:22

Matthew 17:4, 15

Matthew 18:21

Matthew 20:30, 31, 33

Matthew 22:43, 44, 45

Matthew 26:22

Of course, once Jesus was raised from the dead, the title “Lord” took on much greater significance.

*The verses where Jesus refers to Himself as Lord all look ahead to the point after the resurrection when He would receive heavenly glories.  He certainly did not go around seeking for people to treat him as that kind of Lord while He was on earth.  On the contrary, He came to serve, not to be served (Matthew 20:28).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Matthew Presents Jesus as the Son of Man

In Matthew’s Gospel, as in the other Gospels, Jesus seldom referred to Himself as the Son of God or the Son of David or the Messiah (the Christ).  He did, however, often refer to Himself as “the Son of Man,” especially as his crucifixion approached and he was looking beyond it to the glories he would experience in heaven.

By contrast, those who listened to Jesus seemed puzzled by this self-description.  Nevertheless, his disciples came to understand that this was the third-person way he spoke of himself.  For when Peter gave his famous answer “Thou are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” it was to the question from Jesus, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

Here are the many occasions in the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus refers to himself as the Son of Man:

Matthew 8:20

Matthew 9:6

Matthew 10:23

Matthew 11:19

Matthew 12:8, 32, 40

Matthew 13:37, 41

Matthew 16:13, 28

Matthew 17:9, 12, 22

Matthew 18:11

Matthew 19:28

Matthew 20:18, 28

Matthew 24:27, 30, 37, 39, 44

Matthew 25:31

Matthew 26:2

Matthew 26:24, 45, 64

The expression “son of man” often appears in the Old Testament as simply a synonym for a human being.  It also appears notably in Psalm 8, in Ezekiel as the way God addressed Ezekiel, and then, grandly, in Daniel 7:13-14 as “one like a son of man” receives “an everlasting kingdom” from “the Ancient of Days.”

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Matthew Presents Jesus as the Messiah (Christ)

The terms “Messiah” (of Hebrew origin) and “Christ” (of Greek origin) mean the same thing: “the Anointed One,” which refers to the great royal descendant that God had promised to King David.  (I will use the term “Messiah” throughout the rest of this post, but I could have just as easily used “Christ.”  Therefore, you may mentally substitute one for the other as you read through.) Here then are verses from the Gospel according to Matthew wherein the term “Messiah” is mentioned:

Matthew 1:1, 16, 17, 18  (Matthew identifies Jesus as the Messiah)

Matthew 2:4  (King Herod asks the religious leaders where the Messiah was to be born.)

Matthew 11:2  (Matthew writes of John the Baptist hearing about “the works of Christ,” meaning the miracles that Jesus was performing.)

Matthew 16:16  (Peter famously confesses to Jesus, “You are the Messiah.”)

Matthew 16:20  (Jesus instructs his disciples not to reveal his messianic identity, which was not to be proclaimed until he had been raised from the dead.)

Matthew 22:42  (Jesus confronts the Pharisees with their inability to explain how David could refer to the Messiah as Lord, since the Messiah would be a descendant of David.  The explanation, of course, would come soon enough in Jesus’ resurrection.)

 Matthew 23:10  (Jesus tells his disciples not to be called leaders for that role is reserved for the Messiah.)

Matthew 24:5, 23, 24  (Jesus warns his disciples that false messiahs will appear as the movement in his name grows.)

Matthew 26:63  (At Jesus’ trial, the high priest asks him if he is the Messiah.)

Matthew 26:68  (Mockers sarcastically call Jesus the Messiah.)

Matthew 27:21-22  (Pontius Pilate asks the Jewish crowd whether they want him to release Barabbas or “Jesus who is called Messiah.”)

Again, “Messiah” and “Christ” are interchangeable words.  Their meaning is identical.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Matthew Presents Jesus as the Son of David

Matthew’s Gospel makes clear that Jesus was widely regarded by his contemporaries as a descendant of King David, and by his followers as the special descendant of David called Messiah (or Christ).

Here are the verses in which Matthew makes these kind of references:

Matthew 1:1  (Matthew himself calls Jesus “the son of David.”)

Matthew 1:2-16  (Matthew gives a genealogy of Jesus through Joseph which identifies David as being his ancestor; Luke 3 contains Jesus’ genealogy through Mary.)

Matthew 1:20  (An angel of the Lord addresses Jesus’ earthly father Joseph as a “son of David.”)

Matthew 9:27  (Two blind men follow Jesus and cry out for mercy from the “Son of David.”)

Matthew 12:23  (The crowds watching Jesus’ miraculous healing powers at work ask themselves if he can be “the Son of David,” meaning “Can he be the Messiah?”)

Matthew 15:22  (A Canaanite woman asks for help for her demon-possessed daughter from the “Son of David.”)

Matthew 20:30-31  (As Jesus passes by, two blind men sitting by the side of the road cry out repeatedly, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us.”)

Matthew 21:9, 15 (As Jesus enters Jerusalem, he is greeted with shouts of “Hosanna to the Son of David!”)

Matthew 22:42  (Jesus points out to the Pharisees that their belief in Psalm 110:1 as a messianic prophecy presents them with a riddle they cannot solve.  The answer was, of course, his own resurrection from the dead to the right hand of God which would make him both the “son” and the “Lord” of the one who wrote the prophecy:  David.)

God had promised to David a descendant who would have a far greater kingdom than David did.  David expanded on this idea in Psalm 2.  One of the points of Matthew’s Gospel is that Jesus of Nazareth was what God had in mind when the Holy Spirit originally inspired those prophecies.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Matthew Presents Jesus as the King of the Jews

All four gospels describe how the term “King of the Jews” was used at the time of Jesus’ cruficixion, and even printed on a sign at the head of his cross. The Messiah (i.e. the Christ) was King David’s descendant, slated to become an even greater king of Israel than David had been.  The Jewish authoritites convicted Jesus because they believed that his claim to be the Messiah was false; the Roman authorities crucified him because any claimant to the title of Jewish king would be a threat to existing Roman order (Rome was backing the Jewish king named Herod).  Thus to call Jesus “the king of the Jews” was arouse sentiments of both Jews and Romans.

What distinguishes the Gospel of Matthew in this regard is that he brings up the use of the term “King of the Jews” at the beginning of Jesus’ life, and he is the only gospel writer to have done so.

According to Matthew 2:1-2, “magi from the east” arrived in Jerusalem asking “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?”   This ultimately led to King Herod slaughtering any infants that might fit that description in and around Bethlehem, the prophesied birthplace of the Messiah.

Clearly, Jesus was the king of the Jews God had promised (2 Samuel 7 and Psalm 2).  That he was labeled so on his cross by those who put him there is the greatest irony of history.  Thus, Matthew brings to light that Jesus was born the King of the Jews and He died the King of the Jews.

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.)

Matthew Presents Jesus as the Son of God

The Gospel of Matthew addresses many issues appreciated by those familiar with the Hebrew Bible (i.e. the Old Testament).

For one thing, Matthew finds occasions throughout his book to refer to Jesus as the Son of God.  This term had significance for Jews because of its specific use in their Scriptures.  Specifically, 2 Samuel 7:14 (where God says to David about his future descendant “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to me”) and Psalm 2:6-7 (where that descendant, the Messiah, was installed as king of God’s people with the declaration from God to him: “You are My Son”).

Thus 21st-century man hears the expression “Son of God” without always appreciating how Matthew and his readers thought of those words.  Modern man has been conditioned by two thousand years of church theology.  Try to listen to the words as the writer intended them – a writer who knew nothing of the two thousand years of church tradition that would follow him.

Here there are the verses where you can find reference to Jesus being called the Son of God:

Matthew 3:16-17  (Jesus is baptized by John the Baptist and a voice out of the heaven says “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased!”)

Matthew 4:3, 6  (Satan challenges the heavenly statement:  “If You are the Son of God…”)

Matthew 8:29  (Demons address Jesus as “Son of God.”)

Matthew 14:33 (After seeing Jesus calm the storm that had threatened them, Jesus’ disciples exclaimed, “You are certainly God’s Son!”)

Matthew 16:16  (Peter makes his famous confession, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”)

Matthew 17:5  (On the Mount of Transfiguration, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”)

Matthew 26:63  (The high priest at Jesus’ trial asks Him point blank, “I adjure You by the living God, that you tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.”)

Matthew 27:40, 43  (As He is hanging on the cross, mockers call Him “the Son of God” with sarcasm and ridicule.)

Matthew 27:54  (As Jesus is dying on the cross, a Roman soldier says “Truly this was the Son of God!”  It’s not likely that he appreciated the Jewish meaning of the term.  Rather, he probably was using the term of the hour to acknowledge that, yes, there was something altogether unique and godly about this man.)

The identity of Jesus as the Son of God was by no means the only theme Matthew gave his readers.  It was, however, and signficant one.  And only in the resurrection of the Christ could humanity begin to appreciate just how signficant the term was yet to become.

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.)

Isaiah 63:9

Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction He was afflicted,
And the angel of His presence saved them;
In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them,
And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old.

In His crucifixion and death, Jesus was certainly afflicted as we are – and more so than most.  The “angel of His presence” also refers to Jesus.  He came as a man and was raised as an angel, yet He is more than a a man and more than an angel.  In His love and mercy He redeems us and lifts us from death.  In fact, He lifts us to heaven!

See Jesus in this verse, for truly the Old Testament is about Him (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. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Isaiah 59:16

Isaiah 59:16 And He saw that there was no man,
And was astonished that there was no one to intercede;
Then His own arm brought salvation to Him,
And His righteousness upheld Him.

Jesus of Nazareth was God’s “own arm.”  That is, God came to earth as a man in order to redeem all humanity.  There was “no one to intercede” for Him, so He interceded for Himself!  What a great and wonderful God!

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Ezekiel 37:24

Ezekiel 37:24 “My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd; and they will walk in My ordinances and keep My statutes and observe them.

Do you recognize Jesus of Nazareth being prophesied in this verse?  Read John 10 and see how Jesus describes Himself as this shepherd.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Ezekiel 21:27

Ezekiel 21:27 ‘A ruin, a ruin, a ruin, I will make it. This also will be no more until He comes whose right it is, and I will give it to Him.’

“Until He comes,” is a reference to Messiah.  This prophecy of Ezekiel is reminiscent of Jacob’s prophecy of Messiah found in Genesis [emphasis added]:

Genesis 49:10 “The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
Until Shiloh comes,
And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

It also reminds us of what the woman at the well in Sychar said to Jesus about the Messiah, not knowing it was the person to whom she was speaking:

John 4:25 The woman *said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.”

So much was Messiah referred to as “the One who comes” that John the Baptist asked Jesus if He was “the Coming One”  (the NASB of Matthew 11:3 translates the expression as “the Expected One” but in the margin you’ll see that the literal rendering is “the Coming One”).

The prophecy of Ezekiel above also links with this one from Daniel:

Daniel 7:13 “I kept looking in the night visions,
And behold, with the clouds of heaven
One like a Son of Man was coming,
And He came up to the Ancient of Days
And was presented before Him.

Everything in the plan of God was looking forward to when He comes.  Well…He has come!

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Hosea 3:5

Hosea 3:5 Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the LORD and to His goodness in the last days.

Hosea is prophesying in this verse.  He is prophesying of Messiah.  Messiah was David their king.  That is, Messiah was the great descendant of David promised by God.  By His resurrection from the dead and seating at God’s right hand, He became the Lord as well.  Jesus of Nazareth is that Messiah.  It is Jesus who this verse has in view.  That is, God, through His Holy Spirit, inspired Hosea to write these words hundreds of years before Jesus was born to Mary.  This is the way of God: to promise…and then to perform, for He is faithful.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Jeremiah 30:9

Jeremiah 30:9 ‘But they shall serve the LORD their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.

This is the kind of verse which Paul, Apollos, and others would have used to convince fellow Jews that the crucifixion and resurection of the Galilean Jesus was in fact an outworking of the predetermined plan of God (Acts 2:23; 17:2-3; 18:28).  Jesus was “David” because He was a descendant of David according to the flesh.  Being the “son of God” according to Psalm 2 (Acts 13:33), Jesus was the king of Israel (John 1:49).  That He was “raised up” is, of course, the prophecy of His resurrection from the dead.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Jeremiah 23:6

Jeremiah 23:6 “In His days Judah will be saved,
And Israel will dwell securely;
And this is His name by which He will be called,
‘The LORD our righteousness.’

This verse continues the theme begun in Jeremiah 23:5 – that is, the theme of Messiah.  Thus the “His days” are “Messiah’s days.”  And we know that the Lord Jesus is our righteousness because He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but for those of the whole world (1 John 2:2).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.

Jeremiah 23:5

Jeremiah 23:5 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD,
“When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch;
And He will reign as king and act wisely
And do justice and righteousness in the land.

Jesus of Nazareth was a descendant of David, and thus heir to the messianic promises (primarily to Abraham and his descendant David).  Jesus is “the righteous Branch” and was, of course, “raised up” from the dead three days after being crucified.  He is the king of the kingdom of God, which came on time late in the 1st Century (Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again).

The King of the kingdom of God “acts wisely and does justice and righteousness” throughout His realm.  Blessed be His name!

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Zechariah 14:9

Zechariah 14:9 And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one.

Who is the Lord who would be “king over all the earth?”  Messiah – Jesus of Nazareth, Son of David.  He is “the only one,” and “His name is the only one.”

This is the kingdom of God:  the lordship of Christ.  Do not allow yourself to be misled from the simplicity of it.

2 Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.
2 Corinthians 11:3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.

The kingdom of God has come, and Jesus is its king!  His is the name above every other name (Ephesians 1:21; Philippians 2:9).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

2 Chronicles 9:23

2 Chronicles 9:23 And all the kings of the earth were seeking the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom which God had put in his heart.

Should we not seek the presence of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, for whom the great King Solomon is but a type?  If the Queen of Sheba traveled hundreds of miles to hear the wisdom of Solomon shouldn’t be be willing to travel a few feet to pray and seek His face?

After all, Solomon had great wisdom but “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” are hidden in Christ (Colossians 2:3).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.

2 Chronicles 9:22

2 Chronicles 9:22 So King Solomon became greater than all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom.

Jesus was the greater “King Solomon” who became greater than all who were before Him.  The “riches” He had were His inheritance in the saints and the wisdom He had was the wisdom of God.  He is “the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:16).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Psalm 21:8

Psalm 21:8 Your hand will find out all your enemies;
Your right hand will find out those who hate you.

Jesus of Nazareth was God’s “right hand man.”  And Jesus certainly found out God’s enemies – by personal experience!  That is, those who hated God in their hearts took it out on Jesus.

Jesus Christ has been a polarizing figure from the beginning.  He was then; He still is now.  Those who truly love God, love Jesus.  And those who despise God, despise Jesus.

Note that the people who hated Jesus did not think that they hated God.  They just did not know their own hearts.  Otherwise, they would not have crucified Him.

Jesus of Nazareth is a proxy for God.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Exodus 33:21-23

Exodus 33:21 Then the LORD said, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock;
Exodus 33:22 and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by.
Exodus 33:23 “Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.”

When God walked the earth as Jesus of Nazareth, He did not reveal Himself to be God.  He lived with all the limitations of a human being.  Humanity was protected during that time.  Only after He had passed this way were we able to realize that God had truly been among us.  “Immanuel” was far more intimate that we had ever thought our hoped.

Matthew 1:23 “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.”

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.)

Is Jesus a False Prophet?

Is Jesus a false prophet?  Perish the thought!  It’s an entirely repugnant thought.

Why then do I raise such a thought?  Because those who deny the fulfillment of Jesus’ promises of a coming kingdom are inadvertently begging for Him to be labeled false.  Remember that Moses said:

Deuteronomy 18:22 “When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

Therefore, if Jesus’ words about the imminent coming of the kingdom of God in the 1st Century A.D. are today deemed to be wrong, then Jesus is, in effect, being labeled a prophet whose prophecy did not come true.

Yet His prophecy did come true!  Jesus Christ did come again – just exactly as He had promised.  Many people simply misunderstood His promise.  They expected Him to come in earthly or worldly glory, but Jesus had already turned down that kind of glory when He was tempted by Satan in the desert (Matthew 4, Luke 4).  No, Jesus was promising to come in heavenly glory.  How could He have made this more clear?  He kept calling it “the kingdom of God” and “the kingdom of heaven” – not “the kingdom of man” or “the kingdom of flesh.”

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

The Miracles of Jesus Were Greater than the Miracles of Moses

The signs performed by God through Jesus were greater than the signs performed by God through Moses for the reason that the ministry of Jesus was greater than the ministry of Moses.

Moses’ ministry was great.  There’s no denying, or even downplaying, that.  However, the ministry of Jesus – the second Moses – was greater.

Moses said, “God shall raise up a prophet like me from among your brethren” (Deuteronomy 18:15).  For this reason we can call Jesus “the second Moses.”

Moses was a steward over God’s house but Jesus is the heir over God’s house.

Moreover, Moses tended a house but Jesus built a house.

God gave more miracles through Jesus in order to testify that His work was even more important than the work of Moses.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Deuteronomy 31:3

Deuteronomy 31:3 “…Joshua is the one who will cross ahead of you, just as the LORD has spoken.

These words from Moses foreshadow Joshua of Nazareth, who would one day come to Israel.  As Moses had said more explicitly earlier in Deuteronomy:

Deuteronomy 18:15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.

As this Joshua of Nazareth Himself said to the religious leaders of His day who challenged Him:

John 5:45 “Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope.
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?”

Thus His name (“Jesus” being the Greek form, “Joshua” being the Hebrew form) was given to Him by the angel before He was born:

Matthew 1:21 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus…

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Leviticus 22:32-33

Leviticus 22:32 “You shall not profane My holy name, but I will be sanctified among the sons of Israel; I am the LORD who sanctifies you,
Leviticus 22:33 who brought you out from the land of Egypt, to be your God; I am the LORD.”

This passage of Scripture is fulfilled in Jesus Christ who draws our hearts out of the world (symbolized by Egypt) to Himself as Lord above (Romans 10:9).

As promised in the Gospel of John:

John 12:32 “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”

In the world we have tribulation, but in Him we have peace (John 16:33).  He is the Lord our God!

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Exodus 32:1

Exodus 32:1 Now when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, “Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”

Sinful human nature does not like to wait for God.  It becomes impatient and seeks its own way.  The godly wait patiently for the Lord to do what He has promised.

This verse foreshadows what would happen when some perceived that the Lord had tarried regarding His Second Coming.  They forced explanations and developed false doctrines.  Most significantly, they put themselves in the place of Jesus just as the Pharisees had put themselves in the place of Moses.

As a result, the institutional church today values the traditions of its elders more than the word of the Lord through His apostles.  See Mark 7:1-13 for a foreshadowing of this situation.

If you really want to know what happened regarding the Lord’s promise to come again, see Whatever Became of Jesus Christ?

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

From the Branch Come the Branches

One of the well-known references to Messiah in Old Testament prophecy regards “the Branch.”  For example,

Jeremiah 23:5 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD,
“When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch;
And He will reign as king and act wisely
And do justice and righteousness in the land.

And Jeremiah is not the only prophet to use this term:

Zechariah 6:12 “Then say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the LORD.

Isaiah chimes in as well:

Isaiah 4:2 In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel.

Nor are these the only occasions where these three prophets used this messianic title.

Therefore, when Jesus comes along in John 15 describing how His disciples are branches, it would have been a mind-stretching moment for that room full of Jews.  All their lives they had heard about the coming of God’s Branch.  And here before them, the one they have been following for three years, the one they had come to believe was, in fact, that Branch, was telling them that through Him they would all be branches!  It surely must have staggered their imaginations – but then there were so many things Christ did and said that staggered their imaginations.  No wonder He said to them that night:

John 16:12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

Should we be surprised that the Branch begets branches?  Not if we know that in this creation, everything reproduces after its own kind – just as it says in Genesis.  And even the apostle Paul said that Christ was “the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Hosea 12:13

Hosea 12:13 But by a prophet the LORD brought Israel from Egypt,
And by a prophet he was kept.

Historically, this verse describes how God used Moses and the line of prophets which followed him.

Prophetically, the verse describes how Jesus the Messiah brings us out from sin and continues keeping us from it.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Hosea 1:11

Hosea 1:11 And the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel will be gathered together,
And they will appoint for themselves one leader,
And they will go up from the land,
For great will be the day of Jezreel.

This scripture is fulfilled in Jesus Christ, for He is the one leader of the united people of God.

Jesus declared Himself to be this one leader:

Matthew 23:10 “Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ.

There is no reason for us to be confused about who it is we are to follow.  It’s Jesus.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.

Jeremiah 30:21

Jeremiah 30:21 ‘Their leader shall be one of them,
And their ruler shall come forth from their midst;
And I will bring him near and he shall approach Me;
For who would dare to risk his life to approach Me?’ declares the LORD.

Here is another prophecy of Messiah, for God indeed became one of us in Jesus of Nazareth.

We did not have the nerve as sinners, but as a sinless man, Jesus had the courage to go before God on our behalf.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Isaiah 63:9

Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction He was afflicted…

Yes, in all our affliction Jesus Christ was afflicted, just as He was tempted in all things as we are, except without sin (Hebrews 4:15).

Jesus Christ doesn’t just know what it’s like to live a human life, He knows what it’s like to love as a human when there’s no longer any human reason to do so.  Thus He loved even as the nails were being driven into His hands.

In all our affliction, He was afflicted; and in all our salvation, He was saved:  Micah 2:13.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Isaiah 57:15

Isaiah 57:15 For thus says the high and exalted One
Who lives forever, whose name is Holy,
“I dwell on a high and holy place,
And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit
In order to revive the spirit of the lowly
And to revive the heart of the contrite.

Do you recognize that the prophet Isaiah is speaking these words on behalf of the exalted Jesus?

Yes, through His resurrection, Jesus is “the high and exalted One who lives forever, whose name is holy.”  He dwells in that high and holy place but “also with the contrite and lowly of spirit.”  He once walked through this valley of the shadow of death Himself.  He knows the difficulties of the path.

Let this Lord Jesus revive your spirit…that you might be raised up to a lofty place as He was.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Proverbs 22:4

Proverbs 22:4 The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD
Are riches, honor and life.

During His time on earth, Jesus walked in humility and the fear of God.  As His reward, He was raised from the dead to the right hand of God – the greatest place of honor to which a human being – or any being, for that matter – could be raised.  Further, He received as His inheritance the entirety of creation – for He was “appointed heir of all things,” as it says in Hebrews 1:2.  (You couldn’t ask for more riches than that, could you?)  And He was given, to replace the life He lost on earth, an “indestructible life,” as it says in Hebrews 7:16.

Thus “riches, honor, and life” came in abundance in heaven to the One who walked in humility and fear of the Lord on earth.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Proverbs 17:2

Proverbs 17:2 A servant who acts wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully,
And will share in the inheritance among brothers.

When God came to earth as the Son of God, He did not take to Himself all the prerogatives of a son.  Rather, he took to Himself all the responsibilities of a servant, and thus showed us the way of godliness – which is humility.  Thus Paul would write of Him:

Philippians 2:5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
Philippians 2:6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
Philippians 2:7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
Philippians  2:8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Therefore, let us humble ourselves in this life that we might be exalted in the next.  For if we exalt ourselves in this life we shall surely be humbled in the next.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Proverbs 12:26

Proverbs 12:26 The righteous is a guide to his neighbor,
But the way of the wicked leads them astray.

God came to earth and donned human flesh that He might become “a guide to His neighbors.”  Thus, Jesus Christ is “the righteous” – and this is confirmed explicitly in 1 John 2:1.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Ecclesiastes 8:14

Ecclesiastes 8:14 There is futility which is done on the earth, that is, there are righteous men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked. On the other hand, there are evil men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I say that this too is futility.

Thus the wise preacher foretold the day when Jesus of Nazareth would be crucified while Pontius Pilate, King Herod, the Pharisees, and Sadducees were all able to eat at their own tables and sleep in their own beds that night.

This is the futile way things can look “under the sun.”  And this is why we must always look beyond the sun for meaning and purpose.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Beware the Co-opting of God’s Words

Just because someone is quoting the Bible does not mean that he is faithfully representing God.  For as long as we’ve had the Scriptures, its words have been conscripted for man-made religion (Colossians 2:23) and the philosophies of men (Colossians 2:8).

In such cases, the treasures of God’s house have been hauled off into another’s temple:

2 Chronicles 36:7 Nebuchadnezzar also brought some of the articles of the house of the LORD to Babylon and put them in his temple at Babylon.

Therefore, the citation of a Bible verse is not enough.  There must be the spirit of Jesus in the quotation – else the words have been ripped from their context.  Even the Old Testament is all about Him.

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.)

1 Chronicles 28:4

1 Chronicles 28:4 “Yet, the LORD, the God of Israel, chose me from all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever. For He has chosen Judah to be a leader; and in the house of Judah, my father’s house, and among the sons of my father He took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel.

Can you see how Jesus is foreseen in this verse?  He Himself stood in that same hereditary line.  It was Judah to Jesse to David to Jesus.  This is why we find genealogies in the Bible.  It mattered to whom the promises were given.

In Genesis, it was specified that Messiah would come from the line of Judah:

Genesis 49:10 “The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
Until Shiloh comes,
And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

And as David was a descendant of Judah, 2 Samuel 7:12-13 further specified that Messiah would be a descendant of David’s which would, ipso facto, make Him a descendant of Judah’s as well:

2 Samuel 7:12 “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom.
2 Samuel 7:13 “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

Thus we can easily picture Jesus coming of age and speaking to God in the same way that David did in 1 Chronicles 28:4.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.