Calvary or Rome?

As a young disciple, I was taught NOT to “ be unequally yoked together ” with this world. Yes, conditions around the globe were tragic, but what did we expect from a world that was enslaved to sin and under Satan’s boot? What humanity needed was the Good News of the Kingdom of God, not another flawed political philosophy. Since the “ forms ” of the present age are already “ passing away ,” why waste time “ working for the meat that perishes ”?

Discerning Times and Seasons

Popular preaching often claims that Jesus commanded his disciples to “discern the times and the seasons” so they may know when the end of the age draws near. They must know and understand the “signs” so they can be prepared to meet Jesus on his return. Though we may assume this is an established fact, Jesus never stated anything to this effect. At no place in the New Testament does he command his followers to know all the times, signs, and seasons. He taught them something rather different.

His Path

Jesus appeared in Galilee and began to proclaim the Kingdom of God – “ Repent, for the kingdom is at hand .” In his ministry, the reign of God began to invade the Earth in earnest. However, this realm was and is of an entirely different nature than the political systems of the nations. Moreover, on more than one occasion, the Messiah of Israel refused to embrace the kind of power that dominates the governments and ideologies of this fallen age.

Monthly Prognosticators

We are in the annual “prophetic” silly season when the “Monthly Prognosticators” in the Church issue their pronouncements about the next Hebrew year and what God will do in it, usually derived from their interpretation of the year number, in this case, 5784. Such predictions are made at the start of every Hebrew year and month since it seems we are constantly entering one new “season” or another when God does something new that, apparently, He did not do in the previous month or year.

One Spirit, One People

Paul is adamant. “ In Jesus ,” no longer can there be “ Jew or Gentile .” The old distinctions are wholly inappropriate in the One People of God. By his shed blood, the Nazarene “ dismantled the middle wall of partition ” that separated Jews and Gentiles so “ he might reconcile them both in one body for God through the Cross .” In him, God is building Jews and Gentiles into one building, one habitation of God “ in the Spirit .”

Servant of the LORD

The theme of fulfillment is prominent in Matthew’s gospel. In Jesus, the promises of God began to find their fulfillment though often in paradoxical and unexpected ways. Peter, for example, confirmed that the Nazarene was the “ Messiah ,” but he failed to understand that Jesus came to fulfill his royal role as the suffering “ Servant of Yahweh ,” the one sent to die for the sins of his people.