Showing posts with the label Messiah

Anointed King and Son

Jesus is the anointed Son of God. From the start, his life is characterized by the empowering presence of the Spirit .  When  an angel  informed  Joseph that  Mary’s  child   was  “ conceived   of the Holy Spirit ,” it indicated that something more than just miraculous or the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy was about to unfold. From the very beginning, the activity of the Spirit dominated the life of Jesus.  He was “ Jesus, the one called Christ ,” the long-awaited Messiah.

Abraham's Seed

The Gospel of  Matthew  begins by declaring that Jesus is the “ son of Abraham .” This is more than a genealogical notation - it sets the stage for the theme of fulfillment in this gospel account. The lowly man from Nazareth is the Messiah and King of Israel, the promised “ seed ” of the Patriarch. In him, all the covenant promises find their fulfillment.

Lamb of Israel

Jesus is the “slain Lamb,” the true Messiah of Israel sent by God to redeem humanity and “shepherd” the nations.  The Book of  Revelation  is addressed to the “ churches of Asia ” and begins with  salutations from God, the “ seven spirits that are before His throne ,” and especially from Jesus Christ,  the “ faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth .” These labels not only establish his royal “credentials,” but point to how he obtained sovereignty over the earth.

Recognizing Jesus

A theme threaded through the gospel of  Mark  is the inability of men to recognize Jesus as the Son of God until  AFTER  his crucifixion, and even then, and most paradoxically, he is called the “ Son of God ” by the unlikeliest of persons, the Roman centurion on duty at his execution. His self-identification as the suffering “ Son of Man ” made him unrecognizable to unregenerate men. He was and is the kind of Messiah no one expected, and his identity and mission cannot be comprehended apart from his sacrificial death.

This is My Son!

In  Mark , Jesus first appears when he is baptized by John the Baptist. The passage identifies him with his hometown, Nazareth, a small village of no consequence, though its very insignificance plays a part in the larger narrative.

Voice in the Wilderness

All four gospels apply the same passage from the book of  Isaiah  to John the Baptist. He was sent to summon Israel to repent “ for the remission of sins ” in preparation for the arrival of the Messiah and the Kingdom of God. All this was in fulfillment of key messianic promises in the Hebrew Bible.

Shepherd of the Nations

Jesus is the promised ruler from the line of David, the Shepherd of ALL nations  – Revelation 12:5, Pslam 2:6-8.  The “ son ” born from the “ woman clothed with the sun ” is the Messiah who is destined to “ shepherd the nations .” Following his enthronement, heaven declares that “ now is come the kingdom of God and the authority of His Christ .” His victory over the “ Dragon ” results in the commencement of his reign over the “ nations ” from his Father’s throne.

Reigning from Zion

Following his resurrection, Jesus began his reign from the messianic throne as prophesied by David  – Psalm 2:6-9.  According to the Psalmist, the “ son ” will be anointed to reign on the throne of David “ on my holy mount .” According to the New Testament, that king is Jesus, and his rule began following his resurrection and ascension.

Servant and King

At his baptism, the voice from heaven identifies Jesus as the Son of God and the Servant of Yahweh  – Matthew 3:17.  The theme of fulfillment is key to Matthew’s gospel. In Jesus, the promises of God find their fulfillment and correct understanding. He is the Son of God sent to redeem Israel. Peter, for example, confirms that Jesus is the “ Messiah ,” but he fails to understand that he fulfills that role as the suffering “ Servant of Yahweh ,” the one destined to die for the sins of his people.

The Son of Man

In the four gospels, the “ Son of Man ” is the self-designation found most often on the lips of Jesus. It is derived from Daniel’s vision of the one “ like a Son of Man ” who receives the “ dominion and kingdom ” from the “ Ancient of Days .” And according to Jesus, “ all the tribes of the earth ” will mourn when “ they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven .”

Son of Abraham

The introduction to Matthew’s gospel declares Jesus is the “ son of Abraham .” But this is much more than another name on a genealogical list. He is the heir of the covenant promises made by God to the Patriarch. And his descent from Abraham forms the basis of the theme of fulfillment that dominates  Matthew .

Word Made Flesh

The prologue of John’s Gospel presents key themes that are explained in the book. And most critically, Jesus is the “ word made flesh ” in whom life and light are found. He is the true “ tabernacle ” where God’s “ glory ” dwells. And John employs imagery from the history of Israel to illustrate what God did in His “ only born Son .”

On the Way

On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus explains to his disciples just what it means to be the Messiah of Israel  - Mark 8:27-38.  Jesus queried his disciples: Who do men say that I am? At least nine times,  Mark  declares that Jesus is “ on the way .” His march to Jerusalem echoes the words in  Isaiah  applied at the outset of Mark’s account to John the Baptist- “ I send my messenger before your face  WHO SHALL PREPARE YOUR WAY .”

Who is this Man?

In Galilee, the disciples witnessed Jesus heal the sick, cast out demons, forgive sins, and even calm a violent storm, all performed with great authority. But all too often, his words and deeds produced confusion and the question – “ Who is this man? ” Only at his execution did someone begin to understand who Jesus of Nazareth is.

Son versus Serpent

Next, war breaks out in “heaven” and the “Dragon” is poised to destroy the messianic son as soon as he is born  – Revelation 12:1-6.  In chapter 12, John sees a new “ sign ” in the heavens - the woman “ clothed with the sun, and the moon beneath her feet .” And she is wearing a “ crown of twelve stars .” She is pregnant and about to give birth to one identified as a “ son .” He appears in fulfillment of the messianic promise in the second Psalm – Yahweh’s king and son who is destined to “ rule the nations. ”

Lamb and Messiah

In Revelation, Jesus began his Messianic Reign on the Throne of God following his Death and Resurrection  –  Revelation 5:6-10 .  The  book of Revelation  assures the beleaguered congregations of Asia that Jesus is reigning now and has events firmly under his control, despite appearances and hostility from the surrounding society. His exaltation and kingly authority are based on his past Death and Resurrection, which marked the commencement of his reign from the messianic “ throne .”

Revolt Against the Son

The conspiracy by the earth’s kings to unseat God’s Son is applied by the New Testament to the plot to destroy Jesus  – Psalm 2:1-6. The second Psalm is a key messianic passage applied to Jesus several times in the New Testament. But precisely when were its predictions fulfilled, and is the Messiah reigning even now on David’s Throne? Or is the world still waiting for his accession at a future date?

Blind Man Saved Along the Way

SYNOPSIS  -  A blind man’s eyes were opened, and the man "saved" as Jesus continued “on the way" to Jerusalem and his inevitable death  -  Mark 8:22-26 .  The healing of the blind man in Bethsaida is recorded only in the  gospel of Mark . Bethsaida means “house of the fisher” or “house of fish.” Fishing was its major industry - It was located on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee near the entrance of the Jordan River. In  Mark , the preceding three stories pointed out the  spiritual blindness  caused by unbelief, especially the inability to perceive what God was doing in Jesus and who he was.

Sit at My Right Hand

The New Testament links Christ’s enthronement to his death and resurrection by using key messianic texts in the Hebrew Bible. He achieved the authority to rule because of his faithful obedience unto death, and God vindicated him by raising him from the dead.  And not only did the Father resurrect him, but He also seated him “ at His right hand ” where he now reigns supreme over all things.

His Triumphal Arrival

At the end of his journey, his destination was the Temple in the center of the city.  The next several stories prepare the reader for his final days, A full third of Mark’s gospel account concerns the events of that week that culminate in his death and resurrection. All that preceded his arrival in the city was moving inexorably forward to his arrest, trial, and execution in the city of David and the prophets.