For centuries the Jewish people waited for the Messiah and when God sent them a person and the messenger to announce Him, it is the messenger who wants to know, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else" (Mt.11: 3)? This was not just the Baptist's feeling but for most of the people, including Jesus' disciples. Jesus had put all of them in doubt. It would take some time for the new religion to take shape and make sense. Why did the work of Jesus become dubious?
Month: October 2009
The encounter between David and Goliath was and still is provocative (I Sam.17). It was then and even more so today about killing the giant. The Philistines negotiated from strength and the Hebrews from weakness. Samuel implanted into David the idea that he was special and that he was in league with Jehovah. He therefore could challenge a giant and defeat him. It was not Jehovah that made the sling and threw the stone that knocked out Goliath. It was David, believing that God was with him.
Isaiah was instructed to tell his people, "You hear but do not understand; you see but you do not grasp. It is because you have hardened your hearts, plugged your ears and closed your eyes so that you do not have to repent and be healed" (Isa.6: 9-10). Jesus appealed in like manner to His generation nearly 800 years later (Mt.13: 13-15) and added that He had come to heal them (Jn.12: 40). The same blindness that had fallen over Isaiah's generation (29: 10) was plaguing Paul's generation (Ro.11: 8, 10). Are we, in the Twenty-first Century, plagued by a similar blindness?
It is the order in which things occurred. It is basic to studying and understanding the New Testament. When we turn to the New Testament in the Bible, we meet the Gospel of Matthew and assume that it was written first. In reality, Paul wrote first, the letters to the Thessalonians and ended from prison with Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and two letters to Timothy. He became a Christian while on the road to Damascus. He was introduced to Ananias, a disciple of Jesus. Next, he sought out his cousin Barnabas in Jerusalem, who introduced Paul to Peter and the leaders (Ac: 9). He spent some 14 years in isolation searching the Old Testament so he could defend Jesus as the Messiah (Gal.1: 11-2:5). At that time, the written Gospels were still in the making. Paul motivated his companion Luke, a physician, to write the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. His disagreement with John Mark may have triggered the writing of the Gospel of Mark (Ac.13: 13). Scholars regard Mark as having been groomed by Peter (Ac.12: 12). It is believed that Jesus had his last meal in his mother's home and that he also knew the Lord.