Threads of the Divine Nature of Jesus | Week 3 | The High Priest

Saturday! The Sabbath day! A day of rest and worship. The day to refocus your attention on the Most Hight and to evaluate your past week and your priorities. The day to really spend time focusing on the eternal and not temporal.

Yet, we live in the temporal and still have temporal needs. The disciples, spending time walking around with Jesus on the Sabbath, were no different. They got hungry! While walking through a grain field, they took some of the heads of grain and ate them.

 

sunset cereals grain lighting

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

The problem with this? They were Sabbath breakers! Or, so said the Pharisees. Jesus chides these leaders and explains that neither he or his disciples broke the Sabbath. They just didn’t abide by the rules set by the Pharisees regarding the Sabbath. These are very different things. Jesus ends this part of the conversation by saying that he is the Lord of the Sabbath. Now, there is much there that speaks to the divine nature of Jesus, but I want to touch on something a bit more subtle.

Here is the passage in view; Matthew 12.1-8:

At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” 3 He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: 4 how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? 6 I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. 7 And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

I find verse three very interesting. Jesus is making the point to these leaders that what the disciples are doing is okay because, well, David broke the rules and ate food he wasn’t supposed to eat, so why can’t the disciples, right?! At least, that’s how it seems to read to us. However, it is highly likely these leaders knew the details of this David story well and caught some of the subtleties of it. Let us go to that story and see what takes place. We find it in 1 Samuel 21.1-6:

Then David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech came to meet David, trembling, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one with you?” And David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has charged me with a matter and said to me, ‘Let no one know anything of the matter about which I send you, and with which I have charged you.’ I have made an appointment with the young men for such and such a place. Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever is here.” And the priest answered David, “I have no common bread on hand, but there is holy bread—if the young men have kept themselves from women.” And David answered the priest, “Truly women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition. The vessels of the young men are holy even when it is an ordinary journey. How much more today will their vessels be holy?” So the priest gave him the holy bread, for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence, which is removed from before the Lord, to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away.

Did David eat bread that he wasn’t allowed to eat? Yes, he did! However, did he unlawfully go into the Temple and take the bread, breaking God’s holy Laws? No, he did not! He beseeched the priest for bread and the priest granted David the shewbread – the bread that was consecrated only for the priests. David received permission from the one that had lawful access to the bread, took it as a gift and then he ate it. So, what are we seeing with the disciples?

 

shewbread

Picture used from bcooper

 

We see the disciples being accused of breaking the laws of the Sabbath. We see Jesus standing up in their defense. We see Jesus make a parallel to David, lawfully beseeching a priest for bread and the priest making the decision to grant David bread that he did not have access to.

Jesus, by his actions and then his defense, is declaring, as the Lord of the Sabbath, that he is the priest granting permission to his followers access to what was “not allowed” for them. He granted them legal access to partake. He is the eternal and divine priest. He is the one who was serving when the Father showed Abraham the pattern of the Tabernacle in heaven. As declares Hebrews 6.20, “where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”

He is the eternal one! He is the divine one! He grants us legal access to places we dare not tread alone. Indeed, the vail is torn asunder!

May your thoughts abide in Christ on this day. Shabbat Shalom!

 

[Scriptures taken from the ESV]

Published in: on 7 AMpSat, 25 Jan 2020 08:53:02 -050053Saturday 2016 at 8:53 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

Threads of the Divine Nature of Jesus | Week 2 | Winds & Waves

In the distance, menacing clouds arise. Upon seeing them, they scurry trying to prepare themselves, but the world around them begins to stir more and more; the clouds leap upon them rapidly. The vehement wind blows with great violence! The water around churns in anger at these disturbing touches. The sea – in it’s blind rage – takes it’s frustrations out on their small boat. The wood moans and creaks, seeking mercy under the onslaught of savage waves and ferocious gusts. Ropes shake and clamor as they smash against the sides, beams and supports. Everything dripping, both fresh and salty. This boat, containing several professional fishermen, has never seen a storm rage such as this. Danger is a foregone conclusion as at the moment death begins to sweep across the stressed boards. These fishermen know all too well.

In a last effort of hope, they realize they are missing a companion – their Leader. Ah, these disciples go looking for the one they claim and call, the Messiah; the Savior of the World. They dearly hope, but also have faith, that this title suits him well in this moment. But, where is he?! Then they find him, fast asleep! They rouse him – “We are dying!” as the boat conintues its chaotic dance across the white foam. This Teacher arises, comes out to the deck, looks at the storm, and says, “Stop!”

Immediately, the winds and the waters become quiet and calm…

 


 

In just five verses…an entire narrative; a movie being played out in front of the Disciples eyes. Here is the Word, from Luke 8.22-26:

22 One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, 23 and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. 24 And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him? 26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee.”

What is obvious in the passage is certainly Jesus just did something amazing! How many people do you know that would (1) soundly and peacefully sleep through a storm that is on the brink of killing you while you are on a boat, and (2) he commanded – and was obeyed by – the winds and the water. Amazing!

However, for this series, as you well know, we are looking into things that show Jesus to be both eternal and divine. Do the claims that he is God hold true and what does this passage show in regards to this issue. Something quite amazing actually.

In order to see this, we have to remember something important Jesus said. In John 5.19, “So Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.'”

With this in mind, let us turn our attention to the Psalms. In Psalm 65, we see something truly remarkable. Here, in verses 5-8 we read:

“5 By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas; 6 the one who by his strength established the mountains, being girded with might; 7 who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples, 8 so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs. You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.”

Jesus, thousands of years after this passage was written, under impectable circumstances to carry this out, literally does “what he saw his Father doing.” What’s more, he does acts that are clearly contributed, according to the Psalm, only to God…

Below, I am going to show each verse again, but color code the connections.

I hope you enjoyed this second installment and look forward to meeting you here next week. Shabbat Shalom.

 


 

belief bible book business

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Luke 8.22-26 & Psalm 65-5-8 (ESV):

22 One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, 23 and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. 24 And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”
26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee.

“5 By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas; 6 the one who by his strength established the mountains, being girded with might; 7 who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples, 8 so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs. You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.”

 

Published in: on 7 AMpSat, 18 Jan 2020 11:00:46 -050000Saturday 2016 at 11:00 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , ,

Threads of the Divine Nature of Jesus | Week 1 | The Eternal Ladder

Isaac was tricked! With the help of his mother, Jacob slid quietly into the room, arrayed in a disguise to make his father think that Jacob was actually his brother. The result? Jacob received his brother’s blessing – the blessing of the firstborn. This is after Jacob already tricked his twin brother into selling his birthright. He’s at it again, as Isaac’s wrinkled hand reaches out with dimmed eyes, but words full of life. Esau had enough! He wanted to kill his brother. Will this be a retelling of Cain and Abel? Not if Rebekah can help it!

She sends Jacob away until Esau can calm his fury. Jacob receives another blessing from his father with instructions on getting a proper wife for himself and he sets out. He comes “to a certain place” between Beersheba and Heran as the sun is setting. He sets up camp for the night and lays his head down on a rock.

Genesis 28.10-11, “10 Jacob left Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep.” Yet, according to Hebrew tradition, this was the most special “certain place” in all of the earth. This is the exact location of where the Temple – and specifically, the Holy of Holies – would stand in the future. Thus, what happens next may not be too much of a surprise. He has a most vivid dream of the Heaven’s opening, seeing magnificently angelic beings, and the Lord of Hosts beaming down upon the Earth.

 

Genesis 28.12-17: 12 And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! 13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. 14 Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

 

What a view! What a promise! Jacob saw the Stairway to Heaven, and Led Zeppelin had nothing to do with it! He saw the access point, or the way, in which the angels come into our realm and return back to Heaven; how they came to us and back to the feet of the Lord of lords. He saw God, and God used this channel to communicate a message directly to Jacob. Talk about a moment in one’s life that’s impactful!

Yet, what in the world does this have to do with Jesus? Jesus who came into the world thousands of years after this event. Jesus of the New Testament. Jesus who is never mentioned in this story at all – how could he since he was born so much later, right? In fact, on the surface, this story really doesn’t have anything to do with Jesus! However, what if I told you that Jesus was actually a central character in this story? You think that’s crazy right? “Obviously, this guy can’t read very well – it doesn’t mention Jesus at all!” I know, and yet…it does. How do we know? Because Jesus tells us it does!

Let’s move forward a few thousand years into the future. There’s a Rabbi walking around Israel who is ready to start his teaching ministry and is gathering some other young men to be his disciples. As he’s walking around, some disciples of another prophet ask if they can go follow this Rabbi instead and this prophet gives his blessing. These two hustle to follow this man. The next day, they are walking through a town and this Rabbi tells a man named Philip to follow him and Philip runs and tells his friend Nathanael to come with him and follow this Rabbi too. Philip also tells him they have found the Messiah. Nathanael is suspicious, but comes along to what all the fuss is about.

When Nathanael meets this Rabbi, he is blown away. Jesus tells Nathanael what he was doing while alone before Philip found him – prophetic! Nathanael declares – “You are the Son of God!” Jesus tells Nathanael, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!” (This is my translation, by the way.) He tells Nathanael something very intriguing… “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” Here’s the entire exchange:

 

John 1.43-end: 35 The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. 40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). 42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).

43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.

What is going on here? Jesus is declaring exactly who he is! He is telling them that he was the central – quiet – character in Jacob’s story. He is the avenue between Heaven and earth. He is the one whom angels use come and go in and out of our realm. He is the One whom the Father looks along to communicate with his children. He is the eternal connection. No mere mortal could ever claim to be the avenue in which angels come in and out of this world! He is the eternal access for us to ascend to the Father. Here, he is showing them that he is eternal and that he was there with Jacob and led him to the Father. He showed Jacob he has authority over the angels of Heaven. He gave Jacob the vision that he is the “ladder, staircase; way” to the Father. Later, Jesus tells his disciples directly and clearly that he is way. “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” (John 14.6)

According to Christians, Jesus is the way to God. We claim that Jesus is the only path to get to God. Why do we make this claim? Simple: it’s the claim that Jesus makes himself. However, with this story in view, we see that Jesus didn’t just say he was the way at one moment in history, but rather showed that he is the eternal access point to the Father. He is the Stairway to Heaven. He is the ladder that will lift us up to the glories of the Father’s throne, if we allow him to do so. However, if this is the case, we must also realize that it is an assent we cannot make on our own. We assume that we can make the assent ourselves or that there are other “ladders” to lead us to the Promised Land. This simply is not the case. We need divine help from the eternal One!

 


 

I hope you all enjoyed this first installment of “Threads of the Divine Nature of Jesus”. Please leave your thoughts on these passages. Hope you join next week for installment two – it may be a stormy ride…

Blessings,
Joshua

 

Published in: on 7 AMpSat, 11 Jan 2020 09:30:18 -050030Saturday 2016 at 9:30 am  Comments (3)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Midweek Worship

Happy Wednesday to you all!

I just wanted to share a few songs with you all that have been a blessing to me recently in my time of reflection and worship. I hope you have a great and productive day!


 

Fernando Ortega
“Sing to Jesus”

 

Beckah Shae
“Perfect” – Ed Sheeran cover

 

Josh Garrels
“Freedom”

 


 

Psalm 8 (ESV)

1 O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
7 all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
9 O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Published in: on 7 AMpWed, 08 Jan 2020 07:15:24 -050015Wednesday 2016 at 7:15 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , ,
%d bloggers like this: