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Showing posts from August, 2021

Son, Servant, King

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At his baptism, the “voice from heaven” called Jesus “my beloved Son,” identifying him as the Messiah and the “Servant of Yahweh”  –  Matthew 3:17 .  A key theme in Matthew’s gospel is  fulfillment . In Jesus, the promises from the Hebrew Bible find their fulfillment and their correct understanding. Peter, for example, declared Jesus the “Messiah” but he failed to understand that he must fulfill that role as the suffering “Servant of Yahweh,” the one destined to die on behalf of his people - [ Photo by  James Coleman  on Unsplash ].

THAT Son of Man

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The “one like a Son of Man” from Daniel is the source of Christ’s self-designation, the “Son of Man” – Daniel 7:13-14 .  In the gospel accounts, the “ Son of Man ” is the most frequent self-designation found on the lips of Jesus, a term derived from Daniel’s vision of the one “ like a Son of Man ” who received the “ dominion and kingdom ” from the “ Ancient of Days .” And at the end of the age, “ all the tribes of the earth ” will mourn when “ they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven .” Jesus is “ that Son of Man ” - [ Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash ].

He Baptizes in the Spirit

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At his baptism, the Spirit of God descended on Jesus to prepare him for his messianic calling, for he will “baptize in the Spirit” – Matthew 3:7-17 .  At the Jordan River, John the Baptist proclaimed a baptism in water “ for the remission of sins ,” and also announced the imminent arrival of the “ one who is mightier than I .” He was the forerunner of Yahweh’s Messiah, as promised in Isaiah : “ Behold, I send my messenger before your face ; he will prepare your way . The voice of one crying in the wilderness : Prepare the way of the Lord ; make his paths straight .” - [ Photo by Pablo Fierro on Unsplash ].

Son of David

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Jesus is the “son of David,” the heir to the Davidic throne, the beloved Son of God, and the “ruler of the kings of the earth.”   The gospel of  Matthew  calls Jesus the “ son of David ,” but this is far more than an entry on his genealogical chart or one of his many messianic titles. And  Matthew  demonstrates just what it means to be the “ son of David ” and the “ Son of God .” Even the several individuals who call him “ Son of David ” in this account hold deficient understandings of who and what Christ is - [ Jerusalem Photo by  Toa Heftiba  on Unsplash ].

Paradigm of Calvary

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“Christ crucified” is the pattern for discipleship, the test of its genuineness, and the Jesus that Christians are summoned to emulate .  The death of Jesus on a Roman cross is the paradigm for discipleship, the benchmark against which Christian conduct is measured, and the criterion for differentiating true disciples from false ones. Whether examining spirituality, wisdom, or the miraculous, Golgotha is the red line that divides the genuine from the counterfeit, and God cannot be known apart from His crucified Messiah - [ Photo by  Dejan Livančić  on Unsplash ].

Song of the Lamb

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Having “overcome” the Beast and its “mark,” the saints stand on the Sea of Glass and sing the song of the Lamb   –   Revelation 15:1-4 .  The fifteenth chapter introduces the seven angels who were poised to pour out the contents of the “ seven bowls of wrath .” Before they did so, John saw the “ overcoming ” saints standing on the “ sea of glass mingled with fire ,” where they “ sang the song of Moses and of the Lamb .” They had successfully overcome the “ beast and its number .” - [ Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash ].

Ingathering of the Grape Harvest

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The ingathering of the “grapes” represents the “wrath of God” on all men who have taken the "mark of the beast"  –  Revelation 14:17-20 .  Next,  Revelation  presents the ingathering of the “ fruit of the vine , ”  which is now pressed in the “ winepress of the God's wrath, ” the fate of all men who gave allegiance to the “ beast ” and received its “ mark. ”  Faithful “ saints ” were gathered into the “ sanctuary of God ,” but the “ inhabitants of the earth ” are now “ tread underfoot ” in His winepress - [ Photo by  Nacho Domínguez Argenta  on Unsplash ].

Final Grain Harvest

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Two different “harvests” occur at the end of the age – The reaping of the “grain,” and the ingathering of the “fruit of the vine”  –  Revelation 14:14-16 .  In chapter 14,  Revelation  contrasts two distinct groups: The men and women who follow the “ Lamb ,” and those who render homage to the “ beast ,” the “ inhabitants of the earth .” And two different fates await each, now presented as two harvests: the “ grain ” harvest, and the ingathering of the “ fruit of the vine .” Both “harvests” occur at the final judgment - [ Photo by Paz Arando on Unsplash ].