Monday, December 9, 2013

P4/11 Discovering the Identity of Jesus - Matthew's Gospel Identity of Jesus - King and Lord

Matthew 16:15 "He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Note to the reader: These next several posts are designed to present a cultural, historical and theological study of Jesus Christ and the facts behind the crucifixion.  In yesterday's post we considered how the Old Testament's predictions of the Messiah are traced out in the four Gospels. I have chosen to present this material partly in response to the History Channel's recent series: "Bible Secrets Revealed" and partly to give the readers of this blog a chance to see what the Four Gospels truly say about Jesus Christ.  This particular series of blogs are more concerned with explaining the contents and validity of the four Gospel accounts.  The reader is invited today to visit my other blog site to read more indepth on the validity of the four Gospels and Luke's Gospel in particular at:

In today's post here we consider Part two of this blog series, and the first lesson of Part two entitled: "Matthew’s Gospel identity of Jesus – King and Lord" 

Discovering the Identity of Jesus

A Cultural, Historical and Theological study of Jesus Christ and the facts behind the crucifixion & resurrection


Lesson One: Matthew’s Gospel identity of Jesus – King and Lord

In the first three lessons of this study, it could be said that the Old Testament functions as an “extended” introduction to the plan that God had in reconciling both people and His creation to Himself.  Today we aim to consider Matthew’s account of Jesus life.

Matthew presents all of Israel’s life and purpose being fulfilled and accomplished in the life of Jesus[1]
a). Israel was originally brought about to bless the nations.  Jesus came into the world to be a blessing to all who believe in him

b). Much like Israel, Jesus was called out of Egypt during a time of the death of the first born in the land (Matthew 2). 

c).  Israel went into a desert because of failure, Jesus went into a desert and did not fall once into sin or failure (Matthew 3 and 

d). Much like Moses, Jesus gave instruction from God on what the agenda would be for His followers as they would be going throughout the world.  Unlike the Mosaic law, Jesus Sermon would have internal power to change those who follow Him (Matthew 5-7)

e). Much like Joshua, Jesus went throughout the very same land that he did, only Jesus conquered spiritual enemies, healing the sick and delivering those held captive to sin (Matthew 8-9)

f). Just as Moses sent out spies to look at the promised land that was promised by God to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Jesus would send out the twelve to proclaim throughout the very same land some 1400 years later the source of God’s promises, Jesus Himself.  Unlike Moses’ spies, of who ten of his twelve spies came back denying God’s promise and thus finding themselves forty years in the desert, Jesus’ twelve followers found healing and the source of hope by going about proclaiming the message of Jesus (Matthew 10-11)

g).  From chapters 12-26, Jesus appears to be almost living out the very life of David, a very prominent figure in the Old Testament. 
-Jesus experiences people wanting to reject His leadership, deny His authority and threaten His life (like David did in most of 1 Samuel). 

-Much like David providing spiritual nourishment to Israel through the writings of the Psalms, Jesus fed over five thousand people (Matthew 14) and four thousand people (Matthew 15).

     h). Much like David, Jesus was teaching about His own Kingdom, speaking parables (or spiritual stories) of how the kingdom would reflect the King (Jesus Himself) (Psalm 78)

     i). In Matthew 27, the crucifixion account   illustrates the darkest time in Israel’s history, stretching from 1 Kings all the way up to Zechariah.  Jesus became the soul object of God’s judgment, becoming captive and suffering like Israel did, except to an infinite degree. 

j).  In Matthew 28, Jesus becomes alive again, showing that the future of God conquering evil and bringing healing (The end of the last book of the Old Testament) could be experienced in a real way by believing in the healing power of the resurrection.

2). Matthew shows how Jesus both physically and spiritually fulfilled all of the Old Testament promises regarding The Kingly representative (Matthew 28:16-20).

3). Jesus discussion about Himself being LORD of the Sabbath in Matthew 12 (The same LORD that Moses encountered in Exodus 3) is affirmed by His raising from the dead.[2]

1. Consider for a moment how Israel’s pattern of birth as a nation (Ezekiel 14), Triumph (Book of Joshua), near destruction and death (Books of 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles) and new life (coming back from enslavement in Ezra and Nehemiah) compare to Jesus born in the manger, popularity with the crowds, death and resurrection. What does this indicate to us about the appropriate nature of Jesus’ crucifixion as fitting within His overall purpose and mission?

2. How does Jesus experiencing all of our temptations connect with you personally?


[1] This idea, called a theo-drama, includes the notion of Jesus’ life being like a theater by which God’s purposes and man’s destiny through the life of Israel are played out on the stage of His life, death and resurrection.  I gleaned this idea from listening to speakers one year (I cannot recall the year) who were presenting papers at the Evangelical Theological Society.
  In salvation terms, some theologians note that Jesus’ humanity interacting with His Divinity portrays our own lives being lived out by Jesus, a process called recapitulation.  In this notion the fact that Jesus lived out the very processes and encountered the same temptations that we do (yet without sin) makes Him a fit candidate for bearing the sins of the world.

[2] When Jesus is referred to as Lord, it is the same meaning behind the revelation Moses receives about God’s personal name and nature (Yahweh).  This term, translated as “I am who I am”, signifies that God is the source of all life and existence, and that He is the prime actor in both history and salvation.  Jesus attributes this title to Himself (John 8:58 where He says “Before Abraham was, I AM).  

Thus Jesus here is identifying Himself as sharing the same essence and ability to give life, take life and provide salvation as God (whom He refers to as His Father) in the Old Testament.

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