My daily exploration of the Bible, taking it one chapter at a time. If I do it everyday, it'll take 1189 days.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Matthew 11

A Baptist called John

John asked Jesus from prison if he was the Christ. Jesus reported to simply observe the things that were happening. He told John's crowds that John was more than a prophet. He was the greatest person up to himself. He started the advance of God's kingdom.

Jesus then condemned some towns for not repenting.

Isn't it crazy. God has shown Jesus everything, and then it has gone onto the unimportant in society. The rulers still don't understand. Go to Jesus with your burdens!

Key verse:
12. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.

My thoughts:
I love this verse. God ain't idle. In a society where church seems to be declining in social importance, remember this: the kingdom of heaven is forcefully advancing. It is. It's winning. If we don't go with it we'll be left behind.

Anyway... Isn't this the most ridiculous headline you've ever seen? It sounds like it's a parody!


Anonymous Deane said...

Here's something interesting.

In 4QMessianic Apocalypse from Qumran, the "Messiah" (2 ii 1) is referred to in a context that involves the end-times restoration of the righteous in an eternal kingdom of the Lord. As the Lord's divinely-appointed agent, his task was to "preach the good news to the poor", "freedom to the captives", "heal the blind and deaf", and even "raise the dead".

- The preaching of good news and other messianic activities (2 ii 12) allude to Isa. 61.1-2.
- But the resurrection of the dead is a Qumran addition to the end-times works of restoration in Isa. 61.1-2.

The activities associated with the Messiah also occur in another text from Qumran, 11QMelchizedek, which is set against a similar eschatological backdrop, and which also alludes to Isa. 61, with the expressions “year of favour” (2.9) and “messenger of good news” (2.15-16), and which identifies the divine herald as the "anointed prince" of Dan. 9.25 - a figure later identified by Christians as the Messiah.

So, in 4QMessianic Apocalypse, the Messiah is considered to be an agent of the end-times works of God (from Isa. 61), a whole century before the attribution of the same works to Jesus.

Remarkably, when Mt. 11. 5//Lk. 7.22 also allude to Isa. 61.1-2, in order to defend the messiahship of Jesus, the saying also inserts ‘raising of the dead’ into the quote from Isa. 61.1-2, as one of the messianic works. That is, both Qumran and the early Jesus Movement not only quote from the same verse in Isaiah to identify the Messiah, but they both insert the same phrase "raising of the dead" into the quote from Isaiah.

Now isn't that freaky.

3:13 pm

Blogger Pete W said...

Well, Jesus probably drew on current and local traditions of the time, including those similarly represented by the qumran community.

Who would've thought that people from a similar time and culture had similar ideas?

5:07 pm

Anonymous Deane said...

I quite agree. Undoubtedly, Jesus was a product of his time.

11:50 am

Blogger Pete W said...

Ha! Hmmm... no... not quite.

Jesus expressed himself in a way relevant to his time. My comment about people from similar times having similar ideas was saying it's not surprising that the people Jesus was being relevant too weren't that different from the Qumran community.

Ok, maybe I didn't quite say that... but I meant it...

11:55 am


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