Mosaix Blogs Full http://feed.informer.com/digests/LIX0YUF5O5/feeder Mosaix Blogs Full Respective post owners and feed distributors Wed, 11 Sep 2019 10:51:13 -0500 Feed Informer http://feed.informer.com/ Torn Between Representation and Justice https://thewitnessbcc.com/torn-between-representation-and-justice/ The Witness urn:uuid:550890f5-f047-0caf-6e9d-6bd3221d9b88 Tue, 26 Jan 2021 06:00:00 -0600 Over the past four years, many of us saw the worst side of those we thought we knew well. Relationships [&#8230;] Having Some Church Up in the Nation’s Capital http://thefrontporch.org/2021/01/having-some-church-up-in-the-nations-capital/ The Front Porch urn:uuid:0e3011f9-cc90-b302-b739-61105f3092a3 Fri, 22 Jan 2021 11:26:36 -0600 <p>Anacostia River Church has been in the neighborhood for seven years now. C'mon up and see how they're getting it done in DC. </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://thefrontporch.org/2021/01/having-some-church-up-in-the-nations-capital/">Having Some Church Up in the Nation&#8217;s Capital</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://thefrontporch.org">The Front Porch</a>.</p> <p><iframe src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/970660999&amp;color=%23ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_teaser=true" width="100%" height="166" frameborder="no" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <div style="font-size: 10px; color: #cccccc; line-break: anywhere; word-break: normal; overflow: hidden; white-space: nowrap; text-overflow: ellipsis; font-family: Interstate,Lucida Grande,Lucida Sans Unicode,Lucida Sans,Garuda,Verdana,Tahoma,sans-serif; font-weight: 100;"><a style="color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;" title="The Front Porch Podcast" href="https://soundcloud.com/pastor-people" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">The Front Porch Podcast</a> · <a style="color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;" title="Having Some Church Up in the Nation's Capital" href="https://soundcloud.com/pastor-people/having-some-church-up-in-the-nations-capital" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Having Some Church Up in the Nation&#8217;s Capital</a></div> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://thefrontporch.org/2021/01/having-some-church-up-in-the-nations-capital/">Having Some Church Up in the Nation&#8217;s Capital</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://thefrontporch.org">The Front Porch</a>.</p> When white Christians tell on themselves https://thewitnessbcc.com/when-white-christians-tell-on-themselves/ The Witness urn:uuid:cd82d537-c3ab-62d3-c59d-53b370028786 Thu, 21 Jan 2021 18:15:33 -0600 History bears witness that white supremacy and Christianity in America are inextricably linked. White supremacy isn’t a fringe idea; it is the status quo. White evangelicals told on themselves because they chose to absolve their own guilt when the moment came to speak. Instead of defending the voiceless and the powerless, they sought to clear their own collective name. There Is No Christian Political Party: A Conversation With Jemar Tisby https://thewitnessbcc.com/there-is-no-christian-political-party-a-conversation-with-jemar-tisby/ The Witness urn:uuid:cab2d802-255b-7b26-2ae4-51c0cbbd3dfc Wed, 20 Jan 2021 06:00:00 -0600 Jemar Tisby and I are sitting in an apartment near Central Park on the Upper West Side. It’s November, the [&#8230;] The Past is Precedence https://thewitnessbcc.com/the-past-is-precedence/ The Witness urn:uuid:d4e3e46f-99ed-92d0-4b42-9191ecb6fa59 Wed, 20 Jan 2021 06:00:00 -0600 If your inbox looked anything like mine in 2020, almost every email you got—save maybe the ones from Target—greeted you [&#8230;] Free Speech: It means different things in Black and white https://thewitnessbcc.com/free-speech-it-means-different-things-in-black-and-white/ The Witness urn:uuid:05956b88-cd44-c85e-e244-7a6990ef67d7 Wed, 20 Jan 2021 06:00:00 -0600 This post originally appeared on Joel&#8217;s personal blog and appears here with a few minor edits. You can read the [&#8230;] What’s Jesus got to do with it? The present Black Christian dilemma https://thewitnessbcc.com/whats-jesus-got-to-do-with-it-the-present-black-christian-dilemma/ The Witness urn:uuid:0eec7382-9927-1338-4644-f533f2da06e4 Tue, 19 Jan 2021 14:00:09 -0600 As we approach the inauguration of Joe Biden and the official end to the Trump regime, it is important for [&#8230;] Atatiana Jefferson, we speak your name https://thewitnessbcc.com/atatiana-jefferson-we-speak-your-name/ The Witness urn:uuid:7d3d652a-9167-a358-64d3-ab4e8eb325bb Tue, 19 Jan 2021 13:20:40 -0600 Atatiana Koquice Jefferson isn’t a name that will live in infamy. It’s likely that her name won’t end up in [&#8230;] Letter from Birmingham Jail https://thewitnessbcc.com/letter-from-birmingham-jail/ The Witness urn:uuid:dc62240c-a90a-2604-9132-624d4af55a35 Mon, 18 Jan 2021 11:00:48 -0600 Happy MLK Day! In honor of the famed civil rights icon who is often whitewashed, often sanitized, often vilified; we [&#8230;] 3 Steps for Churches to Start a Mental Health Ministry https://djchuang.com/3-steps-for-churches-to-start-a-mental-health-ministry/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:ef8ba8db-5eef-7d1e-f50f-83fb9bef919b Sun, 17 Jan 2021 19:25:06 -0600 <p>Caring for the mental health of one another is the reality of our human condition around the world. Americans who struggle needlessly with mental and emotional disorders was estimated around 20% before the global pandemic in 2020, and projected to&#46;&#46;&#46;</p> <p>This article <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/3-steps-for-churches-to-start-a-mental-health-ministry/">3 Steps for Churches to Start a Mental Health Ministry</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p><div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=O8ATbN65kZs:5sfwPB5jvFI:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=O8ATbN65kZs:5sfwPB5jvFI:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/djchuang/~4/O8ATbN65kZs" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> There ain’t no salvation in the grave https://thewitnessbcc.com/there-aint-no-salvation-in-the-grave/ The Witness urn:uuid:6fd60553-5898-c6d9-92fb-9d16407a2922 Sat, 16 Jan 2021 15:00:48 -0600 Growing up in Black churches, I remember hearing the phrase “There ain’t no salvation in the grave.” In my mind, [&#8230;] The Crete Collective http://thefrontporch.org/2021/01/the-crete-collective/ The Front Porch urn:uuid:3d042b3d-d0fe-598b-bb7b-e321c980b765 Fri, 15 Jan 2021 13:42:43 -0600 <p>The Crete Collective exists to bring gospel churches to overlooked Black and Brown communities. Thabiti and Louis share insights on how this mission can be accomplished. </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://thefrontporch.org/2021/01/the-crete-collective/">The Crete Collective</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://thefrontporch.org">The Front Porch</a>.</p> <p><iframe src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/966274732&amp;color=%23ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_teaser=true" width="100%" height="166" frameborder="no" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <div style="font-size: 10px; color: #cccccc; line-break: anywhere; word-break: normal; overflow: hidden; white-space: nowrap; text-overflow: ellipsis; font-family: Interstate,Lucida Grande,Lucida Sans Unicode,Lucida Sans,Garuda,Verdana,Tahoma,sans-serif; font-weight: 100;"><a style="color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;" title="The Front Porch Podcast" href="https://soundcloud.com/pastor-people" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">The Front Porch Podcast</a> · <a style="color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;" title="The Crete Collective" href="https://soundcloud.com/pastor-people/the-crete-collective" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">The Crete Collective</a></div> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://thefrontporch.org/2021/01/the-crete-collective/">The Crete Collective</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://thefrontporch.org">The Front Porch</a>.</p> 2020 Cultural Artifacts Part 2 https://thewitnessbcc.com/2020-cultural-artifacts-part-2/ The Witness urn:uuid:4b1743a6-8cb9-c5df-8a51-8145c5f84768 Thu, 14 Jan 2021 06:00:00 -0600 We started the Cultural Artifacts episodes in 2015 because we wanted to encompass the awesome things -- books, albums, podcasts, sermons, people, events, movies, TV shows, and so on -- that we’ve consumed in a given year. (Here’s the kicker: it doesn’t have to come out in the given year. It just has to be consumed in the given year. Asian American Barriers to Mental Health Treatment & How Churches Can Help https://djchuang.com/asian-american-barriers-to-mental-health-treatment-how-churches-can-help/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:7f780019-4d2c-9b35-7c01-2d40b0196a4f Wed, 13 Jan 2021 18:21:38 -0600 <p>Key Ministry started a new series on Mental Health Ministry and Cultural Competence and they invited me as one of their webinar speakers, for which I&#8217;m grateful to have shared from my lived experience in managing my mood disorder. 2020&#46;&#46;&#46;</p> <p>This article <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/asian-american-barriers-to-mental-health-treatment-how-churches-can-help/">Asian American Barriers to Mental Health Treatment &#038; How Churches Can Help</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p><div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=MKES8_P_My0:QqnKfqEg4n4:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=MKES8_P_My0:QqnKfqEg4n4:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/djchuang/~4/MKES8_P_My0" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Jesus Saves http://thefrontporch.org/2021/01/jesus-saves/ The Front Porch urn:uuid:987c119e-3fd5-dfd8-2961-19cff1a24683 Wed, 13 Jan 2021 05:49:51 -0600 <p>Not a full week into the new year, a mere six days after bidding good riddance to 2020, we were all thrown into a fresh hell, watching in horror as...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://thefrontporch.org/2021/01/jesus-saves/">Jesus Saves</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://thefrontporch.org">The Front Porch</a>.</p> <p>Not a full week into the new year, a mere six days after bidding good riddance to 2020, we were all thrown into a fresh hell, watching in horror as an insurrectionist mob overran the U.S. Capitol. Five image-bearers died in the fray. If that were not disturbing enough, grievous still was the sight of handmade signs bearing the words, ‘Jesus Saves’ and ‘Jesus 2020’ intermingling with the Confederate Battle flag and the Trump flag. The world looked on in disbelief as the riotous mob not only befouled the Capitol, but also blasphemed the very name of Christ.</p> <p>All of this happened on Epiphany, traditionally recognized on the liturgical calendar as the day Christians celebrate the revelation of God incarnate in Jesus Christ to the world. Yet the revelation to the world, as evidenced on the front page of Al-Jazeera, was one of Christian insurrectionists carrying a cross up the steps of the Capitol, praying while wrapped in the Trump flag. It is an image of the American church, a church that has sold her gospel witness for a porridge of power. A people of truth, who serve the One who is Truth, have cowered to alternative-facts and borne false witness.</p> <p>But this image of American Christian nationalism demands repudiation and it bids believers declare, clearly, and unequivocally, that this is a false religion, a false gospel, a false faith. Christian nationalism, with Trump as savior and political conservatism as religion, is not the faith entrusted once for all to the saints (Jude 1:3).</p> <p>The incredulity and shock about Wednesday’s national ignominy is itself telling, and the statements of bewilderment are themselves infused with religious overtones:</p> <blockquote><p><em>‘This is not America.’</em></p> <p><em>‘I can’t believe this is happening in our country.’ </em></p> <p><em>‘America is better than this.’</em></p></blockquote> <p>Setting aside the ahistorical assertion that this is not America (see, for example, the overthrow of democratically elected governments comprised of black republicans by murderous white supremacists in the aftermath of the Great Betrayal of 1876, such as was seen on Nov. 10, 1898 in Wilmington, N.C), these statements communicate a civil religion of American Exceptionalism.</p> <p>It is as if the U.S. is so exceptional as to be free from the corrupting influence of sin in its institutions and among its people. January 6<sup>th</sup> dispels that fevered myth, revealing the depth of our depravity and the divisions in our union. January 6<sup>th</sup> is the result of us having imbued our political discourse with transcendental language and drawing lines of orthodoxy around party ideology. January 6<sup>th</sup> is the result of our erstwhile political contests having become apocalyptic campaigns of war.</p> <p>This is the problem we are now confronted with: our body-politic divided, our national comity broken. What then is the solution? How do we arrest our downward slide? How do we bridge our chasmic divisions and climb out of the barrel of partisan antipathy?</p> <p>The only way out of our long decline, is either, as <em>New York Times</em> columnist Ross Douthat wrote, revolution or religious revival.<a href="#_edn1" name="_ednref1">[i]</a></p> <p><strong>Revolution or Revival</strong></p> <p>The raging mob of January 6<sup>th</sup> think themselves revolutionaries, restoring America to its greatness. But what we saw was less a noble cause and more the wickedness of a tyrant and those who bow to him. Besides, the medicine for our national malaise is not revolution. Revolutions – cultural, sexual, political – have proven inadequate to meet our deepest need. We need revival and renewal; we need a new awakening.</p> <p>But since so many of our national leaders, political and religious leaders, have failed us, from whence shall this revival and renewal come?</p> <p>The local church.</p> <p>Much has been said and written about how white evangelicalism is in thrall to the GOP, but the data actually shows that most of the partisans and so-called Christian nationalists we see in the public sphere are not regular attendees of the local church.<a href="#_edn1" name="_ednref1">[i]</a> They are cultural appropriators of Christianity at best, and outright charlatans at worst. The numbers bear out the fact that most regular church attendees, who routinely sit under sound preaching and teaching, are far less partisan, are more engaged in their community caring for the poor, the alien, the widow, the orphan, the disenfranchised, and the marginalized, more frequently interacting with different ethnic groups, and readily engaging in the work of racial reconciliation.</p> <p>I submit to you that revival will not come from the top, but, as is fitting for the upside-down Kingdom of God, it will come from the groundswell of local, Spirit-empowered churches and pastors working for renewal in local communities throughout this nation. It is within the local church that we can shape virtuous people, a characteristic our Founding Fathers recognized as indispensable for self-government. It is within the local church that we grasp the meekness of Christ and its winsome power. It is in the local church that we learn to be reconciled to one another, because the gospel of reconciliation pulls down dividing walls of hostility and brings previously warring factions together into one family. It is in the local church that we learn unity even amidst diversity, for there is neither male nor female, black nor white, Republican nor Democrat, but all are one in Christ Jesus, co-heirs according to promise (Gal. 3:28-29). It is in the local church that we form and conform the hearts of our people away from earthly powers, and instead toward King Jesus, away from donkeys and elephants, and instead towards the Lamb who was slain for us.</p> <p><strong>Local Pastors in Local Churches Shaping Virtuous People</strong></p> <p>This is the way. And I can testify to its veracity because even in this past week, in my little corner of the country in the capital city of Florida, I have been blessed by three different pastors of three different local churches who are engaged in this work of building virtuous citizens. And their people are being shaped by the faithful preaching and teaching of truth and by the modeling of servant-leadership. The fruits of their work are evident in the unity, love, and self-sacrifice of their people. In the midst of the rancor that surrounds us, it is succor to see the local church proclaiming truth, engaging in the work of building the Kingdom of God and seeking the welfare of the city (Jer. 29).</p> <p>Pastor Tim Trask of Woodland Hills Church is currently leading his church through the Lord’s Prayer as the model for praying for justice in our community, and the congregation is actively interceding for justice on behalf of the oppressed and marginalized. Pastor Taylor of Incarnation Tallahassee will be leading his people through a series on the book of Lamentations, calling his people to lament deeply for the injustice, division, and brokenness of our society while daring them to yet hope in the loving-kindness and faithfulness of God. Pastor Josh Hughes of Four Oaks East, my own pastor, is leading our congregation through an expositional series on biblical justice while casting a vision for how we can programmatically join with local community leaders in promoting economic, educational, and legal justice in our city.</p> <p>These local pastors in local churches are shaping virtuous people, and, in ways both big and small, are maintaining the bonds of fellowship in our community while keeping the torrent of evil and nihilism from completely overtaking us all.</p> <p>Now of course some may cynically say that the above is mere anecdote, and the plural of anecdote is not data. Yet I see more pastors and churches doing the work of building virtue, and it is evident more still are needed. We need less partisans in the pulpit and more pastors shepherding the people, modeling Jesus Christ’s servant-leadership, equipping people to be salt and light in their communities, and continuously pointing us to Jesus, the only One who saves.</p> <p><strong>Jesus Still Saves</strong></p> <p>The irony of January 6th is that in the thicket of rage and hearts darkened by lies, the light of truth yet found a way to peek through: Jesus Saves. But he is not the Jesus of white nationalism or Trumpian conservatism. Jesus will not be co-opted in pursuit of power; he rules and super-rules over all earthly powers, presidents, and potentates. Jesus will not be your ideological or cultural signpost; his ways are counter-cultural and upside-down. Jesus is not for feckless tyrants and wealthy influencers, he is for the meek and lowly. You did not vote him in, and you cannot vote him out. His reign is not aligned with any political party, and is not for any biennial or quadrennial cycle. He is enthroned forevermore.</p> <p>The true Jesus revealed to mankind on Epiphany is bigger still, stronger still, smarter still, wiser still, more sovereign and perfect still, unlike us, and he alone can save. It is this Jesus who is exalted, magnified, and glorified in true local churches every week. It is this Jesus who is worshipped by virtuous people who love God and neighbor. It is this Jesus who can renew not only the bonds of affection in our union, but who will save our people from eternal damnation and bring us to a Kingdom better still. Jesus saves.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>Notes</strong></p> <p><a href="#_ednref1" name="_edn1">[i]</a> Ross Douthat, <em>The Decadent Society: Howe We Became the Victims of Our Own Success</em>. New York, NY: Avid Reader Press, 2020.</p> <p><a href="#_ednref1" name="_edn1">[i]</a> Geoffrey Layman, “Where is Trump’s evangelical base? Not in church.” <em>The Washington Post</em>, March 29, 2016. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/03/29/where-is-trumps-evangelical-base-not-in-church/</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://thefrontporch.org/2021/01/jesus-saves/">Jesus Saves</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://thefrontporch.org">The Front Porch</a>.</p> Jesus the Insurrectionist? http://thefrontporch.org/2021/01/jesus-the-insurrectionist/ The Front Porch urn:uuid:46bc3447-847a-e01b-3847-497f66efec70 Tue, 12 Jan 2021 08:52:42 -0600 <p>People worldwide can easily see the current state of affairs in America by turning on the television or simply opening up a web browser. On January 6, 2021, droves of...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://thefrontporch.org/2021/01/jesus-the-insurrectionist/">Jesus the Insurrectionist?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://thefrontporch.org">The Front Porch</a>.</p> <p>People worldwide can easily see the current state of affairs in America by turning on the television or simply opening up a web browser. On January 6, 2021, droves of men and women marched to our nation&#8217;s Capitol, violently protesting Joe Biden&#8217;s confirmation as President-elect. Lives were lost. Harmony was shattered. And fear was incited. Leading the charge of the hotheaded uprising against our country&#8217;s government were individuals wearing MAGA hats, waving confederate flags, and brandishing signs that read, &#8220;Jesus Saves.&#8221;</p> <p>The recent chain of events has certainly been the highlight of many conversations, both public and private. And as I reflect on the unfolding happenings, I find myself gravely concerned with how this tragic event and the discussions that have followed shaped the hearts and minds of Christians across the nation. Were these acts genuinely representative of Jesus Christ? Was this revolt done in the name of life, liberty, and religious freedom? Or has Christ been used as a pawn to perpetuate sinful motives and systems that have plagued our country for far too long?</p> <p>Unfortunately, I am inclined to agree with the latter. Yes, Christ comes to make war, but I am confident that his way of doing so and his motives are not represented by what was carried out on Capitol Hill just a few days ago. Throughout the Bible, we find countless examples that stand in clear opposition to the notion that Jesus was a mere revolutionary who only came to restore earthly kingdoms. There are several passages of Scripture in Luke alone that highlight how Jesus is not compatible with the modern-day insurrectionist.</p> <p><strong>JESUS CLEANSES THE TEMPLE (<a class="bibleref" title="LUKE 19:45-48" href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/LUKE%2019.45-48/">LUKE 19:45-48</a>)</strong></p> <p>Jesus&#8217; cleansing of the temple (<a class="bibleref" title="Luke 19:45-48" href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/Luke%2019.45-48/">Luke 19:45-48</a>) is one of the most highly noted passages of Scripture. Some have used the verses to validate the destruction of property, while others have claimed that the passage gives merit to violence in specific situations. Perhaps it is easy to make these assumptions when failing to consider the full context of the passage. In cleansing the temple, particularly the Court of Gentiles, Jesus&#8217; purpose was to further the messianic mission that had been set before him by his Father.</p> <p>As Jesus drives the merchants out of the temple, he quotes two Old Testament passages (<a class="bibleref" title="Isa 56:7" href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/Isa%2056.7/">Isa 56:7</a>, <a class="bibleref" title="Jer 7:11" href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/Jer%207.11/">Jer 7:11</a>). These passages help clarify the purpose and necessity of his actions. The temple had become a place of commerce and profit when it should have been a place for evangelism and prayer. The space that Jesus specifically focuses on cleansing is the Court of Gentiles &#8211; &#8220;an area in the outer court of the temple that was the only accessible space to all people, both the Jews and Gentiles<a href="#_ftn1">[1]</a>.&#8221; The Gentiles were treated as prey by the very people who should have been shepherding them and teaching them the way of God. These leaders&#8217; actions directly opposed Christ&#8217;s mission to build an eternal Kingdom where both Jew and Gentile would dwell. Thus, Jesus&#8217; actions are justifiable and necessary because they serve as a stern rebuke to religious leaders who hide behind the temple (or, in our case, the modern-day church) to perpetuate a perception of godliness while rejecting the power that truly regenerates and transforms (<a class="bibleref" title="2 Tim 3:5" href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/2%20Tim%203.5/">2 Tim 3:5</a>).</p> <p><strong>JESUS AFFIRMS THE LEGITIMACY OF AUTHORITY (<a class="bibleref" title="LUKE 20:22-25" href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/LUKE%2020.22-25/">LUKE 20:22-25</a>)</strong></p> <p>Jesus also illustrates his incompatibility with insurrection during his dialogue with the scribes and chief priests regarding Caesar and taxes. In <a class="bibleref" title="Luke 20:25" href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/Luke%2020.25/">Luke 20:25</a>, Jesus tells the men, &#8220;Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar&#8217;s, and to God the things that are God&#8217;s.” Jesus&#8217; response makes it evident that he does not negate the legitimacy of human government, even if the said government is corrupt (as was the case with the Roman government). His response also clarifies the distinction between God&#8217;s Kingdom and man&#8217;s kingdom while underscoring God&#8217;s sovereignty over all things, including political affairs.</p> <p>While believers may be participants in human-made systems and politics, ultimately, our allegiance lies with God. And as his image-bearers, we belong to him. Our loyalty to God is <em>not</em> proven when we become insufferable disruptors of earthly government. We demonstrate our devotion to God when we live in humble submission to him.</p> <p><strong>JESUS REBUKES HIS DISCIPLE (<a class="bibleref" title="LUKE 22:49-53" href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/LUKE%2022.49-53/">LUKE 22:49-53</a>)</strong></p> <p>The last and perhaps most interesting example of Jesus&#8217; opposition to insurrection is found in <a class="bibleref" title="Luke 22:49-53" href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/Luke%2022.49-53/">Luke 22:49-53</a>. Here, Jesus rebukes Peter for taking violent action against arresting authorities. When the disciple struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear, Jesus quickly responded, &#8220;No more of this!&#8221; (<a class="bibleref" title="Luke 22:51" href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/Luke%2022.51/">Luke 22:51</a>) Jesus immediately follows his rebuke to the disciple with a good deed to the officer. The Lord touches the man&#8217;s ear and heals him.</p> <p>At this point, we can observe that Jesus&#8217; actions demonstrate an immense amount of grace, especially to the people who were persecuting him. But he follows his efforts with a line of questioning that further solidifies that he was anything but an insurrectionist. He says, &#8220;have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? (<a class="bibleref" title="Luke 22:52" href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/Luke%2022.52/">Luke 22:52</a>). The word &#8220;robber&#8221; translates the Greek word λῃστὴν (lēstēs), which means &#8220;revolutionary, insurrectionist, guerrilla<a href="#_ftn2">[2]</a>.&#8221; Flavius Josephus&#8217; used this term in his works to refer to those who thrust Judea into war with the Roman Empire. It becomes clear that Jesus&#8217; question is a rhetorical question used to deny any earthly militant agenda that the arresting officers may suspect.</p> <p><strong>THE CHRIST OF THE BIBLE, NOT THE CHRIST OF CULTURE</strong></p> <p>Today, and in the days ahead, believers must counsel their hearts with God&#8217;s Word. The standard for what we believe and how we live does not come from the world, the media, etc. It comes from God, as outlined in his holy Word. My sincere prayer is that believers will genuinely dedicate themselves to the study of Scripture and faithful prayer so that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we will live in a way that honestly reflects who God is to a lost and dying world. Christ is not a pawn to be used for our political agendas. He is the suffering Son of Man who transcends earthly kingdoms and wages war against sin and evil. And soon, he will crush the kingdoms of this world and consummate the only Kingdom that truly matters; the Kingdom of God.</p> <p>&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8211;</p> <p><a href="#_ftnref1">[1]</a> James R. Edwards, <em>The Gospel according to Luke</em>, ed. D. A. Carson, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.; Nottingham, England: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; Apollos, 2015), 555</p> <p><a href="#_ftnref2">[2]</a> William Arndt, et al., <em>A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature</em> (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 594.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://thefrontporch.org/2021/01/jesus-the-insurrectionist/">Jesus the Insurrectionist?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://thefrontporch.org">The Front Porch</a>.</p> Some Asian American Preachers for Christmas 2020 https://djchuang.com/some-asian-american-preachers-for-christmas-2020/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:ae1f9103-56dd-b0e0-5f0a-3502d38677d1 Fri, 25 Dec 2020 21:29:59 -0600 <p>Here’s a random sampling of sermons and services from Christmas week 2020, in no particular order, not curated nor ranked, https://youtu.be/_ee-kGeW8ao https://youtu.be/aOCD0XEjKHw</p> <p>This article <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/some-asian-american-preachers-for-christmas-2020/">Some Asian American Preachers for Christmas 2020</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p><div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=CUwArhHhj6I:qFSEs-OtF6Y:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=CUwArhHhj6I:qFSEs-OtF6Y:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/djchuang/~4/CUwArhHhj6I" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Himself Took on Our Infirmities, and Bare Our Sicknesses (Matt 8:17) https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/12/15/himself-took-on-our-infirmities-and-bare-our-sicknesses-matt-817/ perSpectives 12 urn:uuid:e8ffd362-2202-0aec-e1b1-f36da08bcec7 Tue, 15 Dec 2020 09:06:33 -0600 Advent Day 17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, &#8230;<p><a href="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/12/15/himself-took-on-our-infirmities-and-bare-our-sicknesses-matt-817/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a></p> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><span class="has-inline-color has-vivid-red-color">Advent Day 17</span></h3> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses (Matt 8:17).</p><p>Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted” (Isa 53:4).</p></blockquote> <p><img loading="lazy" data-attachment-id="5090" data-permalink="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/12/15/himself-took-on-our-infirmities-and-bare-our-sicknesses-matt-817/image011/" data-orig-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image011.png" data-orig-size="640,505" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="image0(11)" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image011.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image011.png?w=529" class="alignnone wp-image-5090 aligncenter" src="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image011.png" alt="image0(11)" width="333" height="263" srcset="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image011.png?w=333&amp;h=263 333w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image011.png?w=150&amp;h=118 150w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image011.png?w=300&amp;h=237 300w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image011.png 640w" sizes="(max-width: 333px) 100vw, 333px"></p> <p>In the midst of a chapter in Matthew that chronicled healing and casting out demonic oppression, Scripture reveals Jesus as the Suffering Servant—the One who carries our illnesses with all authority of the Son of God, the Incarnate God in flesh through His Spirit’s conception (Matt 8:29; Luke 1:35 ). As the Son, Jesus has the very nature and character of God. Jesus cleansed a leper with the touch of His hand (8:3), healed the centurion’s servant through the power of His word (vv. 7,13) healed Peter’s mother-in-law by the touch of His hand (v. 15), cast out the many possessed with devils by casting out spirits (v. 16), rebuked the raging sea through His own command (v. v. 28), and exorcised two demoniacs with the one-word “Go” (v. 32). Matthew wrote in 8:16 that Jesus, “cast out spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick.”</p> <p>The messianic nature fulfills the words of Esaias in Isa 53:4 by Jesus taking our infirmities and bearing our diseases: “Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” Took and bare together encompass the Hebrew bore from Isa 53:4 (Bullinger). The verb bore (Heb: נָשָׂא; <em>nasa&#8217;</em>) means to lift, lay upon, or carry (qal perfect). Conjugated in the qal, active tense perfect, it points to the actions of Jesus the Messiah.</p> <p>But, what did Jesus lay upon Himself? The verb nasa’ signifies sin and the making atonement for it. Jesus the Suffering Servant, who did not come in sinful flesh, would bear all infirmities and take away the sin of humanity—diseases, griefs, and punishment of the world. He would bare sin on the Cross at Calvary so that His children would be dead to sin, but alive in righteousness (1 Pet 2:24).<br></p> <p>Jan Paron, PhD</p> <p>12.15.20<br>(Excerpt from <em>Incarnational Theology of Emmanuel in the Book of Matthew</em>)</p> The Coming King: When Love Arrived (Matt 21:5) https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/12/11/the-coming-king-when-love-arrived-matt-215/ perSpectives 12 urn:uuid:3a991d6a-76a5-3891-767f-11ecfa3bf84b Fri, 11 Dec 2020 11:56:50 -0600 Advent Day 13 Say to the Daughter of Zion, See, your King comes to you, gentle and riding on a &#8230;<p><a href="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/12/11/the-coming-king-when-love-arrived-matt-215/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a></p> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><span class="has-inline-color has-vivid-red-color">Advent Day 13</span></h3> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>Say to the Daughter of Zion, See, your King comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey (Mat 21:5; Zech 9:9).</p></blockquote> <p><img loading="lazy" data-attachment-id="5084" data-permalink="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/12/11/the-coming-king-when-love-arrived-matt-215/image15/" data-orig-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image15.jpeg" data-orig-size="2048,1619" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="image1(5)" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image15.jpeg?w=300" data-large-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image15.jpeg?w=529" class="wp-image-5084 aligncenter" src="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image15.jpeg" alt="image1(5)" width="354" height="280" srcset="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image15.jpeg?w=354&amp;h=280 354w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image15.jpeg?w=708&amp;h=560 708w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image15.jpeg?w=150&amp;h=119 150w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image15.jpeg?w=300&amp;h=237 300w" sizes="(max-width: 354px) 100vw, 354px" /></p> <p>Often titled Jesus’ triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem prior to His crucifixion, signaled a journey of life or death for the people in the crowd that surrounded Him that day. Who was in that crowd? The mix of people reflected Jews in Jerusalem for the Passover feast who came out to greet Jesus having heard He resurrected Lazarus from the dead, and those following behind Him, mainly His disciples (Matt 21:9; Mark 11:9). But also among this crowd stood the Pharisees, displeased over Jesus’ public honoring (Luke 19:39). The excitement from the crowd even caught the attention of the rest of the city.</p> <p>Did the crowd recognize that Love had arrived as the King who came riding in a donkey? This very King, God manifested in flesh as Jesus, traveled the road to the Cross for the greatest and ultimate display of love—The Messiah who would redeem humanity at the Cross as their Conqueror over sins. What greater love than this! Let’s reflect on how those present may have responded to Jesus’ query to His disciples in Luke 9:18: “Who do the crowds say that I am?&#8221; —The pilgrims at the Feast, Jesus’ disciples, the Pharisees, and the city inhabitants.<br>For the multitudes of Jews who went to meet Jesus on the road he traveled into Jerusalem, the pilgrims at the Feast, their spreading of palm branches before Him may have signified recognition of their awaited messiah who would liberate them in victory from Roman occupation. They looked at the raising of Lazarus as a sign. Perhaps, in affirmation of Jesus as their political and national King of Israel they shouted “ Hosanna! Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest” (Mark 11: 9-10).</p> <p>In Hebrew, Hosanna means “save indeed.” However, during the time of Jesus, it had evolved into a greeting that expressed a wish rather than a fact. Also, Jews greeted pilgrims arriving into Jerusalem with “Blessed in the Lord’s name be he who comes, Even the king of Israel.” Thus, did those who went to meet Jesus affirm Him as their Messiah or acclaim Him as a special dignitary entering the city?</p> <p>For His disciples that had been with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead bore witness. Luke 19:28 describes them rejoicing and praising God for all the mighty works they had seen. However, they did not understand the recognition until Jesus’ glorification. John 12:16 explained “they remembered that this had been written of him and had been done to him.”</p> <p>For the Pharisees viewing the procession, it further demonstrated their contempt toward Him and possibly envy, when murmured to one another, “You see that you can do nothing; look, the world has gone after him.&#8221; (John 12:16-19 RSV). Some of the Pharisees from the crowd even asked Jesus to control His disciples (Luke 19:39).</p> <p>For those in the city they suspiciously asked, &#8220;Who is this?&#8221; Instead of shouting “Hosanna.” The crowd informed them, &#8220;This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee” (Matt 21:11). In reality, Jesus rode into Jerusalem as the Suffering Servant, the Love who had arrived in Jerusalem. He later experienced extreme physical and emotional pain to accomplish His mission of atoning love in His glorification at the Cross.</p> <p>Despite the crowd laying palm branches and shouting Hosanna, the entry into Jerusalem did not bring Jesus joy. Luke 19:41 described Him weeping over Jerusalem as He beheld it. He lamented their fate of forfeiting the peace that belonged to them. In John 12:37, Scripture highlighted the Jews unbelief. Despite Jesus’ numerous signs, they believed not in Him.</p> <p>Those who acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah, walk the pathway of life that led to His victory over sin at His crucifixion. In Col 2:15, Paul wrote that Jesus triumphed over principalities and authorities. As the Conqueror, He defeated sin. His death brings eternal life. Christ proved His immense love by dying for us.</p> <p>Jan Paron, PhD<br>12-11-20</p> <p>(Excerpt from the <em>Theology of Emmanuel in the Book of Matthew</em>)</p> Seeking the Star of Jacob: Where Can God Be Found (Unabridged Sermon) https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/12/10/seeking-the-star-of-jacob-where-can-god-be-found-unabridged-sermon/ perSpectives 12 urn:uuid:4600ca2d-487f-1098-b111-395515e1eefc Thu, 10 Dec 2020 07:24:26 -0600 Advent Day 12 2Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, &#8230;<p><a href="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/12/10/seeking-the-star-of-jacob-where-can-god-be-found-unabridged-sermon/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a></p> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><span class="has-inline-color has-vivid-red-color">Advent Day 12</span></h3> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p><sup>2</sup>Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, <sup>3</sup>Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him (Matt 2:1-2).</p></blockquote> <p><img loading="lazy" data-attachment-id="5074" data-permalink="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/12/10/seeking-the-star-of-jacob-where-can-god-be-found-unabridged-sermon/image010/" data-orig-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image010.png" data-orig-size="320,252" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="image0(10)" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image010.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image010.png?w=320" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-5074 aligncenter" src="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image010.png" alt="image0(10)" width="320" height="252" srcset="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image010.png 320w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image010.png?w=150&amp;h=118 150w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image010.png?w=300&amp;h=236 300w" sizes="(max-width: 320px) 100vw, 320px"></p> <p>With the constant broadcast of bad news, the media inundates the public with a daily narrative of despair and bleakness to create the sense of a dark, dark winter ahead due to the pandemic effect. I imagine some may have cried out in discouragement: God, where are you? Where can God be found? But, I’m here to tell you today&#8211;based on the story of the magi in Matt 2 as its backdrop&#8211;of a long-lasting truth from an everlasting Savior in this advent season&#8211;one of hope&#8230;one of love&#8230;one of joy&#8230;and one of peace,&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><span class="has-inline-color has-vivid-red-color">Where can God be found?</span></strong> God made Himself known to man in the Son of God as deity incarnated in humanity as Jesus or Emmanuel, God with us&#8211;The agency of God’s Spirit conceived Jesus in the expectant Mary, a child born in humanity and Son in divinity (Isa 9:6a; Matt 1:23a,b)&#8211;Emmanuel, God’s revelation of&nbsp; Himself as the Light that shines in the darkness, that darkness cannot overcome (John 15:1).</p> <p>Over 2,000 years ago, the Gentile magi came from the east asking the question, “Where is the One who has been born King of the Jews? (Matt 2:2). Though a Roman title for Israel&#8217;s monarch, prophecy fulfilled a much greater role in Jesus as King of the Jews&#8211;the King who descended from the Davidic line having a God identity. The Matthean infancy narrative in 1:22-23 first explained Jesus’ kingly nature as God with Us who “will save His people from their sins.” Reading on from the infancy narrative in this same book, the author portrayed Jesus as the King of the Jews. This echoes Num 24:17 as the Star out of Jacob as well as Isaiah 60:1, “arise, shine, for thy light is come.” As the book of Matthew unfolds, the author uncovers a full portrait of Jesus as the Servant-King.</p> <p><strong><span class="has-inline-color has-vivid-red-color">Where can God be found?</span></strong> The magi located God in flesh, Emmanuel, in the village of Bethlehem, the city of David in Judah. They honored Him as a great king by worshiping or paying homage to Him. Why does the fulfillment of two prophecies from Numbers and Isaiah hold importance echoing the magi matter? Because it points to where God abodes for all men&#8211;the Light dwelling among His people accessible even to the pagan Gentiles. For “from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord (Isa 60:6b). God will remember His covenant with Israel and save them, but also will give salvation to the Gentiles (Rom 11:27).&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><span class="has-inline-color has-vivid-red-color">Where can God be found?</span></strong> We need not look far to find Emmanuel, God with us. Through the sealing of His Spirit we find Him dwelling within us in our tabernacle. Through Jesus’ Spirit we inherit His divine nature. During Advent from November 29 to December 24, we celebrate and affirm He who lives in us remembering His hope, love, peace, and joy.&nbsp;</p> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><strong><span class="has-inline-color has-vivid-red-color">Hope&nbsp;</span></strong></h3> <p>The magi arrived in Jerusalem seeking the King of the Jews to worship Him. They made their entrance into Jesus’ early life with a trip based on hope and faith, after traveling from a distant land somewhere in the East. Quite possibly, they traveled from Parthia, off the Persian Gulf over the International Highway from Southern Iraq and Iran through Syria and finally to Jerusalem. The trip posed many risks for them. While wise men often paid tribute to kings, they journeyed over land traveling 500 miles to the Jerusalem area. If they went by camel, the trip would have taken them approximately 25-50 days at 10-20 miles per day over rough terrain. Also, they carried a valuable cargo of gold, frankincense, and myrrh equivalent to several million dollars in today’s economy. Perhaps, soldiers accompanied them as protection, which would have intimidated local leaders as they passed through various villages. The trip into Judea further carried political risk that Herod Antipitas the king&nbsp; and the Romans could have viewed as an act of war. It had not been that long ago that Judea had been under Parthian control as they supported the Hasmonean Dynasty that ruled the land before Herod and the Romans took over. Between the distance, terrain, economic, and political dynamics, the trip carried many risks.&nbsp;</p> <p>But, notice how Scripture describes the star in Matt 2:2 as “His star,” meaning it signified “the one who has been born king of the Jews,” none other than Jesus. Matthew 1 and 2 unpack His identity in the infancy narrative giving a periscope view of Him: Jesus, called the Christ in His genealogy (Matt 1:16), meaning the Messiah, the Anointed One; Jesus, who would save His people from their sins (1:21); and God with us, Emmanuel (v. 23). He is our Hope!</p> <p>The general New Testament definition from <em>Vine&#8217;s Expository Dictionary</em> described hope as a favorable and confident expectation. How did the magi possibly know where to find Emmanuel? God sent a supernatural star to them where He chose to reveal Himself in Emmanuel, God with us&#8211;the Hope of Salvation. They believed and acted upon the hope they saw.</p> <p><strong><span class="has-inline-color has-vivid-red-color">Where can God be found?</span> </strong>God with us, the<strong> </strong>Hope of our Salvation, dwells in His redeemed. God with us provides us the object upon which hope comes (1 Tim 1:1). The New Testament describes hope with three adjectives: good (2 Thess 2:16), blessed (Titus 2:13), and living (1 Pet 1:3). Hebrews adds a better hope because of the better New Covenant in Jesus. While the magi journeyed to find Him, even in the face of many risks, they followed His star as a guide. Our better Hope lives within us illuminated by the light from His star&#8211;the Holy Ghost!</p> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><span class="has-inline-color has-vivid-red-color">Love</span></h3> <p>Interestingly, Matthew contrasted two kings of the Jews in the passage about the magi: Herod and Jesus, former self-serving and latter a servant to others. The kingship of Jesus roots itself in prophecy and will result in the salvation of His people. While Jesus loved His people so much He died for them as their King so they would live, Herod slew his Bethlehem subjects; children (two and under) so that he could live and reign as king. Love as a deliverer distinguishes Jesus as the heavenly Star and Scepter, while hate in suspicion characterized Herod as a temporary, earthly king.</p> <p>The genealogy of Jesus in Matt 1, identified Him as the Messiah, the King of Israel. As King David’s descendant to the throne of Israel, Jesus fulfills the greater reign and authority of the Almighty promised in the Old Testament. In Num 24:17, Balaam prophesied the Messiah’s future comings in kingdom language as the Star out of Jacob and the Scepter that would rise out of Israel. The Star out of Jacob refers to the Son of David&#8211;the incarnation of the one true God who dwells among His people&#8211;who would redeem His people from their sin. The scepter describes His authority over kings, peoples, and nations. In Jesus second coming, He will rule with a scepter taking His rightful place with authority over worldly kingdoms (Rev 12:4; 19:15).&nbsp;</p> <p>The Roman senate appointed Herod, king of the Jews. He came from south of Judea in Idumea, the second son of Antipater. Herod descended from the Edomites, whose ancestors converted to Judaism. Herod was raised as a Jew, albeit in name only. He made a number of achievements including liberating Jerusalem in 38-37 BC, which also made his control over Judea complete. However, achieved his kingship through deceit, bribery, assassination, and cruelty. He did anything but liberate the Jews.</p> <p><strong><span class="has-inline-color has-vivid-red-color">Where can God be found?</span></strong> Jesus died to offer eternal life by His unconditional grace that only comes through His great <strong>love</strong> for us! We must accept the love offered in absolute, perfect expression among men in the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:14; Eph 2:4; 3:19; 5:2).</p> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><span class="has-inline-color has-vivid-red-color">Joy</span></h3> <p>For one special event in history, the God who rules the heavens chose to reveal Himself&#8211;the Lord is come, Joy to the world to those who know Him&#8211;where pagans looked (cf. Acts 19: 12, 15-20). God illuminated the pathway to Jesus with a supernatural sign, just as He led his own people by the fire and cloud in the wilderness (Exod 13:21-22).</p> <p>The Magi commonly would represent the Persian king to honor a reigning king. They were sages, wise men, and astrologists often in positions of responsibility commanding respect because of their wisdom. They prophesied, explained omens, interpreted dreams, and practiced divination (Dan 2:2, 48; 4:9). God used these pagan Gentiles entering into Jerusalem to announce the birth of a king. More than likely, they came with a large caravan and caught the attention of Herod and everyone else in Jerusalem.&nbsp;</p> <p>A star guided the magi to the King of the Jews whom they sought. Jesus’ Spirit serves as the believer’s guide&#8211;a light in the darkness for His complete joy. Herod and the scribes knew where the Messiah would be born according to Scripture, but did not act on it in faith.</p> <p><strong><span class="has-inline-color has-vivid-red-color">Where can God be found?</span> </strong>Matthew 2:9-10 says that when the magi&nbsp; “heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them.The magi did not have to look for the Child because the star literally stood over the place where Jesus lay. When the wise men saw the star, they rejoiced with &#8220;exceeding great joy” (2:10). Exceedingly means that joy overwhelmed the wise men. May I suggest the Magi recognized the presence of God Himself in the Christ child whom they would worship as a cause for joy. Likewise, Jesus’ star stands over us to let us know of His presence. That same star serves as a type to locate “God with us” in every believer.&nbsp;Jesus promises us in the book of Mathew’s close in chapter 28:20 with the words “and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” Look at the star that stands over us for Emmanuel.</p> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><span class="has-inline-color has-vivid-red-color">Peace</span></h3> <p>God alone provides our source of peace. God robed in humanity as Emmanuel reflects the full embodiment of Him. Therefore, Jesus&#8211;God with us&#8211;manifests Yahweh Shalom (Judg 6:24 ) in His fulfilled&nbsp;nature as the <em>Lord is Peace</em>. The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, means wholeness in all of life, completeness, welfare, and safety. The Lord came to sinful humankind, historically first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles, desiring to enter into a relationship with them to give them His peace. He established with them a covenant of peace, which He sealed with His presence (Num 6:24-26 ).&nbsp;</p> <p>Herod sought to destroy Yahweh Shalom viewing the infant Jesus as a threat to his rule. However, the pagan Magi looked for Jesus so they could worship Him. God never held the Gentiles as an afterthought in His redemptive plan, but they had been part of His work in history from the beginning.</p> <p><strong><span class="has-inline-color has-vivid-red-color">Where can God be found?</span> </strong>He offers redemption through His Name to all people. With redemption comes His peace. The name Yahweh Shalom represents His self-revealed character in Emmanuel&#8211; God with us&#8211;as the Lord is Peace. When we come to Him in worship, we feel the&nbsp; holy presence of His perfect peace in harmony with our Savior.</p> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><span class="has-inline-color has-vivid-red-color">Closing</span></h3> <p>The story of the Magi and the star that guided them accomplished many purposes in the infancy narrative of Jesus: it acknowledged the birth of the King&#8211;the Star of Jacob and Scepter of Israel, gave access to the Gentiles, fulfilled prophecy, and guided the Magi. It was a divine, heavenly sign God used for a historical purpose. Though news of the Star of Bethlehem signaling a new ruler troubled King Herod, it serves as a divine, heavenly reminder to believers in Christ of the Deliverer who ushered in a new Kingdom. Perhaps, God plans to send another with the Christmas Star to appear on December 21, that God with us still provides hope, love, joy, and peace.</p> <p>Jan Paron, PhD</p> <p>12.10.20</p> <p>Preached at Lighthouse Church of All Nations (12.9.20)</p> Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done (Matt 6:10) https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/12/09/thy-kingdom-come-they-will-be-done-matt-610/ perSpectives 12 urn:uuid:6020a721-3def-7d24-29b7-a8e8c3fc4620 Wed, 09 Dec 2020 07:27:12 -0600 Advent Day 11 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven (Matt 6:10). In &#8230;<p><a href="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/12/09/thy-kingdom-come-they-will-be-done-matt-610/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a></p> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><span class="has-inline-color has-vivid-red-color">Advent Day 11</span></h3> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven (Matt 6:10).</p></blockquote> <p>In the fullness of time, the kingdom came nigh. God incarnated Himself in Jesus as Emmanuel, the Dayspring from on high (Luke 1:78). The conception of the Holy Ghost in the virgin Mary initiated the kingdom (Matt 1:23). God with us&#8211;the appearing of the Mighty God, our Father&#8211;rules over the true kingdom on earth and heaven, as Star in the first coming and Scepter in the second (Num 24:17). Glorious like a star, the Bright and Morning Star (Rev 2:18; 22:16), Emmanuel shined His light in dark places to bring salvation (2 Pet 1:19) during His earthly ministry. He governs the kingdom with all authority to rule as a scepter fulfilling the future kingdom in which there will be no end (Isa 9:6-7; Dan 7:13-14; Luke 1:32-33; Rev 11:15).</p> <p><img loading="lazy" data-attachment-id="5048" data-permalink="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/12/09/thy-kingdom-come-they-will-be-done-matt-610/image09/" data-orig-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image09.png" data-orig-size="320,252" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="image0(9)" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image09.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image09.png?w=320" class="alignnone wp-image-5048 aligncenter" src="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image09.png" alt="image0(9)" width="356" height="280" srcset="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image09.png 320w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image09.png?w=150&amp;h=118 150w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image09.png?w=300&amp;h=236 300w" sizes="(max-width: 356px) 100vw, 356px"></p> <p>Jesus reigns over no ordinary kingdom, rather one messianic with all divine power in this present age and that to come. <em>Thy kingdom come</em> in Matt 6:10 reflects not only Emmanuel in His future second coming but also His desire for His servants to broaden kingdom purposes after His first coming during the Church Age. His servants spread His kingdom with their beatitude character qualities and actions (Matt 7:16, 20; John 13:35; 1 John 3:10).</p> <p>Jan Paron, PhD</p> <p>12.9.20</p> <p>(Excerpt from the<em> Incarnational Theology of Emmanuel in the Book of Matthew</em>)</p> The Authority of “I Say Unto You” (Matt 5:21-22) https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/12/08/the-authority-of-i-say-unto-you-matt-521-22/ perSpectives 12 urn:uuid:35f3e2de-abf2-28ad-e517-14f9baf49793 Tue, 08 Dec 2020 07:00:31 -0600 Advent 2020, Advent Day 10, Authority of the Name, Oneness of God, Jesus Fulfilled the Law<p><a href="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/12/08/the-authority-of-i-say-unto-you-matt-521-22/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a></p> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><span class="has-inline-color has-vivid-red-color">Advent Day 10</span></h3> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time&#8230;(22) But I say unto you (Matt 5:21-22).</p></blockquote> <p>In Matt 5:21-48, Scripture presents six antitheses to reframe the Law of Moses. These opposite statements pair “Ye have heard” with “But I say unto you” to form six contrasting, new thoughts about the Law that Jesus taught (e.g., 5:21-22, 27-28, 31-32, 33-34, 38-39, 43-44). He introduced the Law in a new frame of Kingdom culture with full Messianic authority as the Incarnate God who became the Law with the form and purpose of the Word to fulfill it.</p> <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="aligncenter size-large is-resized"><a href="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image08.png"><img loading="lazy" data-attachment-id="5038" data-permalink="https://specs12.wordpress.com/image08/" data-orig-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image08.png" data-orig-size="640,505" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="image08" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image08.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image08.png?w=529" src="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image08.png?w=640" alt="" class="wp-image-5038" width="365" height="288" srcset="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image08.png?w=365 365w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image08.png?w=150 150w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image08.png?w=300 300w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image08.png 640w" sizes="(max-width: 365px) 100vw, 365px" /></a></figure></div> <p>On the heels of the beatitudes (vv 1-12), the God who gave the Law to Moses mediated through angels, incarnated Himself in Jesus to become the Law (cf. Gal 3:13). God with us needed no mediators since He took on the identity of the Son superior over angels in the form and purpose of the Word (John 1:1; Heb 1:4). For this reason, He Himself could reformulate prophetic and rabbinic declarations and teachings with greater authority to proclaim it Himself for the coming Kingdom at hand. </p> <p>Under the old covenant, rabbinical Torah teachings began with “Thus saith Lord.” However, Emmanuel, God with us, came not to destroy the Law but fulfill it (5:17; 9:13; 10:34, 35; 20:28) to save His people (1:21). Therefore, through His words, deeds, death, resurrection, and ascension He demonstrated God’s presence among His people (1:23) Thus, He came to complete the Law and purpose for which it existed (Isa 55:10-11).</p> <p>Jesus has the authority to promote the Law of God because He fulfilled the Law and the Prophets to culminate the Law (Rom 10:4). He declared the importance of His fulfillment by punctuating it with a verily, meaning amen (Matt 5:17)! His authority derives itself from the embodiment of the invisible God with us in Jesus, which gave Him full rights to state “But I say unto you.” Thus, Jesus’ fulfillment illustrates the King who descended from David, as God directly speaking and dealing with man. Jesus—Emmanuel, God with us—has scriptural authority through His kingly assent from the Davidic lineage and having a God identity. </p> <p>Jan Paron, PhD</p> <p>12-8-20</p> <p>(Excerpt from the Incarnational Theology of Emmanuel in the Book of Matthew) <a href="https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/advent2020?__eep__=6&amp;__cft__[0]=AZXN_3CcrV688VOnOw2o8hy2rsZcVPAmK7FXa_aPm70lLBmJNMDJSFyspx3a34mJyjsDiEwwuWj30Ly2LT9_xUHJtyRqWIXcvDTmNJ5vp1nntB4F_B9xpcmE5T6ydz9PWEM&amp;__tn__=*NK-R">#advent2020</a><a href="https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/apostolicpentecostal?__eep__=6&amp;__cft__[0]=AZXN_3CcrV688VOnOw2o8hy2rsZcVPAmK7FXa_aPm70lLBmJNMDJSFyspx3a34mJyjsDiEwwuWj30Ly2LT9_xUHJtyRqWIXcvDTmNJ5vp1nntB4F_B9xpcmE5T6ydz9PWEM&amp;__tn__=*NK-R">#apostolicpentecostal</a><a href="https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/onenessofgod?__eep__=6&amp;__cft__[0]=AZXN_3CcrV688VOnOw2o8hy2rsZcVPAmK7FXa_aPm70lLBmJNMDJSFyspx3a34mJyjsDiEwwuWj30Ly2LT9_xUHJtyRqWIXcvDTmNJ5vp1nntB4F_B9xpcmE5T6ydz9PWEM&amp;__tn__=*NK-R">#onenessofGod</a></p> The Kingdom of Heaven Is at Hand (Matt 4:16) https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/12/06/the-kingdom-of-heaven-is-at-hand-matt-416/ perSpectives 12 urn:uuid:a421abf1-b333-2880-a227-84b58d6a829b Sun, 06 Dec 2020 05:22:12 -0600 Advent Day 8 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region &#8230;<p><a href="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/12/06/the-kingdom-of-heaven-is-at-hand-matt-416/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a></p><p><a href="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/12/06/the-kingdom-of-heaven-is-at-hand-matt-416/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a></p> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><span class="has-inline-color has-vivid-red-color">Advent Day 8</span></h3> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. (17) From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matt 4:16-17).</p></blockquote> <p>Picking up where John the Baptist ended due to His imprisonment, Emmanuel transitioned to His teaching ministry throughout Galilee of the Gentiles (Isa 9:1) in the center of Herod’s kingdom (vv. 14-17; cf. Mark 1:21; Luke 4:31). While John the Baptist announced the conclusion of the old covenant, Jesus revealed the new with the long-awaited kingdom of heaven (kingdom of God) at hand. In Jesus, the kingdom has come. He brought the kingdom’s mission and purpose to Capernaum, a densely populated village strategically located by the Sea of Galilee for ministry and ripe to meet the multitudes due to its many bustling crossroads. Gentiles also heavily populated Galilee.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" data-attachment-id="5028" data-permalink="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/12/06/the-kingdom-of-heaven-is-at-hand-matt-416/image06/" data-orig-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image06.png" data-orig-size="320,252" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="image0(6)" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image06.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image06.png?w=320" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-5028 aligncenter" src="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image06.png" alt="image0(6)" width="320" height="252" srcset="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image06.png 320w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image06.png?w=150&amp;h=118 150w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image06.png?w=300&amp;h=236 300w" sizes="(max-width: 320px) 100vw, 320px" /></p> <p>Though the Jews rejected Him as such in Nazareth, He brought nigh the kingdom of heaven continuing His ministry in Galilee. Emmanuel’s presence&#8211;God with us&#8211;brought a broad light to a people darkened by oppression from Roman occupation. Converging on the crossroads of Galilee, He walked among people both diverse ethnically as well as politically, yet similar economically working the land or sea. As the monarch over the kingdom of heaven, it signifies Jesus’ rule and His unchallenged reign or authority (Ps 103:19). Jesus inaugurated the kingdom in the fullness of time&#8211;the arrival of Israel’s expected King (Mark 1:15); the Messiah redeemed it through His death and resurrection (Col 2:14-15); and He will return it during His final, righteous reign (Dan 7:14; Rev 19:16).&nbsp;</p> <p>The Light, both divine and human, comprises the full character, personality, and quality of the one God (John 10:30; 15:9-10). In Emmanuel, the invisible God revealed His express image (Phil 2:9-11; Col 1:1:15). Therefore, Jesus fulfilled Isa 9:12: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined” (cf. Matt 4:16). The Light preached repentance of sin to prepare them for His kingdom (4:17). Emmanuel made His presence known to them (Luke 17:20-21) teaching, preaching, and healing all manner of sickness and disease throughout Galilee (e.g., Matt 4:23; Mark 1; Luke 4). He took on the human role of.servant “to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:25). To the Gentiles, the Light would bring revelation in His first advent (Luke 2:32a). To the Jews, God with us walking among His people would deliver them offering the covenanted kingdom to Israel as the promised Redeemer and glory of His people Israel (Luke 2:32b). The&nbsp; Light dawning in the darkness and shadow of death would return them from exile (Isa 9:12; cf. Matt 4:16-17), and shine in glory on Israel in His second advent (Luke 2:29-32).&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Jan Paron, PhD</p> <p>12.6.20</p> <p>(Excerpt from The Incarnational Theology of Emmanuel in the Book of Emmanuel)</p> Emmanuel: Generation of Jesus According to Matthew https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/12/05/emmanuel-generation-of-jesus-according-to-matthew/ perSpectives 12 urn:uuid:55e6277c-0712-3ae9-be44-13b2d73a0d2e Sat, 05 Dec 2020 09:04:55 -0600 Advent Day 7 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in &#8230;<p><a href="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/12/05/emmanuel-generation-of-jesus-according-to-matthew/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a></p> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><span class="has-inline-color has-vivid-red-color">Advent Day 7</span></h3> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations (Matt 1:17).</p></blockquote> <p><img loading="lazy" data-attachment-id="5016" data-permalink="https://specs12.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=5016" data-orig-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image05.png" data-orig-size="640,505" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="image0(5)" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image05.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image05.png?w=529" class="wp-image-5016 aligncenter" src="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image05.png" alt="image0(5)" width="362" height="285" srcset="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image05.png?w=362&amp;h=285 362w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image05.png?w=150&amp;h=118 150w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image05.png?w=300&amp;h=237 300w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image05.png 640w" sizes="(max-width: 362px) 100vw, 362px" /></p> <p>The Gospel of Matthew begins with the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Written to the Jews, the author’s intent was to identify Jesus as the Messiah, the King of Israel. By way of ancestry, Matthew links Jesus with two great figures in the history of Israel: King David and Abraham. These men represent the two major Old Testament covenants, Abrahamic and Davidic. The author supported his Gospel’s theme with this connection by showing throughout that Jesus is the Son who partially fulfilled and will completely fulfill the promises of these two covenants at His first and second comings. His death and resurrection would be the basis for their fulfillment. Next, the genealogy of Jesus not only is a historical fact, but an account with a strong support base in the Scripture. Scripture includes portions of Jesus‘ genealogy throughout select books of the Old Testament. This shows the Messiah’s lineage as part of Scripture. Matthew based his record of the Lord’s genealogy on the inspired Word, and the early church used it as a witnessing tool to both Jews and Gentiles. </p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Genealogical Periods</strong></p> <p> The Holy Spirit opened Matthew’s understanding and guided him to find Christ’s genealogy in Scripture. However, Scripture did not record parts of this genealogy. The Jews after their return from the Babylonian exile demonstrates one example. Matthew does, though, connected the vast gap between Zerubbabel and Jacob, the father of Joseph. According to Matthew, this period covers fourteen generations, but what Matthew recorded sufficiently connected Jesus of Nazareth with the Old Testament. Luke, using the genealogy of Mary, traces Christ’s lineage back to David, and then back to Shem, the son of Noah, and then back to Adam. Here, the author identified Jesus with the human race and qualified Him as Savior. Matthew used portions of Scripture along with historical records to establish the royal lineage of Jesus of Nazareth as King of Israel. Matthew divided his genealogy into three periods of fourteen generations each: The first called the period of patriarchs runs from Abraham to David; the second, the period of kings, ranges from David until the last king going into exile in Babylon; and last called the post exile, from Babylon until the birth of Christ. The last period covered the full, 600-year period up to Christ’s birth without mentioning everyone in this line. It stayed silent on the four hundred years between the Old and New Testaments, as well as the partial period of two hundred years after the exile. Matthew’s approach proved the royal lineage of Jesus through Joseph, His legal father. </p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>The Expression Begat</strong> </p> <p>Once Matthew arrived at “Jacob who begat Joseph” (Matt 1:16 KJV), he did not use this expression about Jesus. Instead, Matthew writes “Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ” (v. 16). Jesus has no biological father in the natural sense of the term. To prove the virgin birth, Matthew showed that Jesus was not begotten by a human. The Holy Ghost conceived Jesus in Mary’s womb, making Jesus the Son of God (v. 18) and then fulfilling the prophecy that Christ would be born of a virgin (Isa 7:14; Matt 1:21-23). Matthew’s genealogy commonly used begat. The expression [Greek: <em>gennaó</em>, γεννάω] speaks of the procreation of offspring. The names in Matthew’s genealogy are descendants by procreation. Luke dis not use this expression. Instead, Luke featured the form the son of [Greek: <em>huios</em>, υἱὸς’], meaning child by procreation; however, this meaning permits a wider range of kinship. One does not have to be a son by direct generation. Jesus was thought to be Joseph’s actual son (Luke 3:23). Luke’s genealogy traced Jesus’ lineage back to David through Nathan, the son of Bathsheba, called Bathshua (1 Chron 3:1, 5). Jesus had a biological link to King David through His mother. On the other hand, Jesus only had a legal link through Joseph. </p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Closing</strong></p> <p>Matthew’s presentation of the genealogy of Jesus Christ is unique. He presented Jesus as the Messiah, King of Israel foretold in Scripture. He identified Jesus with the two major covenants God made with Abraham and David. As the promised descendant of both men, Jesus is the Son who fulfills both covenants so that both Jews and Gentiles could be blessed with eternal redemption. Against the Jewish custom of women absent in a man’s genealogy, Matthew recorded the mother of Jesus and four women. Though four of these women have questionable pasts, one sees this as message of God’s grace. Also, the author’s mention of some of Israel’s greatest men and their failures are a testimony to God’s mercy and His willingness to restore sinners and fulfill covenant promises. </p> <p>Next, this genealogy presented the New Testament truth that the Gentiles also would become part of the family of God. God’s grace has made the new birth a reality for all nations. This fulfilled the promise to Abraham that all nations would be blessed in his seed, Jesus Christ. The gaps in Matthew’s genealogy serve as a reminder that every name was not needed, but the recorded connections identify Jesus as David’s royal heir. The apparent distinction between the way Matthew and Luke list descendants is unique. While begat speaks to biological descent, son of can have a more remote relationship (son-in-law, grandson, etc. speak to this fact). When Matthew arrives to Joseph in his genealogy, the author took care that his words did not obscure one of Christianity’s most important truths, the virgin birth of Christ. Luke’s genealogy identified the Son of God with the human race. Uniquely, the virgin birth makes Jesus a part of the human race. His coming would deliver us from sin, its curse and death by taking these things upon Himself. The Holy Ghost imparts to us all the blessings of eternal life that Jesus died and rose for us to have (Gal 3:13-14). This genealogy was a powerful witness then and is to us today. </p> <p>Pastor Daryl Cox 12.5.20 </p> <p>For full article see <a href="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2013/01/12/the-generation-of-jesus-christ-according-to-matthew/" rel="nofollow">https://specs12.wordpress.com/2013/01/12/the-generation-of-jesus-christ-according-to-matthew/</a> </p> <p>Reprinted from All Nations Leadership Institute, Jesus Across the Gospels</p> The Matthean Portrait of the King https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/12/04/the-matthean-portrait-of-the-king/ perSpectives 12 urn:uuid:6f252a36-ae6a-3148-c79f-5c3c932818e8 Fri, 04 Dec 2020 07:46:01 -0600 Advent Day 6 The Gospel authors centered their accounts on the revelation of God in Christ. It made their witness &#8230;<p><a href="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/12/04/the-matthean-portrait-of-the-king/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a></p> <h3 class="has-text-align-center"><span class="has-inline-color has-vivid-red-color">Advent Day 6</span></h3> <p>The Gospel authors centered their accounts on the revelation of God in Christ. It made their witness both scriptural and undeniable before an unbelieving world. Without God becoming man to die for humanity’s sins, He could not fulfill His redemptive purposes. Each Gospel’s view overlaps one to the other for interaction and account clarity. Matthew presented Jesus as a King-Servant, while Mark showed Him as a Son-Servant of the Lord. Luke testified Jesus as both Savior and Son of man. John concluded by proclamation and exposition, Jesus is the Son of God, God and man. As each account declared, His life’s purpose was to die and rise for sinners. Each book regardless of its perspective, leads to His crucifixion and resurrection. Mark’s Servant, although presented as King in Matthew, died; Luke’s Man, also called the Son of God in John, suffered crucifixion. The authors did not give a complete biography of His life. Instead, they presented a complete scriptural portrait of Jesus Christ, proclaiming His Gospel and forming the basis of New Testament writing and doctrine.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" data-attachment-id="5002" data-permalink="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/12/04/the-matthean-portrait-of-the-king/image04/" data-orig-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image04.png" data-orig-size="640,505" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="image0(4)" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image04.png?w=300" data-large-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image04.png?w=529" class="wp-image-5002 aligncenter" src="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image04.png" alt="image0(4)" width="411" height="324" srcset="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image04.png?w=411&amp;h=324 411w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image04.png?w=150&amp;h=118 150w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image04.png?w=300&amp;h=237 300w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/image04.png 640w" sizes="(max-width: 411px) 100vw, 411px"></p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>Matthew: Jesus, the King-Servant</strong></p> <p>Matthew wrote his Gospel to Jewish believers calling it the book of Jesus’ genealogy (Matt 1:1). It traces Jesus’ descent and describes His life based on Scripture. Proclaiming Him King of Israel, Matthew ancestrally linked Jesus to King David and Abraham through Joseph, Mary’s husband, revealing the two great covenants God established with them. This identified Jesus as David’s seed, Israel’s promised King (Davidic Covenant) and Abraham’s son in whom all nations would be blessed with salvation (Abrahamic Covenant). </p> <p>The Davidic and Abrahamic covenants present Christ’s first and second comings (Gen 22:18; 2 Sam 7:11-14). His first coming brought Abraham’s promised blessing of justification for everyone by crucifixion. His return will bring kingdom establishment and blessing for Israel and all nations. Matthew thoroughly confirmed Jesus’ kingship throughout his Gospel with teachings, miracles, prophecy fulfillment, along with statements and acts of authority; however, Jesus did not fulfill His reign. Instead, Israel in unbelief, rejected their king and crucified Him so God’s promised blessing in Abraham’s son will come to all nations by faith through the Holy Ghost (Gal 3:13-15). </p> <p>Matthew’s addition of Jesus’ virgin birth account to His genealogy gave essential significance to His identity. It revealed Abraham and David’s seed as the Lord God of Israel in flesh and why so many Scriptures came to fulfillment (Matt 1:21-23). Being literally Emmanuel, God with us as man, Jesus’ kingship had divine honor and authority—not human, although He descended from David and Abraham. </p> <p>Matthew fashioned his writing with a kingdom emphasis affirming Jesus as Messiah-King, but midway through his narration he transitioned presenting Jesus as Jehovah’s Servant (12:15-21; Isa 42:1). Using Isaiah’s prophecy in light of Israel&#8217;s initial rejection, Matthew guided his narration of Christ, the obedient Servant, to His final rejection by Israel while continuing a literary emphasis on God’s kingdom. In obedience, the rejected King postpones Israel’s messianic kingdom for humanity’s salvation (Matt 21:43). Along with kingdom emphasis, Matthew presented the continuous theme of redemption. Before Christ comes to reign, He will give Jews and Gentiles an opportunity to enter His kingdom.</p> <p>Pastor Daryl Cox</p> <p>12.4.20</p> <p>(Excerpt from <em>Jesus Across the Gospels: A Portrait of Who Jesus Is</em>)</p>