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Jesus and Moses

from Google Images

from Google Images

In Luke 5:33-39 Luke records Jesus making four pairs of contrasts: fasting and feasting, an old garment and new cloth, old wineskins and new wine, and old and new wine. All have to do with religious practice and how Jesus disciples relate to God, versus how this was done under the Old Covenant. Some contrast the Church and Judaism, but this isn’t enough. The heart of the matter is not simply Jewish tradition. Rather, the problem is with the Mosaic Law. Moses and Jesus are at odds in this respect, namely, that law and grace simply have no common ground. One cannot cry out for justice and forgive at the same time. Nevertheless, Jesus did not come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17)—i.e. to complete it, furnish what it lacked and pay its demands. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2019 in Gospel of Luke

 

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This Day this Scripture is Fulfilled

Spirit of the Lord is upon me -1

from Google Images

It is interesting that Matthew punctuates his entire Gospel with the theme of Christ fulfilling all things under the Old Covenant. Luke doesn’t do that. Rather, except for a few statements in the final week of Jesus’ public ministry, Luke brackets the whole of Jesus’ words and deeds between Luke 4:19 and 24:44 under the theme of what in Scripture was to be fulfilled. Here in Luke 4:19 Jesus claimed he was the Messiah by saying Isaiah 61 was fulfilled in the ears of his family and friends at Nazareth. Then in Luke 24:44 Jesus told his disciples in the upper room that all things in the Law, Prophets and Writings (Psalms) that were written about him had to have been fulfilled by him. Luke sets forth these two Scriptures as an inclusio.[1] That is, everything that falls between these two verses, he intends for us (and his addressee, Theophilus – Luke 1:3) to understand they concern Jesus fulfilling the Scriptures. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2019 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Birth of John the Baptist

John the Baptist - Birth

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John the Baptist was one of the seven people God named before they were born.[1] He was six months older than Jesus, because Elizabeth was pregnant with him in her sixth month when Mary conceived. John would later be killed by Herod Antipas, ruler of Galilee, because John had been critical of him for marrying Herodias, his brother’s (Herod Philip) wife. Jesus said there was no greater prophet than John the Baptist, yet only Luke mentions the details surrounding his birth. Josephus tells us that about eight years after John’s death: Antipas was at war with King Aretas, his former father-in-law, whose daughter Herod had divorced in order to marry Herodias. Antipas lost that war taking heavy casualties and losing his authority and presence in key areas where his land bordered that of King Aretas. The Jewish people were convinced Herod’s defeat was punishment from God for killing John the Baptist. What can we know of John? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2018 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Authentic Boast

from Google Images

from Google Images

“Before concluding his letter Paul returns once more to the antithesis of cross and circumcision, setting them forth this time as representing respectively the true and the false ground of boasting, and thus carrying a stage further his polemic against the Judaizers and their way of legal observance (Galatians 5:2-12).”[1] Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 29, 2016 in Galatians

 

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The Battle for the Good News

from Google Images

from Google Images

The question at this point is: why is circumcision (or anything we do) unable to make us right with God (Galatians 5:6; cf. 3:10, 21)? Just as the wages we earn have nothing to do with being a gift we receive, so circumcision or anything we do can have nothing to do with making us right before God, because righteousness is imputed (i.e. it is a gift), and what we do looks for a wage (reward for services rendered). It is Christ who makes us righteous (through grace, a gift), and we can only trust it is so, just as we trust that any gift we receive is entirely a gift—no strings attached. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2016 in Galatians

 

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Freedom and Authority

from Google Images

from Google Images

I may have freedom of religion while living under the authority of the American Constitution, but, if I choose to live under the authority of Iran, the American Constitution cannot profit me there, if I’m concerned about such freedom. Similarly, Christ cannot profit me, as far as freedom is concerned, if I choose to live under the Mosaic Law and trust in it for my salvation or my moral walk (Galatians 5:2). The Law doesn’t have power to give life, but it does have power to take it. Neither does the Law have power to make anyone righteous. It was never intended to have such power. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2016 in Galatians

 

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Paul’s Argument of Relationships

from Google Images

from Google Images

In Galatians 4:12 and following Paul concludes his fifth argument for justification before God coming through faith in Christ and not through keeping the law. He does this by again pointing to Abraham. Anyone who shares the faith of Abraham is already his son and heir and doesn’t need to keep the law to make it so, whatever false teachers may say. The Law was given as a temporary custodian to prepare the Jews for the coming of Christ, but it was through Christ that both Jew and gentile would receive the blessings God promised to Abraham. The Law was to bring men to Christ by showing them that not only couldn’t they keep its demands, but its very nature tempted them to do those very things it told them not to do. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2016 in Galatians

 

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