All posts by David R Maas

I research, write, and, every now and then, pontificate. I have experience in the history, language, and transmission of the Bible and other ancient texts. Whether this has evolved into expertise is an open question. I am a native of Seattle, Washington.

KINGDOM SERVANTS AND SLAVES

To be a citizen of the kingdom requires a life of self-sacrificial service for others, and not power over themMark 10:35-45.

The New Testament teaches that Christians are a “kingdom of priests.” As citizens of this realm, we rule with Jesus both now and in the “age to come.” But such a high calling raises the obvious question:  How do we participate in his reign? Fortunately, both Jesus and Paul provided down-to-earth explanations of how we are to implement his sovereignty on the earth.

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FULLY QUALIFIED HIGH PRIEST

Jesus qualified as our high priest by participating fully in human sufferings, mortality, and deathHebrews 2:5-18.

The priesthood of Jesus is one of the key subjects of the epistle to the Hebrews – He has become the “merciful and faithful high priest” for “his brethren.” The topic is anticipated in the opening paragraph of the letter, including the uniqueness of his priesthood. Unlike the Aaronic priests, the “Son achieved purification of sins,” then “sat down” in the “real” Tabernacle.

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PRIESTLY KINGDOM

Disciples reign with Jesus by fulfilling their role as “priests” who render divine service to God and mediate His light to the world

At Mount Sinai, Yahweh summoned Israel to become a “kingdom of priests, a holy nation.” If she kept His covenant, the nation would become “my own possession…FOR all the earth is mine.” God never intended for His people to be a community isolated from the rest of humanity. Instead, Israel was to reflect His light in a world darkened by sin.

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ASSEMBLY, THE SANCTUARY OF GOD

The Apostle Paul consistently applies Temple language metaphorically to the church of Jesus Christ

In his letters, Paul referred to the church as the “sanctuary of God,” and he applied related terms to the saints that were applied first to the Tabernacle and Temple in the Hebrew Bible. While the language is metaphorical, it describes new realities that have resulted from the death, resurrection, and exaltation of Jesus.

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EKKLÉSIA – THE ASSEMBLY

The use of the term “church” or ekklésia is derived from the “assembly of Yahweh” gathered for worship before the Tabernacle

The Greek term commonly rendered “church” in English is ekklésia, the noun that means “assembly, the congregation” – (Strong’s – #G1577). While it was used in ancient Greek for an “assembly” of local citizens gathered to discuss and legislate laws, political policies, and the like, it is a mistake to assume that is the source for or sense of how the New Testament employs the word.

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THAT SON OF MAN

The “one like a Son of Man” from Daniel is the source of Christ’s self-designation, the “Son of Man” – Daniel 7:13-14

In the gospel accounts, the “Son of Man” is the most frequent self-designation heard on the lips of Jesus, a term derived from Daniel’s vision of the figure “like a Son of Man,” who approached the “Ancient of Days” to receive “dominion.” For example, at the end of the age, “all the tribes of the earth” will mourn when “they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven.” Jesus was “that Son of Man.”

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