All posts by David R Maas

I write and occasionally pontificate on the kingdom of God, Christian discipleship, and end-times prophecy, but above all, on Jesus. Who is he? What did he do and teach? I seek to understand each passage in its literary and historical contexts. Currently, I reside in the city of Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington.

MANIFEST GLORY OF GOD

Ever since the “word became flesh,” the glory and knowledge of God are found in Jesus by everyone who believes – John 1:14.

In the prologue to John’s gospel, Jesus is presented as the “word made flesh” in whom the “glory of God” is manifested. He is the Greater Tabernacle foreshadowed by the old tent in the wilderness. He is the place where Yahweh’s glory is beheld by all believers. This statement anticipates John’s later passages that link Christ inextricably to the Father.

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HE TABERNACLED AMONG US

Jesus is the True and Greater Tabernacle in whom the presence and glory of God reside – John 1:14.

The gospel of John presents Jesus as the dwelling place of God dwells, the Greater Tabernacle where his glory is seen, and the true worship of the Father takes place “in the spirit.” Access to His glory is no longer confined by the physical walls of the Temple or Tabernacle or limited to the geographic boundaries of the land of Canaan.

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SERVANT OF THE KING

His disciples are called to lives of self-sacrificial service for others, just as Jesus gave his life a ransom for many – Mark 10:35-45

After predicting his trial and execution, the disciples jockeyed for position in Christ’s reign over his kingdom. In words and deeds, he taught them previously that kingdom citizenship means a life of self-sacrificial service to others. But as he approached Jerusalem, even his closest followers demonstrated a very different vision of what it meant to “rule” over others in his domain.

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SPIRIT AND MISSION

Jesus now dispenses the gift of the Spirit to his people, and it empowers them to carry out gospel proclamation to all nations.

In the second Psalm, the Messiah is the Son of God and the ideal king anointed by Yahweh to reign over the nations, the one to whom the “kings of the earth” will pay homage. And in the gospel accounts, he is anointed by the Spirit at his baptism to equip him to proclaim the “kingdom of God” to all of Israel.

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EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT

After his baptism, the Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness to be tested by the Devil. But he succeeded where Israel had failed.

After his baptism, the Spirit “drove Jesus into the wilderness” for “forty days and nights,” just as Moses found himself alone on Sinai when he received the Law. And like Israel, Christ was “tested” in the wilderness. But unlike the Israelites, he overcame every test and emerged victorious from the desert – “full of the Holy Spirit” – well-equipped to proclaim the gospel.

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A NEW AGE DAWNED

The commencement of the “last days,” the time of fulfillment, began following the death, resurrection, and exaltation of Jesus.

When we hear the term “last days,” quite naturally, we assume it refers to the final short period of history just prior to the return of Jesus in glory. This is a logical assumption. Yet, the New Testament presents this period as the era of fulfillment that began with the death, resurrection, and exaltation of Jesus. In him, the “ends of the ages” have come upon the people of God.

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