The gospel of John identifies Jesus as the Logos, the “word” by which God made all things, a key theme that is explicated in the body of the book. In doing so, John does not engage in metaphysical speculation but builds on traditional ideas from the Hebrew Bible about how Yahweh created the universe and gave life through His spoken word.Continue reading
This is My Son!
In Mark, Jesus first appears when he is baptized by John the Baptist. The passage identifies him with his hometown, Nazareth, a small village of no consequence, though its very insignificance plays a part in the larger narrative.
Jesus is the Messiah who does not fit popular expectations even as he is anointed Messiah at the Jordan River in fulfillment of Scripture.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
POWER AND WISDOM
The Power and Wisdom of God are revealed in Christ Crucified, not in great miraculous displays or the exercise of political might.
We assume people are drawn to the biblical faith by displays of supernatural power, eloquent speech, ministerial success, and so on. Did not Jesus win the crowds by performing miracles? In fact, most of his contemporaries failed to recognize who he was despite his healing the sick, exorcising demons, and even calming a horrific storm with only a verbal command.Continue reading
LAMB OF ISRAEL
Jesus is the “slain Lamb,” the true Messiah of Israel sent by God to redeem humanity and “shepherd” the nations.
The Book of Revelation is addressed to the “churches of Asia” and begins with salutations from God, the “seven spirits that are before His throne,” and especially from Jesus Christ, the “faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.” These labels not only establish his royal “credentials,” but point to how he obtained sovereignty over the earth.Continue reading