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Showing posts from January, 2014

NT Eschatology—Gospels Part 06

For the last several posts, we have been going through the Olivet Discourse. We’ve seen that Jesus’ entire “sermon” has actually been an answer to the disciples’ question regarding the fall of the Temple. In a nutshell, the fall of Jerusalem, including the Temple, would happen within their generation. They and their contemporaries would witness its destruction. Furthermore, the Fall of Jerusalem would be a “world shattering” event similar to the fall of Egypt or Babylon or the flood of Noah. Jesus gave them several “signs” that would point to the coming judgment, though the exact moment was unknown. Therefore, they must always be on the lookout so they could escape and not be caught up in it. People would be swept away by Yahweh’s judgment on the city but the outcome would be nothing less than the fulfillment of Daniel 7. The “Human One” would be vindicated and all power and authority would be stripped from the rogue powers and given to him. When it was all said and done, the cosmos w…

Weekly Gospel Reflection—26 January 2014

Matthew 4:12-23 (CEB): Now when Jesus heard that John was arrested, he went to Galilee. He left Nazareth and settled in Capernaum, which lies alongside the sea in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali. This fulfilled what Isaiah the prophet said:
Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, alongside the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who lived in the dark have seen a great light, and a light has come upon those who lived in the region and in shadow of death.
From that time Jesus began to announce, “Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven!”
As Jesus walked alongside the Galilee Sea, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew, throwing fishing nets into the sea, because they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” he said, “and I’ll show you how to fish for people.” Right away, they left their nets and followed him. Continuing on, he saw another set of brothers, James the son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with Zebedee t…

NT Eschatology—Gospels Part 05

For the last several posts we have been going through a sermon attributed to Jesus commonly called “The Olivet Discourse.” Within this sermon, some people see the “end of the world.” But our investigation has been leading us to a different conclusion. Specifically, it has been leading us to the destruction of the Temple (and Jerusalem) in 70 CE. While some people would agree with us up to this point, they would contend that with the next section(s), Jesus has switched from talking about the Temple’s destruction and moved to the “end of the world” and the “Second Coming.” They see this for a number of reasons. First, as we have noted, over and over Jesus referred to his contemporaries (i.e., the disciples and the nation as a whole that were living at the same time as Jesus). Second, Jesus gave them signs and symbols that were clues for them about the coming war with Rome and the destruction of the Temple. Third, the persecutions that Jesus described were taking place during the life of…

Weekly Gospel Reflection—19 January 2014

John 1:29-42 (CEB): The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one about whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is really greater than me because he existed before me.’ Even I didn’t recognize him, but I came baptizing with water so that he might be made known to Israel.” John testified, “I saw the Spirit coming down from heaven like a dove, and it rested on him. Even I didn’t recognize him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit coming down and resting is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and testified that this one is God’s Son.”
The next day John was standing again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus walking along he said, “Look! The Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard what he said, and they followed Jesus.
When Jesus turned and saw them following, he asked, “What are you looking for?”
They said, “Rabbi (which is trans…

NT Eschatology—Gospels Part 04

As we’ve been studying New Testament eschatology, we started working through a sermon attributed to Jesus commonly called “The Olivet Discourse.” To the surprise of many, the Olivet Discourse has not been about the “end of the world” but about the destruction of Jerusalem. We’ll slow down a little bit and look at this next section in more detail. The reason for this is that a lot of people think that Jesus changed topics and moved from the destruction of Jerusalem to the “end of the world.” We want to determine if that’s the case. This is important because, as I have stated before, Matthew 24 (and the parallel passages) is part of the foundation for how the disciples interpreted the time they were living in.
Matthew 24.32-36:“Learn this parable from the fig tree. After its branch becomes tender and it sprouts new leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, you know that the Human One is near, at the door. I assure you that this generation won’t…