Jesus was trying to raise their thinking to a higher level. The supplied food represented his message, his words, but even the apostles did not have a depth of understanding until Pentecost when they got the Holy Spirit, the spirit of remembrance. Then the meaning of Jesus’ words dawned on them.
Posts Tagged ‘ chief priests ’
We are to feed on Christ as the Jews fed on the literal lamb. Instead of the bitter herbs, which aided and whetted their appetites, we have bitter experiences and trials which the Lord prepares for us, and which help to wean our affections from earthly things and to give us increased appetite to feed upon the Lamb and the unleavened Bread of Truth. We, too, are to remember that we have here no continuing city; but as pilgrims, strangers, staff in hand, we are to gird ourselves for our journey to the Heavenly Canaan, to all the glorious things which God has in reservation for the Church of the First-borns, in association with our Redeemer, as kings and priests unto God.
The last mention of Saul was in connection with witnessing the death of Stephen. From his prejudiced standpoint, Saul could not recognize the saintly character of Stephen, even though he heard the long, bold sermon to the priesthood and the authorities and witnessed the stoning and Stephen’s kneeling down with a radiant face. Saul thought Christianity was a false religion, and although he could see that stamping it out would be very difficult, he felt that something had to be done to stop those who, like Stephen, spoke so boldly and so confidently and were willing to die in a resigned fashion for their beliefs. Feeling a personal responsibility to do everything in his power to stop this new interpretation of the Old Testament Scriptures, he got letters (plural) of authority from the high priest. This meant that the high priest wrote to the one in charge of each synagogue Saul would be visiting en route to Damascus, his destination.
Ananias and Sapphira, his wife, sold a possession and kept back part of the price. This would not have been wrong to do under other circumstances, but at that time, there was a consenting agreement among the brethren to dispose of earthly assets and convert them to cash or to use them (for example, a house) wholly in the Lord’s service. They had agreed to hold all things in common to benefit the brotherhood and to distribute to individual brethren in proportion to necessity. The problem was that Ananias sold his property and then pretended, or claimed, to have given all the money from the sale of a possession into the common treasury when, in fact, he had held back a portion. He laid the money “at the apostles’ feet.” This deception was a sin against the Holy Spirit.
It is interesting that John tarried at the Cross to see these things happen, for when the soldiers came, it was after 3 p.m., the time Jesus died. Between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilate beseeching Jesus’ body. Joseph returned with Nicodemus and removed the body from the Cross. Thus John remained for some time after Jesus’ death. And now we can see why John felt it essential to write about Nicodemus in his Gospel (the other Gospels mention Joseph but not Nicodemus). Only John recorded the conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus. Here is another example showing that all four Gospels are needed for a rounded-out picture.
“Being a disciple of Jesus,” Joseph of Arimathea besought Pilate for the body. In other words, Joseph was fully convinced of Jesus’ Messiahship before he went to Pilate, but he had not disclosed his conviction previously. Now that Jesus was dead, Joseph was strengthened in character to beseech Pilate for the body, even though doing so would make him a public spectacle—and Nicodemus too. Initially Joseph and Nicodemus, who went to Jesus secretly by night, were fearful. Both were probably on the Sanhedrin, and both were men of means.
Felix had put Paul under house arrest, hoping to get a bribe, but the bribe was not forthcoming. Festus could have released Paul for lack of evidence but did not do so. Now fact gathering was again attempted, and evidence was lacking. Paul was playing into the hands of providence, which indicated he was to go to Rome. While under prison house arrest, he had had two to three years to analyze the circumstance and what God’s will was for him. In determining providence and the meaning of the experience, he realized the Lord wanted him to go to Rome, and he knew the surest way to get free passage was to appeal his case to Caesar and go as a prisoner.