We need to be prepared when the Lord sends our way a chance to serve those in need, or we may miss out on one of God’s amazing Christmas miracles.
Posts Tagged ‘ Galilee ’
The “hour” began at the First Advent in Israel, and Jerusalem did become a center of attraction in the beginning of the Gospel Age. After AD 69, Jerusalem lost significance for the Christian, and the worship of the Father in spirit and in truth became paramount. In the Kingdom too, Jerusalem will be the center of worship, education, etc., but it will fade out in time.
Chronologically, Jonah followed right after Obadiah’s prophecy, which was against Edom and showed God’s judgment against Gentile power. Jonah’s prophecy also came right after Obadiah’s prophecy in regard to its lesson. The Book of Jonah represents (1) some of Jesus’ experiences and (2) the thoughts of many Jews. The latter, whom God favored for so long, tended to overdraw the lesson of judgment and to feel self-righteous. The Jews did not want to think too kindly about the other powers, and they were nervous when they heard that God would help the Gentiles. Combined with Obadiah, the Book of Jonah is a balance of mercy against judgment. Incidentally, the nominal Church and even some of the true Church likewise need lessons on God’s mercy toward those not in covenant relationship with Him.
Jesus went into the wilderness because he was overwhelmed by the knowledge of his prehuman existence and the instruction God had given before sending him on this mission. We know that Jesus was briefed before coming down here because he said he spoke as the Father had taught him (John 8:28; 12:49,50). Jesus’ experience to that point as a human being was one thing, and his prehuman existence and knowledge were another. He had to adjust the two and decide how to start his ministry. Apparently, he had things sorted out after the 40 days, and now he was returning with the power of the Holy Spirit, knowing how to proceed with his ministry. And it was at his weakest point after 40 days of fasting, Satan came to tempt.
Jesus taught in the synagogues. He had not gone to any rabbinical school, and his parents were known. As he read portions of Scripture, the people realized he was not a rabbi in the normal sense. Hearing him explain with great knowledge—above what any rabbi could ever hope to know—they could not understand where his great wisdom came from. They sat stunned as he opened up the Scriptures to them. Whatever the Scripture reading was would determine the nature of his discourse. The Scripture reading was “programmed” in advance (as in many churches today), but Jesus breathed new life into the Scriptures. The people would want to hear him again on the following sabbath. Jesus would read with understanding and the right intonation, sit down, and then explain what he had read.
Jesus’ strong words showed that the people were mostly interested in the healing. Instead of realizing that the miracles were an evidence of his Messiahship and desiring his message, they sought the loaves and the fishes and did not become his disciples. Much is attributed to social communication. Many are attracted by fellowship and sociality. Very few hunger for the real gospel, for the Word itself. This is as true today as it was back there.