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Monday, February 13, 2012

Jesus fulfilled the Law & the Prophets - Part 9 - John 8-14

I don't know about you guys, but I'm sure learning a lot through this experience! Many of these passages were already familiar to me, but many are new, too! It's exciting to read the New Testament and see how the Old Testament was pointing to Jesus. It's all about Him! I'm sure there are far more eloquent articles on this subject elsewhere, but for me this is all about reading it straight from the source so I'm sure of what it's really saying - then I share it here. I know these are much different from my usual blogs, but even if I'm the only one reading this, I am learning & growing by reading & writing these passage down. Here we go again! :)
  • John 8:1-11 is talking about the woman caught in adultery. Verse 5 - "'In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?'" Now remember, this was the law that God gave through Moses - it included stoning. Instead of abiding by the law that He Himself set, Jesus told them that whoever was without sin could throw the first stone. We are all sinners, but through Jesus we have forgiveness. The law that God gave through Moses was for a specific people for a specific time frame - it wasn't for everyone everywhere for all times!
  • John 8:28 - "So Jesus said, 'When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.'" Much emphasis is put on the fact that God spoke the 10 Commandments. And yet even more emphasis should be put on everything that Jesus Himself spoke. He was here speaking to us the very things that God the Father wanted Him to say. Talk about direct access to God! And yet somehow that isn't as "big" as God speaking the 10 Commandments to the Israelites...?
  • John 8:31-32 - "To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, 'If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.'" We aren't told to hold to Moses' teachings (which was in fact God speaking to the Israelites through Moses since He gave the laws), but to hold to Jesus' teachings. Jesus revealed the will of God to us while He was here. He gave us commands to follow under the new covenant. Keeping these commands won't save us, but because we accept Him and He saves us we want to follow Him!
  • John 8:31-41 talks about the Children of Abraham
  • John 8:48-59 talks about how Abraham longed to see this day
  • John 9 talks about Jesus healing a blind man on the Sabbath. Verse 16 - "Some of the Pharisees said, 'This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.'" Sound familiar? Hmmmm.... You know, it's interesting to me that if the Sabbath is so important and is supposed to be the final test at the end times that Jesus Himself broke the Sabbath according to the laws that God set. Yes, some of the Sabbath rules were man-made, but God commanded the Israelites not to pick up sticks on the Sabbath - Jesus told a man to pick up his bed & walk (knowing it would cause a stir). God commanded the Israelites not to gather food (manna) on the Sabbath - Jesus & His disciples picked wheat on the Sabbath to eat. Jesus compared the Sabbath to ceremonial things - circumcision and eating sacred temple bread. He seems to go out of His way to heal on the Sabbath, knowing it would be a big deal. Multiple times, we are told in the Bible that Jesus broke the Sabbath, and it isn't disputed.
  • John 10:22 mentions Hanukkah (the Feast of Dedication)
  • John 10:34-36 - "Jesus answered them, 'Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods'? If he called them 'gods', to whom the word of God came - and the Scripture cannot be broken - what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world?..." This passage quotes from Psalm 82:6. Jesus references Psalms as part of the Law, so the Law included more than just the first 5 books of the Bible.
  • John 12:13 quotes from Psalm 118:25-26
  • John 12:15 - fulfillment of Zech 9:9
  • John 12:16 - "At first his disciples did not understand this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him."
  • John 12:34 - "The crowd spoke up, 'We have heard from the Law that the Christ will remain forever, so how can you say, "The Son of Man must be lifted up"? Who is this "Son of Man"?'" The Law included more than just the actual commands given in the books of Moses.
  • John 12:38 - fulfillment of Is. 53:1
  • John 12:40 - fulfillment of Is. 6:10
  • John 12:41 - "Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus' glory and spoke about him."
  • John 12:47-50 again talks about the judgement and what it's about - "'As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.'" Jesus spoke what the Father wanted Him to speak. We are to keep the words that Jesus spoke - and those who reject Jesus will be condemned by the very word that Jesus spoke.
  • John 13:18 - fulfillment of Psalm 41:9
  • John 13:34-35 - "'A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.'" In the Old Testament, God set aside His people by a bunch of rituals - circumcision, holy days, priesthood, 613 rules... That is what made them distinct from other nations. Under the new covenant (in the New Testament), Jesus tells us that what sets us apart is love. They will know we are Christians by our love! Not by outward appearances. Not by what day we "keep".
  • John 14:10 - "'Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.'" Why do we pay more attention to what God spoke to the Israelites in the Old Testament than to God's instructions to us in the New Testament?
  • John 14:15 - "'If you love me, you will obey what I command.'"
  • John 14:21 - "'Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.'"
  • John 14:23-24 - "Jesus replied, 'If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teachingg. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.'" Again and again - If we love Jesus we obey His teachings! He doesn't say, "If you love me, obey the 10 Commandments," or, "If you love me, obey the law of Moses." Remember, He refers to the law of Moses a lot. But here it's something different - we are to obey Jesus' teachings!

On a side note, if you have a Strong's Concordance or access to the internet, look up "entole" and "nomos". They are the original Greek words that are translated as law or commands in English. Nomos is used for law (as in the law given to Moses - the whole thing) and entole is used for the commands of Jesus. They are different words completely, even though in English they are sometimes both translated as commandments or similar.

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