Where do I Start? Part 3

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      AvatarRebecca A.
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      Answering these questions concerning “Jesus’ Earthly Ministry” has been a good challenge for me. Being less familiar with this material than I would like to be has caused me to spend more time reading and studying through many portions of the Bible to find the answers that are not only simply stated but are consistent with what is true of the rest of scripture. It continues to be very helpful for me to go through this list of questions and find answers or confirm the things I already knew and try to articulate those clearly. It is hard work but rewarding to put the time in to knowing what God’s word says about these issues. I hope the answers and verses listed are a help to your growth in understanding some of the facts about Jesus’ ministry on this earth to the Nation of Israel. There are many things I have learned about this topic in the past few years that I was simply ignorant of growing up. Remember, it is never too late to start or continue learning!

      Learning about events and the reasons for them in Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John, is such a help in understanding the rest of scripture. Seeing in these books who Jesus is, being both God and man and why He came to this earth and what He accomplished and seeing the fulfillment of prophecy all throughout these four books shows God’s faithfulness to Israel and the promises made to their fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the old testament portion of the Bible. However, God has not only provided things for Israel. We will see in part four of this series that God has provided salvation (present forgiveness of all sins, and hope of eternal life through Christ’s work on the cross and His resurrection) to all men (that would include you and me). So please continue to follow this series and grow in your understanding of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery also. I do hope it will be clear that what I just described is not something Israel understood. God’s dealings with Israel as a chosen nation are different than that of the New Creature, the Body of Christ; information which was revealed to Paul first and that after the events of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

      Don’t believe me? Please keep reading and consider this thought. If the gospel that saves all men today is that of God’s grace alone without our works but by faith in the work Jesus accomplished by dying, shedding His blood, being buried, and raising again, than it is not something we gain through the law or covenants given to the Nation of Israel. The covenants, promises, and Mosaic law given to Israel were to and for that nation. We cannot simply take promises given of God to other people and try to claim them as our own. (For more information on these promises and covenants please go back and read my second post in this series).We will see verses in this post that show that Jesus in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John did not come to Gentiles(nations) but to Israel(one nation that God chose above all nations) and everything He does in these books is to fulfill prophecy about Himself as the promised messiah and savior to Israel. This is a helpful history lesson but perhaps it is not as applicable to our participation as many would have you believe.

      Jesus’ Earthly Ministry- (Answers)

      21.Who was Jesus’ mother?

      -Matthew 1:16- Jesus’ mother’s name was Mary

      22.Was she a virgin?

      -Matthew 1:18, Luke 1:27- Mary was a virgin before and up until the birth of Jesus. He was not born as a product of his earthly father.

      23.Who was Jesus’ earthly Father?

      -Matthew 1:16, Luke 1:27- The earthly father of Jesus was Joseph.

      24.Was Jesus both God and man?

      -John 1:1-9, 1 John 5:7, John 10:30, Colossians 1:5-15, Colossians 2:9- We see in the previous answers that Jesus had an earthly mother and father, so there is no denying that Jesus was indeed a man. The real question and sadly very debated is the question of Jesus’ deity. Is Jesus God? From the verses listed here I would say the Bible is very clear that Jesus is both man and God. In Colossians we see that Jesus is the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Jesus was fully God while also being fully man. Philippians 2:4-5 talks about Jesus taking upon Himself the form of a servant and being made in the likeness of men. If Jesus took something upon Himself, it implies that He already was and that He chose to become a man. Jesus is God and He became God in the flesh by becoming a man.

      25.Where was Jesus born?

      -Matthew 2:1- He was born in Bethlehem of Judaea.

      26.Why did God tell Joseph and his family to flee into Egypt?

      -Matthew 2:12-15- God instructed Joseph to take his family into Egypt because Herod sought to destroy Jesus. By them fleeing into Egypt, it also fulfilled prophesy.

      27.At the beginning of John the Baptist’s ministry, where was he found preaching?

      -Matthew 3:1- In the Wilderness of Judea.

      28.Why did John baptize with water?

      -Mark 1:2-5, Matthew 3:1-3, John 1:1-36- He was baptizing with water to fulfill prophesy, for the nation of Israel to receive remission of sin, to make known that the Kingdom of heaven was at hand and to bear witness of and make manifest the prophesied King, the Messiah come to Israel.

      29.Why was Jesus baptized with water?

      -Matthew 3:13-17, John 1:29-36- Unlike every other Israelite, Jesus was without sin. Having no earthly father He was not born of the seed of sinful Adam(man) rather, Jesus being God was born of the Holy Spirit. Because Jesus is God and God is righteous and Holy than Jesus in the flesh was perfectly righteous and without sin. (Psalm 116:5,Leviticus 19:2) Therefore, Jesus was not baptized for the remission of sins. He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness and to make Himself manifest to Israel. Jesus had to be identified with sinful Israel so He could later bear their sins on a cross to provide salvation to them in the future in their Kingdom.

      30.In Jesus’ earthly ministry, was He sent to Jews or Gentiles?

      -Matthew15:24, Romans 9:1-5- Jesus was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Jews) not unto the Gentiles. Jesus according to the flesh was sent to the nation God chose out of every nation; those whom the promises, law, and covenants were given. (Not Gentile dogs, Matthew 15:26)

      31.Why did Jesus choose 12 apostles?

      -Matthew 19:28, Luke 22:30- Because there are twelve tribes of the nation of Israel. The twelve apostles would sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes in the Kingdom that God would bring to the earth in Jerusalem.

      32.Which one of the 12 apostles did God give the keys of the kingdom to?

      -Matthew 16:18-19- Peter was given the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.

      33.When did Jesus begin to tell His disciples that He was going to die and raise again?

      -Matthew 16:20- Just after Jesus spoke of the keys He would give to Peter “He began from that time forth to speak with them about how He would suffer and be crucified and raise again the third day”.

      34.Did the disciples understand what Jesus told them?

      -Matthew 16:21-23, Mark 9:31-32- The disciples did not understand what Jesus had just told them about His death and resurrection. Peter tried to tell Jesus that these things would not happen and Jesus responded by calling Peter satan. The Bible also tells us that they were too afraid to ask Jesus about all that He had said. (if Salvation is by Grace through Faith in Christ’s death, blood shed, and resurrection, how is it that the disciples did not even know these things would happen and more than that did not even believe Jesus when He told them these things would take place?)

      35.Which of the 12 apostles betrayed Jesus, resulting in Him being captured by those who sought to kill Him?

      -Matthew 26:14-16, 26:20-25, 27:1-5- Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus to the chief priests.

      36.When Jesus was raised from the dead, did the disciples believe the report of those who had seen Jesus?

      -Mark 16:1-14, Luke 24:1-11- They did not believe that Jesus had risen from the dead.

      (Not only did the disciples not understand all that Jesus needed to do but they didn’t even believe He had raised from the dead like Jesus said He would.)

      37.What was the name of the man chosen to take the place of Judas as one of the 12 apostles?

      -Acts 1:16-26- Matthias was chosen to take the place of Judas.

      38.Was Israel’s salvation a present thing for them or was it something they would receive in the future?

      -Matthew 10:22, 24:13, Acts 3:19,1 Peter 1:5, Hebrews 10:36, 2 peter 3:13, Revelation 21- Israel’s Salvation will be received in the future. However, they must endure to the end to be saved.

      39.Does the Bible tell us that Israel will Reign in Heaven or on the Earth

      -Revelations 5:10, Revelation 21-Israel’s Kingdom the new Jerusalem will come down from Heaven to the earth where Israel will reign with God.

      40.Was all of this information about Israel and their future prophesied about since the world began?

      -Luke 1:67-75, Acts 3:18-26- Everything God has done and will do for Israel has to do with the covenants and promises He made with their fathers since the world began. This information was not new, it all lined up with those things which were prophesied.

      41.Has Israel fallen from their standing with God as a nation above all other nations?

      -Romans 11:25- Israel, throughout their history rejected God time and time again. They rejected their prophesied Messiah and had Him crucified. They even rejected the work that the holy Spirit was performing resulting in the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7. Just before Stephen was stoned by the crowd he called those who stood by listening uncircumcised in heart and ears(Acts 7:51). This is language used throughout Israel’s history to communicate their unbelief or disobedience to God. In Romans 11:32 Paul explains that God was now considering all Israel in unbelief so that He could have mercy upon all. We learn in Romans 9:6 “…For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel…”. And in Romans 11:26 we see Israel is blind in part. However, also consistent with Israel’s history, a remnant of Israel remained(those believing and faithful to continue in all that God had instructed them to do). That remnant was Peter and the other apostles of Jesus Christ and those faithful believing Jews who were with them.

      42.Will God keep His promises to Israel in the future?

      -Jeremiah 31:31-34, Romans 11:26-27- God will keep His promise and covenants made to Abraham and his seed(believing Israel). All of those things are yet future. The book of revelation describes many events such as trials and tribulation and God’s righteous judgment that must happen before Israel’s kingdom comes to the earth and they are saved and forgiven of all sin once and for all.

      Please stay tuned for the next part of this series where we will see information from God that pertains to us today contained in the mystery that Jesus revealed about Himself to Saul(Paul) beginning on the road to Damascus. This mystery information that has been made known to us through Paul’s writings is where we find the hope for all men regarding salvation without Israel’s covenants and promises(Ephesians 2:11-12). There are things God kept secret since the world began that were not made known to the nation of Israel. God in His wisdom did this purposefully knowing all that God in the flesh, Jesus Christ needed to fulfill to provide salvation to all men(1 Corinthians 2:8)! We would be sadly mistaken to try to live after and under the covenants, promises, and laws given to the nation of Israel when we have offered to us a present possession of Salvation on the basis of faith in what God has provided by His grace through the finished work of Christ’s cross!

      Written By: Rebecca

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      Where do I Start? Part 3

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