Luke part 3 : Jesus the Teacher.

The gospel of Luke is heavy in content to know and lessons to learn and details to remember and Jesus 🙂 Luke has 24 chapters and I may take more than 4 parts to finish it all. If you missed Luke part 1 : Jesus is willing. or Luke part 2 : Jesus the healer., click on the links ( underlined). That only constitutes the first 10 chapters of Luke!

Continuing on with Luke…….

In chapter 11 : Jesus’ disciples ask Him to teach them how to pray. He teaches them The Lord’s prayer. Jesus tells them a parable about persevering and not giving up. Jesus tells them to ask, seek and knock and they will receive, find, and the door will be opened to them. Jesus tells them God ( the Father ) will give them the Holy Spirit when they ask. Jesus drives out a demon ( that made the man mute) and he talks. Jesus tells the people He is driving demons out by God, not by beelezebub ( prince of demons). Jesus says 23 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Jesus’ mother is blessed by a woman in the crowd. Jesus replies ” Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it “. Jesus says no sign , except the sign of Jonah will be given to (their and our) wicked generation. {1} Jesus tells us that we need to be filled with Light (His) so that there is no darkness in us. Jesus is invited to a Pharisee’s house for a meal where He surprises him by NOT ritually washing. Jesus pronounces 3 woes (doom) on the Pharisees and then 3 woes on the experts of the Law. This angers all of them and they oppose Him fiercely.

In chapter 12 : Jesus teaches first His disciples and warns them to be on their guard against the “yeast” of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy. Jesus tells them to be afraid of the one who can kill both the body and the soul. He tells them ( and us) not one of them (us) will be forgotten by God. Jesus says He will acknowledge ( before His Father) those who acknowledge Him. Whoever speaks against the Son of Man will be forgiven but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not. The Holy Spirit will give us the words to speak ( to defend ourselves) when we are brought before authorities and rulers. Jesus warns the people to be on their guard against greed as Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions. Jesus tells them a parable about a rich man thinking of building more barns to store his wealth but dying that very night.{2} Jesus tells the people not to worry but to consider the ravens and the lilies ( God provides for them). God knows what we need, we are to seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to (us) as well.  We are to provide treasures for ourselves where it will not rot nor be stolen (in Heaven, by doing good works), for where our treasures are, there will be our hearts also. We must be ready and wait for the Son of Man for He will come back at an hour when we don’t expect Him. The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Jesus says He has come to bring division not peace, family members will be against each other because of Him. Jesus tells the people to correctly interpret the signs of the times because He is coming soon.

In chapter 13 : Jesus tells the people no one is a worse sinner than the other ( even if he suffers more!) but that everyone should repent or they will perish. Jesus heals a woman who had been crippled for 18 years on the Sabbath and she straightens up. This infuriates the Pharisees. {3}. The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed or yeast {4}. The entry into Heaven is like entering through a narrow door.{5} Jesus is sorrowful over Jerusalem because they have not accepted / received Him.

In chapter 14 : On a Sabbath when Jesus went to eat at a home of a prominent Pharisee, He healed a man with abnormal swelling on his body. Jesus told the guests that those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted, when He saw how they chose places of honour at the table. Jesus tells His host ( and us) to invite the poor, the crippled, the lame , the blind, when he (we) throw a banquet ( party/ celebration) so that we will get our reward at the resurrection of the righteous. {6} Jesus tells us to first count the cost before following Him. If don’t put Jesus first, above all else, above our marriages, our children, our spouses, our parents, our careers, our hobbies, our wealth, our reputations, we can never follow Him. He is God. He is Jealous for us with a holy desire. He will NOT share His glory with another, even if the other is us.

In chapter 15 : When the Pharisees and teachers of the Law see tax collectors and other “sinners” gather around Jesus, they mutter at Him. Jesus tells them 3 parables about lost things. A man has 100 sheep and loses one and goes in search of it leaving the 99 behind. A woman has 10 silver coins and loses one and searches her home inside and out to find it. A man “loses” one of his sons and when the son comes back, the father rejoices exceedingly. In each parable Jesus shows the increasing value of the things lost. In the last, He is the Father, waiting compassionately for the “lost son” ( us) to return, and when  we do, as un-deserving as we are, He runs to us with open arms, dresses us in fine clothes ( His robes of righteousness), prepares a banquet for us with choicest foods and celebrates over the return of one lost sinner.

 

{1} The sign of Jonah- Jonah was sent to tell a corrupt and wicked city to repent. He spent 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of a fish, then was vomited out. Like Jonah , Jesus is sent to a wicked and corrupt people , pleading with them to repent. Like Jonah, Jesus will spend 3 days and nights inside Hades but He will rise victorious again. Unlike Jonah though, Jesus will go willingly to the people but the people will not be willing to listen to Him and turn from their rebellious ways. }

{2} The man had so much wealth, he decided to build more barns to store it, and then be merry the rest of his life. That very night, his life was demanded from him, and his wealth went to nobody. Jesus says This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God. }

{3} The Pharisees want the people to be healed only on the first 6 days , not on the Sabbath. Jesus is furious and points out the work they do for their animals on the Sabbath and declares that this daughter of Abraham is more important and deserves to be set free. At this, His opponents were humiliated but the people were delighted at the wonderful things He did. }

{4} Yeast or mustard seed-  small to look at or insignificant but it grows into a tree that provides support to many birds or like yeast spreads throughout the dough and makes it rise. So it is with the Kingdom of God}

{5} Many people will call themselves Christians or think they are, but they will not be allowed into Heaven. At the same time, people from all over, all races, tribes, nations, cultures, languages will be there in Heaven. }

{6} Jesus then tells a parable about a rich man who invited guests to a banquet and none of them came making excuses. So he ordered his servants to go into the alleys and by ways of the town to find the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind and bring them instead. These people are the outcasts of society. Through this, Jesus illustrates that that is what He has come to do. Bring the outcasts of society ( us- the sinners, the corrupt, the rebellious,the needy, the sick, the dying) to His table where there is joy and the richest of foods. }

 

That concludes part 3! There are 9 chapters left, and I hope to finish those in 2 parts. We are the lost sons over whose return, all of Heaven rejoices. I hope you know this Loving Father and if you don’t, that you will. He is worth everything that you have to give up.

Until next time,

Vanessa

 

Luke part 2 : Jesus the healer.

I wrote about the first 6 chapters of Luke awhile ago. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of events and catching up. I attended my brother’s reception out of town ( my husband stayed home with our children and did fantastic!), I came back and had volunteered to teach in a VBS so my kids could attend ( we went in the mornings and Adam had his therapy sessions in the afternoons so we were rushing from one place to another), the “check engine oil ” came on in my car (  turns out it was a computer glitch), I fell sick after VBS and Christina caught it from me. I’ve yet to unpack my suitcase, instead I’ve been catching up on laundry ( washing them, but not putting them away so today there were about 10 loads that needed to get sorted , folded and stored!!), feeding the kids in between Adam’s sessions ( we are up to 30 hours per week), helping Christina with worksheets to keep her busy, colouring with her and basically keeping her off electronics while Adam is engaged. I’ve not been on social media in weeks ( it’s not a bad thing :-)) and even less so on my blog ( that’s not what I wanted to do though 😦 ).

What I have done though is worshipping My Saviour, My LORD and My God first thing in the morning. I’ve introduced Christian songs to my kids ( Christina’s favourite is “fruit of the Spirit”, Adam loves “where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”). I’ve spent sweet time with my husband and enjoyed it. I’ve rested. I’ve not let myself feel (too much ) guilt. I’m in the process of re-writing the words that I speak to myself , words of grace and Truth instead of lies. I’ve cooked. I’ve taken the kids to the pool (they can’t get enough of the water ). I’ve played and coloured and crafted and cleaned and have been present (tried to) more than previous summers.

I still love writing, and especially these summaries on each chapter of the Bible, makes me read and re- read , and I’m intrigued when I find connections and details that I’ve missed before. I will devote as much time as I can to my blog, but when I can’t, I will allow Scripture to fill me up. Happy Summer and I hope you get to enjoy time with your family.

Continuing with the gospel of Luke,

In chapter 7 : Jesus enters Capernaum, a centurion (Roman senior officer)’s servant was ill. Some Jews came to Jesus and pleaded with Him to heal the servant for the man’s sake because he was a good man. Close to the house, some friends of the centurion come to Jesus and tell Him that the centurion doesn’t feel worthy about Jesus entering his house , but to say the Word and the servant will be healed. Jesus is amazed at his faith and does what he asks. Jesus goes to Nain and raises the dead (only) son of a widow and gives him back to her. 16 They were all filled with awe and praised God. ‘A great prophet has appeared among us,’ they said. ‘God has come to help his people.’ 17 This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country. John (the Baptist ) sends 2 disciples to Jesus to find out if He is the Messiah. Jesus replies with His miracles and says “Blessed is the one who doesn’t stumble because of Him”. After they leave, Jesus addresses the crowd and calls John a prophet and His messenger. He says on earth, there is no greater than John, but John will be the least of those who are in the Kingdom of God. Jesus compares that generation ( and ours) to willful children who are never satisfied ( they complained about John’s methods and about Jesus’ too). Simon the Pharisee invites Jesus to a meal where He is anointed by a sinful woman. She wet Jesus’ feet with tears, wiped them with her hair and poured perfume on them. Jesus talks about forgiveness and forgives the woman ( for the love she had shown).

In chapter 8: Jesus travels from town to town with His disciples and is supported by women out of their own means{1}. Jesus tells them the parable of the sower and the seed. {2}. Jesus talks about (us) listening carefully. Whoever has, will be given more, whoever doesn’t have, even what he has will be taken from him. Jesus says His (mother and brothers) family are those who hear God’s Word and put it into practice. Jesus crosses the lake with His disciples. A storm comes up while Jesus is sleeping. He wakes up and rebukes the storm and His disciples are fearful and amazed. Jesus goes to Gerasenes, heals a demon (many demons calling themselves Legion) possessed man. He sends the demons into a herd of a pigs who rush down the bank of the lake and are drowned. The people of the town come and see the (formerly) demon possessed man sitting at Jesus’ feet, clothed and in his right mind and beg Jesus to leave. He does. The man wishes to come with Jesus. Jesus tells him to go back home instead, the man goes back to town and tells all that happened. Jesus heals a women of bleeding ( she had it for 12 years and she touched His cloak and power went out from Him) and raises Jairus’ daughter from death. Her parents’ are astonished but Jesus tells them not to tell anyone.

In chapter 9: Jesus sends out the 12 with authority to drive out demons and to cure diseases and to proclaim the Kingdom of God. {3} Herod is disturbed by Jesus’ doings and wants to see Him. Jesus feeds 5000 men (women and children were not included in the count) with 5 loaves and 2 fish and the disciples pick up 12 basketfuls of broken bread. Peter declares that Jesus is the Messiah when asked. Jesus warns them not to tell others. Jesus predicts His death. He says The Son of Man must be rejected and killed according to prophesy and He will rise again on the 3rd day. 8 days after this, Jesus takes Peter, James and John and goes up on a mountain a pray. He is transfigured before them. {4} They hear a voice from Heaven say, “This is my Son whom I’ve chosen, listen to Him”. Jesus heals a demon possessed child whom the disciples couldn’t heal. And the people were all amazed at the greatness of God. Jesus predicts His death a second time. Jesus tells them the least among them is the greatest. Jesus tells the disciples whoever is not against them is with them and not to hinder them from performing miracles. Jesus heads to Jerusalem and is not offered hospitality in a Samarian town. James and John want to call down fire on the town but are rebuked by Jesus. Jesus tells people that once they decide to follow Him, they must do so completely without turning back.

In chapter 10: Jesus sends out 72 disciples in pairs to the towns He was going to, to preach the good news. Jesus denounces Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum for not accepting Him. Jesus says whoever listens to (us) listens to Him, and whoever rejects (us) rejects Him and whoever rejects Him rejects the one who sent Him.  The 72 return rejoicing because the demons submitted to them. Jesus tells them to rejoice because their names are written in Heaven. Jesus then full of joy through the Holy Spirit praises the Father.  Jesus tells His disciples they are blessed because of what they’ve been privileged to see ( and experience). Jesus tells the people a parable about being a good neighbour ( the good Samaritan {5}). Jesus talks to people in the home of 2 sisters ( Mary and Martha. They had a brother Lazarus). Martha is busy with the preparations while Mary listens to Jesus. Martha resentfully asks The LORD to make Mary help. Jesus replies that Mary has chosen the best thing and it will not be taken away from her.

 

 

{1} I love the fact that women who followed/ served Jesus are given names and hence identities. Here Mary Magdalene out of whom Jesus drove out 7 demons, Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household and Susanna are mentioned}.

{2} There are 4 different kings of “soil” which is the heart of man, the “seed” is the Word of God and there are 4 “results” which is what men do with the Word of God. (a)Either the devil snatches it away and they don’t miss it ( bird taking away the seed). (b) or they receive it with joy and live for the Lord for awhile but since they don’t have any roots, in times of testing they fall away ( seed on rocky soil which withered in the sun). (c) or they grow in the Lord but life’s worries, riches and treasure chokes them and they don’t mature ( seed falling among thorns). (d) and the last, they accept God’s Word with joy , it takes root in them and they  persevere and produce a fruitful harvest ( soil producing 30, 60 and 100 fold what was sown ).}

{3} This time when the disciples are sent out, Jesus tells them not to take anything extra with them. No bag, no money, no bread, no extra shirt. This time the disciples are well received by the people and they return joyous that even the demons tremble. The next time Jesus sends them out, He tells them to take extras with them and be wary since the people will try to kill or hurt them.}

{4} Jesus’ appearance changed before them, His clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning and 2 men, Moses and Elijah appeared with Him. They represent the whole of the prophets and the law, and both of them “met God” on a mountain themselves. They came to speak about His departure ( His Exodus) which Jesus would bring to fulfillment in Jerusalem. The disciples were sleepy and Peter, confused, wanted to build shelters for all three of them .}

{5} The parable of the good Samaritan- A man is beaten, stripped, robbed and left for dead by bandits. A priest comes that way and crosses over without helping. Next a Levite comes along and leaves the man. Last a Samaritan comes that way, bandages and disinfects the man’s wounds, puts him on his own donkey, takes him to an inn and pays the inn-keeper to care for the man. The priest is representation of the class of people who serve God and were supposed to serve the people. The Levites were the broader class of people who were set apart for the upkeep of the Temple and to serve before Him. The Samaritans were hated by the Jews for their corrupted religious beliefs. }

 

This is already 1800 words long! I was going to summarize 6 chapters in each post, but I’m going to end this one :-). See you next time, and I pray your eyes will be opened to the joy found in the scriptures.

Vanessa.

 

Luke part 1 : Jesus is willing.

The name of the author of the gospel of Luke is not mentioned in this book or the sequel (Acts) but the authorship is almost universally accepted to be Luke. Luke was a physician and later a traveling companion of Paul. Luke was most likely a gentile. He wrote this book (and Acts) to an unknown person named Theophilus ( who was probably a gentile as well ) so that (he) may know the certainty of the things (he) has been taught. In the same way we can know the truth of the gospel by the immense amount of detail available to us in scripture.

Luke is very thorough in his writing. The traditions that are explained and most importantly the people that he chronicles are extremely detailed. Luke portrays Jesus as a very personal God. He reaches out to the people on the “fringes” of society and these interactions are recorded in this book.

Just as Matthew portrays Jesus as the King, and as Mark reveals Him as the Servant, so Luke offers a unique perspective of Jesus as the Son of Man. This phrase, “Son of Man,” was Jesus’s favorite way to refer to Himself. (From Chuck Swindoll’s overview of LukeThe theme of Luke’s gospel seems to be: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Luke portrayed Jesus as God’s ideal Man, who offers salvation to all humanity—Jew and Gentile alike.

The book of Luke is one of the largest books in the Bible ( content wise ) and it would not be prudent for me to try and short change you with not including all that is important ( and there is a lot that is important! ), so the gospel of Luke may be divided into 3 or 4 parts.

In chapter 1 : Zechariah ( a priest) while offering incense in the Holy of Holies, is visited by Gabriel ( an angel of the Lord) with a promise that he and his wife ( Elizabeth ) will have a child ” that brings joy and delight to them”. Zechariah doesn’t believe him and so he’s struck mute until the child is born. Several months later Gabriel tells Mary ( a young virgin) that she will conceive by the Holy Spirit and will give birth to the Messiah and he tells her that Elizabeth is in her 6th month of pregnancy. Mary submits herself willingly. Mary visits Elizabeth ( who has been secluded) and the child in Elizabeth’s womb leaps up in joy. Elizabeth blesses Mary. Mary sings a song of worship to God. Elizabeth’s child is born and they name him John “God is gracious” and Zechariah’s mouth is opened and he prophesies over his son with a song. The child grows up strong in the Spirit and lives in the wilderness until he appears to Israel.

In chapter 2 : According to prophesy , the child of Mary is born in Bethlehem (  because Joseph and Mary went there for a census ordered by Caesar). Angels appear to shepherds watching in the fields and tell them of the birth of a Saviour. The shepherds go and worship Him. On the 8th day the child is taken to the temple to be circumcised and is named Jesus. A righteous and a devout man, Simeon, who had been waiting for the coming of the Messiah is led by the Spirit to the baby Jesus and he’s overjoyed and prophesies over Jesus and Jerusalem. Anna, an old widowed prophetess from the tribe of Asher gives thanks as well. Mary and Joseph go up every year for the feast to Jerusalem. When Jesus is 12 years old He stays back at the temple, listening to and questioning the teachers of the law. When Mary and Joseph realize He’s not with them and hurry back and find Him in the temple. He says  He needed to be in His Father’s house but goes back and is obedient to them. He grows in favour with God and man.

In chapter 3: John (who would later be called the Baptist) starts speaking to the people about the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. He advices tax collectors and soldiers and the common people of what’s expected of them. He denies being the Messiah. John speaks against Herod ( because he took his brother’s wife) and is imprisoned. Jesus is baptized ( by John the Baptist), and the heavens are opened , the Spirit descends on Jesus and a voice from the heaven ( The Father) says ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’ * {1}. Jesus’ genealogy through His adopted father Joseph is mentioned.

In chapter 4: Jesus is led by the Spirit to the desert where He is tempted by the devil. He eats nothing for 40 days and at the end of it He is hungry. (1) the devil tells Him to turn the stones into bread, Jesus replies It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone.”[b] (2) the devil leads Him to a high place and shows Him the kingdoms of the world and wants to be worshipped in exchange he’ll give those kingdoms to Jesus, Jesus replies ‘It is written: “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”[c] (3) the devil leads Jesus to the highest point of the temple and tells Him to throw Himself down and then (mis)quotes scripture at Jesus, Jesus replies ‘It is said: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”[e] *{2}. The devil leaves Him for a more opportune time. Jesus full of the Spirit goes to Galilee, to Nazareth and teaches in the synagogue astounding the people. He reads the prophesy from Isaiah 61: 1-2 and tells them that portion of scripture is fulfilled in their hearing. They are furious with Him and try to throw Him off a cliff but Jesus walks through them and leaves the town. Jesus goes to Capernaum and drives an impure sprit out of a man. Jesus goes to Simon (Peter’s) house and heals his mother in law. Jesus heals many other people and the people try to keep Jesus from moving on. Jesus tells them He must bring the good news ( gospel) to all the towns. Jesus goes to a solitary place and prays.

In chapter 5 :  Jesus talks to the people from Simon’s boat. He tells them to put down their nets (they hadn’t caught any fish the night before), Simon does do and they catch so much fish that they have to signal their partners (James and John , the sons of Zebedee) because the boat was starting to sink and both boat start to sink. Simon wants the Lord to go away from him because he’s sinful. Jesus tells him, he’ll fish for men from now on. They left everything and followed Jesus. A man with leprosy asks Jesus to heal him, if He’s willing, Jesus replies He’s willing and heals him. Jesus often withdraws to lonely places and prays. Friends of a paralyzed man lower him through a roof of a house where Jesus was teaching. He sees their faith and tells the man his sins are forgiven. The Pharisees grumble at this “blasphemy” so Jesus tells him to get up, take up his mat and go home. The man walks and everyone praises God. Jesus calls Levi / Matthew ( a tax collector ) to be His disciple. At a  feast with tax collectors and “sinners”, Jesus tells the people He’s come to call the sinners to repentance not the righteous. Jesus is questioned about the lack of His disciples’ fasting. He replies they will celebrate while The Bridegroom is with them, but will fast when He’s taken away.

In chapter 6 : Jesus’ disciples eat corn on the Sabbath and are rebuked by the Pharisees but Jesus declares that The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath. Jesus on another Sabbath heals a man with a shriveled hand thus further angering the Pharisees.  Jesus spends a night praying to God and then choses 12 out of all His disciples calling them apostles. People come from all over Judea and Jerusalem to touch Jesus because they want to be healed since power was flowing out of Him. Jesus pronounces  blessings on His disciples and woes on the false prophets. Jesus tells His disciples to do unto others as they would have done unto them, to be merciful as His Father ( and ours) is merciful, to love their enemies, to forgive and they will be forgiven among other things. Jesus tells them the student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their Teacher. Jesus tells them a parable about a hypocrite (taking out a speck in the eye). He tells people to distinguish between good and bad people by their fruit (results). Jesus tells a parable about firm foundation (wise and foolish builders ).

 

 

*{1}This is one of the few places in the Bible where you can see all three persons of the Trinity at the same time. The Father, The Son and The Sprit}

*{2}Note Jesus uses scripture to refute the devil all three times, showing us that scripture is an offensive weapon too like a double edged sword}

I’ve tried keeping my post to 1000 words or under but this ended up being much too long! I’m going to make the gospel of Luke a 4 part series.

Until next week,

Vanessa.

 

What you should know about Genesis.

I wrote about Genesis awhile ago here in Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. I had to divide it into 3 parts because I ended up doing a “short” summary of each chapter. Each post ended up being really long, and while speaking about the length to Liv and lamenting the fact that I can’t seem to write shorter pieces, she gave me this idea. Writing a shorter version of an overview and linking it to the full piece. That’s what I’m going to do with the Books I’ve finished already (Genesis, Exodus, Matthew and Mark) 🙂

Genesis’ author isn’t mentioned but Jesus and many authors of the NT attribute the Torah (the first 5 books of the OT ) to Moses. There are over 200 references/ quotes from Genesis in the NT.

Genesis was written in Hebrew and translated into Greek about 250 years before Christ. In Hebrew the title is bereshit which means “in beginning” (Gen 1:1) and in Greek it is geneseos which means ” origin, source, generation or beginning” which was translated from the Hebrew toledot (Gen 2:4 which means generations). The English title of the book is taken from the Greek title. Both titles seem appropriate since Genesis is the beginning of all things and the book is filled with genealogies of different generations.

Genesis is about God creating something out of nothing, and then making man in His Own Image, for His Name’s sake, for His Glory. It’s about God making a way for man’s redemption and atonement even before the creation of men. It’s about giving hope through prophesies to people so that they can look to the One Who comes and the obedience of the nations will be His.

Genesis is about choice. Man’s choice to be specific. His choice to sin, to be wicked, to turn away from God and chase after other things, again and again and again. When he does, God honours that choice, but man also has to face the consequences.

Genesis is about God choosing to save  a family of 8 ( Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives), the only ones who were righteous at that time since the people had become so wicked that God had repented making man, on an ark while the rest of the world was flooded. God gives Noah a promise which to this day He has honoured and we still see the sign of that promise. A Rainbow 🙂

Genesis is about God choosing a man , Abraham, out of a pagan culture to be the beginning of a chosen race, a people whom God loved, a select culture, to be kept apart for Him. He blesses Abraham and He tests him. He reveals His plans to Abraham and allows him to bargain for lives of people God had destined for destruction. Abraham , even though he is chosen by God and favoured by Him, still lies and fears and makes many mistakes. God graciously forgives him, even as Abraham (and his descendants) bear the consequences.

Genesis is about God choosing the younger over the older where children are concerned, to bless them and use them and Glorify His Name through them. He turns the people’s perception of natural order on its head. (Abraham is chosen over Nahor, Isaac is blessed over Ishmael, Jacob is honoured over Esau, Joseph receives the double portion over Rueben and Ephraim is blessed over Manasseh). But there is a reason and purpose for God choosing to do so.

In Genesis, we see several types of Christ, apart from the Theophanies/ Christophanies (Pre -Incarnate appearances of God/ Christ before His birth as a human being) that appear in the book. You can read more Theophanies/ Christophanies in general at GotQuestions.org. For the sake of simplicity, in this post, types of Christ refers to people/things/situations that reveal God’s character and Theophanies/ Christophanies to an actual appearance of Christ/ God in the pre- incarnate form. For a complete study on types of Christ in Genesis, read this , it is a 19 page document though 🙂

Types of Christ in Genesis.

  1. Adam- had dominion of the world (Christ is sovereign over the world), from his rib woman was created (people are created in the Image of God), chose to eat of the fruit voluntarily after Eve ate it, to share in her penalty and punishment (God voluntarily gave up His life for the sake of making atonement for people). Through the first Adam sin and death entered the world, and through the Last Adam abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness was given to us Romans 5.
  2. The Ark in Noah’s time – because of the Ark, select people were able to escape the judgement that the whole world went through. It reflects the salvation that Christ provides for the people who chose Him to escape permanent death and destruction in the lake of fire. Just as the Ark took people through the flood to safety, Christ will take people who accept Him as Lord to Heaven and eternal life.
  3. Isaac – he was a miracle birth (Christ was born of a virgin), he was long promised to his father (the prophets had been prophesying about Jesus’ birth for centuries before He was born), he carried the wood for the offering himself ( Christ carried His cross to Calvary), he lay on the altar in obedience to his father (Christ allowed himself to be beaten and crucified, He was not forced), figuratively Isaac was raised from the dead when God provided a ram to take his place (Jesus did rise from the dead literally).
  4. Joseph- was favoured by his father (God the father appears to Jesus and those around Him many times and says “This is my Son, with whom I am well pleased”), was hated by his brothers ( Jesus during His earthly ministry was not accepted well in His hometown of Nazareth and was mocked by His brothers just before the festival), was sold for 20 pieces of silver (Jesus was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver), was falsely accused and put in prison ( Jesus’ accusers tried to find false witnesses against Him), was forgotten in prison for several years (Jesus’ early years till He was nearly 30 years old were anonymous), rose to prominence when he was 30 years old ( Jesus started His earthly ministry when He was nearly 30 years old), was responsible for the saving of many lives during the years of famine, (Jesus’ death and resurrection offer salvation and atonement to the millions of people who ask Him for it), forgave his brothers for what they did ( Jesus forgave His tormentors and murderers on the cross), prophesied about his people the Israelites leaving Egypt to a better place and commanded his bones to be taken as well ( Jesus told His disciples He is going to prepare a place for them, and will come back in person to take them there).

 

Theophanies/ Christophanies in Genesis.

A Manifestation of God that is tangible to the human senses is called a Theophany. In its most restrictive sense, it is a visible appearance of God in the Old Testament period often, but not always, in human form. Some would also include in this term Christophanies (preincarnate appearances of Christ) and angelophanies (appearances of angels , I’m not including angelophanies in this post).

  1. Genesis 12: 1-9: The Angel of the Lord calls Abraham out of his country, tells him where to go and gives him a prophesy and a blessing for his future.
  2. Genesis 16: 6-13 : The Angel of the Lord finds Hagar, gives her a promise regarding her son, names him, and makes her return Sarah. Hagar gives this name El-Roi which means “the One who Sees”.
  3. Genesis 17:1-22 The Lord appears to Abraham, calls Himself God Almighty, gives Abram a new name (Abraham ) and Sarai a new one as well (Sarah). He gives Abraham the covenant of circumcision and promises to bless Ishmael while telling Abraham that he will definitely have his son of promise, Isaac, the following year.
  4. Genesis 18: 1-33: The Lord appears to Abraham, three are 3 visitors, the other two appear to be angels. Only the Lord tells Abraham and Sarah that they will have a child. Only the Lord walks with Abraham and tells him of His plan to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. He graciously allows Abraham to bargain on behalf of them to save the lives of the innocent.
  5. Genesis 28: 10-22: The Lord appears to Jacob in a dream. Jacob also sees angels descending and ascending a ladder that reaches to Heaven. The Lord gives a Jacob a promise and a blessing.
  6. Genesis 32 : Jacob meets angels of God on the way to meet with his brother Esau. Jacob wrestles with an angel. He is blessed and his name is changed after Jacob’s hip socket is touched (by the angel and is dislocated ). I believe this is a theophany , but there’s compelling arguments against it (read the link above). Anyway I added it here because it signifies Jacob struggle with men and with God, and that he overcame. It is also the place where the name Israelites come into being.

 

Genesis spans over 2400 years and describes several generations. It contains many well known beloved stories. It is also the book where God’s grace is described and the plan for the redemption of man is put into effect. Genesis is definitely worth a read and an in depth study. Please tell me what your favourite portions of Genesis are.

With joy,

Vanessa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://bible.org/seriespage/1-overview-book-genesis

 

The Priesthood.

The Priesthood – http://wp.me/pdW2q-25O

Hi,

If you’ve been fascinated by the descriptions of the priests, the High priest, their garments and duties, mostly mentioned in Exodus, this is the post you need to read.

Swing by Bruce’s Reasoned cases for Christ blog when you get a chance.

Vanessa

Leviticus : Be holy for I AM HOLY.

Picture credit: blogthrudabible.wordpress.com

Leviticus is the first of the books of the Bible that I will NOT write a summary of each chapter as I’ve done with other books. I assumed that since I would write a “short” post for this book, it would be easy!!!! Boy, am I wrong! and rightly so. There’s nothing, nothing, written in the Bible that doesn’t have a purpose, that doesn’t have God’s stamp of approval, that was given by God Himself. That’s even true, especially so, for 27 chapters of different offerings, and what to do in the case of mold, and what kinds of food you can and cannot eat.

In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Paul writes to Timothy,

All Scripture is Godbreathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

All scripture includes “all scripture” and this is so that we can be thoroughly equipped for all the work we have been asked to do by God.

This is the Word Origin and History for Leviticus (taken from the web). It is the third book of the Pentateuch, c.1400, from Late Latin Leviticus (liber), literally “book of the Levites,” from Greek to Leuitikon biblion, from Leuites, from Hebrew Lewi. Properly the part of the Pentateuch dealing with the function of the priests who were of the tribe of Levi (a portion ofthe tribe acted as assistants to the priests in the temple-worship). The Hebrew title is Torath Kohanim, literally “the law of the priests.” Related:Levite ; Levitical.

Leviticus’ purpose is to let the people know that they are to be different from the surrounding peoples , because the God of the Israelites, The I AM,  The Eternal One, The Unchanging One, The God of gods, The Lord of lords, The Creator God, lives and dwells among them. They are to be holy because He Is Holy. They are to remember to worship Him in everything by keeping themselves clean.

This is seen in the fact that while there are laws for the priests and the Levites as  a whole to keep and uphold, there are also laws for the common people to observe in their daily lives. What to wear (no clothing with two kinds of material), what to eat, how to look for mold in buildings, what to grow (no two kinds of seeds in the same field), how to live sexually and morally pure lives ( and commandments on what to do when those laws are broken). These commandments and laws give the Israelites guidance for their whole lives, not just a compartmentalized portion regarding religion.

That’s the way God wants us to be. Worshiping Him, separating ourselves from the world, honouring Him, being zealous for Him, our whole life, not just on Sunday mornings and maybe Wednesday evenings. He wants us to remember Him while we are cleaning bathrooms, changing diapers, cooking, doing groceries, talking to our neighbours, picking up after the children (or pets). He wants to be holy for He Is Holy in our work lives, in our thoughts, in our interactions with those who make our lives hard. He wants to be separate from the worldly culture, their values, their permissions, their tolerance in what we watch, what we wear, what we do when no one’s looking, what we read, what we write.

He wants all of us. He is a Jealous God. He will not share His Glory with another.

This sometimes is hard for me (actually this is hard for me all the time!). Why on earth would I want to give Him control of everything? Surely my thoughts can be mine right? What about the books that I read?, that’s just leisure time activity , that doesn’t have anything to do with God right? Who thinks of God in the midst of changing diapers? I do frequently have these thoughts, and in that moment (moments) I give Him control. I take them captive for Him. I argue with myself, and then tell God, I meant it, completely, totally, unashamedly , when I accepted Him as my Lord. He is Lord even when I am bored, worried, busy, upset, in pain, bitter, angry, resentful, joyful, glad, rested, having fun, at leisure. There is nothing, nothing, that I am choosing to keep away from Him. Though I still have to remind myself of that 🙂

Anyway coming back to Leviticus, that was what God wanted His people to realize. He did not give them these laws to burden them. He wanted them to set themselves apart for Him. He wanted to live and behave and worship differently from those around them. He wanted to sanctify and consecrate them to Himself.

Some of the things in Leviticus that I want to draw your attention to are

  1. The Levites had no inheritance apart from the Lord, so He provided for them. He allowed the priests, their families, and the Levites in general to eat certain offerings, while they had to burn others completely. In His graciousness, He even asked the people to add salt to the grain offerings before bringing them to the Lord 🙂 ( salt to add taste and flavor and that can be used as a preservative to keep the food from spoiling. In the NT , Jesus tells us His people , that we are salt and light in the world. We make a pathway in the darkness for others to see. We add flavor to the taste of this world. We are a preservative. As long as we are in the world, we hold the forces of darkness at bay, when we are taken, evil will have a free hand to wreak havoc with no restraint .
  2. . The Lord chose the Israelites as a nation out of all the nations to be His people. He then chose the Levites to carry out His work and care for the Tabernacle (later the Temple) and all the utensils associated with it. He chose Aaron’s family and his descendants to serve before Him as priests. He had very specific laws for their consecration and service. While Aaron and his 4 sons had been consecrated to the Lord and were in the Tabernacle and worshipping Him, two sons Nadab and Abihu offered unauthorized fire to the Lord   and immediately fire from the Lord consumed them . They were consecrated to the Lord, but they couldn’t do whatever they wished. He is Holy and must be revered and respected and honored.
  3. . God gave them specific laws about the animals they could eat and the ones they couldn’t. I think He did this , for them to distinguish themselves from the neighbouring nations (they probably ate all these creatures or offered them in sacrifice to their gods ). This particular separation would become more and more entrenched in the people’s lives , and future generations would come to take pride in the clean and unclean animals, almost to the point that they would associate people who ate unclean animals as unclean people by the time that Jesus came to earth. God would later send a vision, three times, to Peter of unclean animals brought down to him to eat from Heaven. Peter vehemently decries this, but God tells him, “not to call anything unclean that He has created”. This vision will give Peter the assurance needed to go to the gentiles ( he goes to Cornelius’ house right after this) and to give his blessing to Paul as he ends up ministering to the gentiles later on.  I am so thankful that God chose me even before I was born to be grafted into The Vine and abide in Him. Aren’t you?

 

I’ve had Leviticus on  the audio Bible running almost all the time for the past several weeks. I did find my mind wandering at times. I did make up different rules in my head at times. But as I cautioned myself then, I’ll like to caution you now as well. If there are sections in the Bible you don’t like/ don’t want to agree with/ wish it was different, please take it to the Lord. He will and can show you what you want to know, if you ask Him. Sometimes He will give you understanding while you are alive. Sometimes He may not. But everything, everything, God says and does has a purpose. Just because I can’t understand or like it doesn’t make it any less true.

He is a Holy God, Jealous of our affections for other things, even other people. Jealous for us. He deserves to be first in our love, and when He is, everything else falls into place, when He isn’t, life gets difficult to say the least.

Will you make Him first in your life? Will you come back to your first love? Will you revere Him and glorify Him? Will you live as if He is in the room with you? Leviticus is definitely a hard book to read, but may I encourage you to do at least once? And please share what you’ve learnt about Him with me.

Blessings to you and yours,

Vanessa

 

The outer court of the Tabernacle.

In Exodus, chapters 25-28, we find recorded a marvelous revelation of GOD’s plan of salvation, made possible through JESUS CHRIST, our Saviour and Lord; as typified and symbolized in the Tabernacle, which occupied a central place, in the midst of every encampment of Israel. In Exodus 27:9-15, we are told that the Tabernacle proper was […]

via The Outer Court of the Tabernacle — Reasoned Cases for Christ

Hi, I’m in the middle of writing on Leviticus. I hope to put that out soon. In the mean time I hope you enjoy this author’s post on the Tabernacle. Please swing by and check out his blog as well.

Vanessa

 

Featured picture taken from VisualHunt.com