MUSINGS – October 25, 2018
UNDERSTANDING THE MESSIAH
Then Jesus and his disciples went to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say I am?” They answered him, “Some say you are John the Baptizer, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.” He asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah!” He ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man would have to suffer a lot. He taught them that he would be rejected by the leaders, the chief priests, and the scribes. He would be killed, but after three days he would come back to life. He told them very clearly what he meant. Peter took him aside and objected to this. Jesus turned, looked at his disciples, and objected to what Peter said. Jesus said, “Get out of my way, Satan! You aren’t thinking the way God thinks but the way humans think.”
Messiah literally means the anointed one.
According to Wikipedia, In Jewish eschatology, the Messiah is a future Jewish king from the Davidic line, who is expected to be anointed with holy anointing oil and rule the Jewish people during the Messianic Age and World to come. The Messiah is often referred to as “King Messiah”. This is the Messiah the Peter was talking about when he called Jesus Messiah.
Jewish history was full of messiahs. All of their kings had been anointed with oil, much like our presidents take an oath of office. But this future messiah was to be THE MESSIAH. He was expected to usher in a new age where Israel would be the center of power for the entire world.
However, as Jesus explained, that was humanity’s expectation and not God’s plan.
We have a record of very few of Jesus teachings. Only around 2,000 words. To get that in perspective, a typical article in Wall Street Journal had around 1,000 words. Over the approximately three years of his public ministry he didn’t keep a journal and neither did his disciples. The earliest gosples were written around A. D. 70. The earliest followers were expecting an immediate return of the Messiah do they saw no need of a written record. It wasn’t until the original witnesses began dieing that things started to be documented from memory, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
I bring that up because I wonder how much our human expectations over the last two thousand years have varied from God’s plan?
Let those with ears, hear. It is necessary to pray for understanding and guidence before, during, and after reading those precious few words. And I believe they need to be read over and over. They needed to be read like your life depends on understanding them. Because it does.
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