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Friday, October 5, 2012

Men's Study @ Harvest - Lesson 3 (Part 2)

Here is the second part to my men's study lesson 3. One week, the Men of Valor study had only two main NT texts, and the following week we had five more. The study was broken up into two sections that show the true identity and purpose of Jesus, so I decided to split up the posts. As a reminder for clarity purposes, these posts are just my notes from the study. The notes are the interesting things that I learned. Therefore, it is my intention to just humbly share with you the cool things that I am learning in the men's study at Harvest as I grow in my faith through reading the Word of God. My purpose for these posts are first for myself because I need to get it out of my system per se, since I am not consistently teaching right now where I can share these truths. Secondly, my purpose is to hopefully cultivate a hunger to study the Scriptures in such a way that you will be "hearing the Old Testament in the New Testament." Enjoy the connections and thanks for reading!

Luke 4:16-30 - Jesus' Fulfillment of Isaiah 61 (The Year of the Lord's Favor)
A. 4:16, Jesus stood up to read because it was a custom of all Torah readers from Nehemiah 9:3, "And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day; for another quarter of it they made confession and worshiped the Lord their God."

B. 4:17, Jesus comes to his home town of Nazareth and heads directly to the synagogue. He reads out loud the promise of Isaiah 61:1-2, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn."

C. 4:18-19, there are many OT references to God who can do the things mentioned in Isaiah 61. The Servant is capable of doing these things because of his anointing [Messiahship] in Isaiah 11:2, "And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD." The Servant is preaches the gospel to the poor (Psalm 72:12; 112:9; Isaiah 25:4), heals the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18; 147:3), proclaims freedom to captives (Psalm 118:5; Zechariah 9:11), restores the blind (Isaiah 35:5; 42:7), liberates the oppressed (Isaiah 58:6), and declares righteous judgment for all (Psalm 9:16; Ezekiel 18:30; 39:21). However, there is no greater OT reference I believe that describes this fulfillment better that was very popular with Jewish communities. Psalm 146:5-9 proclaims, "Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin."

D. 4:22, Jesus spoke with "gracious words" echos how God spoke to his people in Psalm 45:2, "You are the most handsome of the sons of men; grace is poured upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you forever."

E. 4:24, Jesus mentions a "no prophet is accepted in his own country" is a allusion to two Prophets named Elijah and Elisha, who were not accepted in their own country in the OT. The key to understanding this comparison resides in the Gentile mission of God. Just as Elijah and Elisha both ministered to Gentiles, Jesus came to minister to the Gentile nations. Therefore, the Jewish people did not receive them and did not Jesus (they wanted to kill him, cf. 4:29). The "Gentile mission" theme runs throughout Luke & Acts.

F. 4:25, Jesus mentions the Gentile mission example of Elijah when he helped Zarephath in 1 Kings 17:8-24.

G. 4:27, Jesus mentions the Gentile mission example of Elisha when he helped Naaman in 2 Kings 5:1-14.

Luke 5:1-11 - Fishers of Men (The Calling of the Disciples)
A. In the next chapter, Jesus calls his disciples to be "fishers of men" to all people groups. As the disciples were not catching anything, Jesus commanded them to fish elsewhere to catch fish, and when they did what he said, they caught a massive load of fish. This episode compliments many OT patterns. Just as God called his prophets, he calls his disciples. And as he called his prophets to preach a specific message of the future, he called the disciples to preach a specific message of fulfillment. The effectual gospel call causes the disciples to stop what they are doing and follow Jesus.

B. 5:1, 5, Jesus is was preaching the "word of God" and Simon [Peter] responds to Jesus' words as "Your word" as if it was God commanding him. An "authoritative word" from God was a clear identification marker of a true prophet, and a "truthful word" according to the OT (Deut. 18:15-22; 2 Samuel 9:27, 16:23; cf. "word" in Proverbs 30:5). Jesus spoke the truth to fish elsewhere, and that truth became a reality.

C. 5:6, 10, these two verses are very distinct in there Lukan reference. Luke is all about revealing the progressive Gentile mission of the gospel of Jesus Christ. With this in mind, this account is not just a fishing trip of a life time, but rather a symbolic fishing trip never to forget because Jesus was explaining the "fishermen" would "catch men." This language alludes to the Great Sea in which the fishermen will fish in and "catch many kinds fish" in Ezekiel 47:9-10, "And wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. Fishermen will stand beside the sea. From Engedi to Eneglaim it will be a place for the spreading of nets. Its fish will be of very many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea." It is even more explicit in Jeremiah 16:16, "Behold, I am sending for many fishers, declares the LORD, and they shall catch them." Jesus called and sent his disciples to fulfill the mission of the kingdom of God!

D. Simon [Peter] sees the results of the miracle, and then responds to Jesus bowing down in worship, and responds by saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man." Just as Jesus was worshiped and Simon [Peter] responded, God is worshiped in and his followers respond the same way in the OT. Isaiah 6:5, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” Job 42:5-6, "I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

E. The Effectual gospel call of the disciples caused them to "forsake" of "leave behind" their former way of living in order to follow God. Many OT people followed the same example of obedience (Noah, Moses, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea).

"Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked."
(1 John 2:6)

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