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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Christology In the Synoptic Gospels

What I learned this week was more information regarding the fundamental distinctiveness of the presence of the Holy Spirit in conjunction with the fulfillment of God's saving promises in the person and work of Jesus Christ the Messiah. 

I looked further into the uniqueness of the Holy Spirit in the Christology of the Synoptic Gospels from a canonical approach.

In Mark, the Holy Spirit is involved in the mighty deeds of Jesus. Although not explicitly mentioned, it is clearly understood the anointing of the Spirit empowered Jesus' sovereign rule over the unclean spirits (Mk. 1:23, 26; 3:30; 5:2, 8; 7:25; 9:25). The demonstration of his power is clearly understood that he is the Son of God.

In Matthew, the Holy Spirit is involved in everything Christ Jesus as the Messiah. The anointing of the Spirit of God on Christ validated his messiahship. The Holy Spirit is involved in Jesus' virgin birth (Matt. 1:18-20), baptism (Matt. 3:13-17), temptation (Matt. 4:1), ministry (Matt. 12:15-21, 28), transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-13), and messianic declaration/identification (Matt. 22:41-45). The anointing clearly points to him as the promised Messiah of Israel.

In Luke/(Acts), however, the Holy Spirit moves the theological narrative from the preparation-birth-death-resurrection of Jesus Christ (Lk. 1:15, 35, 41, 67; 2:25-27; 3:16, 22; 4:1, 14, 18; 10:21; 11:13; 12:10; cf. Acts 1:2, 5, 8-9, 16; 2:4, 17-18, 38; 4:25, 31; 5:32; 6:5, 10; 7:51, 55; 10:38). The emphasis on the work of the Spirit in the Luke/(Acts) story culminates the proper identity of Jesus as the Savior in the Synoptic Gospels (since Luke used Mark and Matthew as sources for his gospel).

The biblical data suggests the involvement of the Holy Spirit in the Christology of the Synoptic Gospels are initially pointers that directly fulfill the OT messianic promises of  a true Israel, Servant of the Lord, and King of salvation.

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