Kingdom – On His Way to Jerusalem


This part of the study on Jesus’ Kingdom is going to appear to be rough in its style and appearance, because it is my study format:)

I am looking at Jesus’ movements loosely after the feeding of the 5000.  I want Matthew to be my reference point but Luke and John add interesting movements and stories that need to be added.  I will try to join them as best as I can.  That means I will start in John about five months before Jesus’ Passion.

  1. John 10: 22 has Jesus in Jerusalemat the Feast of Dedication or Hanukkah.  He makes the Jews made so He “escapes”.
  2. Jesus goes to where John baptized on the east bank of the Jordan. John 10: 40.
  3. Bethanyis Jesus’ next destination to raise Lazarus from the dead. John 11: 17
  4. Because of a plot to kill Him He goes to a village called Ephraim that is in the desert.  John 11: 54 We would call it wilderness – English and Hebrew ideas on this topic are opposites of each other. 
  5. Capernaum– dealing with the Temple tax. Matthew 17: 24
  6. Samaria and Galilee border – healed ten lepers. Luke 17: 11
  7. Crosses the Jordan Riverto be on the east bank. Matthew 19: 1
  8. Crosses back to west bank and goes to Jericho.
  9. Goes to Bethany/Bethphage and the Mount of Olivesfor the “Triumphal Entry”. Matthew 21: 1, Luke19: 28

From Capernaum to Jerusalem is about eighty miles. I believe all of this walking was for a reason.  Jesus went to the east bank in order to cross the Jordan, like Joshua, “conquer Jericho” and then proceed to Passover.  Yes, it is out of order from what Joshua did but I still see the symbolism in the travels. 

Light and Dark – Jesus in the Tomb

There are several dark to light elements in this story that will be discussed.  Jesus was sealed in a cave in the evening (Mark 15: 42).  On Passover, the women rested but were out while it was dark the next day (John 20:1).  The sun was rising on the first day of the week as they found the empty tomb. I wanted to leave off “of the week” because it was the first day of a new era for mankind.  The light of grace had rolled away and an earthly barrier and had come out to start things anew!

It really is not right to say Jesus stayed in a dark tomb for three days.  Saturday of Holy Week is often overlooked in its importance. Jesus did not come out, He went “down” to retrieve the keys that no longer could stay in Hell.  Death had a job to do on the first Passover but Jesus had ended the old, so ownership of the keys was restored to Him.  (Please click on Jesus Preached– it is a poem.  These link with Saturdayand Holy Weekfor previous studies.) The references are Matthew 27: 67, Revelations 1:18, Ephesians 4:8, and 1 Peter 3:19, 4:6. 

Another darkness that became light was the cloud on the minds of all of the followers of Jesus. The dark cloud that had covered the understanding of all the followers of Jesus was replaced with the light of understanding the Scriptures.  This dawn took most of the first day, as the womensaw Him first, then Peter, the disciples on the road to Emmaus, and finally the remainingApostles.  The darkness that started at the cross was replaced with the light of a risen Jesus!

Three– Jesus predicted the three days in the tomb by using Jonah’s stay in the great fish.

End and Start – The First Adam had given up a lot when he ate the fruit in the Garden.  The Second Adam (Jesus) reclaimed the keys to death and Hades.  

Jesus in the darkness coming into the light had been played out many times before.  All of them pointed to this moment.  Creation, the first Passover, God filling the Temple all gave us pictures of what was to come!  He now came from the tomb to start a new picture – Jesus returning for His Bride.  

The next fifty days speak to many things.  Jesus stayed with the disciples for forty days (showing Himself to many).  Then a ten-day period where the disciples prepared themselves and sought the coming of the Spirit.  

The Spirit arriving on Pentecost shares things with Israel meeting God on the Mountain.  A notable part is missing – the darkness.  The Spirit arrives with fire (light) and the sound of a mighty wind.  (Think about the Second Coming of Jesus.)  The Church/Bride has her birthday, and Jews and Gentiles become one new creation.

FURTHER THOUGHT – Reflect on the Book of Revelations by comparing it with the Book of Acts and the time of the Church under the Caesars.

http://www.freebibleimages.org/illustrations/gnpi-101-jesus-resurrection/

Light and Dark- Saul Regaining His Sight


The story of Saul in Acts 9 has two instances of dark and light. Jesus had to end one case of darkness to ready him for the second.  Saul’s first darkness was in his thinking, it bound him in the Law.  Since he was an up-and-coming star in Judaism, it is probable that he had heard Jesus teach and was one of the many messengers sent to trick Jesus. It is also very likely that Saul was part of the council that sent Jesus to the cross.  The light to this darkness is in verse three, it knocked him to the ground.  You have to wonder just what he saw as he talked to Jesus?

Saul/Paul’s second dark and light cycle began when he got up from the ground.  He opened his eyes and “could see nothing”.  That is frightening! (I had that experience due to an eye infection. I just washed my eyes and could see again.) The last thing he saw, for three days, was Jesus in His glory. (TD Jakes has said that he (eyes) may have never recovered from this, but he now had spiritual vision.)  Saul went from spiritual and physical darkness to seeing the Light, or from no light to knowing the Light!

Three– Saul’s three was “three days”.  He did not eat or drink during this time and the answer to his prayers was – Ananias, being filled with the Holy Spirit, and baptism.

End and Start – Here are some of the things that ended and started.

  • Saul -> Paul
  • The Law went to Grace.  Yes, he stilled honored the traditions of his youth but was not bound to them.
  • The hunter became a herald.
  • Knowing the Law was replaced with knowing the Law-giver.

FURTHER THOUGHT– Since you have been saved, what is one thing that Jesus showed you that caused a change in how you lived.

http://www.freebibleimages.org/illustrations/btbm-paul-conversion/

Light and Dark – 1 Kings 8: 10 + 11

This verse would have been in the list of the FURTHER THOUGHT from Genesis 15.  The story is Solomon dedicating the Temple of God that his father David had wanted to build. Father God shows up in a cloud and envelops the Temple chasing the priest out.  In verse 12 Solomon states that “God would dwell in a dark cloud”.  Verse 10 is where the cloud (dark) filled the temple and verse 11 states the Glory (light) caused the priest to leave.

The Most Holy Place was always dark and the only light that penetrated the area was when the High Priest entered once a year to burn incense.  This is a connection to the Christmas story – Zechariah was doing this when he saw the angel Gabriel.

Three– The time stamp in verse 2 provided my “three”.  Okay, this may be a stretch but!  The feast in the seventh month (Leviticus 23: 23 – 44) was the third set of feasts that Israel was to observe – Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits are the first set and Pentecost is the second. I would think this feast was the Day of Atonement.  It would be followed by Tabernacles, which is mentioned in verse 65.  Everyone had such a blessed time they lived in booths for seven more days.  These feast mirror events in Exodus that were to be remembered.

End and Start–This day marked the end of God “living in a tent” and now started the “grand house that was built” to replace a wandering Tabernacle.  (Writer’s Note – There is more in this end/start, I am just not getting it!) This resembles the change in the Exodus when the Ark/Tabernacle was built.  God was in the Pillar of cloud and fire and He allowed the Ark to be built.  Just like that shift, this also changes the focus of the people to a building instead of a tent.  So, did they get closer to God or to an object to represent Him?

FURTHER THOUGHT – Compare Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings to Jeremiah) to Ezra’s/Herod’s Temple – Ezra, Haggai, and Zechariah to when the Romans destroyed it. http://clipart.christiansunite.com/1547120461/Bible_Characters_Clipart/Solomon_Clipart/Solomon002.jpg

Light and Dark- Exodus 10

Light and Dark– Exodus 10

Dark and light here are part of the plagues before Passover.  In Wonders that Plagued Egypt and Reflections on Judgement I cover some of the plagues but there is so much to learn and see.  In studying this time, I noticed that Moses was directed to confront Pharaoh early in the morning.  This darkness was special – it could be felt!  Ra, their sun god, had bowed before the God of Israel.  (I have been in dark places that set your nerves on edge, but I have never felt darkness.)  When Moses started asking for physical possessions I am sure Egypt was ready to give them anything to get rid of the People. 

Three– It stayed dark for three days.  These three days speak to the time Jesus was in the grave. I hope that I am not squeezing this to fit my ideas, but you need to think before these days fit into the tomb. Israel was in the light, Egypt was in darkness. Jesus was in His glorified body walking through hell getting the keys back, the disciples were in the “dark” about what really happened to Jesus! 

End and Start – There are several things that are happening here, so there are multiple endings and starts.  I see this as God ending His “playing nice” with Pharaoh. I think the people of Egypt had had enough and wanted the People gone.  What started was God’s direct attack on Pharaoh and his son.  Ra was the sun god and major deity for Egypt, and the pharaoh was his son and physical form on earth.  It is also the second time (? – the plague of gnats 8: 16) that God did not tell Moses to go to Pharaoh to warn him of what was coming.  Pharaoh had to call for Moses, then he was warned of the last plague. (Khepri was the gnat god and the god of creation, moving the sun, and rebirth.)  Slavery was ending and freedom about to begin.  Worshipping Egypt ended and worshipping Jehovah was beginning.

FURTHER THOUGHT– What gods do you need to leave in the dark so you can live, better, in the light of Jesus.