Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Reflections on Advent - XV

In Genesis Chapter 12 God tells Abraham that all the peoples of the earth will be blessed through Abraham. Christ is the fulfillment of that promise, which is part of the significance of Matthew’s genealogy; Jesus Christ is the son of David, the son of Abraham.

If the wise men were not Jews, as I am inclined to think, then their coming to worship Jesus is a picture and foretaste of peoples across the earth worshiping Him and being blessed by Him. Consider the conclusion of Matthew’s Gospel, “Go therefore and make disciples of all peoples…” The Gospel begins with the nations coming to Christ in microcosm, it concludes with Christ in His people going to the nations in macrocosm.

There is a telescopic track of prophetic fulfillment in the Nativity accounts; Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and King David; Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of that element of those promises which includes all the peoples of the earth. God fulfills His promises in the lineage of Abraham and David that He might bless all the peoples of the earth. The fulfillment of God’s promises within a specific family is the portal of the fulfillment of God’s promises to all families.

A Jewish caterpillar completes the weaving of a cocoon with the final prophet Malachi and emerges some 450 years later as a butterfly incorporating all the peoples of the earth. The New Testament is clear that whereas there was once Jew and Gentile that now, in Christ, there is only to be Christ in His Body. (See Ephesians Chapters 2 & 3).

Consider the words of Simeon in Luke 2:29 – 32: Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.

In John’s Gospel Christ is presented in Chapter One as the Creator of the world, the light of the world, the one who brings all those who believe in Him into the family of God, and the Lamb who takes away not simply the sin of Israel, but the sin of the world.  All of that, and more, in John Chapter One. Matthew, Luke and John tell us that the Gospel has Jewish roots that branch out and incorporate all the family trees of the earth. And while Mark does not give us a Nativity account, the beginning of his Gospel is also rooted in the prophetic Word; As it is written in Isaiah the prophet…

The final movements of all four Gospels contain the idea of Christ in His people going to all the peoples of the earth. All four Gospels begin with Jewish roots; they end with all the peoples of the earth. The New Testament epistles and Revelation are clear that we are now one people in Christ.

But are we?     

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