Monday, May 17, 2010

Where was Jesus From?

I've never been able to read through the entire Bible in a year. Twice previously, I have undertaken the quest of reading through the Bible in 365 days. Both times I completed the reading, but both times I crammed my 12 months of reading into about 18 months.

Now on my third attempt, I am on pace for 12 months and holding steady, but today I had to read two days worth to catch up...and I am so glad that I did, or I would have missed this connection in the life of Jesus.

John 7:40-55 tells the story of Jesus teaching the crowds during and after the Feast of Tabernacles with such aplomb that many, who previously rejected him as the Christ began to question whether he might truly be the promised Messiah.

The Pharisees hated and wanted to kill Jesus, and they responded, "How can the Christ come from Galilee? Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David's family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?" Israel's teachers had the wrong information, which they used to form a bad conclusion, and they missed the promised Messiah. When the temple guards returned without apprehending Jesus as ordered by the priests, the guards explained that they agreed with the teachings of Jesus. The Pharisees vainly chided them with "You mean he has deceived you also? Has any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in him? No!" Bad information and pride in their place of authority caused these men to miss out on salvation in Christ.

In the following chapter, Jesus answers the same critics in a separate conversation with the remarks, "Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going." He was able to say this with both spiritual and physical meaning. They rejected his divinity and ultimate source because they refused to believe that he could have been born in Bethlehem.

I thought that in an of itself was a remarkable link in the scriptures and was glad I read them both on the same day, even though I was scheduled to read them on separate days. But I've got even more to share. If you'll bear with me a few more paragraphs, I've got an application of this for today's culture.

The dominant paradigm of thought today is that evolution can explain the appearance and culmination of organisms...all without the interaction of the loving God of the Bible. Many Christians have tried to compromise the obvious teaching of scripture regarding origins by declaring Genesis a myth and accepting materialistic explanations. In my analogy, we'll compare these compromising Christians to the Pharisees. Bad information leads to bad conclusions. The Pharisees missed the Messiah, and the current compromising Christians are missing out on the joy of trusting God's Word as completely true. They are also missing out of the cohesive nature of scripture and how it is internally consistent.

Like the Pharisees, who mocked the temple guards, they regard the contemporary high priests (evolutionary scientists) as infallible and mock anyone who would actually believe the Genesis account to be true. The evolutionary scientists shout the mantra, "Are there any REAL scientists who doubt evolution to be true?" They have so much knowledge and training, but like the Pharisees, they are unable to see the truth because of bad information which has led them to bad conclusions.

Praise God for His written Word! Don't miss the truth of scripture because high priests of today are worshiping at the altar of Darwinism and mocking those who believe God's Word to be true.

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