Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Faith, Hope & Love P29 (06-23-20)
There is hope not just for that future day after I die where I am absent from the body and present with the Lord. There is hope for today by faith in His promises. But knowing our tomorrow is secure, it puts our mind at ease to face today, for they are but light and momentary in comparison to who is at work within us, those things that last forever. We, who are in Christ, do not have to worry about our future. Therefore, we do not have to worry about our present. Neither do we have to worry about our past. It is over. So press on to the high calling in Christ Jesus.
To grasp this hope we have, let us look at how it all started. Here is God, knowing our state of spiritual death. We have not known that unless that is revealed to us. We think, “Adam certainly sinned and was dead, but not me”. That is our thinking until truth is revealed to us. God sent Jesus into this world to reveal truth into the hearts of man so that they can be saved. Saved from what, you might ask? Man is born into this world wondering about the purpose and meaning of life. Where did I come from and where am I going? The bible has answers to those questions. The answer is in Christ Jesus.
There is a mystery, something unknown to us but not to God. In the heart of God was to restore man from his fallen state of sin and death to have life eternal. Sin caused our death, so the price of death had to be paid by a man without sin, so that the cause of our death could be taken away, and so life could be given. That man’s name is Jesus, the Messiah, who was foretold by all the prophets who was to come into the world. Jesus is the man whom John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”.
Now, if you were a Jew, knowing about the promised Messiah, what would you be able to comprehend concerning his plan of God before the foundation of the world? Truth must be revealed to men, but much truth cannot be understood until after what has been prophesied has been fulfilled. We see much more clearly now on this side of the cross. Those in Christ certainly do. But even after the cross had occurred, during the days in and around Pentecost, what Jew would ever dream or think that the Gentile would be saved the same way as the Jew, by faith alone in the finished work of the cross?
Later, the apostle Paul would come around and make all this more clear. Indeed, this message that the Jew and the Gentile are to be saved the same way was revealed to him by the Spirit of God. This was the mystery that has now been made known. No one else taught him except Jesus Christ, and he proclaimed this truth to men. But even before Paul explained it so clearly, the first Gentile to be saved that we know about is Cornelius. Peter could not deny what happened and it surprised even Peter and those early Jewish believers, that the Gentiles received the Spirit the same way they did. It was not too long ago that Peter and the other disciples received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and thousands of Jews came to believe that day, and were filled with the Holy Spirit. See, the gospel came to the Jew first, and then to the Gentile.
So this hope we have today is that Christ living in you is your hope of glory. The Spirit of Christ lives in you and walks with you and counsels you in the things of life. He guides you into all truth just as He did with those early believers. Truth had to be revealed to them, and it has to be revealed to us today. That is why we are to rely on Him to lead us and guide us and not lean on our own understanding. So lean not on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.
The message of the gospel is about life in Christ Jesus. When Jesus died on a cross, that was preparation for life to be given. Life is the Spirit of God living in you. That is received by faith in Him, in Jesus alone, who provided all this for you, the forgiveness of sins, what was provided then is received in Him, and His imputed righteousness that is received as a gift. His holiness and redemption is yours in Christ Jesus. This is eternal life, to know Him and His Son Jesus Christ. So, in Him, you have these precious promises, that He has given you everything you need for life and godliness.
So, if you have the Spirit of God living in you, you have become a part of the body of Christ, the Ekklesia, the called out ones. You were called out from under the law if you were a Jew to be found in Christ, having not a righteousness of your own by means of the law, but a righteousness that is by faith. You were called out of a world of darkness, of a hedonistic world you were in, if you were a Gentile, and brought into the light, of a new life in Christ Jesus. Either way, you were called out and made into one new body, with the Lord Jesus Christ as your head. In Christ, there is no Jew or Gentile, but one new man, a child of God, having come out of whatever background you came from.
As we ended our lesson last week, we were dealing with the fact of Paul admonishing us to fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary and what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
This whole blessed hope we talked about is the fact that we have these marvelous promises from God in regard to what is going to happen to us at death. I said so many times that until a person is prepared to die they are really not prepared to live. These questions, as to where did I come from and where am I going, those are vitally important questions to humanity. The bible answers every one of those.
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
We, who are in Christ, do not have to worry about our future. Therefore, we do not have to worry about our present. Neither do we have to worry about our past. It is over. So press on to the high calling in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:14 (KJV)
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
That is the wonderful message of hope that we have in Christ Jesus. So, in this previous chapter, we looked at the Christian’s hope as it relates to what is going to happen when we are absent from the body and present with the Lord. There we learned about our hope for the future contained within the promises of God. God has prepared a place for us and one day we will be like Him when we see Him face to face. Our hope as a Christian is the most encouraging news we could possibly dream or imagine.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Sometimes this hope seems far away. The younger you are, the farther away it seems. The older you are, it is not so far. In this world we face many trials and tribulations, in this journey that we have. The question we have is, knowing what is going to happen when we are absent from the body and present with the Lord, but what is happening to us while we are on this earth. Can we have the abundant life he promised us here and now?
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
2 Corinthians 9:8
8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
So turn to chapter 7 in our Closer Look at Faith, Hope and Love booklet. We are dealing with our hope for today. We are going to take a closer look at the word of God and see the hope we are going to have for today. We have our hope for tomorrow. But is there such a thing as hope for today. Let us turn to Colossians 1:25-28.
25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness – 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.
We are talking about a Greek word called Mysterion. You are not talking about Perry Mason. You are talking about truth in the heart of God that has been revealed the moment you are in Christ Jesus. It is not something that is a mystery that you cannot figure out. It is a truth that is known in the heart of God. It says it was held in the the heart of God before the foundation of the earth, but was now revealed.
4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.
The fullness of that revelation of this mystery was given to the apostle Paul. We have to understand that truth. When the apostle Paul was called up into heaven, which he did not brag about. He would never even have mentioned it if the Corinthians had not been questioning his apostolic authority. He was trained by the resurrected Christ. He was given this mystery.
2 Corinthians 12:1-10
1 I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know – God knows. 3 And I know that this man – whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows – 4 was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. 5 I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. 6 Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Galatians 1:12 (TLB)
12 For my message comes from no less a person than Jesus Christ himself, who told me what to say. No one else has taught me.
The mystery we made into more than a mystery. But the mystery revealed to the apostle Paul was that the Gentiles are going to be saved the same way the Jew is saved, by faith in Jesus Christ. There is no exception to that. The men and women on the day of Pentecost were saved. They were born again believers. They were all Jewish, but they were all born again. Some people want to say the church did not start until the Gentiles came in. That is ridiculous. Jesus referred to the church in the gospels before Pentecost ever began or Paul was ever around.
18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
The Ekklesia were called out ones. In order to be a church, it does not need to be both Jew and Gentile. You are a called out one. If you are saved, you are called out, whether Jew or Gentile, whether together or separate. You are called out. You are called out from the world. You are called out from darkness and you are called out into light.
12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
That does not make any difference whether you are Jew or Gentile. You are called out from lostness into salvation. To be sanctified or set apart or called out means you have been called out. At the day of Pentecost, and of course Jesus, his ministry before the cross and before his resurrection, was there in Israel. It says the gospel was going first to the Jew, then it was going to the Gentle.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
We are talking about the gospel. We must keep our mind on the gospel. We are talking about salvation. Christ did not come to confuse people. He came to bring salvation to people.
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
To the Jew, on the day of Pentecost, the gospel message was presented. The Holy Spirit came upon all of the apostles who were Jewish. They were given the ability to proclaim the gospel to a myriad of nationalities, Jewish people, from all different countries, being able to speak in their language and communicate in their language, the gospel of Jesus Christ. This was a miracle.
1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
How did these Galileans who were fishermen, uneducated, are able to communicate in all of these different languages? What do you think of a man who can speak in five or more languages? You think of him as being pretty smart. I have trouble with one. Who are these? These are Galileans up there. How are they doing this? How are they communicating this marvelous truth in my language? I don’t understand this. You do not need to. It is a miracle of God. That is what the gift of tongues was. As you read further into Acts 2, you read all that Peter said. But he proclaimed the gospel.
36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
So the gospel was proclaimed to the Jewish people, to thousands of them. Thousands of them received the message. It was a message of salvation by faith. Now that salvation to a Jew was not a new terminology. Jews, however, felt they were saved by being a Jew. They were saved by being a follower of Moses and of Abraham. To them, salvation was a natural outflow of being a part of this Jewish people, this Jewish nation, that God had revealed himself to in the scripture, and then to those who believe in Jesus, revealed Himself in person. Our key verse is talking about this mystery God made known among the Gentiles.
27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
What we are going to back off and explain a little bit is the history of what this means and the meaning behind what this means. This does not mean that to the Jewish believer, that Christ is not in them, their hope of glory. It does not mean that, for that is dead wrong. For all the believers on the day of Pentecost were Jewish, indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God, who brings Jesus to your heart, who is your hope of glory. Christ in you is your hope of glory whether you understand that or not or whether you even know it or not. If you are in Christ, he is your hope of glory. Hopefully, you will learn that sooner or later. But whether you learned it or not, it has been true all along.
I could not know. I could live in a state of ignorance of having no awareness that I had a heart inside of me that was beating, with kidneys working, and with a stomach, but not know they were there inside me or how they functioned. That information did not come along until you could do some carving on a cadaver some place to learn the intricacies and internal workings of the body. But they were working all along, long before any doctor understood how, or put any credibility on that, or drew pictures of it. Long before I knew what was inside a body, it was working.
When God came to the Jew, He gave them the law. He gave them all the different ceremonies. He gave all of that to the nation of Israel. To them, they thought salvation was by being a Jew. Paul at one time said the same. He said that he thought the very thing that was going to bring life, which was the law, actually brought death.
7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”[Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:21] 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.
He did not understand he was dead spiritually, but that was revealed to him. That has to be revealed before we can appreciate life and to go out and proclaim a solid biblical message. That was revealed to Paul, a message to give and it is more than forgiveness and it is life. You have to understand our spiritual death. I do not think that was understood and comprehended at all, that you were born dead. The typical thinking, “Adam certainly sinned and was dead, but not me”. That truth that we are dead spiritually is a hidden truth. In the Christian world, it is a hidden truth. Basically, evangelism is telling people an incomplete or erroneous gospel, such as “come and get your sins forgiven”. It is not preached as to come and get life. The preaching and communication to men that you are dead and in need of life, quite frankly, is seldom ever heard, even in the so-called evangelical Christian community. We talk about life of Christ but the application of it is unknown.
To the Jew, He came to Israel and again, thousands of Jewish people were born again on that day. Thousands of them. You read in scripture about five thousand men. They have wives and children. So that could be twenty thousand people possibly on the day of Pentecost. They were born again, not different than a Gentile will be. They are born again. The only way a person can be born again is through faith in Jesus Christ. It does not make any difference who you are, you are going to be born again by faith in Jesus.
So, the Jewish people that are a part of the nation of Israel accepted the message of salvation through Jesus Christ and were born again. The church, the Ekklesia, started that day. How do you say that the Jews were not called out? People are saying that. They were called out from darkness to light, called out from being lost to saved, from being dead to being alive. How can you deny that type of thing? That occurred on the day of Pentecost. The Ekklesia began. The church began. The called out people who were born again began. That means I am called out from all the rest of the world including the nation of Israel, the leaders of Israel, the church leaders, who dominated everything that was going on. It would be like Catholics coming to Jesus but the pope and all of that, are saying, “I do not want to hear anything about that for I have my rule”. That is an analogy of what was going on with the Pharisees, Saduccees and the priests. The people were ruled by them. Did they come to Jesus in bulk? No, only a few did. Nicodemus did. He hid. Everyone was fearful and scared to death of that religious role. If you bucked them you bucked someone you did not want to buck. They were scared to death that they would lose their salvation, as they were being told they would lose their salvation.
So, we have to understand these truths. What was going on back then? Was Israel saved that way? No. When you are saying Israel, you are talking about the political system. You are talking about leadership. You are talking about the people who control what you are supposed to think, and do. Were they saved that day? No. Were people saved that day? Yes. Absolutely. Just like today. You can see that in churches today who rule with an iron fist. Is that leadership saved? No. Are people in that congregation saved? Some are and some are not. You could be in a cult. Mormon teaching is contrary to true biblical teaching. The Jesus in the Mormon bible is not the one of the bible. Do you think a person sitting in a Mormon church could not be born again? I believe absolutely they could. They do not know what is going on up there any more that I knew what was going on in a liberal church. I could care less what they believed. I did not believe anything and assumed they did to either. But I could have been born again there. When you are talking about Israel, you are talking about a nation, a whole political realm. Were they saved? No. Were people saved? By the thousands. They were called out of darkness into light, called the Ekklesia.
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
They met in small groups and they began to learn about this person called Jesus. The apostles became the ultimate teachers of that message, that marvelous message of Christ Jesus. Salvation by faith, his death on the cross to take away the sins of the world, all of these things. The resurrection and without the resurrection we are to be pitied of all people, and are still in our sins.
1 Corinthians 15:16-21
16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.
Do you suppose that even Peter and the rest of the disciples, Andrew and the others, had a full knowledge of revelation overnight? No. Absolutely not. They walked with Jesus for three years and Jesus proclaimed the New Covenant, but it was not explained yet. How could it be explained until it occurred? How could you say, “I am going to die on a cross and forgive everybody’s sins” and everybody says, “Okay”. But then when you die on a cross, and then Jesus is hanging on the cross, bleeding and dying, saying, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do. Telelestai, paid in full”. Then ,only then can you say, “Oh, that is what it means”.
I think it is like the book of Revelation to me. I do not think anybody understands it. I do not know why people study it the way they do. I do not think you will understand an ounce of it until it has been revealed to you. I do not think it has been revealed. People act like it has been revealed and try to figure it out. Some people might be getting pretty close to it. We are not going to know what it is in that book until it has been revealed. On that day, we will say, “Oh, that is what it means”. That does not mean truth has not been around. It has been there all along. It has just not been revealed to us yet.
As all of this began to take place and salvation began to occur, then Peter went to the Gentiles. He went to Cornelius, the first Gentile that was converted that we know of. Who did that? Peter did that. You say, “I thought Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles“. He was not around yet. Peter did that.
In Acts 10, you can read the entire account of how the Spirit came to indwell Cornelius, and the Gentiles with him. But here is an excerpt of the end result of hearing and believing the message of life in Christ Jesus, the gospel that Peter shared with them.
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles.46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.
Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.
God is not sitting around saying, “I cannot save any Gentiles until Paul comes along. Listen. As long as the gospel goes out, whoever is in hearing distance of it is coming to Christ. Even if a rock cries out or a donkey spoke in the Old Testament, God wants to reveal the truth to men. God is not sitting around being thrilled about who is giving out the message. Paul does not save anyone. Peter does not save anyone. None of the apostles save anyone. You and I do not save anyone. It is the word of God that enables us to be born again of the Spirit. It is truth of the word of God that penetrates the heart of man regardless of who gives it out.
17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
All of a sudden you have this Jewish population, who have been Jewish all their lives. Now, they are born again and their Savior was Jewish. How thrilled do you think they will be saying the Gentiles can be saved when they think the reason we are saved is we have been good people. “We followed the laws to the best of our abilities, and at least we kept all the ceremonies”. The Gentiles had not done any of that. I wish everybody that had difficulty with this should just go over to Greece for a week, and look at the heathenist viewpoint of the Gentile world is and was back in those days. Just see the history of it. The Gentiles were multi-worshipers of their gods. They had gods of sex and of this and that. They had their temples with goddesses, and thirty foot statues that they say fell out of heaven. You had everything under the sun going on, even temple prostitution. You talk about hedonistic. If you think America is bad, and it is, it is the best place of any place in the world to be. This is a very immoral nation but among English speaking nations we are about as good as you get. That is sad to say. That is the way it is. Back then, the Gentile was totally hedonistic. The thought that these Gentile heathens could come to know their Savior! Their Savior. He is Jewish. He is our Savior. That was unthinkable to a Jew.
I want to amplify this for a moment. When we were in Israel the last time, one of the greatest, I think, discoveries in archaeological discovery and of information took place as we visited a town called Sepphoris is a town right across the valley of Armageddon and right across from Nazareth where Jesus was born. You could walk or take a donkey across there. But it is not a long trip at all. It is an easy trip. Sepphoris was one of the two rabbinical schools in Israel. One rabbinical school was in Jerusalem and the other in Galilee in Sepphoris. The head of that rabbinical school was Mary’s father. That was a known thing. It has been verified. It was Mary’s father who was the head of the rabbinical school in Sepphoris. Jesus lived just across the valley from there.
People wonder what happened to Jesus from the age of twelve when he dazzled all of the people in the temple, all of the leaders and the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and all of them in the temple between the age of twelve when he began his ministry at the age around thirty. That is exactly the number of years that it takes to go through rabbinical school. How could you imagine that Jesus’ grandfather, who was head of the rabbinical school in Sepphoris, just right across the valley from where he lives, that Jesus did not spend those years in rabbinical school? Also to understand that he was referred to as a rabbi. Mary even called him a rabbi. You could not call a man rabbi unless they had graduated from a rabbinical school, and had gone to rabbinical school. When you enter into a rabbinical school, and you graduate from there, you are able to be called a rabbi just like if you graduated from your doctrinal program in a school that you can call someone doctor. So when Jesus was referred to as Rabbi or teacher that would have been an impossibility with the strictness and high regard that was held of rabbis in Israel. To call someone rabbi who wants a rabbi would have been unthinkable.
So when you wonder what happened to Jesus during those silent years. It was never mentioned in the scriptures. But it is obvious what happened to him because of the number of years from the time of twelve. That is when you enter into this schooling until the time he went to ministry around the age of thirty. That is the number of years it takes to get out of rabbinical school. It is very interesting to me.
Also it was interesting that in that part, in Sepphoris, was a growing city. A growing city that was being made and developed. That meant a lot of carpentry work would have been being done in Sepphoris. Of course Joseph was a carpenter. Jesus also was a carpenter. It would be very likely that he would be doing some of those duties while he was in rabbinical school if that was allowed. I do not know whether it was allowed or not. But the discovery of these things is a marvelous study. Sepphoris was a beautiful city.
I say that for this reason. When the Jews first came to Jesus as their Messiah. That is what they were looking for, the Messiah. To them, the Messiah was going to be a Jew. Jesus was a Jew. Jesus was a rabbi. He was intelligent. I imagine, in rabbinical school, he drove the professors out of their minds, by having the true insight as to the meaning of the word of God rather than the letter of the law. He knew the Spirit of love. I imagine he was somewhat of an outcast in regard to that. I can imagine that very easily. Regardless, no one could argue with his wisdom. When Jesus was crucified on a cross and was raised from the dead. To the Jewish people, who knew the scriptures, they responded. Those whose hearts were opened who believed that Jesus is the Messiah that was written about. That is who Jesus claimed to be, the Messiah.
25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you – I am he.”
For the full account of Jesus ’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well, read John 4. To the woman at the well, the one you are talking about, Jesus said, “I am he”, the Messiah. It was all here. We have had the information. We have the bible explaining this. Now the Jewish Messiah has come. He is Jesus. We know a little about him, but we have seen the miracle. We believe in him. That is how you are saved and that is through faith in Him.
8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
Order the Bible Study; “A Closer Look at Faith, Hope and Love” book today!