Difficult verses in the ‘Christmas’ story… p.2

Yesterday, we began a short series considering some verses from the ‘Christmas’ story that challenge the traditional theological narrative of Christendom.  As I implied yesterday, these verses should pique our interest in a search for truth.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t care what men say, I want to see what Scripture says….


Thy Kingdom Come

When someone talks about the Millennial Kingdom or the future eternal Kingdom, what comes to mind?  Whose Kingdom is it?  Who rules over it?  Who was it promised to?  Who Messiah throneactually gets it?  Etc….  At the end of the Book of Revelation, what does the Kingdom look like and who is in it?

Scripture gives a very unified story that often does not match the narrative I was taught growing up.  At least, the focus I heard in church was quite different than what Scripture says.

A beloved part of the ‘Christmas’ story is the angel’s visit to Mary.  Here is part of the encounter and a difficult verse.

Gabriel, a messenger of God, visited Miriam (Mary’s real Hebrew name) and said,

Luke 1:31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus (Hebrew = Yeshua). 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”

Here, the messenger Gabriel affirms multiple prophecies that seem to get lost in the Christian perspectives of this promised Kingdom.  This Son of the Most High will,

  • sit on the throne of David,
  • reign over the house of Jacob (aka, Israel),
  • forever.

What surprises many when they dig into these verses is that they lead directly to Ezekiel 37, a chapter most are at least partly familiar with.  The first part of the chapter is Ezekiel’s vision of dry bones that leads to the mid part of the chapter on the two stick prophecy followed by a detailed account of this Kingdom the Messiah will rule over.  Those shocking closing verses say, Continue reading “Difficult verses in the ‘Christmas’ story… p.2”

Difficult verses in the ‘Christmas’ story, p.1

This is the time of year when most of Christendom is focused on the advent of the Messiah of Israel, commonly called Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ.  In churches and in homes Scriptures from the Old and New Testament will be read that detail the coming of the Long Expected One.  Most of us have heard these verses so many times that they almost flow off of our tongues as they are being read to us…  We know the flow and the rhythm to the point that they offer incredible comfort.  A halcyon warmth embraces us and we float on the river of sweet memories and blessed promises.  But, do we really pay attention?

Have you ever noticed that there are some verses in these beloved Scriptures that really really challenge the historical understanding of the story and at times confront even major tenets in the theological narrative of Christendom?  Over the next week I hope to explore a few of these difficult verses, not to be antagonistic, but to ask, ‘shouldn’t we look a little deeper, and through an Hebraic lens, to understand the context of Scripture and rightly understand who we are in the Messiah?’  Please take a few minutes and ‘walk with me’ as we consider some of these verses over the next few days.


Blameless

Christendom generally teaches that the Law (Torah, God’s Instructions) was too heavy a burden for people to bear and since nobody could keep it this created the need for Jesus to come ‘fulfill’ it for us.  Then, we read in the ‘Christmas story,’

Luke 1:There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

Have you ever noticed that last bolded phrase?  Continue reading “Difficult verses in the ‘Christmas’ story, p.1”