Monday, March 22, 2010

Connecting the Dots

 Acts 1:15 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, 16 "Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry."

15 Καὶ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ταύταις ἀναστὰς Πέτρος ἐν μέσῳ τῶν ἀδελφῶν εἶπεν· ἦν τε ὄχλος ὀνομάτων ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ ὡσεὶ ἑκατὸν εἴκοσι· 16  ἄνδρες ἀδελφοί, ἔδει πληρωθῆναι τὴν γραφὴν ἣν προεῖπεν τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον διὰ στόματος Δαυὶδ περὶ Ἰούδα τοῦ γενομένου ὁδηγοῦ τοῖς συλλαβοῦσιν Ἰησοῦν, 17  ὅτι κατηριθμημένος ἦν ἐν ἡμῖν καὶ ἔλαχεν τὸν κλῆρον τῆς διακονίας ταύτης.

Note: You may wonder how we got from Luke to Acts.  What happened to John?  Since Luke-Acts is one big narrative I decided to go for continuity.  We'll get back to John.

This little discourse happens as Peter addresses the gathered saints after Jesus' ascension.  What I find interesting is his declaration that ἔδει πληρωθῆναι τὴν γραφὴν which very woodenly is, "it was necessary for the Scripture to be fulfilled."  The word πληρωθῆναι is an aorist passive infinitive.  This means that it refers to an undefined time in the passive voice.  I don't want to overstate the importance of the aorist.

My point is just that Peter was connecting the dots.  Hardcore Old Testament guys will say that you only need the Old Testament.  That is true to a degree, but we can't unring the bell either, so to speak.  What I mean is that we have the New Testament.  We understand what all the references to the coming seed of Abraham mean.  We understand the true fulfillment of the Davidic dynasty.  It all points to Jesus.

Peter didn't get it at first, but he sure understood by this point.  It became his mission to tell his people about it.  "You know the one we've been looking for?  You know how our firstborn males of Judah are named Ιησους?  Well, this Ιησους was Messiah."

It's important for us not to miss this.  It's easy for us to look down on the Jews for their ignorance.  However, we tend to functionally live the same way.  We may have this idea that Jesus is indeed Messiah, but do we have other functional saviors?  I don't want to springboard too much off of this verse, but my point is that we need to look to Christ alone for our salvation.  The world offers so many attractive things.  So many other things compete for our worship and affection.  Let's focus on Christ alone.  He is the one about whom the Scriptures attest.  Let's focus on Him.

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