Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
If you are going to be a disciple, it’s vital that you be keenly aware that you are a learner and follower of the most unique and amazing person ever-Jesus. I’ve been thinking lately about how easy it is to become side-tracked with the vastness of the Scriptures and miss the point of it all. That point which the Scriptures present is simply Jesus. Luke, the author of two of the five Gospels, notes how central Jesus is to the Scriptures.
Luke references Jesus, himself, using the Scriptures to explain his central role. After the resurrection, Jesus joins a couple of disciples walking along the road and he begins with Moses and all the Prophets to explain what the Scriptures have to say about him.
When Paul was in the synagogue in Thessalonica, note what he said: As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said. In the next chapter of Acts (18) we find Apollos was in the practice of proving from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Messiah. Also when Philip met up with the Ethiopian eunuch, he began with the prophet Isaiah and explained to him the good news about Jesus.
The primary role of the Gospels was to take a teaching strand out of the ancient teachings of the prophets about the Messiah and pull that thread through to a fuller explanation. For instance, Matthew picked up on the teaching that the Messiah will take on the role of the King. Mark pulled through the thread that the Messiah would be the Servant. Luke picked up the teaching as the Son of Man and John presented Jesus as Messiah, the Son of God.
The Scriptures were not written to build a great religious or a theological system. The Scriptures were written to teach us and lead us to Jesus. And, this is the most frequent mistake Christians make. Too many Christians actually worship the Bible. This is what the Jewish leadership was doing in the 1st century and Jesus called them on it. Listen to this: You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you possess eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
The more I study the various cultures of the world the more I see Jesus as the ultimate fulfillment of them all. I am not the only one seeing this. There are several who are studying the original writings of the Creator-God stories within the many religions and cultures. I love reading and discussing what they are each discovering. Believe me, in every case “eternity has been set in the hearts of mankind” no matter where they are on the earth and Jesus is the natural and ultimate fulfillment of each. Salvation and eternal life in any culture is not a religious thing or even a theological understanding; it’s a personal thing. The person? His name is Jesus. And you are signing up to be his disciple.