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The Eunuch

18 Dec
Dry Tree

from Google Images

In the past few studies I’ve been discussing the implications of Luke 20:27-38, while Jesus never mentions the eunuch in this segment of scripture, the future of the eunuch in the next age is, nevertheless, drawn from what Jesus claimed about that age, the age of the sons of the resurrection, and I hope to show the truth of this statement in this study, which shall be drawn from Isaiah 56.

First of all, we need to keep in mind that Jesus was not speaking of a time when men and women wouldn’t marry. That understanding was held by the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and Jesus claimed in no uncertain terms that they didn’t know the scriptures. That is, they may have been able to quote the scriptures, but they had no idea what they meant, as that meaning pertained to that age, or the age of the resurrection. Basically, Jesus was discussing two ages in Luke 20:27-38. This age was the age in which Jesus and the Sadducees lived or, more specifically, the Old Covenant, or the age of Torah (the Law). That age is the age to come, the age of the resurrection, the Gospel age or the New Covenant.

The context of Jesus’ discussion with the Sadducees is of the utmost importance. The Sadducees approached Jesus in order to refute the doctrine of the resurrection, which was something they had always tried to do with the Pharisees (Acts 23:6-8). In order to do that, they used a myth about seven brothers who married the same woman in an effort to produce children to Israel and, consequently, to God (Deuteronomy 14:1). The reason only one woman was used in the myth is because the context of the myth incorporated obedience to the levirate law (Deuteronomy 25:5-10). That is, if a brother (or close relative) died without having a child, another brother was to marry the first brother’s widow, and their first child would be in the first brother’s name. That is, he would inherit the first brother’s estate etc. The problem is all seven brothers failed to produce any children by this woman. The argument of the Sadducees was that seven men couldn’t be a husband to the same wife, so this doctrine of a resurrection couldn’t be valid.

Immediately, Jesus showed them that they were missing the point of the levirate law and the doctrine of the resurrection (that age – Luke 20:34-36), because it was all about producing children to God, or expanding the rule of God. Israel was the Lord’s nation, so every child born to a husband and wife also became a child of God and, thus, expanded the theocracy. Jesus explained that things wouldn’t be done this way in that age, i.e. the next age, the age of the resurrection. In that age children would be produced to God through the Gospel, through believing in the work of Christ. So, it wasn’t a matter of whether or not men and women would marry or if children would be born in that age. Rather, it pertained to how the theocracy would be expanded.

With this in mind, we can now consider the eunuch, who under the Old Covenant system (i.e. this age in Luke 20) was considered a dry tree. In other words, because he couldn’t produce a child to enlarge Israel, neither could he produce a child of God. Eunuchs, moreover, couldn’t partake in many of the customs of Israel (Leviticus 21:20-23; Deuteronomy 23:1). Nevertheless, look at what the prophet, Isaiah says. First, he sets the context in Isaiah 54:1-5, showing that he prophesied about the restoration of Israel, or what should occur in that age, which Jesus referred to in Luke 20:34-36. Later, Isaiah mentions the eunuch, saying:

… neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my Sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. (Isaiah 56:3b-5 KJV)

So, the eunuch would be accepted in the Lord and no longer considered a dry tree, or one that couldn’t produce children to enlarge the theocracy. How would this be done? Would God miraculously heal him, so he could marry and have children? No, this isn’t the context of Luke 20:34-36. The sons of the resurrection are produced through the preaching of the Gospel, not marrying and giving in marriage. Notice what occurred between Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8.

An angel told Philip to go south of Samaria to Gaza and there join himself to a eunuch, a man from Ethiopia, who was an officer in the court of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. The man was reading from Isaiah 53, but didn’t understand the text. Philip asked if he wanted help and explained that Isaiah 53 spoke of Jesus (Acts 8:26-35). After the man understood the text, he asked if anything hindered him from being baptized. Philip said, if he believed Jesus was the Son of God, nothing hindered him. So, Philip baptized the eunuch, and the man went on his way rejoicing in the Lord (Acts 8:36-39). In other words, that age had broken into this age, and the eunuch was no longer seen as impaired as far as populating the Kingdom of God was concerned. He was able to return to Ethiopia and enlarge the theocracy by preaching the Gospel, just as he learned about it from Philip.

The Law, or this age, according to Luke 20, was the ‘schoolmaster’ that was meant to bring us to Christ, or the Messianic age—that age in Luke 20. The Ethiopian eunuch had become a child of God by faith and was no longer under the Law (the schoolmaster). He went from one age to another by believing the Gospel, whereby there was neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek, because none of these things mattered as far as populating the Kingdom of God was concerned. All were one in Christ and Abraham’s seed according to the promise—i.e. all who believed were children of God (Galatians 3:24-29)!

 

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Posted by on December 18, 2018 in 70 AD Eschatology

 

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