In my previous study I began to highlight Jesus’ discussion with the Sadducees (Luke 20:27-38), which on the one hand called the resurrection into question, but Jesus also placed the resurrection in the context of preaching the Gospel. Many Christians think Jesus spoke of an age when men and women wouldn’t marry or have children, but this is not the point of Jesus’ reply to the Sadducees (Luke 20:34-36). The context of the discussion concerns how men become the children of God (Deuteronomy 14:1). The Sadducees argued that the resurrection couldn’t be valid, because their myth (Luke 20:27-33), if placed in the context of the levirate marriage law, made the resurrection appear as though it were a ridiculous doctrine. Read the rest of this entry »
Tag Archives: Gospel
Many of the commentaries that I have place Matthew 25:31 and following at the end of time, or the end of the Gospel age. Some don’t even have Christians participating in this judgment, because they had been removed from the earth in the previous age. Yet, nothing like this appears in the plain reading of the scripture. Nothing is said about the end of time. That has to be brought to the table by the person interpreting the scripture. In other words, it is a doctrine of men, because it cannot be found in the scriptures. Neither could the end of the Gospel age be a proper interpretation, because no such thing is ever mentioned in scripture (cf. Daniel 2:44). It, too, is a doctrine of men. What does the scripture actually say? Read the rest of this entry »
Not long ago I had believed Matthew 25:31-46 depicted a time when Jesus would judge the whole world, i.e. every man and woman who ever lived. The problem with this understanding is, it removes it from the context of the rest of the Olivet Discourse. The Olivet Discourse concerns events that would transpire in the Apostles’ expected lifetimes. Remember, the Apostles were troubled over Jesus’ prediction that the Temple would be destroyed (Matthew 23:37-39; 24:1-2). Therefore, later, four of them approached Jesus privately and asked: when these things would take place, and what would be the sign of his coming and the end of the age (Matthew 24:3). For Jesus at this point to then speak of universal judgment, i.e. every man and woman who ever lived, snatches this parable out of the context of the first century AD. Read the rest of this entry »
In my investigation of the eschatology of Jesus’ parables, I have come to the Olivet Discourse, and at this time I would like to consider the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30). The parable tells of a certain nobleman who went into a far country, but before he left he called his servants together and gave them his talents (money) each according to his ability. It is understood in the parable that, during his absence, the servants were to use their master’s money for his profit. So, after a long time, the nobleman returned and called his servants together, and he reckoned with them (Matthew 25:19), rewarding them according to their works. Read the rest of this entry »
Many Christians today believe we have been commissioned by Christ to preach the Gospel throughout the world as a witness to all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). The problem with this understanding is that Mark records the same commission with similar language but he adds: “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” So, if **we** have been commissioned by Jesus to preach the Gospel throughout the world and to every creature, why don’t these signs follow us?
Jesus once told his disciples to neither give what is holy to dogs (irreligious people) nor to cast their pearls before swine (religious people with closed minds), because neither group would appreciate their offerings. Instead, they might use what was given them to hurt the disciples (Matthew 7:6). The fact is, this is exactly the position Jesus had taken when he began teaching in parables. The word of God wasn’t appreciated by either the Jewish authorities nor by the people. Both groups showed they had no real value for what Jesus’ preached, and on more than one occasion the religious authorities tried to do harm to Jesus, if not kill him (Luke 4:28-29; 6:11; Matthew 12:14-15). Moreover, since the people were easily intimidated by the Jewish authorities, they also refused to confess him (Matthew 12:23-24; cf. John 9:18-22). Read the rest of this entry »
We are told in Isaiah 2:2-4 that the mountain of the Lord’s House would be established in the last days, and at this time the nations would go up to the Lord’s House to learn his ways, because the word of the Lord will flow out from Zion. It is also a time when the land would be full of idols, when both the poor and the great would worship the work of their hands, and a day in which the Lord would be exalted, because he will not forgive their iniquities but would judge the proud and lofty man (Isaiah 2:8-12). It would be a day when silver and gold wouldn’t buy safety, and men would run to hide in the rocks and caves for fear of the great majesty of the Lord (Isaiah 2:19-22; Revelation 6:15-17). Read the rest of this entry »