Tag Archives: Prophecy

Sabbatum Excerpt: Who Did Luke Think Jesus Was?


Luke indicates his views about Jesus in a speech attributed to Peter on the day of Pentecost – the first point at which Luke reports preaching about Jesus after his exaltation. In addition to the image of Jesus baptizing in the Spirit (which Lk 3:16 presumably derives from “Q”), in Acts 2:33 Jesus “pours out” the Spirit, a clear allusion to God pouring out the Spirit in 2:17-18 (the only other passage in Luke-Acts that uses ekcheo). Jewish texts also speak of God pouring out wisdom (Sir 1:9) as his gift (Sir 1:10; cf. Acts 2:38). But the most obvious source of the language, in view of the allusion to Acts 2:17-18, is Joel 2:28-29, where God pours out the Spirit.

Moreover, Peter interprets the name of the “Lord” (the divine name in Hebrew) in terms of Jesus of Nazareth in Acts 2:21, 38 (interpreting Joel 2:32 by way of Ps 110:1). By concluding that the gift of the Spirit was available to “as many as God would call,” Luke clearly echoes the end of Joel 2:32 (3:5 LXX), completing the quotation interrupted in Acts 2:21. That is, having finished his exposition of “whoever calls on the Lord’s name” (2:21) by showing that the name on which they must call is Jesus’ (2:38), he concludes the quotation in 2:39. The salvific name of God, then, is “Jesus.” That other early Christians interpreted the Joel text similarly in the 50s (Joel 2:32 in Rom 10:9, 13) signals that Luke follows an earlier tradition of interpretation.


Craig S. Keener, The Historical Jesus of the Gospels (Grand Rapids, MI: William B Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009), 279.

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Three Major Themes in the Gospel of Matthew


In the previous post, I mentioned that the Gospel of Matthew has a special Jewish flavor in its contents and characteristics, since it was written especially for Jews in mind. It’s Matthew’s effort to tell the story of Jesus in the backyards and alleys of Jerusalem and the hills and plains of Galilee and beyond that Jesus was the Promised One, a true deliverer – Messiah – who came to establish the Kingdom of God. Let’s review briefly three major themes that run throughout the gospel account here.

1. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament.

a. Jesus is the fulfillment of prophecy.

Matthew quotes prophet Isaiah (7:14) to point out how Jesus fulfilled the prophecy through virgin birth (Matthew 1:23). Micah 5:2 is fulfilled by being born in Bethlehem. The prophecies in Hosea 11:9, Micah 7:9 were also affirming that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies. Isaiah 40:1,2; 52 Psalm 118:12, Zechariah 12:10, and the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 52, all these are testifying Jesus as the Coming Messiah.

b. New Moses

Moses in the Old Testament and Jesus in the New Testament have significant similarities. Both were priests, and teachers of the Laws. Their birth caused uproar and disruption in the society. Moses received the Law in the Sinai, and Jesus gave the Golden Rules (first sermon) in the Mount Olive. Moses is the mediator of the Old Covenant through animal sacrifice, whereas Jesus is the Mediator of the New Covenant through his own blood.

c. Jesus as the King from the line of David.

The genealogy of Jesus clearly shows that he is from the line of David. The significant number of passages in the Scripture tells us that he is from the Davidic line. People in Israel addressed him as the “Son of David” during his earthly ministry (Matthew 12:21; 21:42). Therefore, He is the rightful heir the throne of David.

d. Jesus is the Seed of Abraham

Jesus is attributed as the hope of nations, whereas Abraham is known as the blessings for the nations.

2. God (the Father/King) is the God of both Grace and Judgment

This theme also plays out throughout the book. The Parable of Weeds (13:24-42), the Parable of Talents (25:14-30), and the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (20:1-16) show how gracious God is. At the same time, the Parables of the Great Banquet (22:1-14), the passage of the Seven Woes to the Scribes and Pharisees (22-25), and the signs and of the end time and judgement day chapters show how strictly judgmental he is.
3. The Kingdom of God does not Belong to One Particular Ethnic Group.

It is extended to all people from all nations and tribes. Matthew 28:16-20 explicitly talks about people from ends of the earth; the book of Revelation (7:9) also gives us the heavenly glimpse that a great multitude of people beyond our capacity to count come from every nation, and all tribes and people and tongues and worship the Lamb.

Journal Review: What is the New Covenant “Law” in Jeremiah 31:33? Femi Adeyemi


What is the New Covenant “Law” in Jeremiah 31:33? Femi Adeyemi

Some biblical scholars have regarded the New Covenant in Jeremiah 31:31-34 as the one of the most profound and incitable verses at the highest point of Old Testament Scriptures due to the nature of promises. The predominant promises are inclusion of: (a) genuine spirituality (“I will put My Law within them and on their heart I will write it”), (b) intimate fellowship between Israel and Yahweh (“I will be their God, and they shall be My people”), (c) universal knowledge of God on the part of Israel (“they will all know Me”), and (d) absolute forgiveness of sin (“I will forgive their iniquity”) (312).

The richness of the texts also indicates its predominance over any previous prophetic predictions. Because of the nature of the promises, Stewart claims that the covenant has unique features that make the covenant itself a unique one. In his own words, “It is the high-water mark of the Old Testament and the supreme achievement of Hebrew religion” (313). I could not have said any better than this. The covenant also shows how God is going to deal with Israel in the near context on account of his covenant relationship with Israelites in the salvation history. Continue reading Journal Review: What is the New Covenant “Law” in Jeremiah 31:33? Femi Adeyemi