Amazed With God’s Plan

In these early days of 2015, I want to launch into a series (at least for January) on the Life of Christ. Consider Luke 2:21-24 where Joseph and Mary take Jesus to the temple where he is circumcised, named and dedicated.
As a descendant of the great patriarch Abraham, Jesus must be circumcised, as evidence of his being part of the covenant. The debate over the physical benefits and challenges I shall leave for medical personnel to address. I note the obedience of Joseph and Mary to God’s requirements and direction. Jesus must ‘fulfill’ the law. He must keeps its stringent requirements, something noone else could ever do.
He must also be named, publicly identified for the role he will accomplish in God’s perfect plan. There is no debate in the matter, even prior to his conception he is named. His name is Jesus, the Greek equivalent to the Hebrew Joshua meaning “salvation.” He is born a Saviour. He will live and serve as a Saviour. He will die as Saviour. He will rise again as Saviour. This Saviour is declared “Lord” – the name that is above every name. Many male children were named Jesus. This is Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus the Christ, the Messiah long anticipated by God’s people.
He is presented to the Lord in the temple in total obedience of the Law’s requirements. Following the time of purification, Joseph and Mary bring the simplest sacrifice (a pair of young doves or two young pigeons), indicating their poverty, to the temple. The one who is “Lord” is presented to the “Lord.”
I’m seeking to pay attention to the Jewishness of all these events. Twice in recent weeks I have had strong insistent claims by well meaning believers that the Old Testament law is binding on believers today. Citing various passages (which I felt were out of context) they pressed me in conversations and through emails that today’s church should look more like the Old Covenant. I’m scheduled to review a book entitled, “The Hebraic Roots of the Christian Faith,” some time in 2015. I’ve also added this topic to my 12 topics to explore list for this new year. I’ll keep the readers of this blog posted.

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