Monday, August 13, 2012

Bible Nuggets - Who are "The People"?

I often like to say that "The Bible is an inexhaustible supply of information"... We refer to it as inexhaustible, because no matter how often you read it and no matter how much you study it, if you're reading it under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, from time to time He shows things to you that you've never seen before!

Today's nugget can be found in Matthew Chapter 2. But before I share it with you, allow me to give you a brief overview. As most people know, Matthew is the very first book of the New Testament. If you're a Christian (or even if you've tried to pick up the Bible and read it for that matter) you've probably read this book first.

The book of Matthew is believed to have been written by one of Christ's disciples named Matthew. Matthew is a Jew and a tax collector by trade and this book is written using many facts and figures. In Chapter 1, Matthew starts off by sharing with us the Genealogy of Jesus, dating all the way back to Abraham himself. This genealogy does two essential things, first, it proves that Jesus was in fact a Jew and secondly, it proves that Jesus is a direct descendant to the throne of David. (Search online for the Davidic covenant for more information on this topic)

In Chapter 2, we start off with the characters made famous through the Christmas story of "The 3 wise men". The basic story is this: These men traveled from the East and came to Jerusalem in order to find the newborn "King of the Jews". They came into town and caused quite a stir, by asking where they could find the Messiah, as they wanted to worship Him.

Now here comes that "Nugget".... I've read Matthew dozens of times and not once have I ever noticed what I noticed on this read-through. When Herod (the then king of Judea) heard about these "wise men" who were coming to find the Messiah, he lost his mind. After all, if the real KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS were to show up, Herod would be out of a job! So most Christians know that at this point, Herod sent out his men to murder all of the male children that were 2 years old or younger.

The part that I'm going to share with you today is VERY SUBTLE, but once I share it with you, it should put some things in a very interesting light...

When Herod found out about this "supposed King of the Jews", the very, Very, VERY first thing that he did, is shared with us in Verse 4...

Matthew 2:4 - And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

Now that I've highlighted some text for you, do you see what I see?

Herod called all of the Chief Priests (Jewish Religious Leaders) and the Scribes (Also Jewish Religious Leaders, but known for being the Teachers, Historians, Interpreters and Biblical experts). So what's the big deal? Can't you see it? Herod, called all of the Cheif Priests and Scribes of the people! Of who? Of the Jews in Judea, in order to help him find out where the Messiah would be born!!

Am I more excited about this than you are? Let's put this into perspective then, shall we?

Jews the world over, believe the Bible contains "The Law of Moses and the words of the Prophets" as handed down by God Himself. 99% of the Jews today, reject that Jesus was the Messiah for a multitude of reasons. If you ask your average Orthodox Jew if the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) is true and correct, you'll get a resounding YES! If you ask them if there are any mistakes, contradictions or other prophetical errors, you'll get a resounding NO! That's why it's so WONDERFUL and MIND-BENDING to find that Herod approached the MOST KNOWLEDGEABLE Jewish Scholars and Teachers in all of Judea to answer this question. The answer is in the next 2 verses...

Matthew 2:5-6 - So they said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: ' But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.' "

You might be wondering HOW these Scribes and Priests knew this. I can guarantee you, that there wasn't one man among them that didn't know what it says in Micah 5:2. They all knew this Prophesy!

Micah 5:2 - " But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting."

The same "people" who today reject not only Jesus, but the entire Historical and New Covenantal account contained within the New Testament, were the same "people" who confirmed for Herod where the Messiah would be born!

I Love it!

And by the way, this is not in any way written to disparage anyone of Jewish descent (because that would include me), it's designed to highlight how God has used His own "Chosen People" throughout the ages to not only be Biblically literate, but to also help all those around them to identify WHO the Messiah would be. This is just another example of Romans 11:25 and even better 2 Corinthians 3:13-14!! (which by the way, is a Prophesy from Isaiah 29:9-10)

2 Corinthians 3:13-14 - ...unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ.

Alright, so that's what I call a "nugget", I hope and pray that God reveals something you've never seen before, every single day!

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