Tag Archives: Proof

Proof!

John15:25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’ [ESV]

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The reference to “is written in their Law” without a footnoted citation left me searching commentaries to unravel the obscurity of that phrase.  Here are some notes I made searching for clarity that became my food for thought.
• Jesus as command-giver vs mankind as command-keepers
• fulfilling the law through merit or mercy
• divine destiny
• finally this quote from an obscure commentary by Philip Schaff “The very law of which the Jews boasted, and into which, from imagined reverence for it, they were continually searching,—in that very law they might see themselves. In such a connection of thought might it not he [Jesus] be called ‘their law’?”

√ The first note I checked off without question was, of course, the divine destiny of Jesus.  That is a foundational tenet of our faith as Christians.
√ Then I went on to considering the difficulty of yielding to a command-giver when you’re a command-keeper living in a highly merit-based system.  That is a foundational dilemma of human nature.
√ Finally the quote from Schaff reminded me of this foundational truth from Jesus himself in Matthew 5:17
“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.” [NLT]
Proof: ‘They hated [Jesus] without a cause.’

aPhilip Schaff (January 1, 1819 – October 20, 1893) a Swiss-born, German-educated Protestant theologian and a Church historian who spent most of his adult life teaching in America.  He also served as president of the committee that translated the American Standard Version of the Bible, though he died before it was published in 1901

Preparing

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A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
Isaiah 11:1

I love advent. I love taking the time every day to think about how the story of the birth of Christ is the beginning of life for so many of us.   It’s as if remembering all the long-ago events that led up to his actual birth is God’s way of refreshing us.  I love Advent Calendars and wreaths. This year I’m going to create a digital version of a less-well-known way to remember these days leading up to Christmas, the Jesse Tree, the branch Isaiah 11:1 mentions.  There’s a lot of information on the internet about that if you want to know more.

On this first day of Advent 2016 I can’t help but think of the effort God put into preparing what we are here to remember again this year. Isaiah is a perfect place to begin.  Out of the root of that stump of a great tree that seemed seemed only to be lost, there came Jesus, the branch who began at the very moment of his birth to bear fruit that you and I are living proof of.