Birth of John the Immerser Through the Wedding at Cana
The Generations of ChristEdit
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.
The importance of the Babylonian captivity, the last great judgment against the kingdom of Judah before the Roman sacking in AD 70, is seen here in the genealogy of John. From David (a type of Christ in David's kingship), to Babylon (in which time Daniel wrote) then from Babylon to Christ. Babylon was the last great type that pointed to the antitype of the end of Judaism altogether.
Birth of the KingEdit
LUKE 1:30-33 Edit
30'And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
We see this prophecy fulfilled in Acts 2 when Peter declares Jesus both Lord and Savior to the Jewish people gathered at Pentecost. Jesus was King upon his ascension as the writer of Hebrews declares in Hebrews 1:8.
Jesus is prophesied to reign over the house of Jacob forever and His Kingdom [over Jacob who was called Israel] would have no end to it. Yet why are we then in the majority of this wiki to date arguing that much of the NT is about the end of the Jewish system? Is it not the case that the Jewish system did end at the destruction of the Temple and the sacking of Jerusalem in AD 70? Do the millennialists not concede that there was no Jewish state from then until 1948? Sounds like an end to me! The truth of the matter is that the angel was also prophesying the rise of spiritual Israel, which is the church, the Kingdom of Christ. It is the same Kingdom Daniel wrote of in Daniel 2:44.
Birth of John the ImmerserEdit
67'And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, 68Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, 69And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 70As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 71That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, 74That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, 75In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. 76And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; 77To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, 78Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, 79To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Not only was Jesus a King, but He was the fulfillment of a vast number of prophecies from the Old Testament. Here the concept of "horn", which is associated with a position of leadership such as a King, is tied to the concept of salvation. Jesus would be the King of Salvation, heir to David's throne. See Kingdom of God/Christ/Heaven this post concerning the kingdom of God. Here also we see the terms light [knowledge] and darkness [ignorance] and their associations with life and death.
LUKE 2:34-35 Edit
34And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; 35(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
I have never heard a lesson on the words of Simeon, the old man promised by the Holy Spirit to see God's Annointed [Christ] before he died. Look at the words he spoke concerning Christ. "This child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel".
Even Simeon prophesied that Christ would bring down the evil in Israel, but also the salvation and resurrection of those who would obey him.
The Wise Men Come to Worship JesusEdit
MATTHEW 2:1-12 Edit
1'Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 3When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. 5And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
The wise men not of Israel had read the prophecies [e.g. Micah 5:2] concerning Christ and interpreted those signs to the extent that they knew Jesus would be King of Israel. Herod, like most Jews of his day, took this the wrong way and thought a child had been prophesied to take his place on the throne in physical Jerusalem. Jesus was no such thing, could not be because of the prophecies concerning the descendants of Jechoniah.
Why then would wise men from nations disparate from Judah, never under the Law of Moses come seeking a future king of physical Israel? Furthermore, why would they worship him (vs. 2)!? The answer is that the wise men understood the true nature of the prophecies, that this would be the King of Israel in the spiritual sense, that He would bring salvation to all men, including the Gentiles of which they were a part.
John the Immerser Preaching the Coming Destruction of the JewsEdit
1'In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 4And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. 5Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, 6And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. 7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: 9And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 11I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
LUKE 3:1-9, 16-17Edit
1'Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, 2Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. 3And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; 4As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 5Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; 6And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. 7Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 9And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. ... 16John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: 17Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.
John's message here to Israel is that of the necessity for immediate repentance. He did not speak of things 2000 years down the road or more. He did speak of things prophesied by Isaiah, marking again the idea that what 36-43 Isaiah wrote of to a great extent was the end of the Jews.
Note that John is speaking to that generation explicitly. He asks that generation of vipers (not our generation) "who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come"? What wrath is John talking about? It can be none other than the end of the Jewish state, the same that Peter speaks of in Acts 2:40 saying "save yourselves from this untoward generation".
Note further than John references the apocalyptic language of the OT prophets. He says now the axe is laid at the root of the tree. The wrath therefore is imminent, coming within that generation! The terms "immersed with the Holy Ghost and with fire" are not synonymous terms. They are antonymous terms speaking of that generation. The fire part is associated with the wrath, the tree cut down and cast into the fire, the chaff in unquenchable fire. The unquenchable nature of this fire is that it is irreversible and complete in its destruction. It is also important to note that in this context, which can be referencing nothing beyond the destruction of Judaism, that the harvest by Christ is directly tied to that event. More on this later. The final note, though, is that John said Jesus would do this. Jesus would immerse with the Holy Ghost and fire. Jesus had the fan in His hand and would purge the chaff from the wheat. If this took place in the generation that John spoke to, if the wrath came at the hand of Jesus to that generation, then when did this happen? It certainly wasn't at the cross! It must have taken place when Jerusalem was sacked and the Temple destroyed.
The Calling of Philip and Nathaniel the ApostlesEdit
43'The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. 44Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. 46And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. 47Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! 48Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. 49Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. 50Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. 51And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. '
I don't recall a specific sermon on the calling of Philip and Nathanael to the Apostleship of Christ. Herein, though, are some interesting thoughts. First we note that at least Philip knew that Jesus had been prophesied in the Old Testament. Furthermore, Nathanael must also have known the law and prophets as Philip. It is implied that they spoke of them to some extent because Philip brings it up. Immediately upon hearing Jesus refer to seeing Nathanael before Philip called to him, Nathanael calls Jesus the Son of God and King of Israel, and this must have come from the prophets. As Jesus was never king of physical Israel, it must be that Moses and the prophets spoke of Jesus as King of spiritual Israel, the church.
Jesus here also references Jacob as a type from the scene in Genesis 28:12, making Himself the antitype of that scene.
In Truth and Love.