So what did Jesus mean when He told the people of Nazareth, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing”?
In order to understand the New Testament, we must understand the “already/not yet” character of the Kingdom. As Jesus proclaims here, the Kingdom has arrived with the ministry of Jesus. Yet the complete fulfillment of all the promises of the Kingdom awaits His second coming. Throughout this time between His first and second comings, the Kingdom is already here, but is not yet fully realized.
Why? Why didn’t Jesus usher in the final Kingdom in 30 AD? Why didn’t He end history at that time?
Consider: What happens if the Kingdom comes before Jesus dies on the cross? Remember, in the final Kingdom there is perfect justice. Perfect righteousness. But Paul tells us, “There is no one righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10). Thus, in a crossless Kingdom of perfect justice, there are no human citizens. So if men and women are to inhabit the kingdom, the final fulfillment of the Kingdom must await Jesus’ death and resurrection.
That explains why Jesus had to suffer and die; that explains why He could not usher in His kingdom during His lifetime on earth. But why didn’t He come back shortly after His death? Why didn’t He come back in, say, 50 AD? Or 500 AD? Or 1500 AD?
At any of those points, some humans would have been forgiven. There would have been human citizens of the Kingdom. But the Kingdom would not have included those from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. The promise to Abraham – that all the families of the earth would be blessed in him – would not have been fulfilled. As Jesus says later,
And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:14
So Jesus will not return until this is fulfilled. Every tribe and tongue must stand before the throne of God.
In sum, then, consider the already/not yet nature of the Kingdom promises:
- Jesus offers complete forgiveness of sins now.
- He offers complete freedom from slavery to sin now.
- He offers partial purity from sin now, and complete purity later.
- He offers occasional physical sight to the blind and healing from disease now, and promises us new, incorruptible bodies later.
- He offers us a glorious but somewhat obscured view of Himself now; then we shall see face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12).
Jesus’ preaching, then, completes John’s preaching. He says: “The Kingdom is here! It is inaugurated! I am the promised One! So respond! Turn! Repent! Believe in Me! The one who believes will have forgiveness! Liberty! Sight! You will have God Himself! And eventually you will have political freedom, freedom from disease, freedom from slavery to corruption.”
During this already/not yet era of the Kingdom, that message continues to hold. Do you have that liberty? Have you responded?
Posts Tagged ‘Coty Pinckney’
Tags: Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Bible study, Coty Pinckney, daily Bible, Kingdom promises: already/not yet, Luke, Scripture
Tags: Adam and second Adam: what a contrast!, Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Bible study, Coty Pinckney, daily Bible, Luke, Scripture
Most written accounts of a person’s life would put the genealogy right at the beginning – like the Gospel of Matthew. Again like Matthew, most often the genealogy will start with the ancestor and work forward to the subject of the account. But Luke puts the genealogy here, subsequent to the birth narrative, and lists the legal ancestors in reverse order. The result is that Luke concludes with Adam, right before giving the account of Jesus’ temptation. I suspect this is an intentional contrast.
Adam was tempted by Satan at the beginning and failed. Because of that failure, all humanity is stained by Adam’s sin.
Now the second Adam, Jesus, is tempted – but He resists Satan. And in Him, all redeemed humanity is restored to God.
Tags: 1 Kings, Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Bible study, Coty Pinckney, daily Bible, Grace extended grace rejected, Scripture, Will my legacy be one of judgment or grace?
In today’s text, [1 Kings 13-14] we see that God does not zap Jeroboam after he creates the golden calves. Instead, God reaches out to Jeroboam, in a way that has many parallels with His reaching out to David by Nathan the prophet. God shows Jeroboam his sin, shows him the consequences of continuing in the path he is walking – and shows that He is a God who answers prayer, a God who heals, a God who will forgive. But Jeroboam rejects God’s grace – and then, later in his life, in a moment of personal tragedy when he seeks prophecy from God, he hears not grace but judgment. And Jeroboam’s legacy of sin is all that is left.
My friends, this is a sobering story, a story that God brought you here this morning to hear. There are no accidents in God’s plan. You are here this morning by His will, to hear this His word proclaimed to you. As we consider this man’s tragic life, ask yourself two sets of questions:
- What is my legacy? If I were to die today, what would my legacy be?
- And even more importantly: Am I trifling with God, like Jeroboam? If I were to die today, do I face only a terrifying expectation of judgment?
Tags: Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Bible study, Coty Pinckney, daily Bible, Ephesians, Ephesians 4: Truthing in love, Scripture
but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ,
Paul tells us we are to speak the truth in love, and this will lead to growth.
If you look at the original language, you will see that the word for “speaking” is not there. Instead, Paul takes the word “truth” and makes it into a verb. So literally, the verse reads, “But truthing in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him . . .”
Now, certainly the leaders are to speak the truth in love; we are to teach, to exhort, to preach the Word faithfully and fully. Speaking the truth is one important part of the method of equipping the saints. And how true this is today when so many supposed ministers of the gospel have abandoned true biblical teaching, and instead fill Sunday mornings with moral stories which are the modern equivalent of Aesop’s fables. Consistent, expository preaching of the word builds up the body of Christ, so that all who hear may learn these truths and put them into practice.
But I suggest that “truthing in love” means more than “speaking the truth in love.” Another way to translate the idea behind this phrase might be “displaying the truth in love.” The leaders are not only to speak the truth with their mouths, but also to live out the truth in their lives.
Paul himself is a wonderful example of this. Listen to him as he, knowing he is about to die, reminds young Timothy of the ways he has displayed the truth in love. Paul contrasts himself with the false teachers he has just described:
But you know all about my teaching – (you see, he did speak the truth, but note what else he says) – my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings. (2 Timothy 3:10)
Paul’s way of life, his patience, his endurance — all of these display the truth to Timothy and the wider world. Paul taught the word verbally and also lived out that word in all situations, thereby teaching the truth to Timothy and to everyone else he encountered.
So leaders equip the body for works of service primarily through teaching the word and by living out the truths of the word in their lives.
Tags: Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Bible study, Coty Pinckney, daily Bible, Pray biblically. Pray Psalm 119., Psalms, Scripture
We come to a section of Psalm 119 today that captures the heart and passion of this Bible-reading website…knowing God through His word leads to trusting and loving Him more and more each day.
We could look at any of a number of verses here, but let’s focus on verses 33-37:
33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end.
The psalmist’s first request is for God to teach him. So should we. We will not understand Scripture, we will not understand God’s character, apart from the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. As Paul writes:
1 Corinthians 1:18 the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing.
And it will be folly to us unless He enlightens the eyes of our heart.
So verse 33 gives a general request to God: “Teach me, Lord, then I will keep your Law.” The next four verses flesh out the details of this request.
34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.
Here he asks for his mind. He asks that he would know God with his mind, and thus take on the character of God. Obedience flows from a mind that knows God’s Word.
Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.
Here he is asking for practical obedience, for God’s leading him down the right path, and keeping him off the wrong path. He asks God to hold his hand, to guide him in the right way. He delights in God’s character, and so wants to become practically like God.
Three weeks ago, we identified practical obedience as loving God with all our strength. So that is the psalmist’s request in this verse.
36 Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!
In verse 36 he asks for his heart to be moved, for his heart to be focused on God and His character. He asks that his heart not be captivated by the things of this world, but by God Himself. In effect, he is asking that he might love God with all his heart.
Finally, verse 37:
37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.
What is he asking here? Not for his heart. Not for his mind. Not for his strength, or practical obedience. Rather, here he is asking that his will, his soul, his inner self, would want what is truly most valuable – life in God! – and not pine after the baubles of this world that look so lovely but in the end are worthless.
So do you see what the psalmist has done here? After an introductory verse asking God to teach him, the next four verses in effect ask God to help him to love Him with all his mind, all his strength, all his heart, and all his soul. He is asking that He might fulfill the Great Commandment. He is asking that He might love God with all his being.
Don’t you need this same prayer?
Don’t others around you need this same prayer?
Pray biblically for yourself and others!
- “Teach me!”
- “Give me understanding!”
- “Lead me in the path of your commandments!’
- “Incline my heart to your testimonies!”
- “Turn my eyes from worthless things!”
So when we love God’s Word, we end up praying that we would love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Tags: Arguing from the greater to the lesser, Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Bible study, Coty Pinckney, daily Bible, Mark, Scripture
Mark 16:6-7 And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”
“Just as He said….” Jesus always keeps His promises! Coty Pinckney explains,
Suppose I promise to give you a million dollars Monday at noon, and then a thousand dollars Tuesday at noon. You might have reason to doubt my promise – particularly if you could see my bank balance! But suppose I manage to fulfill the promise on Monday – you get the million dollars! What do you expect to happen on Tuesday?
If I fulfilled the promise to give you a million dollars on Monday, surely I’ll give you the thousand dollars on Tuesday! You will have no doubt! I’ve kept the hard promise – surely I’ll keep the easier one.
Think, now: Isn’t the promise to rise from the dead the hardest promise to keep anyone has ever made? Jesus kept the hard promise. He lived up to His word. Shouldn’t we then believe the rest of His words, and trust Him to be speaking truthfully? He’s fulfilled the million-dollar promise – surely He’ll fulfill all the thousand dollar promises He made. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
I’m reminded of a promise given to us in Romans 8:32….“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all (a HARD thing), how will he not also with him graciously give us all things (EASY for God)?” The argument here is similar. The greater to the lesser. If God can do a hard thing, he can do an easy thing!
Tags: Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Bible study, Coty Pinckney, daily Bible, Ironic exchange, Mark, Scripture, Trial of Jesus, We are all like Barabbas
Note here the irony of the release of Barabbas: Jesus is falsely accused of leading a rebellion against Rome; Barabbas did lead a rebellion against Rome. The guilty one goes free; the innocent man dies. Pilate’s preference for not executing an innocent man is just that – a preference, not a conviction. So when the Jewish authorities convince Pilate not that Jesus is guilty but that it is in his personal interest to execute Jesus, he agrees to do so.
Who is Jesus for Pilate?
An innocent madman. Pilate thinks, “This fellow? The King of the Jews? What idiocy! He’s not in his right mind. Clearly he’s innocent and should be released, but, hey, to do so might cause a riot – and I can’t afford any more riots. I’d be putting my entire career at risk! My position is much more important than any Jewish madman. So let him die. It’s a pity – but he must die.”
Tags: Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Coty Pinckney, daily Bible, Mark, Scripture, Trial of Jesus, Who ARE you?..."I AM", Who is really on trial?
And the high priest stood up and came forward and questioned Jesus, saying, “Do You make no answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?” But He kept silent, and made no answer.
Frustrated, the High priest tries to get Jesus to incriminate himself. Jesus gives no answer, in accordance with Isaiah’s prophesy:
He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. (Isaiah 53:7)
There is not need for Jesus to defend Himself against false charges. His purpose here is to proclaim the truth of Who He is, not to convince the court of His innocence. For this reason, He breaks His silence when asked the next question:
- Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, 62 “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?”And Jesus said, “I am; and you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING WITH THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.” 63 And tearing his clothes, the high priest *said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? 64 ”You have heard the blasphemy; how does it seem to you?” And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.
Here we have the central point of the passage.
- When they accuse Jesus of saying He will tear down the temple, He says nothing.
- When they accuse Him of inciting a riot, leading a rebellion, He is quiet.
- But when questioned about His identity, He answers: this is His witness. Now is His time. He declares Himself.
Jesus’ response is emphatic: “I AM,” with allusions to the name of God spoken to Moses at Mt Sinai. But He doesn’t stop there: He quotes Psalm 110 and Daniel 7, claiming for Himself power and authority. Look here at the wider context of those verses:
Psalm 110:1 The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand, Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
Daniel 7:13-14 ”I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations, and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.”
In these few words, Jesus proclaims that He is not the one on trial – they are on trial. The High Priest is not His judge – rather, He is the judge of the High Priest and all others in the room. God will destroy His enemies, and all glory, dominion, and power belong to Him. All people – including these who hate Him – will bow before Him.
Tags: Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Bible study, Coty Pinckney, daily Bible, Gethsemane, Jesus and, Mark, prayer, Scripture, See the contrast between the choices of Jesus and the disciples?
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.”And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said,“Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
Why did Jesus go forward with this? We see here how much Jesus dreaded the cross. Why did he choose to die?
John answers the question most clearly for us. Although John’s gospel does not include an account of Jesus in Gethsemane, he does relate Jesus’ inner troubles:
- . . . 27 “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. 28 ”Father, glorify Thy name.” There came therefore a voice out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” (John 12:23, 27, 28 NASB)
Jesus chooses to suffer and die on the cross, receiving the penalty for our sins, so that God might be glorified. This is the joy set before him: That God would display His character.
Jesus despised the shame of the cross, because he focused His eyes on the joy of God being glorified. Through His death, the character of God is displayed as it could be in no other way. God’s love, God’s justice, God’s patience, God’s power, God’s supremacy – all these are on display in the plan of redemption.
Do you see? The plan of salvation fundamentally is God-centered, not man-centered. From the very beginning, God designed this plan to show what He is like.
Let’s return to the Garden: Jesus returns to the disciples. They are not alert. They are not praying for Him or even for themselves. Instead they sleep. So Jesus speaks to Peter, the one most confident in his own abilities:
“Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? 38 ”Keep watching and praying, that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Jesus says, “How do you think you will be able to keep watch after I’m gone if you can’t keep watch for even one hour now! Your flesh is weak! Remember that! Don’t depend on it! Instead, pray! Live out the Lord’s Supper – feed on me, on God, on His power! – That’s what I’m doing!”
Jesus prays three times, and each time returns to find the disciples sleeping. When He returns the last time, it is too late for a reprimand; there is no longer the opportunity to pray:
- The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 ”Arise, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!”
The Hour has come. After the first sin, God promised redemption to Eve in the Garden of Eden. Now, the final stage of the drama of redemption begins at the Garden of Gethsemane. All of human history points to this moment. And the disciples have not prepared themselves.
Do you see the contrast between the choices of Jesus and the disciples? The disciples choose to depend on themselves, on their flesh. And what is Jesus’ choice? Jesus throws Himself on the mercy of God, and depends on the power of God to accomplish God’s will.
Tags: Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Bible study, Coty Pinckney, daily Bible, How much do we value Jesus?, Mark, Scripture
And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”
If you could become any one of these four people, which would you choose?
- (a) The richest, most successful businessman in the world;
- (b) The most popular, most attractive movie star in the world;
- (c) The president of the United States;
- (d) An aids orphan in southern Africa.
Which do you choose?
Some of us might have a hard time choosing between a, b, and c; but is there anyone here this morning who would pick d?
Let me change the question: You now have the same four choices, except: if you choose a, b, or c, you do not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. If you’re the aids orphan, you do.
Which do you choose now?
Is the choice hard?
Do you see what I’m asking? How much is Jesus worth? Is knowing him worth more than all of Bill Gates’ fortune? Is knowing Him worth more than all the fame or power of a movie star or a president?
Today we consider the first 25 verses of Mark 14. The central theme of this section is: How much do we value Jesus? This passage is like a play: there are four main characters or groups of characters, all revolving around Jesus, all trying to determine what Jesus is worth. The characters are:
- The chief priests and their associates
- An unnamed woman
- The other disciples