About Jesus, the High Priest, and how we, as priests of the most high God, must serve Him.
- ‘Verse by verse‘ the deeper meaning of this Bible-book, explained
The gate of repentance unto the NEW LIFE in Christ
In the Gospel after the evangelist Luke we see the Lord Jesus portrayed as the Son of man (after the flesh: from the seed of David – Romans 1:3), as the NEW MAN in God, as the New Creature. And, of course, each new creature is a priest of God, because he enters into, and is in, a relationship with God. It is exactly this relationship which issues the new creation. And by and in that relationship with God the new creature is a priest, who stands between God and fallen man. Therefore the Gospel after Luke is, in the first place, a revelation of Jesus Christ as the wonderful High Priest of God, because He is revealed here as the Son of man, the First among the new creations of God. Spiritually, what applies to the Head (i.e. Jesus), also applies to the Body (the Christians). It is therefore also a book of the Christian as a royal priest, who can be a priest, because He, Jesus Christ, is the High Priest. It is the book of the NEW MAN, because he lives in unity with that wonderful High Priest and Savior, whereby the NEW MAN can also be a channel of God’s streams of mercy on behalf of God’s people. This first chapter shows us in particular the gate of repentance opening unto the NEW LIFE. We will look at this Bible-book in the light of the Tabernacle. Would it have been possible for us to approach that holy place of that time, we would first have had to enter a gate in order to come unto holy ground. This is also the case if we begin to read this Gospel prayerfully and with proper respect. The colors of Jesus’ Being are displayed by this gate: scarlet, blue, purple, and white. Especially the white typifies purity, characteristic for the NEW MAN. The purple signifies the Kingship of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is expressed in the Gospel after Matthew. The scarlet signifies God’s Son as a servant, His willingness to die for fallen humanity, as the Father asked it of Him, already before the foundation of the world. This is told unto us in the Gospel of Mark. The blue tells us of Jesus as the Son of God, which is described in the Gospel of John. The color of Jesus, as described by Luke in his Gospel, is therefore white. He is that pure NEW MAN and High Priest.
Luke 1 verse 1-4: “Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in (good) order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee, in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed. “
Luke, the doctor and later evangelist, wrote to a certain Theophilus. This last name may be a fictitious name, as “Theophilus” in Greek means “son of God”. Therefore he directed this Gospel to each son of God, to each perfect (read: sincere) child of God. And the purpose of the evangelist is to bring religious security in the heart of each child of God.
The birth announcement of John the Baptist.
We will now have a close look at the birth announcement of John the Baptist. John the Baptist was a preacher of repentance. He called to repentance the people of Israel, that is to say the Jews (namely the tribe of Judah, wherein is also included the tribe of Benjamin). He came in the spirit of Elijah, the prophet that called Israel to repentance, after it had strayed (spiritually), and had served Baal through the doing of queen Jezebel, the wife of king Ahab of Israel. The Baal religion in fact is a nature worship. On closer consideration the Baal religion wants to let itself go in worldly lusts, the worldly ways are indulged. The Baal cult (i.e. the worship of Baal, an idol) had a licentious character, whereby the fertility was idolized. Elijah called Israel away from Baal – away from the loose worldly lifestyle that Israel had fallen into – back to YaHWeH. He called them to the living God and Lord, the God of purity, modesty and justice. This was Elijah’s manner, and so was this John the Baptist also. We read, that God announced the birth of this John the Baptist. Everything right and good comes from God. It is God, Who calls us unto repentance. We can’t come unto God without this call to repentance; and He uses the mouth of the preacher of repentance for this. The preacher of repentance is a gift of a loving God, to people who are lost in sin. God in His compassion filled him with the Spirit, Who calls unto repentance. He is a sounding board of the call which comes from the heart of God. The birth of God’s instrument, which would sound forth this call, was announced here. Again: the call to repentance must come from God into the heart and being of the sinner. Without this voice of the Spirit, Who also was in Elijah, no sinner will repent. This we read in John 6:44 “No one comes to Me (i.e. Jesus) unless the Father, Who sent Me, draw him…”
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By E. van den Worm