The fingers of God are written into the American experience and the problem of keeping abreast of them is what is driving the circus and turmoil in the United States and fuelling beastly behaviour all over the globe. One has to suspect that there are sisters and brothers living in blissful ignorance of our daily news of our ballot boxes, hordes of civil servants, bigoted religious people, and mud-mired political class are mere toenails: clip and discard. The inability to think rightly grows out of a resistance to thinking. More precisely, God’s fingers allows bad people to rise to power and do bad things. He does not allow the minds of his people, the followers of Yeshua, to be victims of bad thinking. Since our minds and bodies need food. No-one can live by God’s words without being directly related to him. Indeed when the stars in our universes are obviously flawed individuals and sometimes one’s One can, as they did in New Testament times, take up the challenge of embracing a new regime without fear of sanction or rebuke or one can go allied with law and prophets, which is the same as Protestantism and Catholicism in bed, just as we expected.
Thoughts in the public arena
What matters is one’s business. Thoughts are private but we can hardly be expected to hide our good thoughts (about the past, present, and future) or resist telling others. The parables of the lost sheep, coin, and son, tell us about the imperative of telling others what has happened to us. What happened, is happening, and will happen are fair broadcasts, so are what might have happened, might be happening now, what might happen in the future are also all legit. It helps when our expectations do not crowd out the facts. Where we have come from and where we are now are not conflicting pieces of divine stuff we need to figure out and pull together. I think it is way better to be in expectation of the wonders of love and trust, and not being disappointed too deeply. So when we say “I think” it ought to soaked in caring about others, accountable for our relationships, and hold out hope’s flag. Better yet, think out loud. Do we dare? Hmmm.
New Regime Expected
Three prophecies in Luke’s gospel provide the Holy Spirit link between the Old and New Testaments. They occur before our Lord’s public ministry begins. They come through male and female witnesses. They say nothing about Moses, Sinai, and the Law. Each shows the expectation of something different than the Law and the prophets and far more satisfying.
Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, prophesies about being saved, mercy performed as promised, holy covenant remembered, oath remembered, John’s salvation-knowledge career, and he calls Christ the Visiting Honourable (=from on high?) Dayspring.
And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, (Luke 1:67)
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, Luke 1:68 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; Luke 1:69 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: Luke 1:70 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; Luke 1:71 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; Luke 1:72 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, Luke 1:73 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, Luke 1:74 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. Luke 1:75 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; Luke 1:76 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, Luke 1:77 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, Luke 1:78 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. Luke 1:79
Elisabeth prophesies: Yeshua is her lord, Mary is blessed for believing, and God does what he promises.
And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: Luke 1:41 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. Luke 1:42 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? Luke 1:43 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Luke 1:44 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. Luke 1:45
Mary sings: God as saviour is her exultation, he was well aware of Mary’s low estate, he did great things to her, his own arm is the show of strength, he dispenses with proud persons, he pulls down the mighty from their seats.
And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, Luke 1:46 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Luke 1:47 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Luke 1:48 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. Luke 1:49 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. Luke 1:50 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. Luke 1:51 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. Luke 1:52 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. Luke 1:53 He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; Luke 1:54
New Regime Received
Hear now how the Spirit witnesses to the fulfilled expectations. This is from an old guy. This is sober thinking out in the open. When Mary and Joseph bring the infant Messiah to the temple in Jerusalem for dedication (called purification due to holiness demands) the Spirit of God uses the occasion to connect the family with prophetic expectation.
And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; Luke 2:22 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) Luke 2:23 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. Luke 2:24
Imagine the brisk trade at the temple for the sacrifices, the busyness of the priests and Levites, and all the travelling of pilgrims to the temple for childbirth, for the dedication of firstborns, offerings for cleansing after childbirth in Mary’s case, and you can see that this trip was a very big deal. They run into Simeon.
And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. Luke 2:25
New regime Rejected
The people had three authority figure that were supposed to help with both official and social matters. These were the ruling priests, the elders, and the scribes. Their fingers are all over the many things our Lord suffered. This suffering is in addition to dying as sacrifice for sin.
These allies hounded the Lord from birth, and the secular powers of the Roman puppet monarchy also persecuted him. They knew what to expect. Their power was over interpreting the law and regulating the reverent sacrificial services. They knew how to launder money more than lightning up paths and lightening burdens.
Thee big shock was to come in the Lord’s words. He saw the coming events with clarity and commitment. He even revealed his “…great desire” to have that upcoming Passover, saying, “… “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer”. Luke 22:15b (actual words, With desire I have desired to eat…)
From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Matt 16:21
Peter’s response to this appointment was “Absolutely no way this is happening to you”. He took Yeshua aside and began harassing (rebuke, ἐπιτιμᾶν , is present tense = he kept it up) the Lord. Imagine Peter taking Yeshua aside for a talking to. Oh my! This is a picture of him doing it every time he got a chance. He would pull Yeshua aside to affirm his view of Yeshua’s destiny. No death and resurrection.
Way off from you, lord, this thing shall never (from not not) be yours
Ἵλεώς σοι Κύριε, οὐ μὴ ἔσται σοι τοῦτο. Matt 16:22
hee-lay-OSE soy KOO-ree-ay, oo may ES-ta-ee soy TOO-taw
And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” Matt 16:22 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Matt 16:23
What are our expectations? Who are our allies? Are there things we say – when we think we are in the know about what Christ is up to – that are help and hindrance? Things of man are food, drink, dominion, occupation, exile, salvation, blessing. It makes no sense to be, from one day to another, condemned in the morning, justified in the evening. Which is a pretty lame expectation per se. The modern version of walking in the light begins with getting everything right. People should not say avoid traps like trust and obey for there is no other way. What happens when one does not obey is a far cry from what is the result of not trusting. The latter is dead. The former is forgiven and happy (blessed)
Salvation is such a great thing that it does make a person think what an amazing thing to bring because of sin, and only dead-beats will deny themselves God’s grace. According to many, eat and drink right are fundamentals, yet these have no place on the atonement scale. There was no treatment for violations of Israel’s eating and drinking (uncleanness not nutrition and not medical) code except for a gluttonous child.
What people say about what we say is far worse than we think.
Let us give the best and expect the best.
There is no disappointment in remaining hopeful
for what God has promised for our day-to-day.
Kingdom-come, food, forgiveness, rescue-from-evil
and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Rom 5:5