Original post at http://jmsmith.org/blog/thayer-five-centuries/
Welcome to our 2nd installment of “Thayer Thursdays” here in the back-online-and-virus-free-on-a-new-host-server-Dojo!
I apologize for the past two weeks if anyone received any malware or virus warnings from this site. Someone hacked a shared server Disciple Dojo used to be hosted on and, not having a webmaster or IT-support go-to, I’ve had to muddle my way through changing to a new host/server. There are still a few cosmetic glitches on the homepage and some links that aren’t quite working right, but overall we should be back in business! Combined with my preparation for a radio debate with a good friend (which I just finished and will be posting the link to tomorrow hopefully!) and a number of portrait commissions I’ve been working on, it’s been a hectic month so far!
That’s why I’m glad to turn today’s post over to my good friend Chris Thayer!
Enjoy this week’s “Thayer’s Thoughts”…
In the first chapter of Luke, Mary, Jesus’ mother, is visited by the angel Gabriel. He tells her:
31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.
Now reading this today, from our context, this sounds good.
Jesus is going to be king, he’ll reign, and he’ll always continue to reign.
However, if we go back to the Old Testament and read about how God said He was going to redeem His people, this statement is nothing short of the hope of an entire nation!
This week I’ve been reading and studying in the book of Ezekiel, particularly chapter 37. It is a wonderful section of scripture that envisages the redemption of the people of Israel after their rebellion against God, the destruction of the temple, and their ultimate exile out of the land. Ezekiel was a prophet during the exile of Israel; just before, during, and after Babylon destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in 586BC. His role was to be God’s prosecutor in His case against the Israelite people. He told the people why the temple had been destroyed and why they were in exile. He brought God’s charges against them. However, Ezekiel (and ultimately God) wasn’t entirely negative during this difficult period in their history.
In chapters 34-48, God uses Ezekiel to bring hope to His broken people. He explains how God is going to restore them and once again bring them under His protection. In Ezekiel 37:23-24, God says:
They [Israel] will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God. My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd.
This brought hope to the dejected Israelites in exile. Hope that God was going to once again bring them His protection, provision, and presence.
However, over the next five and a half centuries, every “king” whom they thought was the “David” they had been waiting for failed miserably to live up to this expectation.
So when Gabriel comes to Mary and tells her that she is about to give birth to the one who is going to receive the throne of his father David whose kingdom would never end – this wasn’t anything short of the fulfillment of what the people of God had waited on for over five hundred years!
Seeing this statement from Gabriel in light of its Old Testament foreshadowing gives us an even greater appreciation for who Jesus is and what He did!
Sermon “Made and Filled”: http://www.gsumc.org/Media_Resources.ihtml?id=686621