October 20, 2015 Psalm 34, Luke 1:57-80, Psalm 66 (19)

Comments about heading to psalm. One version says David feigned madness, and another said he changed behavior.  Quite a difference.

Mark started us off by a suggestion he had heard from a seminarian introducing Luke by reading the first 4 and the last 4 verses: In the first 4 verses we hear about the veracity of the text that will follow. From the beginning, there were eye witnesses and ministers of the word. Then the last 4 verses where Jesus finishes his physical ministry on earth and then ascends into heaven.  Verse 57 is the birth of John.

What did Zechariah, who lived in the 6th century BC,  and was the name sake of the father of John the Baptist, prophesy? He was a captive in Babylon but was released along with 50,000 of his Hebrew kinsman and returned to their native Palestine around 586 BC. Zechariah attempted to rekindle a spiritual fire in the people while Haggai encouraged the completion of the temple project. Zechariah prophesied the destruction of the temple in 70, and also had a decidedly emphasis on messianic predictions, including one in which he prophesied the betrayal of Jesus for 30 pieces of silver in Zechariah 11:12-13.

Why don’t the Jews accept as Messiah? Jesus frequently uses passages from the Old Testament to justify his claim to be the messiah. But he didn’t come with an army and drive the Romans out. In Zacharias song at the end of this chapter, Zacharias sings about God coming to defeat their enemies. How can Jesus claim to be the messiah if he doesn’t even attempt to defeat their enemies? Jesus acceptance was difficult and split the people in terms of acceptance of him as Messiah.

We got into a question about the existence of God. It is the ultimate question. Verse 18 says that because of Zacharias’ unbelief he would be speechless until his son was born. Jim saw the last supper picture in Haiti and all disciples are black but Judas who was white. Why do we do things in Jesus name without recompense? Lots of people question this, but this does not alone justify us, as humanitarians who may be non-Christians do this as well. The Nones don’t understand this. Maybe they really didn’t know who their enemies are. Zacharias’ song spoke of the Messiah who would defeat our enemies. That could undermine Jesus as Messiah. We talked about uniforms and what they mean about our lives. The new pm of Canada will allow Muslim women to wear burkas and cover their faces. What do our uniforms say about us. Next week the Christmas story.  Mark recited the last 4 verses which was the ascension of Christ and the finish of his physical presence ministering to us on earth.

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