The Anticipation of the Christ

At North Side, we’re all about discipleship.  In addition to discipling our worship team on Wednesday nights, I am also discipling a great group of college students right now.  These guys come over to our house on Wednesday nights and we get into the Word.  This semester, I am teaching this group, and our worship team, through the gospels.

We are doing a Christology of sorts.  A study of the life of Christ is normally organized around speculations or disagreements instead of simply going to the text.  In this study, I am using 14 main events or categories of Jesus’ life to get a clearer picture of the historical figure and the world-changing Savior.

Last night, we discussed the Anticipation of the Christ.  We actually started in our previous session by teaching through the entire Old Testament in one night.  I told the big picture of God’s plan from the beginning.  The blank page in between the testaments reveal a 400-year period of silence where God said nothing to his people.  While Israel waited to see if God would speak again, God brought a word in the Word himself!

In John 1, the apostle teaches that Jesus was that Word in the beginning at creation, and not only was he with God, he was God.  Just like the light that God created with a simple word in Genesis, at the fullness of time, the Word appeared and was the light of man.  The darkness could not overcome the light, the Word, the God in flesh who dwelt among us.

During this study, we also looked at the reasoning and information concerning the difference of the 4 gospels.  Four gospels were written because 4 authors had 4 specific audiences that they were educating concerning Jesus:

  • Matthew – one of the Twelve, tax-collector despised by his people yet embraced by the Messiah, loved telling parables of Jesus on money, wrote to Jewish people so collects more Old Testament prophecies of any other gospel writer, unique perspective as one of the Twelve, careful with the name of God since Jewish people revere it so that he would write “Kingdom of heaven” rather than “Kingdom of God.”
  • Mark – one of Jesus’ disciples but not one of the Twelve, ministry partner of Peter so has a lot of inside information, roughest on Peter’s character, wrote to Roman people so his account is action packed with little teaching, uses word “immediately” frequently showing Jesus as man of action, alludes to his identity by the streaker when Jesus was arrested (Mark 14:50-52).
  • Luke – missionary with Paul, very educated and well-written, Gentile who wrote to Gentiles, takes Jesus’ genealogy back to Adam to show how all Gentiles are in this spiritual family, careful investigator who probably interviewed Mary and other close sources, doctor who was fascinated with medical miracles (including virgin birth).
  • John – written after the first 3 Synoptic Gospels, goes more theological on significance of events rather than just events themselves, fisherman who was one of the Twelve, beloved disciple who hints at his identity (John 21:20-25), reveals deep teaching of Jesus’ ministry, written so that people would know that Jesus is the Christ, very evangelistic
This first step in our journey shows the need for Christ.  The world was anticipating a Savior.  When Jesus came, he was completely different than what they expected, but to as many as received him, he gave the right to become the children of God (John 1:12-13).  He is the Creator and Savior.  Jesus was not a plan B or a second idea.  This stage of Christ’s anticipation reveals the infinitude of God.  He is eternal.  Not only was everything made by him, but it was all made for him (Col. 1:15-16).
We will continue on in this study, and I will give my summary notes on Thursdays so if you want to join along.  As we begin this Christology season, I can’t sum it up any better than the Apostle John with the last word of his gospel:
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they *were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself *would not contain the books that *would be written.


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