Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven (Matt 6:10).
In the fullness of time, the kingdom came nigh. God incarnated Himself in Jesus as Emmanuel, the Dayspring from on high (Luke 1:78). The conception of the Holy Ghost in the virgin Mary initiated the kingdom (Matt 1:23). God with us–the appearing of the Mighty God, our Father–rules over the true kingdom on earth and heaven, as Star in the first coming and Scepter in the second (Num 24:17). Glorious like a star, the Bright and Morning Star (Rev 2:18; 22:16), Emmanuel shined His light in dark places to bring salvation (2 Pet 1:19) during His earthly ministry. He governs the kingdom with all authority to rule as a scepter fulfilling the future kingdom in which there will be no end (Isa 9:6-7; Dan 7:13-14; Luke 1:32-33; Rev 11:15).
Jesus reigns over no ordinary kingdom, rather one messianic with all divine power in this present age and that to come. Thy kingdom come in Matt 6:10 reflects not only Emmanuel in His future second coming but also His desire for His servants to broaden kingdom purposes after His first coming during the Church Age. His servants spread His kingdom with their beatitude character qualities and actions (Matt 7:16, 20; John 13:35; 1 John 3:10).
Jan Paron, PhD
(Excerpt from the Incarnational Theology of Emmanuel in the Book of Matthew)
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations (Matt 1:17).
The Gospel of Matthew begins with the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Written to the Jews, the author’s intent was to identify Jesus as the Messiah, the King of Israel. By way of ancestry, Matthew links Jesus with two great figures in the history of Israel: King David and Abraham. These men represent the two major Old Testament covenants, Abrahamic and Davidic. The author supported his Gospel’s theme with this connection by showing throughout that Jesus is the Son who partially fulfilled and will completely fulfill the promises of these two covenants at His first and second comings. His death and resurrection would be the basis for their fulfillment. Next, the genealogy of Jesus not only is a historical fact, but an account with a strong support base in the Scripture. Scripture includes portions of Jesus‘ genealogy throughout select books of the Old Testament. This shows the Messiah’s lineage as part of Scripture. Matthew based his record of the Lord’s genealogy on the inspired Word, and the early church used it as a witnessing tool to both Jews and Gentiles.
The Holy Spirit opened Matthew’s understanding and guided him to find Christ’s genealogy in Scripture. However, Scripture did not record parts of this genealogy. The Jews after their return from the Babylonian exile demonstrates one example. Matthew does, though, connected the vast gap between Zerubbabel and Jacob, the father of Joseph. According to Matthew, this period covers fourteen generations, but what Matthew recorded sufficiently connected Jesus of Nazareth with the Old Testament. Luke, using the genealogy of Mary, traces Christ’s lineage back to David, and then back to Shem, the son of Noah, and then back to Adam. Here, the author identified Jesus with the human race and qualified Him as Savior. Matthew used portions of Scripture along with historical records to establish the royal lineage of Jesus of Nazareth as King of Israel. Matthew divided his genealogy into three periods of fourteen generations each: The first called the period of patriarchs runs from Abraham to David; the second, the period of kings, ranges from David until the last king going into exile in Babylon; and last called the post exile, from Babylon until the birth of Christ. The last period covered the full, 600-year period up to Christ’s birth without mentioning everyone in this line. It stayed silent on the four hundred years between the Old and New Testaments, as well as the partial period of two hundred years after the exile. Matthew’s approach proved the royal lineage of Jesus through Joseph, His legal father.
The Expression Begat
Once Matthew arrived at “Jacob who begat Joseph” (Matt 1:16 KJV), he did not use this expression about Jesus. Instead, Matthew writes “Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ” (v. 16). Jesus has no biological father in the natural sense of the term. To prove the virgin birth, Matthew showed that Jesus was not begotten by a human. The Holy Ghost conceived Jesus in Mary’s womb, making Jesus the Son of God (v. 18) and then fulfilling the prophecy that Christ would be born of a virgin (Isa 7:14; Matt 1:21-23). Matthew’s genealogy commonly used begat. The expression [Greek: gennaó, γεννάω] speaks of the procreation of offspring. The names in Matthew’s genealogy are descendants by procreation. Luke dis not use this expression. Instead, Luke featured the form the son of [Greek: huios, υἱὸς’], meaning child by procreation; however, this meaning permits a wider range of kinship. One does not have to be a son by direct generation. Jesus was thought to be Joseph’s actual son (Luke 3:23). Luke’s genealogy traced Jesus’ lineage back to David through Nathan, the son of Bathsheba, called Bathshua (1 Chron 3:1, 5). Jesus had a biological link to King David through His mother. On the other hand, Jesus only had a legal link through Joseph.
Matthew’s presentation of the genealogy of Jesus Christ is unique. He presented Jesus as the Messiah, King of Israel foretold in Scripture. He identified Jesus with the two major covenants God made with Abraham and David. As the promised descendant of both men, Jesus is the Son who fulfills both covenants so that both Jews and Gentiles could be blessed with eternal redemption. Against the Jewish custom of women absent in a man’s genealogy, Matthew recorded the mother of Jesus and four women. Though four of these women have questionable pasts, one sees this as message of God’s grace. Also, the author’s mention of some of Israel’s greatest men and their failures are a testimony to God’s mercy and His willingness to restore sinners and fulfill covenant promises.
Next, this genealogy presented the New Testament truth that the Gentiles also would become part of the family of God. God’s grace has made the new birth a reality for all nations. This fulfilled the promise to Abraham that all nations would be blessed in his seed, Jesus Christ. The gaps in Matthew’s genealogy serve as a reminder that every name was not needed, but the recorded connections identify Jesus as David’s royal heir. The apparent distinction between the way Matthew and Luke list descendants is unique. While begat speaks to biological descent, son of can have a more remote relationship (son-in-law, grandson, etc. speak to this fact). When Matthew arrives to Joseph in his genealogy, the author took care that his words did not obscure one of Christianity’s most important truths, the virgin birth of Christ. Luke’s genealogy identified the Son of God with the human race. Uniquely, the virgin birth makes Jesus a part of the human race. His coming would deliver us from sin, its curse and death by taking these things upon Himself. The Holy Ghost imparts to us all the blessings of eternal life that Jesus died and rose for us to have (Gal 3:13-14). This genealogy was a powerful witness then and is to us today.
The Gospel authors centered their accounts on the revelation of God in Christ. It made their witness both scriptural and undeniable before an unbelieving world. Without God becoming man to die for humanity’s sins, He could not fulfill His redemptive purposes. Each Gospel’s view overlaps one to the other for interaction and account clarity. Matthew presented Jesus as a King-Servant, while Mark showed Him as a Son-Servant of the Lord. Luke testified Jesus as both Savior and Son of man. John concluded by proclamation and exposition, Jesus is the Son of God, God and man. As each account declared, His life’s purpose was to die and rise for sinners. Each book regardless of its perspective, leads to His crucifixion and resurrection. Mark’s Servant, although presented as King in Matthew, died; Luke’s Man, also called the Son of God in John, suffered crucifixion. The authors did not give a complete biography of His life. Instead, they presented a complete scriptural portrait of Jesus Christ, proclaiming His Gospel and forming the basis of New Testament writing and doctrine.
Matthew: Jesus, the King-Servant
Matthew wrote his Gospel to Jewish believers calling it the book of Jesus’ genealogy (Matt 1:1). It traces Jesus’ descent and describes His life based on Scripture. Proclaiming Him King of Israel, Matthew ancestrally linked Jesus to King David and Abraham through Joseph, Mary’s husband, revealing the two great covenants God established with them. This identified Jesus as David’s seed, Israel’s promised King (Davidic Covenant) and Abraham’s son in whom all nations would be blessed with salvation (Abrahamic Covenant).
The Davidic and Abrahamic covenants present Christ’s first and second comings (Gen 22:18; 2 Sam 7:11-14). His first coming brought Abraham’s promised blessing of justification for everyone by crucifixion. His return will bring kingdom establishment and blessing for Israel and all nations. Matthew thoroughly confirmed Jesus’ kingship throughout his Gospel with teachings, miracles, prophecy fulfillment, along with statements and acts of authority; however, Jesus did not fulfill His reign. Instead, Israel in unbelief, rejected their king and crucified Him so God’s promised blessing in Abraham’s son will come to all nations by faith through the Holy Ghost (Gal 3:13-15).
Matthew’s addition of Jesus’ virgin birth account to His genealogy gave essential significance to His identity. It revealed Abraham and David’s seed as the Lord God of Israel in flesh and why so many Scriptures came to fulfillment (Matt 1:21-23). Being literally Emmanuel, God with us as man, Jesus’ kingship had divine honor and authority—not human, although He descended from David and Abraham.
Matthew fashioned his writing with a kingdom emphasis affirming Jesus as Messiah-King, but midway through his narration he transitioned presenting Jesus as Jehovah’s Servant (12:15-21; Isa 42:1). Using Isaiah’s prophecy in light of Israel’s initial rejection, Matthew guided his narration of Christ, the obedient Servant, to His final rejection by Israel while continuing a literary emphasis on God’s kingdom. In obedience, the rejected King postpones Israel’s messianic kingdom for humanity’s salvation (Matt 21:43). Along with kingdom emphasis, Matthew presented the continuous theme of redemption. Before Christ comes to reign, He will give Jews and Gentiles an opportunity to enter His kingdom.
Pastor Daryl Cox
(Excerpt from Jesus Across the Gospels: A Portrait of Who Jesus Is)
Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, (23) Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matt 1:22-23 KJV; cf. Isa 7:14).
Immediately following the generation of Jesus (Matt 1:1-17), Scripture noted Mary “was with child of the Holy Ghost” (1:18b), begotten in her womb as both Son of God (Spirit conception; Luke 1:35) and Son of man (humanity). While Joseph “thought on these things,” meaning pondering on how to handle Mary’s pregnancy, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream as God’s messenger. Through the angel, the omnipresent God incarnated in the Son revealed five truths about that which Mary carried: (1) the Holy Ghost conceived it (1:20); she would bear a son (v.21a); (3) Joseph will call the son Jesus (v. 21b); (4) the Son will save His people from their sins (v. 21c); and this birth fulfills that which the prophet spoke about the forthcoming Emmanuel (vv. 22-23; cf. Isa 7:14). Thus, the Spirit-conceived Emmanuel in the expectant Mary, refers to the child in His humanity and the Son in His divinity (Isa 9:6a; Matt 1:23a,b)—God’s revelation to man, one and one and the same.
In 2 Chron 36:23b, Cyrus King of Persia said “Who is among you of all His people? May the LORD God be with him, and let him go up!” Emmanuel, God with us, identifies Jesus, the invisible God made visible in flesh to deliver His people from sin. Second Chronicles 36:23 previews Emmanuel dwelling among His people: Cyrus told the exiles from Judah they could return to Jerusalem and build a house there. Upon their journey back to Jerusalem, they built the second temple of which they did in 353 BCE under Ezra and Nehemiah’s leadership. However, the Spirit of God fulfilled a greater temple with the conception of a Son in a virgin called by the Lord to be with His people (2 Chron 36:23). Though not one of brick and mortar, rather the temple of the living God–God with us dwelling with His people and walking among them (2 Cor 6:16). Through conception from God’s Spirit, Emmanuel accomplished what Cyrus spoke through the Lord “May the Lord God be with him” (2 Chron 36:23c). Believers today, individually (1 Cor 6:19) and collectively, form the holy temple of which the Spirit dwells for “an habitation of God” (Eph 2:20-22).
Jan Paron, PhD
(Excerpt from The Incarnational Theology of Emmanuel in the Book of Matthew)
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isa 7:14 NKJV).
Mary, a virgin from the lineage of David, birthed Jesus through agency of the Holy Spirit. Procreation or (begetting) in Mary’s womb made Jesus the Son of God (v. 18), thus, fulfilling the prophecy that Christ would be born of a virgin (Isa 7:14; Matt 1:21-23; Cox, 2013). Jesus descended as a scion from the lineage of David–a Rod from the stem of Jesse (Isa 11:1), father of David (1 Sam 17:12). As the Son of David, it established Jesus’ human lineage born through the virgin, Mary. The Matthean Gospel portrayed Jesus as the King, the Seed as Son of David (cf. Matt 1:22-23: “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet”).
In the Apostle Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian saints, he petitioned the Father of Glory—the Lord Jesus Christ—for the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him (Eph 1:17). The Church only can know God (John 14:7) intimately through Jesus, God manifested in flesh (1 Tim 3:16). As the brightness of God’s glory and the impressed character of His substance, Jesus has the Father’s same nature of glory, its absolute perfection (Heb 1:3). The light of the gospel of Christ’s glory, the image of God, shines on those in Him, making the Gospel plain.
On the other hand, the god of this age rules over the perishing blinding their minds to the gospel with eyes unenlightened to His understanding (2 Cor 4:3-4). Without spiritual discernment, the enemies of faith view falsehood as truth and speak words of human wisdom (1 Cor 2:4). Both wisdom and revealed knowledge come from the power of God as the sole agent, not through the human intellect (2:5). The anointing of the Holy Spirit unveils meaning of the Word to His people enlightening them to see God’s truth with clarity and speak His wisdom (v.7).
Revelation defined pertains to the insight of eternal realities often hidden by life circumstances, while wisdom provides practical application of the revealed knowledge (BLB, 2017). The revealed knowledge of Christ signifies a deep, full knowledge—real and special. In Paul’s era, Gnostics believed only the perfect had access to knowledge (MacDonald, p. 149). Yet, Jesus gives spiritual knowledge of biblical truths to anyone sealed with His promised Spirit, and then His wisdom guides them in applying and communicating His truths to others. Spiritual wisdom and knowledge of Christ connect to enlightenment (Eph 1:17-18). Consequently, the Apostle Paul petitioned the Ephesus church have wisdom and knowledge, as well as enlightened eyes of understanding (v.18).
The Greek text of this passage reads, “having enlightened the eyes of your heart” (MacDonald, 2007, p. 217). The ancient Mediterranean world viewed the heart and eyes as the “zone of human capacity for thought, judgement, and emotion” (Malina, 1993, pp. 63-67). In this context, the Holy Spirit illuminates the eyes of the believer’s understanding. Moreover, when spoken to others, their spiritual understanding shows a demonstration “of the Spirit and of power,” rather than persuasive words of human wisdom.
Specifically, Paul prayed that Jesus would illuminate the eyes of Ephesians’ understanding to know three spiritual truths of Him: hope, riches, and power. Together, the truths equip the Church to function in the fullness of Jesus’ glory and demonstrate it to others. First, the hope of God’s calling distinguishes the Church as His people (v. 18b). Through His calling, it becomes partakers of the covenant of promise having God’s hope in this fallen world. Second, the riches of His glory come from the status as God’s own inheritance to the saints (v. 18c). Third, the incarnate Jesus makes available the exceeding greatness of His power to accomplish His purpose (v. 19).
So, for what purpose did Paul petition the Father of Glory to grant the Ephesian saints with the spirit of wisdom and revelation knowledge of Him? His intercessory prayer’s ultimate purpose sought to avail a means for others to access inner eyes enlightened with understanding from the Spirit’s leading; in this manner, to unveil the mystery of God speaking with His wisdom to others in mission. As a result, the Church can then model the reconciliation and peace of Jesus’ coming age in this present evil time. In the same way, the Spirit made known the mystery (3:4) to Paul to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ (3:6). The Church can access it with confidence to share His reconciliation and bond of peace.
Reconcile means to restore favor and right relationship with God (Rom 5:10-11); who reconciled humanity to Himself through the death of His Son (1 Tim 2:5). God loved the world so much, He manifested Himself in flesh as Jesus, the Son of God, and sacrificed His human life for the unrighteous (John 3:16; 1 John 4:9). Jesus died for the unrighteous showing the glory of God’s unconditional love for all men (Rom 5:6-11). Second Corinthians 5:19 says, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.” The Creator and Father of glory became the Redeemer (Deut 32:6; Isa 63:16; Mal 2:10; Col 1:14-22). Through new birth from justification, the Redeemer gave the Church permanent reconciliation with God. Jesus’ saving blood provides blessings from reconciliation, which locates the Church in His heavenly places.
Even though the Church sits with Christ in heavenly places, it can fall prey to the ideology of the flesh—a false, self-reliant narrative. The world tries to entrap the Church as slaves to its former self, the old man (2 Cor 5:17). In a carnal state, the Church displays a mind governed by false wisdom and knowledge of the flesh and its failings (Rom 8:14). The flesh blocks spiritual wisdom, and subsequently, the revealed knowledge of Christ as an enmity against God.
The Church must maintain the message “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself” (2 Cor 5:19). Jesus is the one God incarnate—perfection in glory. Thus, the Church should faithfully wear the identity of His glory by the putting to death old practices from the flesh’s nature through the leading from the Spirit of God (Rom 8:13-14). Committed to His message of reconciliation having its trespasses imputed, the Church gives way to His Spirit to govern the mind with wisdom and revelation. Further, the Church imputed as a new creation expresses Jesus reconciling humanity to God as well one another as the Body—the hope of God’s glory.
In Cor 5:18-20, Paul explains that God has given the Body the ministry of reconciliation calling them Christ’s ambassadors. He gave the charge to share the message of reconciliation with others. Subsequently, the Church must live out a communal witness of reconciliation as Jesus’ ambassadors through His sanctifying power from His indwelt Spirit (Acts 1:8; Rom 8:3-4, 11; 2 Cor 5:19-20). Reconciliation leads to peace as its byproduct, giving the Church right standing in its purpose in Christ.
Through reconciliation, the Church subsequently demonstrates the fulness of Christ’s peace in the present age. In a state of peace, the Church offsets the balance of power in high places. However, the contemporary Church still faces the same lures, many of which Paul mentioned in the Book of Ephesians such as disunity (3:4-6), pagan mind (4:17-24), corrupt household code (5:3-33), and false sense of security (6:12). Today’s secular messages elevate the self to a divine status. The Church must not allow unbiblical messages to entrap it from its heavenly location in Christ’s peace.
Everything for the Body exists in Him. Keeping the liberty of the Spirit with the bond of peace enables a higher, corporate freedom found in Christ. Only His Spirit illuminates the inner self and guides the application of spiritual blessings (v.3), so the peace of God rules its hearts (Col 4:15). Christ’s spiritual peace disrupts demonic activity in high places for the glory of Him in this present evil time. Nevertheless, the Church’s self must limit freedom willingly to accept the bond of peace as a prisoner for the Lord (Eph 4:1).
The early church held the heart as central to motives and priorities influencing how “one thinks, feels, arbitrates, and evaluates” (MacDonald, p.141). Therefore, the wisdom and revealed knowledge of His peace will guide its hearts (4:3). Then, the Church will walk worthy to the hope of His calling with a heart in harmony with the Spirit’s bond of peace (4:4).
Proverbs 3:5-6 commands God’s people not to lean on their own understanding, rather trust and acknowledge him, then He’ll make their paths straight. Walking reconciliation requires trusting His Holy Spirit for direction to a straight path in mission as His ambassadors unified in peace. In Christ, the Father of Glory, the Church finds its source of perfection, His glory, for reconciliation and peace.
Paul asked for wisdom and knowledge for the hope of His calling (1:18a), riches of His glory, and surpassing greatness of His power (vv.18b-19). The triad illustrates Christ as exalted and enthroned as the “head over all things to the church” (v.22). He put all things under His feet, whether principalities, powers, might, or dominion by His divine superiority (vv. 21-22). In Christ, Jesus empowers the Church with authority in His Name over the power of the enemy for reconciliation and peace through His spiritual blessings (Luke 10:19; Eph 1:3-17).
The Church continually must keep itself in Christ to walk worthy of its call and stand against the enemy reconciled in His peace. The King James Version (KJV) of the New Testament mentions “in Christ” 75 times highlighting its importance that the Church as the Bride of Christ ready Herself for the Bridegroom excluding, any worldly influences or distractions. Preparation only comes from close intimacy with Jesus Christ through His indwelt Spirit for the impartation of His wisdom and revelation. While full reconciliation and peace comes to the Church in the future age, the Church’s walk in these attributes brings the coming Kingdom to the lost in the current age.
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matt 16:24 KJV).
Jan Paron|November 27, 2014
What does it mean to come after Jesus? Jesus’ identity needs uncovering before answering this question. In Matt 16, Jesus asked His disciples “Whom do men say that the Son of man am?” (16:13). His disciples gave various responses that others said, but none correct. So, Jesus asked the question again, “But whom say ye that I am?” (v. 15). Only Peter recognized Jesus’ true character and nature as “the Christ, Son of the living God” (v. 16b). The Christ reveals a title for God’s end-time purpose that Jesus will fulfill as the One who leads His people to final victory and judgment of the wicked (Apostolic Study Bible Commentary, 2014). Son of the living God describes Jesus’ nature or character. While a virgin birthed Jesus during the time of the law, God’s Spirit begat Him (Matt 1:18, 20; Luke 13:5; Gal 4:4; cf. Ps 2:7; Heb 1:5). Jesus was fully human and fully divine–Equal to God in His nature, character, and likeness as the image of the invisible God (Phil 2:6; Col 1:15; 2:9). Thus, Jesus is God Himself manifested in the flesh (1 Tim 3:16). Because God embodied Himself in Jesus, the believer has access to grace of salvation.
A Christ follower has to do one’s part in fellowship with Jesus, the Christ, Son of the living God. To come after Him (Matt 16:34), means to follow in the most committed sense as His disciple (Thayer, 2009). A person has to “deny himself” (v. 34b) and leave any worldly interests behind. Taking up the cross requires self-sacrifice, selflessness, and suffering for His sake. It calls for raising Jesus above all else. The beauty of self-denial in taking up the cross comes with eternal life and future reward of the Son of Man’s return in His glory (Matt 16:25, 27).
Jan Paron, All Rights Reserved 2014
Bernard, D. (1994). The oneness view of Jesus Christ. Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press.
Thayer, J. (1999). Thayer’s Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publisher.
What do the last events from Jesus’ earthly ministry to the Great Commission for disciple making tell us about His reality? Through each God revealed His greater character in the name of Jesus–Whose power originates from His divine nature as God manifested in flesh to be the Savior.
Jan Paron/April 28, 2013
Theologian Richard Bauckham contends that a wide spectrum of people, ranging from believers to would-be believers, pursue the historical reality of Jesus. These inquirers can broaden their knowledge of Jesus’ existence by studying His nature, life and missional agenda in the context of various events from His ministry. The Gospel evangelists authenticated the risen Savior with rich testimonies coming from eyewitness accounts of His redemptive works for humanity. To uncover Jesus’ being I explore His divine power, discipleship mandate and commission instructions (Matt 28:19-20) with select messianic turning points from His final days.
Jesus told His disciples, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (28:18 KJV). Thayer’s lexicon defines power (Greek: exousia, ἐξουσία) in this verse to mean, “power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed [generally translated as authority].” Jesus’ power originates from His divine nature as God manifested in flesh to be the Savior. God revealed His greater character in the New Testament through the name of Jesus, “Jehovah-Savior” (Matt 1:21, 23; Acts 4:12; Phil 2:9). We learn more about God’s revelatory nature from the last days during the life of Christ. One such occurred during the Last Supper when Jesus foretold His disciples of the glorious and resurrected “Son of man” (Matt 26:24; Mark 14:21; Luke 22:22; cf., Dan 7:13; Mark 14:62). In another, Jesus affirmed His identity to the high priest’s trial query as “Christ, the Son of the Blessed” (Mark 14:61). Thus, in both instances, God fully discloses His nature and authority in Jesus with the names Son of Man and Christ, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col 2:9 NKJV).
“Go then and make disciples of all the nations” (Matt 28:19a AMP). The resurrected Jesus (i.e., Christ and Son of Man) commanded His apostles to continue His ongoing mission to spread salvation, and take on the role of disciples making disciples. In doing so, He imparted sweeping foundational principles for discipleship that extended into the future for all those who would believe on Him through their apostolic witness (John 17:20). They carried out His mandate with power. The word then (Greek: oun, οὖν; Matt 28:19a) shows Jesus empowering His apostles through Himself (28:18). With New Birth, all believers have Jesus’ authority through His incarnation as the living God in all fullness. He authorizes this power for the commission through the nature of His name.
Jesus’ commissioned disciples to reproduce themselves. He instructed them to “go” (28:19a), “baptizing” (v.19b) and “teaching them to observe” everything He commanded them (v.20a). After spending three years with Jesus as He walked among the people, the original Twelve saw Him disciple others from Galilee to Jerusalem. Even during times of persecution, Jesus did not cease. For example, He proclaimed the good news (John 18:36-37); performed miracles (Luke 17:11-19; John 11:1-16); healed individuals and crowds (Matt 19:1-2); laid hands and prayed for children (Matt 19:15) and taught about kingdom of God ethics (i.e., Matt 19; Luke 18:18-27). Jesus even prayed for those who crucified Him (23:34) and pardoned the repentant thief (v.43) as He hung on the cross. Jesus modeled discipleship to the end.
Closing: Jesus at Emmaus
Therefore, what can we glean from Jesus’ nature, life and missional agenda from the latter periods leading to the Great Commission? Kevin J. Vanhoozer notes that, “Meaning is actualized not by the author at the point of the text’s conception but by the reader at the point of the text’s reception.” Despite historical and spiritual proofs of Jesus’ existence, people receive Gospel testimonies at the point of its reception as Vanhoozer suggests. A sometimes unbelieving, postmodern world might reject eyewitness proofs; however, I recognize Jesus at Emmaus with eyes wide-open living within me today. “It is true! The Lord has risen” (Luke 24:34a NIV). As for me, I run to share this news and make disciples of all nations without end.
From the All Nations Leadership Institute class “Walking through the Word, Part Two,” reprinted with permission. All Rights Reserved, All Nations Leadership Institute, 2013.
 Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2006), 2.
 Joseph H. Thayer, Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Peabody: Hendrickson, 2009), 225.
 David, Bernard, The Oneness of God (Hazelwood: Word Aflame Press, 2000).
 Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Hearing the New Testament (ed. Joel Green; Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1995), 301.
Photo credits: Go!– Sharefaith.com; Godhead–Pope of Pentecost
Bauckham, Richard. Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2006.
Beal, G. K. and D. A. Carson, eds. Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007.
Bernard, David. In the Name of Jesus. Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press, 1992.
______________. The Oneness of God. Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press, 2000.
______________. Oneness View of Jesus Christ. Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press, 1994.
Evans, Craig A. Matthew: New Cambridge Bible Commentary. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
Han, Nathan E. A Parsing Guide to the Greek New Testament. Scottsdale: Herald Press, 1971.
Levine, Amy-Jill, Dale C. Allison and John Crossan, eds. The Historical Jesus in Context. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006.
Root, Orrin. A Survey of the Bible: Training for Service Student Book. Cincinnati: Standard, 1998.
Thayer, Joseph H. Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Peabody: Hendrickson, 2009.
Turner, David L. Matthew: Baker Exegetical Commentary of the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2008.
Vanhoozer, Kevin J. Hearing the New Testament. Edited by Joel Green. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1995.
Wright, N.T. The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 1999.
Grace (Greek: charis, χάρις) only comes through Jesus Christ. Through the Word tabernacling within you and out of His fulness, Jesus gives grace—an unearned and undeserved spiritual blessing (John 1:16). God offers grace as a free gift and work in humankind.
Jan Paron/January 22, 2013
The author of John’s Gospel records that after John the Baptist calls Jesus the Lamb of God, two disciples follow Jesus (1:36). According to the narrator, Jesus turns to the disciples and asks them what they seek (v. 38). After learning they seek where He dwells, Jesus invites the disciples to “Come and see.” The disciples respond to His beckoning (v. 39b). “They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day, for it was the tenth hour” (v. 39 KJV). Jesus extends this same invitation to all believers today. He wants them to follow Him, and then dwell and abide in the fulness of His grace: “one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift” (v. 16b AMP).
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (v. 14 KJV).
The word dwells refers to the Incarnation, where “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:19 NKJV). The author of John uses the term dwell as a culturally-relevant means for early Jewish Christians to understand that God’s covenant relationship with His people now manifests itself in Christ, as opposed to confirmation through the Tabernacle/Temple. As author David Norris notes, “Jesus is the unique revelation of God, where both the name and presence of God dwells.” Jesus is Grace, by manifestation and name.
While God provides grace through Jesus, a person must experience it through the obedience of faith. When the disciples ask Jesus, “Where dwellest thou?” (John 1:38b KJV), He answers them with an invitation to “Come and see” (1:39b), foreshadowing grace with an offer to abide in His tent. Jesus extends this same invitation for grace today to enter His dwelling place. A person’s acceptance hinges on faith in the belief that Jesus is the Messiah, He pitches His tent and indwells within at New Birth. One abides in Him from that time on, regenerated and renewed.
Faith does not excuse one from obedience to the Word. While the inward evidence to the believer of His salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit (Rom 8:16), outward evidence is a life of righteousness and true holiness. Inward evidence comes through changes resulting from the fruit produced through the inner workings of God’s Spirit: “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal 5:22-23 NIV).
Upon abiding in Jesus’ tent, He bestows honor as a son in God’s Kingdom under the New Covenant, and separates His beloved from sin unto the Gospel for a regenerated life. A member of the Kingdom now belongs to the household God, and walks according to a different code. Desiring a closer relationship with Him and submitting to His will, a servant of Christ freely gives oneself to God. The believer joyfully lives in chains for Christ; and diligently seeks Him through daily dying to self, prayer, speaking in tongues, fasting, solitude, meditation, thanksgiving, worship and studying the Word. Additionally, one follows the ordinance of breaking bread in remembrance of His suffering and takes part in fellowship for the perfecting of the saints. These actions support covenant with God in a two-fold manner. The first provides opportunity to hear His voice with the mind of Christ, while the second gives Spirit-driven power to walk in healing and deliverance from sin.
Since all sin and fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23), Jesus’ constant presence makes grace work in a person’s life. He does not limit grace, rather freely makes it available incarnated from within. The Holy Spirit’s inner working produces a righteous and holy walk. “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Cor 3:17 NKJV). Since God is Grace, His Spirit fully dispenses it to all those who abide in His tent.
How do you access grace in your life?
 David S. Norris, A Oneness Pentecostal Theology (Hazelwood, WAP Academic, 2009), 73.
Pastor Daryl Coxexplains the incarnation in relation to the oneness of God, from his earlier post, The One God, Part I.
Daryl Cox / October 30, 2012
Revelations 11:15 enlightens the thought of God’s oneness begun in the previous article, the One God:
And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (KJV).
The Jewish confession of faith called the Shema, found in Deut 6:4, declares God as the one God to the exclusion of all others that are called God. This verse declares that God is one. The Hebrewechad  shows a numerical oneness, indicating unity of all components that complete the total picture. God is God alone; and He has revealed Himself in diverse ways throughout Scripture by different names, titles, covenants and visions. This diversity defines His identity, character, purpose, will and power, but one must understand that this diversity finds its ultimate unity in one person, Jesus Christ the Son of God.
(Image: Jan Paron, All Rights Reserved 2007)
Revelations 11:15c, announces that “the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever.” It is our Lord and His Christ who will rule the nations here on earth for a thousand years. Now, this verse calls our Lord and His Christ a he and not they. It is not a unity of plural persons in the Godhead that is being addressed here but the unity of the incarnation. The word he from 11:15, is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the union of the Lord God Almighty and His Anointed in one human person. The Apostle John shows in John 1:1, 14 that, “the Word was God” and that “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” He also clarifies that the Word made flesh is called the Son of God. Scholars describe this uniting of God and man in one person as the incarnation. The word incarnation by definition refers to the act by which God became man. John 1:14 and Rom 1:3 confirm this meaning. The distinction is clear. The Word was God. The flesh is the Son of God begotten from the human ancestry of King David. John further enlightens the reader that he and the other disciples beheld Christ’s glory in His humanity, and His glory was full of grace and truth. The Old Testament prophets and Israelites saw the glory of God in diverse forms, but God did not fully reveal His glory to them until the birth of His Son (1:14). The glory of God revealed in the person of Jesus Christ is God’s truth for us today. Believers must seek to know and understand God in the context of the incarnation and not in the context of three persons. The knowledge of the Son of God is essential to bringing the church to the unity of the faith
Revelations 11:15 demonstrates two truths. One truth shows the union of the deity and humanity of Jesus Christ, declaring Jesus as the Lord our God and God’s anointed King. The incarnation gives truth that Jesus is the one God. Do not allow this truth to obscure the second truth–the relationship that exists between God and Christ. From the perspective of His deity one sees Jesus as the Sovereign God, the Creator and Lord manifested in flesh. From the standpoint of Jesus’ humanity one sees Him as called and anointed by God to fulfill all that is written of Christ in both the Old and New Testaments. When the Son of God was revealed in the fulness of time, He was revealed as a man made of human lineage who learned obedience to fulfill the scriptures. This explains Christ’s prayer life, His compassion for the oppressed, His statements of submission to God, His sufferings and His death and resurrection. He grew in His relationships with God and man. These statements and accounts are answered in the context of the scriptures that address them, but never to the denial of Jesus as the one God. Jesus always spoke as a human servant under the anointing of the Spirit of God, but His anointing revealed Him to be God by the things He both said and did.
Jan Paron, in her writing about the oneness of God, makes an important observation about the Word dwelling among us (1:14). She says that
Some scholars suggest that the Gospel of John specifically shows an ancient form of biography of Whom the subject is Jesus. Indeed this Gospel chronicles the earthly ministry of the “Word,” according to the recurrent theme of following (Greek: ἀκολουθέω) Jesus to where He dwelled among the people in fulfillment of the law. Through the “Word,” Jesus, comes grace and truth” (1:17). John states in the opening verse that “the Word was God” and the “Word was with God. Jesus parallels this statement in John 14:10 with “I am in my Father, and my Father is in me…I speak not of myself, but the Father that dwelleth within me…”
Though called of God, Jesus was not speaking of Himself as a servant when He made the great I AM declarations of John’s Gospel. He was speaking of the Father in Him. Servants do not declare their greatness only their masters. For Jesus to speak of the Father by declaring who He is demonstrated His identity as the Father though He were a servant here on earth. The I AM statements of Christ in the Book of John identify God in the person of Jesus Christ. The fulfillment of the Law and prophets required a human called of God and obedient to the will of God (2 Cor 15:21). The incarnation and trials of life made this possible in Jesus Christ. His obedience brought about the redemption of man and restoration of God’s creation.
God is called in Eph 1:3, “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This statement speaks to the covenant God made with both Abraham and His descendant Son after the flesh, Christ. It also speaks to the literal begetting of the Son of God by the Spirit of God in both birth and resurrection (Luke 1:34-35; Acts 13:33). Each of the covenants of scripture ordains blessing and fulfillment to diverse peoples. Sin hindered humankind’s complete partaking of these covenants until the death of Jesus Christ dealt with sin and made the fulfillment of God’s covenants possible and accessible to mankind by faith. The covenant blessings God ordained in Christ would be given to men and women of all races who are in Christ or united to Him by baptism into His name and the infilling of His Spirit (Acts 2:38; 1 Cor 15:22). Christ in His humanity is the heir of all the covenants of Scripture for the human race. In Him, believers partake of all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ revealed Himself in the person of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ…Revealed Himself to make covenant with the elect through the blood of Christ’s death and resurrection…Revealed Himself in the unity of God’s fulness.
Finally, understanding the incarnation and recognizing the relationship between God and His Son in this context brings about a more cohesive understanding to the Word of God. It allows believers to understand the relationship of Christianity’s teaching to Judaism, as well as establishes believers in the present truth of God’s Word. Many incorrect statements have been made and some truthful statements taken to the extreme have led to incorrect thinking. If the Bible teaches that Jesus is the Father, does one say that Jesus prayed to Himself, or that the second person of the Godhead prayed to the first person? In the language of the Scripture, Jesus “prayed to God” and “prayed to the Father” (Luke 6:12; John 14:15). It is best to say it as the Scripture states it, while also recognizing that yes, Jesus is our Father. According to Heb 5:7, Jesus prayed in the “days of his flesh to him (God) who was able to save him from death.” In the same book, the author goes on to say that the Son of God is addressed as both God and God’s Anointed (1:8-9). The expressions of Father, Son and Holy Ghost pertain to the person of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 4:6). These designations also give a biblical knowledge of God in relationship with His Son and all New Testament believers in Christ. The union of deity and humanity in the person of Christ allows a human and divine interaction between the Father and the Son. This same thought exists with Christ and the Holy Ghost. In light of this understanding, the scriptures return one to the original premise that there is no separate knowledge of God apart from Jesus Christ.
(Image: Pentecostal Pope)
I will end this writing with the words of the great apostle, Paul. “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Col 2:8-9).