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Understanding the Gospels The Jews understood God and his dealings with men in terms of narrative not as a set of philosophical ideas. Put simply the bible is a five act drama; creation, fall, Israel, Jesus and the church. Humans were made in the image of God in a beautiful and good creation. But Man rebelled. The problem of rebellion will be solved by God’s intervention to redeem humanity and creation from the consequences of that rebellion so that it will be full of God’s presence and glory. God chose Israel but Israel also rebelled. However God must remain faithful to the promises he has made and to his purposes. The Jews of Jesus day were familiar with the story so far – the first three acts. Israel’s story and Gods rescue of his people was retold and celebrated at the festivals – Passover/Pesach (exodus) Pentecost/Shavuot (Sinai) Tabernacles/Succot (wilderness) Purim (Esther) and Hanukkah (Maccabees). The next act of the drama opens with the arrival of Jesus. Jesus and the apostles make frequent reference to the OT events, not as typology, but to demonstrate to their hearers and readers that that the gospel, the good news, is not a novel idea but in fact is the next act in the drama. But it’s difficult to follow a story joined half way through. To fully understand we must turn back a few pages to set the scene and introduce the characters – who are they? What do they believe? What are they expecting to happen next? The time gap between OT and NT can make this difficult. So let’s the scene for Jesus and the good news he announced. History Babylon destroyed the 1st temple in 587 BC and the exile followed but Jewish distinctiveness was maintained. 539 fall of Babylon. 538 Edict of Cyrus allows the return of the Jews to the land. 332 Alexander’s conquest of Judea. The Seleucid (Greek) king, Antiochus Epiphanes (175-164) is described prophetically in Daniel 11v21-32. Initially he just promoted Greek culture in Palestine but in 167 Antiochus started a more aggressive policy. The walls of Jerusalem were torn down and a defensive citadel built for the Seleucid occupiers. New taxes were imposed. The Sabbath and festivals abolished, the Torah burned and sacrifice forbidden under pain of death. He seized control of the temple to promote worship of himself erecting a statue ‘the abomination of desolation’. A pig was sacrificed in the Holy of Holies. The Jews resisted these outrages and some were martyred. They believed that God would vindicate them if they remained faithful to the Torah. Judas Maccabeus led an armed revolt and after several victories in a guerrilla campaign they reconsecrated the temple in 164 and this is celebrated at Hanukkah. Finally independence was won in 142 as taxes were lifted. YHWH had vindicated his people and the Hasmonean dynasty of priest kings was established. However their rule was unpopular and the influence of a new pressure group, the Pharisees, began to grow. In 1st century BC Rome was the new superpower. In 63 Pompey was called to adjudicate between Hasmonean rivals but invaded and occupied the country. Palestine was important to Rome for grain exports and because it neighboured Egypt (grain) and Parthia (barbarians). The Romans brought peace, trade and action against piracy but also military rule and heavy taxation. Rome appointed Herod the Great king of the Jews (37-4BC). Herod built the temple 19-9 to legitimise his kingship. After his death the kingdom was split between 3 sons. Herod Antipas tetrarch of Galilee and Perea and Philip tetrarch of Traconitis ruled throughout the later part of Jesus’ life. Archelaus ethnarch of Judea, Samaria and Idumea was exiled after the Jewish revolt of 6AD and his territories came under direct rule by Rome, the most famous governor being Pilate (26-32). Belief Jews believed in the covenant, they had been chosen by God by grace. God had promised Abraham he would be fruitful and receive the land. These promises were reiterated during Moses’ day. When Israel was vindicated creation would be renewed. As for the gentiles, would Israel be a light (Isaiah 2 Micah 4) or would there be judgment and ruling with a rod of iron? They believed they were still in ‘exile’; God’s glory had not returned to the temple (Ezekiel 43). They were oppressed by pagans and the foreigners enjoyed ‘the milk and honey’ while they were slaves. The sin of the covenant people was the major issue in exile so they believed that as a nation their sins had not yet been forgiven. Therefore there was a long tradition of preaching and prophesying repentance. When the sin of the nation is forgiven then exile will end. After the present age, there would be the age to come in which oppression would be ended, the land restored and the temple rebuilt/restored/cleansed. There would be salvation or living in a state of shalom in the land. They believed God was righteous and faithful and would fulfil the covenant. But why after so many years had God not rescued Israel and how could they hasten the day? Jewish Symbols 1. the Temple The temple (1) was where God dwelt on earth (2) formed 25% of the city of Jerusalem and was the centre of political and economic power as well as a national symbol giving legitimacy to the rulers. (3) was the location of sacrifice for forgiveness and purification, symbolic of that human-divine transaction. Forgiveness through sacrifice brought reintegration into the covenant people. The festivals were celebrated for national atonement and the temple was also a place of communal celebration. Despite the temple being rebuilt by Herod, Israel had not been rescued. 2. the Land The place of God’s blessing of the people of Israel but ancestral homes had been lost and the land was polluted by pagan occupation and institutions. 3. Racial identity Salvation in the covenant community was entered by Jewish birth and circumcision. Genealogy and a pure blood line were important. The temple courts emphasized the issue of race. Intermarriage had been judged (Ezra 9-10) and the Samaritans, who had intermarried with other races, were a problem. 4. the Torah Your membership of the covenant community was demonstrated by faithfulness to the torah. Thus the study and observance of the Torah increased in importance during the exile. Daniel was a popular book with twin themes of refusal to compromise (king’s food, fiery furnace and lions den) and pagan kingdoms thrown down and God’s kingdom established. The badges of the Jew as against the pagan were circumcision, the Sabbath and kosher food/ cleanliness. Maintaining these distinctives of the covenant people would hasten or postpone the coming of the kingdom. Those who compromised would be excluded from the coming kingdom. The debate might be how but never whether to observe the Torah. Social situation Pharisees A pressure group seeking a return to ancient traditions, strict and correct observance of the Torah using oral traditions said to be handed down from Moses. God had made a covenant with Israel, they in turn should keep the Torah but rescue was still awaited. So the Pharisees intensified Torah observance – the vindication of Israel was the primary issue, the gentiles were secondary. They spoke out against compromise and assimilation (and so were often critical of the new Jewish establishment). They sought the restoration of an independent theocracy and generally resisted Rome (such as refusing oaths). Their belief combined divine action and human choice. They wielded considerable influence over ordinary people and the government. Their base was in Jerusalem but they had a presence throughout the country. Away from Jerusalem in Galilee the Torah as symbol marking the boundary the covenant people and the pagans was more important. Priests Although a large group, most priests were based in villages acting as teachers and judges, periodically serving at the Temple. The chief priests were powerful aristocrats in Jerusalem. From families promoted by Herod/Romans they controlled the temple. The Sanhedrin was given the task of gathering the tax collected by the local tax collectors. The Sadducees, descendents of Zadok the priest, were politically pragmatic, believing human action was the only mover in events, defending the status quo and not looking for the resurrection of Israel (Physical resurrection of the righteous connected by many, especially the Pharisees, to the inauguration of the age to come - hence references to prophets and John coming back to life). Although they enjoyed less popular support than the Pharisees they dominated the Sanhedrin and only lost power with the destruction of the temple. Brigands There was also marked economic division with debt as a very emotive issue. Many farmers had to sell land to become tenants or slaves of absentee landlords among the aristocracy. Not only were the Romans rich but also the new Jewish aristocracy. Unemployment and begging were common. Brigands ‘lestes’ appeared during the occupation. They lived by theft but were seen as fighting for the poor against the rich. After Herod's death in 4bc there were repeated revolts/riots until the Jewish War 66-73. Factors included brutal rule, desecration of the temple, power vacuums, prophetic or messianic figures or large crowds gathered for festivals. The result was usually mass crucifixion. Samaritans A more culturally mixed group looked on unfavourablely by the Jews (2 Kings 17v24- 44). They followed the Pentateuch and their practices were pre-Davidic with a capital at Shechem and a temple built on Mount Gerizim in the 300s. Both destroyed by John Hyrcanus in 128BC. Messianic hope 1. He would be Israel’s representative – like David before Goliath 2. He would be Israel’s true king and Lord of the world. 3. He would win Israel’s ultimate battle against evil/the pagan Romans 4. He would build the temple – Yahweh* would return and live there. 5. Usher in the age to come of which the prophets had spoken. God would pour out his Spirit and his people would keep Torah from the heart in the kingdom of God. 6. He would be God’s representative to Israel and the world. He was not expected to suffer. *(In Hebrew God is referred to as YHWH often written in English as Yahweh or Jehovah) Understanding the Gospels; part 2 Introduction Israel is still living in ‘exile’ under pagan rule. They are awaiting the day of the Lord, the age to come, the kingdom of God. At that time the nation will be forgiven, the pagans defeated and driven out of the land, the temple cleansed and the presence of God return to the temple. They will enjoy salvation, living in a state of shalom, of wholeness in the land under the rule of the Messiah A Gospel – announcement of important news by proclamation, a news bulletin Jesus announces the kingdom is near Matt. 4v17, Mark 1v15 and sends out his disciples with the same message Luke 10v9, it is good news for Israel Luke 4v43. Israel’s basic belief – Yahweh is God and Israel will be vindicated – was reaffirmed and this will be the next chapter in the story they know so well but Jesus gives the story a twist. Jesus taught with authority; there was new content in his proclamation, an urgent invitation and challenge. Invitation and challenge 1. Invitation to repent Matt 4v17 Mark 1v15. In the OT, Deuteronomy 30 Ezra 9 Nehemiah 9 Daniel 9, repentance involved Israel turning to follow Yahweh, receiving his blessing and a return from exile. Without repentance there would be judgement. So John starts to preach just this message. Mark 1v4. Baptism in the Jordan speaks of a new exodus. God’s forgiveness was an integral part of the return from exile. It was a sign that punishment was complete and the land would be healed 2 Chron. 7v14. How was forgiveness to be received? Forgiveness was received through sacrifice at the temple and purification. But the first shock for the Jews came as Jesus forgave sins on his own authority without reference to the temple (God’s dwelling) or priests (the mediators) Luke 5v21. The Roman military oppressed the Jews, God’s chosen people, with ruthless violence. Examples such as Zacchaeus were more offensive to the Jews still as, although a tax collector (a collaborator with the Romans), Jesus forgave him and then declared him to be a son of Abraham, part of the new Israel. Meanwhile in a parable a respected Jew confident in his own righteousness through Torah observance is not justified Luke 18v9-14. 2. Invitation to believe Pistis means believe, trust, have faith, loyalty and faithfulness. Used in OT, repentance and trust required of Israel in crisis (Isaiah 30v15). This trust is (i) the appropriate stance before God the creator (ii) The righteous, the true Israel, have faith in crisis. (iii) Characteristic of the Israel who have returned from exile. But now faith was believing that Yahweh is acting in Jesus to bring his kingdom. Loyalty to Jesus not Torah or temple was required. The rich young ruler (Matthew 19v16-21) had kept the Torah but now Jesus challenged the man to follow him. Faith in Jesus was belief not only in him but also his programme - Jesus called people to follow him. But this will be costly – you must take up your cross. Matt 16v24. They were to place loyalty to him before family, money and their ancestral lands. Jesus was offering a renewed covenant to Israel but shockingly (i) outside of the temple (ii) with the wrong people (Jesus welcomed sinners of all sorts) (iii) on his own authority. 3. Challenge Jesus challenged his hearers to live as the renewed Israel. Their expectation was in the context of strict keeping of the Torah and armed resistance. Having kept the covenant God would vindicate his people. But the OT had prophesied a renewed heart (Jeremiah 31 Ezekiel 36) both the inner and outer self. Jesus highlights the heart as the problem (Mark 7v6,21 10v5) but Jesus goes on to quote Genesis (v6ff), ‘God created…’ - now the kingdom will fulfil the creator’s original intentions. The creator’s true people will be marked out by their renewed heart. Jesus was not so much criticising Judaism’s externalism but announcing the new phase, the renewed heart was now on offer. The Jews were all longing for the kingdom of God and celebrated the example of Judas Maccabeus. In the beatitudes (Matthew 5) peace, gentleness and mercy are highlighted rather than armed struggle. In v39 he teaches that armed resistance is not the right way. To be blessed loyalty to Jesus is central (Matt 5v11). And what of the pagans? The true Israel, the true Jerusalem, the city on a hill will be the salt of the earth, the light of the world. This teaching about the gentiles is both a rebuke and a challenge. In Matthew 5 and 6 rather than refining the detail of the outer, Jesus integrates the inner and the outer in real examples including prayer and fasting so central to their current practice. Jesus teaches not only the importance of the heart but also that Yahweh is their father. Putting into practice his teaching was critical because it is through him we enter the kingdom. Mighty in deed The miracles mark the physical inauguration of the kingdom. Dunameis – a display of power or authority, the king has come Paradoxa – not normally expected, this is no ordinary king Terata & Semeia – a sign or portent, not a magic show but carry meaning beyond the miracle Thaumasia – a marvel, speaking of the people’s response Healing brings physical restoration restoring shalom, receiving physical, social and spiritual healing and renewing the membership of the people of Yahweh. Healing prophetically was part of the kingdom agenda (Isaiah 35v5-6) and so the people praised the God of Israel (the God who kept his covenant) Matt. 15v31 as they saw prophesy was being fulfilled. The nature miracles spoke of the restoration of creation. When the kingdom comes then Yahweh, the Messiah and Israel will defeat the enemy. Deliverance was not a prophetic theme in OT but demonstrated Jesus’ enemy was not human (the pagan Romans were victims also) but the devil. Legion lived among gentiles, pigs and tombs all of which made him unclean but the true issue, the real enemy to be defeated was demonic. The kingdom has come and although the Romans remained, Jesus has bound the strong man, Satan (Matthew 12v25-29). A surprising Kingdom The parables describe a new way of thinking, a paradigm shift. The familiar images are given a subversive twist and established ways of thinking are challenged by the sharp edge of allegory. The seed is sown secretly; the kingdom will not start dramatically Matt 13v24. The mustard seed speaks of the slow growth of the kingdom v31. The yeast – although the king is unseen his teaching is working throughout Israel v33. The treasure/pearl speaks of a kingdom which must be searched for v44. That which they have, expectations and dreams, must be abandoned for something better. Symbols The Pharisees observed the Torah and maintained ritual purity to establish their national identity and to receive their national liberation. Their land, Sabbaths, food, circumcision and temple marked them out from the gentiles. Jesus calls for his followers to be loyal to him, willing to surrender their land and put him before family Luke 9v57- 62. The focus is shifted to the restoration of lives. The family is now defined by loyalty (leaving and following) to Jesus Mark 3v31-35. Now open to non Israelites, a genealogy is not needed. All manner of people are invited to eat with Jesus, a sign of acceptance. Circumcision: the issue was no longer the outward symbol but the condition of the heart. Romans 2v28-29 Jesus is confronted about the Sabbath. Matthew 12. In the cornfields he contends that he is the new Davidic king confronted by Saul’s men. He sets a woman free who was bound on the Sabbath; as Israel’s king and Lord of the Sabbath he has come to bring the nation into her Sabbath rest (the age to come). Loyalty to his kingdom is not through eating, drinking and purification but by what is in a man, his heart. Luke 11v39 Although Jesus presented a challenge in many areas it was the issue of Jesus as Messiah and his actions in the temple which would precipitate the final crisis with the Jewish authorities. Understanding the Gospels; part 3 In Luke 24 two men are walking to Emmaus very sad. They meet a stranger who asks the reason for their sorrow. v18 "Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?" "What things?" he asked. "About Jesus of Nazareth," they replied. "He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” In fact the stranger was Jesus, v25 He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. What were these scriptures and how did they apply to Jesus? The major prophetic passages concerning the Messiah include; Deuteronomy 18, Psalms 2, 22, 110, 118 Isaiah 9, 11, 40-55 (52v13- 53v12) Daniel 7 Zechariah 9-14. Although Jesus avoided making public Messianic claims, his life and ministry resonated with prophetic fulfilment. Some examples from Luke’s gospel follow. - God spoke at Jesus’ baptism (Luke 3v22 a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”) highlighting Messianic scriptures Psalm 2v7, (He said to me, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father) a psalm which speaks of the anointed one and his inheritance and Isaiah 42v1. (Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations.) God had anointed Jesus at his baptism as Isaiah had prophesied (11v2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him). - Jesus preaches the messianic manifesto (Isaiah 61) at Nazareth (Luke 4) and declares the scripture fulfilled drawing condemnation. - Jesus declares himself to be Lord of the Sabbath (Luke 6v5 Jesus said to them, "The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”) - Jesus chooses 12 disciples, a new Israel (Luke 6v12ff) - John asks if Jesus is the one (Luke 7v18ff). He highlights his healings, a sign that God had come (Isaiah 35v3-6). Then regarding John he asks who the people went to see – a king? (Like Herod Antipas, the reed) – No he was the Elijah (Malachi 4v5) and one greater than he had come. - Jesus’ miracles are signs of the Messiah. He feeds thousands miraculously (Luke 9v10ff) which speaks of the Messianic banquet (Isaiah 25v6 On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine — the best of meats and the finest of wines.) - At Caesarea Philippi, where the Greek god Pan appeared as a man and the man Caesar was declared a god, the disciples recognise Jesus as the Messiah (Luke 9v18ff) but they must remain silent as the journey to the Holy City begins. - At the transfiguration Deuteronomy 18v15 is quoted - Jesus warns the people about the need for repentance for one greater than the temple builder, Solomon, is here. (Luke11v31) echoing the prophecy given to David in 2 Samuel 7v12 when your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. - Jesus uses the image of himself as the shepherd seeking his lost sheep (Luke 15) drawing on prophetic passages about God’s servant Ezekiel 34v23-24, Zechariah 13v7. Conflict at the temple Matthew 21 to 25, Mark 11 to 13, Luke 19v28 to 21. The temple stood at the very heart of Jewish belief but Jesus declared under this new covenant there was to be radical change. However mighty his works were, Jesus teaching was ‘disloyal’ and he was condemned. His teaching in the temple would provoke the final crisis. Some events had already challenged the status quo. Return from exile would include forgiveness. Jesus forgave sins on his own authority and not through the temple, the sacrificial monopoly had been broken and the temple was becoming redundant. The events in the temple announce the present corruption, the imminence of judgement on the temple and Jesus’ Messiahship. Jesus arrives in the temple at Jerusalem entering the city as the king (Zechariah 9v9). He claimed authority in the temple and cleanses it (as Judas Maccabeus had before him). When Jesus comes to the temple he quotes Isaiah 56v7 – a house of prayer for all nations, the gentiles will be gathered in, and Jeremiah 7v11 – judgement to come on the den of robbers or revolutionaries (lestes). The temple had become a place of confrontation with the pagans rather than blessing to the nations. Challenged about his authority Jesus replies that he would rebuild the temple (John 2v18-19)as had been propesied Zechariah 6v12-13 the LORD Almighty says: 'Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the LORD. 13 It is he who will build the temple of the LORD, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.' He tells them the parable of the tenants (Luke 20v9) and they understand that he is the son sent by God. Yet the chief priests are enraged as Jesus tells them they are in rebellion against God. Then Jesus questions them about the Messianic Psalm 110. (Luke 20v41ff). How can David’s son be his Lord? He will be a king and priest in the order of Melchizedek greater than King David and also the Levitical priesthood. Zechariah 6v13 It is he who will build the temple of the LORD, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.' The Passover The festival Passover looked back to the Exodus and forward to a new return from exile with sins forgiven and the people redeemed. Jesus in the upper room would announce a new exodus, the defeat of evil and the forgiveness of sins. Jesus focused not on the lamb and the temple but on himself. The bread symbolises Jesus death and the giving of life. The wine is described as the blood of the covenant Matthew 26v28 – see Zechariah 9v9-11 (your king comes to you, he will proclaim peace, I will free your prisoners) – speaking of the end of exile, forgiveness of sins and the start of the Messianic rule. The Trial of Jesus The issue of Jesus’ claim to be the Messiah was at the centre of his trial. After the trial he would be mocked as the king of the Jews, with robe reed and crown and executed as a Messianic pretender. The Jews condemned him because (i) his Messianic preaching and action might attract Roman sanctions (ii) of his ‘attacks’ on the temple. He was accused of saying he would destroy the temple and rebuild it, Mark 14v58, something only one with Messianic authority could do (2 Samuel 7v12-16). (iii) He is asked if he is the son of the blessed one v61 (Psalm 2). Jesus replies that he will be vindicated as the son of man and God appointed judge v62 (Psalm 110, Daniel 7). He now claims the right to judge the High Priest and the Sanhedrin. His claim to be at Yahweh’s right hand was seen as blasphemous (iv) they believed Jesus was leading Israel astray. Deuteronomy demanded the death penalty for one who led the people astray (13v12ff) But why did the Romans allow the execution? For Pilate (i) he realised that Jesus was no ordinary revolutionary (ii) noted the Jewish agenda (iii) as usual wanted to thwart the Jews (iv) he was afraid of Caesar. Jesus’ death Jesus had previously spoken of death Mark 10v32-34; see also the parable of the tenants Mark 12v8. But speaks only occasionally of atonement in his death, Mark 10v45 is an example. Some Jews believed in intense suffering before Israel’s deliverance. More specifically there was also the idea of individual suffering of the prophets and the righteous martyrs and seen as a means of forgiveness for the nation 2 Maccabees 7v36-38, 4 Maccabees 6v27- 29. So a role was seen for suffering providing purification and ending exile but a suffering Messiah was not found in Jewish literature of the time. Jesus came not only to confront compromise with the pagans but also to challenge the agenda of violent resistance; instead he proclaimed the kingdom as peace and love. He was prepared to suffer as a consequence and expected Yahweh’s vindication. He would die in the way he had taught his followers to live. God’s Israel were not to be conquerors of the world but instead to be a light to the world. The Resurrection There were many ‘Messiahs’ in Jesus’ day but their claims died with them. Jesus was not what the Jews were expecting but God made a statement in his resurrection. Jesus made extraordinary claims; to forgive sins Mark 2v7, to be the final judge Matthew 25v31-33 and as ‘Son of Man’ Daniel 7v14 he accepted worship John 9v38. Some said he was a blasphemer but God vindicated Jesus’ claim through the resurrection Romans 1v4. The first Christians preached that Jesus’ death was a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. It didn’t look that way on the Friday when the cross seemed to signal defeat 1 Corinthians 15v17 (if Jesus was not raised our faith is futile) but Jesus was raised. In fact the cross was victory, revealed and sealed by the resurrection. God has vindicated Jesus the King of the Jews. The new covenant has come. As death is defeated there is new creation since both body and soul are important, the first fruits of the full renewal of the created order. Messianic hope fulfilled in Jesus 1. He would be Israel’s representative – like David before Goliath. Jesus is our representative to secure atonement. Hebrews 2v17. 2. He would be Israel’s true king and Lord of the world. Fulfilment was so much greater than expectation. Philippians2v9-11 3. He would win Israel’s ultimate battle against evil/the pagan Romans. Jesus battle with God’s enemy was with Satan behind Caiphas and Rome, who are also Satan’s victims. Hebrews 2v14 1 John 3v8 4. He would build the temple – Yahweh would return and live there. Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem symbolises and embodied the coming of Yahweh. As Jesus stands on trial he announces that Yahweh will not come to the temple in the way that they had hoped but that he has authority to announce the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. A new sort of temple was under construction. Ephesians 2v20-22. 5. Usher in the age to come of which the prophets had spoken. God would pour out his Spirit and his people would keep Torah from the heart in the kingdom of God. Acts 2v31-33 6. He would be God’s representative to Israel and the world. Hebrews1v3 John 14v9 Bibliography The New Testament and the people of God NT Wright. SPCK 1992 Jesus and the victory of God NT Wright. SPCK 1996
"Understanding the Gospels"