Future foretold. Knowing the Way (Jan 2024)
“I’ll be back!” The words of the terrible Terminator T-800 cyborg who ended up being converted by reprogramming. On Judgment Day, the T-800 sacrificed self to destroy the T-1000 and save the heroine Sarah and her son John.
I did not know whether I’d be back to continue this website after my own technical challenges last month. I thought it was, “Goodbye.” The site has moved to a more modern computer. I hope this upgraded hardware is a good thing. Unlike the T-1000.
My Christian faith no longer has a formal work/church platform from which to speak. I still have this website and daily connections. I’m not completely silenced.
Hearing from God is vital.
“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” Romans 10:17 (NIV UK)
Coming back might require acceptance and formal approval. This process seems to be in play with Donald Trump and Boris Johnson. Borris said, “I’ll be back” from the front bench as he left as prime minister. Are they tempted? Are we being deceived?
Should everybody be able to return to how they were? With forgiveness and experience, folk may return and perform better in the interest of others. Differences of opinion are in play. Do they look new and redeemed?
The future is completely unknown. Or is it?
At Christmas we were reminded that Zechariah the priest lost his voice due to unbelief.
“And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.” Luke 1:20 (NIV UK)
I’d have been frustrated, being silenced during the pregnancy of my wife. Elizabeth was to give birth to John, who would proclaim and prepare people for Jesus.
“This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ ” Matthew 3:3 (NIV UK)
Zechariah had nine months to choose what to say when able to speak again. I think I’d have burst out with anger, self pity and frustration? Not Zechariah. His first words were of prophesy and praise. (Luke 1:76-80) He is an example to follow.
He spoke of the foretold arrival, and ongoing forgiveness of God and his offer of salvation. He spoke of merciful light overcoming darkness as promised for generations. His words drew on Malachi 4:6 written before 400 years of silence in scripture.
Behold – a word constructed to address the reader. The first four Chapters of Matthew also describe fulfilment by Jesus. The word “fulfilled” is mentioned by Matthew three times in chapter 2 of the NIV.
The story of the promise of God to Israel is remodelled and completed by Jesus. Future foretold.
New Testament (NT) writing shares language and descriptions, to relate events in the NT with those in the Old Testament (OT). For example, compare Exodus 4:19 with Matthew 2:20. More than a coincidence. Just one of many.
Our hope is a certainty. It’s foretold by the almighty father who loves us and fulfils His promises. Promises inherited generationally.
Matthew wrote to clarify that Jesus is the King of kings promised to us. Even King over king David. (Matthew 22:44)
Jesus came for everyone, and he knew what it was to be persecuted. A refugee from the very start. His story and purpose foretold. A different kind of king. A king for all people.
The first followers were known as Nazarenes. Jesus grew up in Nazareth.
“So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.” Mathew 2:23 (NIV UK)
Again, OT foretold the NT Jesus. Nazareth. It’s a Greek rendering of the Hebrew word Netsar. Meaning sprout, shoot, branch. (Strongs Hebrew 5312)
“And again, Isaiah says, The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him.” Romans 15:12 (NIV UK) Linked to Isaiah 11:1 and Isaiah 11:10.
Nazareth was a very normal place in which to live and grow up.
“Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip.” John 1:45-46 (NIV UK)
Before followers were known as Christians (Acts 11:26) the faithful were known as followers of the Way (Acts 9:2)
How do I keep going the right Way?
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”” John 14:6 (NIV UK)
Christianity is certain hope. If Jesus is the way, I’d better follow Him.
In scripture, the future is foretold. Do we ignore scripture? Do we not believe what God is telling us? We should learn from others in scripture, including Zechariah.
The bible describes folk who chose to prioritise self, status, desires, and worldly security. Rather than live and believe the scripture they knew well, and taught.
We have the OT and NT. They foretell the future in unison.
Jesus said, “I’ll be back.” He does not need votes or approval. We’d better be ready. (Matthew 24:44) Come and see! (John 1:46)
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the place I am going.” John 14:3-4 (NIV UK)