Ed Jarrett is a long-time follower of Jesus and a member of Sylvan Way Baptist Church. He has been a Bible teacher for over 40 years and regularly blogs at A Clay Jar. You can also follow him on Twitter or Facebook. Ed is married, the father of two, and grandfather of three. He is retired and currently enjoys his gardens and backpacking.
So, is the whole Bible about Jesus? The answer to that depends on the level you are viewing it from. At a high level, I believe that the whole story arc is about Jesus and what he came to do. But at a lower, more detailed level, there is much that is not really directed towards him.
On the surface, the parable was just an interesting story, one that was easily understood by the listeners and based on things within their own experience. But the parable also had a deeper meaning, illustrating a spiritual truth. In Jesus' use of parables, this truth most commonly dealt with the kingdom of heaven. And it was a truth that was easy to miss.
The Scripture is clear concerning the essential nature of the atonement, and that the atonement was crucial in bringing humanity into the relationship with God that he wanted. But it did more than simply restore us to an unfallen state. Through the atonement, God has produced a new humanity that can fully participate in God's plans for the future of the creation.
The doctrine of the Trinity holds that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one in essence. But within the one God, there are three distinct persons. These three persons are fully integrated into one being. Yet they each have their own distinct personalities and roles that they carry out within the one God.
He chose this specific person to be Pharaoh. He put him into power at that time and place for a purpose, so that God’s name might be proclaimed throughout the earth. It became a contest between the gods of Egypt and the LORD God of Israel. In each of them, the power of God is demonstrated, and he gains renown among the nations – not to mention among his own people.
Even though justification by works has a real appeal for us as humans, it will never get us into a right standing before God. There is just no way that any of us could ever measure up to God’s holiness. How good do we have to be in order to be accepted by a perfect God?
Christmas, at its heart, is a celebration of the birth of Jesus. But it is true that some of what we see at Christmas is pagan in origin. Christmas trees also have a pagan origin, as do some of the decorations and other traditions we incorporate into our celebrations. But does that really matter?
We messed up and God is working to fix the problem. But is that really the case? Was the fall an unfortunate failure on the part of humanity that God is working to overcome? Or was the fall a necessary part of God’s ultimate plan for humanity?
The mercy seat in the Old Testament was God’s dwelling place among his people, and that is really a good description of Jesus as well. He was God, wrapped in human flesh, and dwelling among us – Emmanuel (Matt. 1:23). In a very real way, Jesus was the fulfillment of what the Old Testament mercy seat was pointing toward.
David’s relationship with Joab was a complex one. They were family and had worked together in leading Israel for the 40 years of David’s reign as king. Joab was a skilled and highly successful army commander who was fiercely loyal to David. And David trusted him to act in the best interests of both David and the kingdom.