The Weekend Word

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24 Responses

  1. Em says:

    quick scan – but it makes my heart sing – amen
    (haven’t read critically for Lutheran doctrine, yet, tho 🙂 )

    God keep MLD

  2. Xenia says:

    Good work, MLD. No arguments from me!

  3. Linnea says:

    Thank you, again, MLD!

    I have to ask, maybe for another study….why do Lutherans and Catholics believe Christ dwells in the communion offerings? Is it based on “This is my body, this is my blood?”

  4. Linnea,
    Lutherans don’t believe that Christ “dwell” in the communion elements – we believe that Jesus is bodily present ‘in,with and under” the elements. It’s a mystery we do not explain beyond that.

    It is based on This is my body / this is my blood and the way Paul handle the supple in 1 Cor 11

  5. Bob says:

    I like much of what is written here and in agreement the idea of the “firstborn” never is about the actual order of who was first in the birth process.

    1. Isaac is not Abraham’s “first born son.”
    2. Judah is not the first born son of Jacob.
    3. Israel is call God’s “first born,” and yet they are not the first born among men.
    4. One must be “born again,” not an uncommon idea at the time of Jesus and yet a Pharisee and member of the ruling council of Jerusalem seems to have problem with the application from Jesus. (BTW by his asking the question wasn’t a sign of ignorance at all. It is a very rabbinic way of teaching and rooting out an opinion, interpretation or truth.)

    The real question I have about the first chapter isn’t all the describing of Jesus over angel. One should be asking, “Why is this important, to the writer, his intended audience and the future readers?”

    How would the confusion of the readers about the nature of Jesus in contrast to angels be important to today’s readers? Could it be people today have similar problems understanding who Jesus is?

    Think about how many times you may have heard that Jesus was a great, “prophet,” “teacher,” “example of correct morality,” or something else which makes Him less.

    Personally I find people (even church people) struggle today with the whole idea that Jesus was a real flesh and blood man who was murdered, buried stone cold dead in a tomb and came alive again, not as a spirit being, but a fully breathing flesh and blood person.

    What are the “angel” difficulties we have today with Jesus?

    Thanks for the text!

    Oh I forgot, what makes Jesus “first born?”

  6. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Bob,
    “Oh I forgot, what makes Jesus “first born?”

    The thing with God is that nothing makes him anything. Jesus is firstborn not because of any act or decision – Jesus is firstborn because he is.

  7. Em says:

    #6- it might have served better to answer the intent of the question, rather than the literal…

    Jesus IS the first born … that is a study in itself … for my part, tho, the stunner in yesterday’s post (which makes the case for WHO Jesus is/was) is that God, Himself, entered into humanity as one of us – for a time … the next question really is, ‘why’d He do that?’ IMO
    (but there’s much more, i know)

    now i’m gone

  8. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    em, it’s the same as the question – “what makes God eternal?” or fill in the blank any God question. Nothing makes him eternal – he IS eternal.

  9. Bob says:

    Em:

    MLD doesn’t think that way.

    All that matters is Jesus is, not the why Jesus is.

    The whole idea of a full flesh and blood man-God is historic (can also be considered a bit pagan too) and is studied and debated to this day.

    The question which could also be asked is, why did God need a “second Adam,” “the son of man,” to be the Messiah? God could have just waved His finger and said, “done.” But, yet He took the path of being born a flesh and blood man.

    Again the answer from MLD is simply, “because…”

    It reminds me of what I used to tell my kids occasionally when they were young, “Because I said so,” even though I really did have a legit reason.

    Oh the question, “What makes God eternal?” is not the same.

    However, I might ask for people’s understanding, “What does it mean to be eternal?”

    The answer is not in the manner in which creation thinks, a time line.

  10. Bob says:

    How many copies of the decalog did Moses bring down from the mountain of God and who wrote physically wrote them?

    When done with that question, “Why were there two copies and what does that tell us about the relationship between God and His people?”

    Yes the simple quickly grows more complex, so maybe it is easier to just say, “because I said so.”

  11. Bob says:

    oops!

    “…who physically wrote them?”

    Sorry!

  12. Bob says:

    Jesus is mentioned in this way, “Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead,…”

    Maybe this will help with my question and expand it to this question:

    “What does it mean to be “first born of the dead?”

    It does mean something!

  13. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Bob,
    “The question which could also be asked is, why did God need a “second Adam,” “the son of man,” to be the Messiah? ”

    God has needs? Tell me more.

    You still have not answered the question, which was not “why” Jesus was firstborn… BUT “what makes Jesus “first born?”’

  14. Bob says:

    MLD:

    Yep it’s always seems to be black and white with you. Don’t you enjoy the tune, all the nuances which bring the richness to it or is it simply, “because.”

    I didn’t think you asked the question about firstborn, I think I asked the question to get responses and thought from people. Since you already gave yours let’s leave some room for others, shall we!

    MLD, you did not address my question about why the author seems to dedicate so much time and effort comparing Jesus to angels. Is it just because or were there other ideas in the day?

    Sadly, I support your work here but somehow you really don’t like much expansion and discussion. You state Jesus is the firstborn because He is and if I agree with you (which I do) you fail to ask the important question, why do we care?

    God spends time preserving and saving this text for us to read. Personally I don’t believe it is simply so we can prove our doctrines in some fashion. There’s always more, layers so to speak, all filled with richness and love for our lives!

  15. Bob says:

    Oh and yes MLD, I believe God does fulfill His own needs, it’s just His creation has no clue what those are.

    And the question stands, “Why didn’t God just wave His finger instead of sending the “second Adam, son of Man?”

    I know, of course it’s “because…”

    Thanks it’s late got to go!

  16. Em says:

    well and FWIW – ‘need’ needs to be defined… if you were to say that God in His grace in order to achieve His righteous will was required (of Himself) to do such and such… okay…
    but God is self contained, absolute, holy and without ‘needs’ as i think of the word … God is never ever needy 🙂

  17. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Bob,
    “MLD, you did not address my question about why the author seems to dedicate so much time and effort comparing Jesus to angels. Is it just because or were there other ideas in the day?”

    The people he is addressing are making the move to go back to Judaism. To them and their limited knowledge, it is 6 if one and half dozen of the other. In their mind after all the troubles they endured being outcasts, they figure it would be easier to going back to being “God’s people.” Abraham, the prophets, the angels all this was very important in Jewish customs and beliefs – dead beliefs but still important.

    The author, and I said this last week or before is not using his words as a comparison. like the Jesus way is better than the prophets or angels (up to this part) but still a second choice. No, he is using the comparison and the “superior” wording to drive home the point – “it is Jesus or nothing.”

    We will see this spelled out in ch 6 & 10.

  18. Bob says:

    MLD

    Thank you. I’m not sure I agree with your generalizations, but I do agree the main theme throughout Hebrews is, there’s no turning back.

  19. Josh the Baptist says:

    Bob, I love your #5. You do ask the toughest questions…what makes Jesus firstborn? Hmmm. Thinking on that one.

    One thing that struck me about Hebrews is how the author treated the Psalms. Sometimes I think we (maybe just me) have downgraded them to a little less than “God’s word”. Oh, they are just poetry, the Old Testament believer’s hymn book. That is not how Hebrew’s treats the Psalms at all. He builds his entire book around a few psalms, constantly referring back to them. He sees them as authoritative, prophetic, and God-breathed, the same way he would any other Scripture.

  20. How can something make Jesus something? Was there a cause? at one time was Jesus not the firstborn of or over all and then something caused him to be?

    I say no – Jesus was always firstborn and that is what allowed him to be preeminent. When Jesus conquered death, did that ‘make’ him firstborn over death OR, because he was firstborn over death he was able to conquer death?

    So, Jesus is first born – well, as Bob teases me … because.

  21. Bob says:

    Josh:

    The Jewish people still use writings beyond the Torah to make their point, so I don’t find the writer’s use of Psalms something unusual at all. It fits quite well in how they build the explanations and interpretations.

    MLD:

    “Jesus was always firstborn and that is what allowed him to be preeminent. ”

    One of the things you forget to mention or even define is how the earthly/bodily existence of Jesus play’s into His position. Even the Jewish people agree Messiah exists before creation, but our Jesus became a full flesh, blood and air breathing human.

    How does that play into the idea of “first born” and “first born from the dead?”

    I admire your “because” faithfulness, but the very text you teach from here alludes to much more in the writer’s comparison with angels (and through implication, all created beings).

    So one might ask, “How does this apply to the physical birth, life, death and resurrection of the bodily man Jesus?” Or are you saying the eternal “first born” was a concept, a spiritual being, or some sort of mysterious spiritual side of God we can’t ever understand?

    Later on the Hebrew author points that He is bodily acting/performing out “Yom Kippur” as a perfect High Priest on a daily/moment by moment basis. Did this require Him to be “the first born” from among men (son of man), the perfect High Priest?

    Again, if first born is an eternal thing, why did He have to come bodily born of a woman? It would appear that while His “spiritual” side is eternal he had to eat mom’s milk and have His diapers changed like the rest of us.

    I’m trying to write that for those asking that maybe there’s more to the role of being “first born.”

    My father was a Marine in WWII and he was proud that Marines were the first to land on the beach and engage the enemy (of course they were also the first to die for the rest of the world). Just a random thought, maybe nothing to it at all.

    It’s late! Thanks I like this thread much better than that adulterous bastard from Idaho.

  22. Em says:

    Bob, i like this thread MUCH better, also 🙂

  23. Bob,
    I think you may be running right past what THIS verse says about “firstborn” in order to make a point. Go back and reread the verse – v.6. Here I will link you to all the translations.

    http://biblehub.com/hebrews/1-6.htm

    6 And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says…, – ESV

    Note that Jesus is already the firstborn when he comes into the world. That is who he is. This is in opposition to your question what ‘makes’ him firstborn. If this is correct that he was already firstborn before this point, then his birth had nothing to do with it.

    I asked earlier – a couple of days ago – what makes God eternal? Nothing – he is. Why? Because! 😉

    Now, the important part for those who don’t follow these things; Why is in left field and Because is the center fielder 🙂

  24. Michael says:

    I’m surprised that no one has tackled the issue of angels and their present day function.
    I think it entirely possible that we have one or more assigned to us…

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