Zechariah’s hope of kingdom restoration (Zechariah 1–2)

Prophets like Zechariah delivered God’s promise to restore his kingdom after the exile. What they said informed Jesus’ kingdom ministry.

Jesus was not the first to proclaim the kingdom of God. That was already Israel’s story when God anointed David to rule on earth, and when God established Israel as his nation at Sinai. It was the hope for the nations promised to Abraham. It was the covenant God made with all people through Noah. By design, humans exist as images of the heavenly sovereign in his earthly creation.

What was unique was Jesus’ vision of how the kingdom of heaven would be restored to the earth. There was a whole history of getting off-track in the generations of Adam, Noah, Israel, and David. Then it completely fell apart when Babylon took the nation into captivity, destroying the symbols of God’s kingship: the house of God (with the ark that represented his throne), and the house of David (the anointed kings who that represented his reign).

So, how did Jesus envision the restoration of God’s reign? In part, his kingdom vision was shaped by the promises God gave through the prophets, particularly Zechariah.

Continue reading “Zechariah’s hope of kingdom restoration (Zechariah 1–2)”

The Moses connection (Matthew 17:2-8)

Why was Moses present at Jesus’ transfiguration? How would the disciples have understood the conversation between Jesus and Moses?

Moses was Israel’s founder, the servant of the Lord who brought the first kingdom of God to birth among the kingdoms of the world. Continue reading “The Moses connection (Matthew 17:2-8)”

The Moses connection

Is Jesus “a new Moses”? Would that be a helpful way to describe him?

Should we describe Jesus as “a new Moses” in the Biblical story? In the Old Testament, Moses liberated God’s people and established them as his nation. In the New, Jesus liberated humanity and established us as God’s kingdom.

The similarities are clear, so hundreds of books draw the comparison. Yet the New Testament writers seem reticent to describe Jesus this way. Why?

A kingdom perspective provides the answer. Continue reading “The Moses connection”