,The Sparrow’s tale is recorded in Matthew 10:29-31 and Luke 12:6-7.
“29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father: 30 but the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.”
“6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pence? and not one of them is forgotten in the sight of God. 7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not: ye are of more value than many sparrows.”
The Sparrow’s tale from the above passages has special meaning and significance for me personally in 1991, as it was through these passages that the Holy Spirit communicated and touch me, comforting me, bringing peace and wholeness into my life and for me to share with all who loved Christopher, my sister’s son, after he had passed on, while less than a year old.
When asked by the Spirit what was the worth of the last sparrow to be included among the five in Luke 12:6, sold for two pennies, when two were being sold for one penny in Matthew 10:29, I realised that though sparrows were usually sold for food and/or in pairs for sacrificial purposes, the last sparrow of the five in Luke, can actually be said to be of no value and was being given free in consideration of the value that the first four would have had, if they were only sold in pairs.
The Hebrew word צִפּוֹר tsip-pore', is generally accepted as a word that can be applied to any little hopping bird or fowl or sparrow.
I was then drawn to the words “without your Father”. Any additional words like “consent, knowing, permission or will” is not in the Greek texts. What “without your Father” means is that Father is with the sparrow, not apart from the sparrow, even as it falls onto the ground (and dies(implied)). Even in the death of the sparrow, Father is there in death with the sparrow, for where can ‘there’ be where Father God is not?
An understanding formed in my mind, that as God has given the sparrow life and brought it into being from nonbeing, what Jesus is saying is that even as the sparrow falls or dies, God is with that sparrow, never apart from the sparrow even as it falls and dies.
In Luke’s version, Jesus is recorded as having said, “not one of them is forgotten in the sight of God”. I believe that what Jesus was trying to convey to his hearers is that all creatures, represented by the sparrows, even insignificant ones to us, are remembered and have an inextricable link in relationship and value to God.
In both narratives, Jesus continued by saying, “Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
The Greek words “ἠριθμημέναι” in Matthew 10:30 and “ἠριθμημέναι” in Luke 12:7, translated as numbered or counted in both instances, combined, paints a picture that all the hair on our head during our lives or at any point in time throughout our lives are already, always or continuingly accounted for and within the knowledge of God.
After saying this, Jesus is then recorded as saying: “you are of more value than many sparrows.”
What Jesus was emphasising was the unique, special and chosen relationship that God had willed for humankind even before the foundation of the cosmos.
Paul in his letter to the Ephesians wrote: “Blessed and worthy of praise be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ, 4 just as [in His love] He chose us in Christ [actually selected us for Himself as His own] before the foundation of the world, so that we would be holy [that is, consecrated, set apart for Him, purpose-driven] and blameless in His sight. In love 5 He predestined and lovingly planned for us to be adopted to Himself as [His own] children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the kind intention and good pleasure of His will— 6 to the praise of His glorious grace and favor, which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved [His Son, Jesus Christ].
In 1Peter 1:18-21, it is recorded “18 You know that you were redeemed from the futile way of life handed down from your ancestors—not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with precious blood like that of a lamb without defect or spot, the blood of Messiah. 20 He was chosen before the foundation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through Him you are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your trust and hope are in God.”
These passages provide glimpses into the writers understanding concerning a “Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world”, the blueprint before and for creation, foreordained in the Eternal Counsel of Triune Father, Son and Spirit Union and Communion.
This special and unique relationship that humanity as a whole and human beings as individuals, in the fullness of time, was actualised in the person of the Son of God becoming a human being, in our realm of contingent existence and living.
In, through, with and as Christ Jesus the man, more than just having Father with us, we can now become partakers of the divine nature and glory. This is unique and chosen to and for us, being human, made in the image of God, willed and desired by Triune Counsel before creation, and actualised in our space, time and history, in the Eternal Son, Who became flesh, a human being – born out of woman, born under the Law( born a Jew), living, dying, buried, resurrected by the power of God, ascending into heaven, at the right hand of the Father seated as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
This is why each and every one of us is worth more, have so much more value than many sparrows.
This is why I believe that Paul could write:
“38 For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
For the purposes of this post, I would like to address what I think “neither death” “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” means vis a vis each of us being worth more than many sparrows.
What happens when one dies?
In Jesus’ case, he committed his spirit to the Father before crying “It is finished”, and bowing his head gave up his spirit.
Paul wrote of him having “also descended into the lower parts of the earth”. In 1 Peter 3:18-20 it is recorded of Jesus as “being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; 19 in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 who formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water.”
So it would seem that after death in the flesh, one’s spirit continues to be alive. Paul likens this death as a sleep in Christ. In sleep in Christ we will be awakened. In death in Christ we will be resurrected.
The point that I wish to make is that Christ is always with us in our living, sleeping, and death.. The death mentioned in 1 Peter 3:18, seems to suggest a cessation or nonbeing of body, soul and spirit, before being “made alive in the spirit”. There is definitely the cessation and nonbeing of life in “death in the flesh”. The verb “made alive”, in application to his spirit suggest that there seems to also be a cessation and nonbeing of life “in his human spirit”.
I submit that with the cessation and nonbeing of life in body(matter) and spirit (that which is your life), there would also be a cessation and nonbeing of his human soul. For only when God blew the breath of life upon the form of man fashioned out of dust from the ground, then did man became a contingent living soul(personality) comprising of a contingent dynamic body(form and emptiness – dynamic essence and character of contingent reality - essential for growth and expansion), contingent dynamic spirit(a distinct, particular and dynamic breath of life) and contingent dynamic soul(a dynamic personality that is unique, particular and enabled to express in likeness, characteristics of the Divine as that of a contingent image.
With the cessation and nonbeing of spirit, which is what is the particular and distinct breath of life in a human being, and cessation and nonbeing of life in the body, there necessarily must also be the cessation and nonbeing of soul(personality - that which makes an individual human being unique and distinctive one from another.
There is then this idea and possibility of total cessation and nonbeing of body, soul and spirit at the moment of death of the physical body. Then and only after that does the human spirit become alive again with a human soul.
And because Jesus was made like us in all ways, I believe that he too would have gone through this moment of total cessation and nonbeing as all humans have gone before and will continue to do so, before being resurrected as a full and complete human being in body, soul and spirit.
I believe that even in this moment of death, total cessation and nonbeing of body, soul and spirit, we continue to be joined to him and he with us, even as he has gone through this in his dying.
This is what Christ in us, the hope of glory, and we being in Christ means, that Christ makes possible to be with and in us in that moment of cessation and nonbeing of human existence - our death. There is no moment, including this death moment of cessation and nonbeing of our human existence where the Personhood of Christ, in whom the fullness if Deity dwells bodily, and in whom then fullness of Deity resides, is not with us.
Even as when he died, and all humans died with him, as we die he is also in our death with us.
Hence like Paul wrote, we are now able to shout :“Death is swallowed up in victory. “I will redeem them from the power of the grave: I will deliver them from death: O death, I will be thy death: O grave, I will be thy destruction.”
In also believe that in the passages of 1Peter 3:18-20, Ephesians 4:9, the parable told by Jesus concerning Lazarus and the rich man, but more particularly, Jesus’ comments of God declaration that “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”, as being the God of the living and not of the dead, suggest that the spirit of man with a soul is made alive and continues to have a new form of contingent existence but identifiable, on or in a contingent dimension or plane, after our death.
A marked difference of existence between the two planes or dimensions seems to be the absence of a dynamic physical body similar to that of a person in the plane or dimension of existence after that person’s death.
As such this identifiable spirit and soul after a human dies, would not and cannot be considered to still be fully human, for it has no identifiable physical body that humans have while they are alive. A full and complete human must possess a body, soul and spirit in the moment.
Hence, like Paul, I concur that the resurrection of Jesus, as a man(full human being) is one of the foundational pillars of the Christian faith or our faith would be futile and we should be pitied above all other humans.
Paul wrote: “12 Now if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; 14 if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. 17 If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied. 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.”
Though there are other scriptural references of people being raised from the dead with their contingent body, soul and spirit still identifiable, in the case of Jesus, it is totally unique and not the same.
For, He is the only One, who after his resurrection, as a complete human being of body, soul and Spirit, ascended to heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father God.
I believe this is unique and possible because in the one person of Christ Jesus, “the Divine and human natures are united, so that He is truly and properly God and truly and properly man”.
The Creed of Chalcedon(451 AD) also attests to this understanding, with elaboration: “This one and the same Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son [of God] must be confessed to be in two natures, unconfusedly, immutably, indivisibly, inseparably [united], and that without the distinction of natures being taken away by such union, but rather the peculiar property of each nature being preserved and being united in one Person and subsistence, not separated or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son and only-begotten, God the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ.”
As such, He is qualified to be the One Mediator between God and men and as a man, enable us, through, with and in him, through with and in the Spirit, to enjoy and become partakers of the divine nature.
This is a treasure and relationship with and in God, which in the narratives of the sparrows, the sparrows never had.
We are truly worth much much more than many sparrows, for to Jesus and Triune God, an individual human soul is worth much more than the cosmos,
Jesus himself has been recorded to say:
“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”
But exceedingly more than that, in the words of Jesus as recorded in John 17, to those who will believe into him, these ones will also grow in and into their partaking of the glory that Father has given to the Son and through the union and communion with Father and Son and one another, through and in the Spirit, the experiential awakening and knowing that Father loves them as much as Father loves Son.
We see then that it is not about having an intrinsic value as a contingent human being per se, but rather because of Who Christ Jesus is, in relation to us ,and who we are, in relation to Him, chosen with, for and in Him, for Him to be in us and for us to be in Him, even before the foundation of cosmos, before creation, that determines why we are worth more than many sparrows.
May we ever be mindful of this and lovingly respond accordingly.
 Matthew 10:29-31 ASV
 Luke 12:6-7 ASV
 With the exception of the raven tribe, there is no prohibition in the Levitical law against any passerine birds being used for food; while the wanton destruction or extirpation of any species was guarded against by the humane provision in De 22:6. Small birds were therefore probably as ordinary an article of consumption among the Israelites as they still are in the markets both of the Continent and of the East. The inquiry of our Lord, "Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings?" (Lu 12:6), "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? (Mt 10:29), points to their ordinary exposure for sale in his time. At the present day the markets of Jerusalem and Jaffa are attended by many "fowlers" who offer for sale long strings of little birds of various species, chiefly sparrows, wagtails, and larks. These are also frequently sold ready plucked, trussed in rows of about a dozen on slender wooden skewers, and are cooked and eaten like kabobs. See Hackett, Illus. of Script. p. 86. Biblicacyclopedia.com/S/sparrow.html
 Leviticus 14:4-7, 49-53
The ancient writers do not appear to share the modern preoccupation with identifying precise species (and sub-species!). Both the Hebrew צִפּוֹר (tsippor) and the Greek στρουθίον (strouthion) are generic terms that can refer to any small songbird. https://bibleresearchtoday.com/2019/06/16/sparrow-day-16-of-30-days-biblically-wild/
Strong’s H6833 צִפּוֹר tsippôwr, tsip-pore'; or צִפֹּר tsippôr; from H6852; a little bird (as hopping):—bird, fowl, sparrow
 Greek “ἄνευ τοῦ πατρὸς ὑμῶν” – literally “without your Father” Some translate as “apart from your Father” eg NASB, ESV
 Both the Greek and the Aramaic clearly say that one sparrow will not fall without your Father. It does not say, without your Father’s notice. If any translation adds the word notice they are merely paraphrasing the passage. Actually, the passage does not even say if a sparrow dies, it just says fall. The word in Greek for fall is peseitai which is a word meaning to fall down or fall prostrate, it is does not mean to die. The passage in Luke 12:6 says that not one of them is forgotten by God. That does not suggest that the sparrow dies. ARAMAIC WORD STUDY – A SPARROW’S FALL – TSAPARA NEPHALA – צפרא נפלא
Aramaic language, Semitic language of the Northern Central, or Northwestern, group that was originally spoken by the ancient Middle Eastern people known as Aramaeans. It was most closely related to Hebrew, Syriac, and Phoenician and was written in a script derived from the Phoenician alphabet. …Aramaic had replaced Hebrew as the language of the Jews as early as the 6th century BCE. Certain portions of the Bible—i.e., the books of Daniel and Ezra—are written in Aramaic, as are the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds. Among the Jews, Aramaic was used by the common people, while Hebrew remained the language of religion and government and of the upper class. Jesus and the Apostles are believed to have spoken Aramaic, and Aramaic-language translations (Targums) of the Old Testament circulated. Aramaic continued in wide use until about 650 CE, when it was supplanted by Arabic. Britannica ARAMAIC LANGUAGE
 The word used for fall in the Aramaic is nephal which comes from a Semitic root word used by the Akkadians, a warlike people, to describe a soldier that is killed in battle because he has become so terrified that he fails to use his skills and proper common sense. We all know how fearful people tend to do foolish things. That is the idea behind the Semitic root NF which is rendered in English as fall. ARAMAIC WORD STUDY – A SPARROW’S FALL – TSAPARA NEPHALA – צפרא נפלא Chaim Bentorah See Strong’s H5307
 In Matthew 10:30 ἠριθμημέναι (inflected) Verb - Perfect Passive Participle - Nominative Plural Feminine from Strong’s G705 ἀριθμέω arithmeō
In Luke 12:7 ἠριθμημέναι (inflected)Verb - Perfect Passive Indicative - 3rd Person Plural from Strong’s G705 ἀριθμέω arithmeō
 Greek Strong’s 5310 ὑμεῖς ὑμεῖς hymeis Personal / Possessive Pronoun - 2nd Person Nominative Plural - meaning each and every one of you
 “chosen” Greek word ἐξελέξατο from ἐκλέγομαι eklegomai Strong’s G1586 – to pick out, choose
 Ephesians 1:4 “before” Greek ἀπό apó, apo'; a primary particle; "off," i.e. away (from something near), in various senses (of place, time, or relation; literal or figurative):—(X here-)after, ago, at, because of…from, signifying now separation, now origin.
 Ephesians 1:3-6 AMP
 1 Peter 1:20 “before” Greek πρὸ πρό pro Strong’s G 5253 – before, infromt of ,prior
 Revelation 13:8 word “before” Greek ἀπό apó, apo'; a primary particle; "off," i.e. away (from something near), in various senses (of place, time, or relation; literal or figurative):—(X here-)after, ago, at, because of…from, signifying now separation, now origin. Strong’s G575 Same as Ephesians 1:4referenced in 1 Peter 1:20
 2 Peter 1:4
 John 17:22
 Galatians 4:4,
 Galatians 4:4 meaning – born a Jew
 Matthew 27:50, Luke 23:46, Mark 15:37,38, John 19:29
 John 19:42, Matthew 27:59-60, Luke 23:53-54, Mark 15:46
 Matthew 28:5-6, Acts 2:24
 Luke 24:51, Ephesians 4:6-8, John 20:17
 Mark 16:19, Hebrews 1:1-3, 12:12, Colossians 3:1, 1Peter 3:22
 1 Timothy 6:15, Revelations 17:14, 19:16 Philippians 2:9-11
 Refer to Nicene Creed of 325 AD, - the only creed affirmed by Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and most Protestant churches. Churches throughout the centuries have recited it as a confession of faith during baptism and the Eucharist. https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/where-did-the-nicene-creed-come-from.html
Original version from 325 A.D. translated into English:
“We believe in one God, the father almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father, Light of light, Very God of very God, begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate and was made man; He suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven, He shall come to judge both the quick and the dead;
And in the Holy Spirit.”
 Romans 8:38-39 RSV
 Luke 23:46
 John 19:30
 Ephesians 4:9 RSV
 Also in our resurrection and life thereafter
 Strong’s G2227 ζῳοποιηθεὶς from ζῳοποιέω – zōopoieō Verb - Aorist Passive Participle - Nominative Singular Masculine - make alive, give life, quicken.
 Strong’s H5301 וַיִּפַּח from נָפַח - nāp̄aḥ - a primitive root; to puff, in various applications (literally, to inflate, blow hard, scatter, kindle, expire; figuratively, to disesteem):—blow, breath,.. Most Englislh Translations translate it as “breathed”.
 Colossians 1:27
 2 Corinthians 5:17
 Romans 8:38:39
 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
 Romans 8:38-39
 1 Corinthians 15:54, See Isaiah 25:8 –“ 8 He will swallow up death for ever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken.”RSV
 Hosea 13:14 – Masoretic Text “ מִיַּד שְׁאוֹל אֶפְדֵּם מִמָּוֶת אֶגְאָלֵם אֱהִי דְבָרֶיךָ מָוֶת אֱהִי קָֽטָבְךָ שְׁאוֹל נֹחַם יִסָּתֵר מֵעֵינָֽי׃ – “I will redeem them from the power of the grave: I will deliver them from death: O death, I will be thy death: O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance is hid from mine eyes.”GNV
 Luke 116:19-31
 Matthew 22:32
 1 Corinthians 12-23 RSV
 Salvation Army Doctrine 4
 earlychurchtext.com Chalcedonian Definition of Faith
 Mark 8:36 NKJV refer also to Matthew 16:26, Luke 9:25
 Greek εἰς eis, ice; a primary preposition; to or into (indicating the point reached or entered), of place, time, or (figuratively) purpose (result, etc.); Strong’s G1512 John 17:20 - willing to enter into a loving relationship with Jesus
 John 17:22-24
The Jews are the descendants of Jacob (renamed Israel), son of Isaac, son of Abraham.
Jacob’s blessing for Judah, his fourth son from Leah, is found in Genesis 49:8-12:
“8 “Judah,[b] your brothers will praise you;
your hand will be on the neck of your enemies;
your father’s sons will bow down to you.
9 You are a lion’s cub, Judah;
you return from the prey, my son.
Like a lion he crouches and lies down,
like a lioness—who dares to rouse him?
10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,[c]
until he to whom it belongs[d] shall come
and the obedience of the nations shall be his.
11 He will tether his donkey to a vine,
his colt to the choicest branch;
he will wash his garments in wine,
his robes in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes will be darker than wine,
his teeth whiter than milk.[e]”
With regards to this post, the relevant verses are 8 and 10 which establishes the blessing that the tribe or descendants of Judah will have pre-eminence over all the other descendants of
Jacob(Israel)v.8 and that this kingly right will continue until “he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his.” v.10
Genealogically, from the gospel record of Matthew and Luke, Jesus, was acknowledged as son of Joseph and Mary. Both gave a record of genealogy tracing his ancestry to David and Judah.
An attempt seemed to have been made by Matthew to present Jesus as a qualifying person to whom this Messianic reference may be applicable. If so, Matthew’s attempt, for many and especially Jews seems a failure as Joseph is recorded as having been descended from Jeconiah (Mat. 1:11). As such, Joseph would have fallen under the curse of that king that none of his descendants could ever sit as king upon the throne of David (Jeremiah 22:30; 36:30).
Luke’s attempt in tracing the lineage and genealogy through Nathan, son of David, is not without objections from a Jewish perspective.
However, if one were to accept the authenticity and veracity of the angel’s announcement as recorded in Luke 1:30-33
“30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end”, coupled with the affirmation of Jesus to John as recorded in Revelations 22:16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star”, it would seem that what essentially and fundamentally mattered to and was willed by God to fulfil the blessing of Jacob to Judah and His promise to David, was only for there to be a human genealogical human link to these persons.
It is not unreasonable that being the fifth governor of the Roman province of Judaea, serving under Emperor Tiberius from 26/27 to 36/37 AD, Pontius Pilate had and could have easy access to Jesus’ genealogical link through either Joseph or Mary, to David and Jacob from the census for purposes of taxation when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.
In light of available information and investigations available to him, including this, I believe that Pontius Pilate, then, asked Jesus when he was brought before him for questioning: “Are you the King of the Jews?” Being the Governor of Judea, Pilate may also have been aware of the event of the slaughter of the innocents under two years old by Herod thirty or so years before, following the visit of the Wise men from the East enquiring ““Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
Jesus’ answer to Pilate “You say so”, is to me, not so much an admission but rather to let the other party, Pilate, determine and decide as to who he thinks that he, Jesus, is. Pilate would also have heard and had written reports and opinions of what others thought and said of Jesus, but here Jesus is giving him the opportunity to express his own opinion.
Notwithstanding that the Gospel records states that Pilate questioned the crowds” what evil has He done” and thrice said to the Jews “I find in him no fault”, he still acceded to the Jews request to crucify him.
Pilate’s public washing of his hands before the multitude and declaration that he was innocent of the blood of this man can then be viewed as a sham for appearance sake. For he eventually capitulated to the crowd’s accusations and demands on the basis of, and/or determined in his judgement, that Jesus was claiming to be King of the Jews. Pilate’s insistence that what he wrote and had nailed to the cross on which Jesus was crucified “JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS” supports this view. For this is the only open cause left to Pilate to crucify Jesus under Roman Law. Under Roman law, there is no provision whereby ran innocent man, to whom no evil has been attributed punishable by law and to whom no fault can be found, may be crucified, may be put to death. However, the fact or finding that he may pose a security risk, by being acknowledged by many as having proclaimed himself a Jewish king in Judea, at that time, thereby being a threat to the Roman empire and Pilate’s governorship, is ground and serves as reason to warrant Jesus’ death by crucifixion.
Hence, the signage “JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.” on the cross was a proclamation as well as justification of Pilate’s reason, action and deemed acknowledgement of its deemed or proven veracity for all concerned. Maybe a prior deal was also made between Herod and Pilate on this as Luke wrote “Now that very day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other—before this they had been enemies.”
This Herod, Herod Antipas, was the son of Herod the Great who ordered the massacre of the innocents below 2 years of age during the time of the visit of the wise men. Herod Antipas was also the brother of brother of Herod Archelaus, whom the parents of Jesus tried to avoid and stay incognito from.
It would not be unreasonable to presume that Herod Antipas deemed and feared that this man would also have posed a threat to his rule and position. For this man had multitudes crying out and saying singing “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”, “Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”, just a few days before. Multitudes were viewing this man as a successor to the throne of David, a king of the Jews. This definitely would have caused discomfort to and unease in Herod Antipas, who was ruler of only a quarter of what his father originally had ruled over.
Could he have been also aware of what the wise men, chief priests and scribes told his father, Herod the Great, years ago and realised that Jesus was a survivor that had escaped the massacre of the innocents?
Was, the threat of Jesus being truly the King of the Jews, that which made Pilate and Herod, who were enemies until the day of interrogation of Jesus by Herod, becoming friends after the interrogation? Did both find common ground in and subscribed to the ancient proverb that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”?
Whatever the case may be, from the scriptural records, at the very least the Jews and Gentiles(non Jew), represented by Pilate(and through Pliate, Rome), had acknowledged and proclaimed Jesus as King of the Jews, resulting in his crucifixion and death on the cross.
As such, both Jews and Gentiles can be said to be parties that were jointly and severally responsible for Jesus’ crucifixion and death on the cross on the proclamation, charge and justification that He, Jesus of Nazareth, was King of the Jews.
Paul the apostle, wrote in Romans 1:1-3, that this Son of God(the Highest), came into being (became) out of the seed of David according to (throughout, to the uttermost, as) the flesh. Paul in Galatians 4:4 wrote “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.”
In Philippians 3:5-6 he wrote of his credentials as being “circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.” As such his claims as to the lineage of Jesus should be given due and serious consideration.
Paul also wrote of this Man, a human being (that the Son of God had to the uttermost become), as being the Mediator between the One God and One Mediator, between God and men, as the Man, Christ Jesus. - This Jew, the Beloved Son and Chosen of God, the final, true and everlasting King of the Jews, the Messiah or Chosen One.
Peter the Apostle in 1 Peter 2:4 wrote concerning Jesus Christ as “the living stone rejected by people but chosen by God and precious to him.”. Peter continues by stating “5 you yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be cohanim set apart for God to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to him through Yeshua the Messiah. 6 This is why the Tanakh says, “Look! I am laying in Tziyon a stone, a chosen and precious cornerstone; and whoever rests his trust on it
will certainly not be humiliated.”
Deuteronomy 7:6 states “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.”
As God’s Chosen One, Messiah, King of the Jews of the chosen people, He epitomises the real, authentic, true and final expression of what God’s New Covenant with the Jews was, is and ever will be.
In, with and through Him was, is and will continue to be the fullest and complete realisation and expression of the Final and Intended Covenantal relationship between God and the Jews, for he is the Beloved Son in whom Father is well pleased, the Chosen One, a Jew, Messiah, the Root and seed of David, King of the Jews.
The First Covenantal Relationship established between God and the Jews at Sinai, seemed to only be a prototype awaiting another and final Covenantal relationship that was to come.
This, I believe, was why God’s communicated to the Jews, through their prophet Jeremiah, as recorded in the Tanakh
“30 (31) “Here, the days are coming,” says Adonai, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Isra’el and with the house of Y’hudah. 31 (32) It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers on the day I took them by their hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt; because they, for their part, violated my covenant, even though I, for my part, was a husband to them,” says Adonai. 32 (33) “For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Isra’el after those days,” says Adonai: “I will put my Torah within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be my people. 33 (34) No longer will any of them teach his fellow community member or his brother, ‘Know Adonai’; for all will know me, from the least of them to the greatest; because I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more.”
Prima facie, the writer to the Hebrews was of this view when he wrote:
“7 Indeed, if the first covenant had not given ground for faultfinding, there would have been no need for a second one.
8 For God does find fault with the people when he says,
“‘See! The days are coming,’ says Adonai, ‘when I will establish over the house of Isra’el and over the house of Y’hudah a new covenant.
9 “‘It will not be like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by their hand and led them forth out of the land of Egypt; because they, for their part, did not remain faithful to my covenant; so I, for my part, stopped concerning myself with them,’ says Adonai.
10 “‘For this is the covenant which I will make
with the house of Isra’el after those days,’ says Adonai: ‘I will put my Torah in their minds and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be my people.
11 “‘None of them will teach his fellow-citizen
or his brother, saying, “Know Adonai!” For all will know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,
12 because I will be merciful toward their wickednesses
and remember their sins no more.’”[a]
13 By using the term, “new,” he has made the first covenant “old”; and something being made old, something in the process of aging, is on its way to vanishing altogether.”
The first Covenant (the prototype) made between God and the Jews, to me, was and is essentially a vehicle and tool to show the special relationship between God and humankind through the Jews as a people, and through this relationship the character and nature of God and humankind.
In, with and through this covenantal relationship with the Jews, we can also glimpse the commitment and faithfulness of God to be with humankind, for better or for worse, in all events and all circumstances. No wonder David wrote for the Psalmist to sing:
“4 (3) When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and stars that you set in place --
5 (4) what are mere mortals, that you concern yourself with them; humans, that you watch over them with such care?
6 (5) You made him but little lower than the angels,
you crowned him with glory and honor,
7 (6) you had him rule what your hands made,
you put everything under his feet --
8 (7) sheep and oxen, all of them,
also the animals in the wilds,
9 (8) the birds in the air, the fish in the sea,
whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
10 (9) Adonai! Our Lord! How glorious
is your name throughout the earth!”
God’s commitment and faithfulness to Jews, and hence to humankind, includes being with them even when they feel forsaken of Him in their sufferring, as penned by David, to be sung, in the first two verses of Psalm 22:
“1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.”………
Yet, notwithstanding how he felt, David was still willing to trust in this, that the the Lord will continue to keep faith with him as he has done for the Jewish people since the (prototype)Covenant came into being, for David continued to plead in the Psalm:
“9 Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
10 From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
11 Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.……………………..
19 But you, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver me from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen.” And thereafter committed his life to the Lord and affirmed …
“22 I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you.
23 You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.
25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord will praise him—may your hearts live forever!
27 All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him,
28 for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.
29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—those who cannot keep themselves alive.
30 Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn; He has done it!
These, to me, are but echoes of the feelings and trust that Yeshua, his genetic descendant (even as He MORE than fulfilled the Prototype Covenant, as and by being the embodiment of the New Covenant that God sealed with the Jews, and through Him and them, to humankind as a whole) on the cross, as the last and final “The King of the Jews” on whom the only crown placed on his head was a crown of thorns:
Crying out with a loud voice at about three in the afternoon “Eli! Eli! L’mah sh’vaktani? (My God! My God! Why have you deserted me?)”
And “while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two.”
And crying again as recorded in Luke 24:46.
“Crying out with a loud voice, Yeshua said, “Father! Into your hands I commit my spirit.” With these words he gave up his spirit.”
As such, the prototype (Old Covenant) of the Jews being the chosen people to showcase the right relationships of God to man, man to God, man to man and God to God finds its final and complete expression in the New Covenant that God had made with them, by His Son becoming the embodiment of the New Covenant, for ‘in him the whole fulness of deity dwells bodily”.
In agreement with similar conclusions arrived at by the writer to the Hebrews, I can say that the New Covenant, being the embodiment of the fullness of Deity in a creature of contingent existence and reality, a human, a Jew, the last and final King of the Jews, is superior to and has replaced the previous Covenant, made and sealed at Sinai, between God and the Jews.
This may be seen and gleaned from the writer to the Hebrews when he penned:
“7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion for a second.
8 For he finds fault with them when he says:
“The days will come, says the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;
9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; for they did not continue in my covenant, and so I paid no heed to them, says the Lord.
10 This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
11 And they shall not teach every one his fellow or every one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”
What should also be noted is that under the God’s prototype(Old) Covenant with the Jews, there is Rabbinic literature commenting on how Jews should relate to non Jews and whether there is such a thing as conversion for a person to become a Jew or that non Jews can only embrace Jewish practices and lifestyle. As such, there seem to be ingrained deep in the Jewish psyche this sense of exclusive distinctive singularity arising from the pact with God that made them the Chosen Covenantal People. Unfortunately, this tended to consciously or unconsciously set them apart from non Jews or even Jews in order to fulfill the requirements found in the Covenantal pact.
For the Jew Messiah Yeshua, this was not so. In his life and interactions as recorded in the gospels, I find that his uniqueness, rather, engendered an inclusivity of others and their sensitivities. He interacted freely with non Jews, the outcasts, touched lepers, healed on the Sabbath, kept company with sinners and so forth. His life seemed to be more inclusive of others rather than being exclusive in setting himself apart from others. He welcomed and interacted with all, regardless of race, language, religion, status or profession.
For him, I believe, that this inclusiveness was but an expression towards his fulfillment of the blessing in Genesis 49:10 “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”
For at the end of his life I find in him, Jesus the Christ, the New Covenant Person, the fulfillment and final expression of this blessing, where and when, all Jews and all peoples, are gathered (in obedience) into Him, as part of his reconciliation of all things to God. For He was recorded as stating “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all to Myself.” According to John’s gospel, “Now He said this to signify what death He would die.”
Messiah Yeshua, Jesus the Christ, a man, Jew, of the lineage of David and Judah, died with the inscription over his head at the cross on Calvary “JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS” and I submit, it was at this moment that all were drawn to and into him in reconciliation to God.
Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
Behold the Man, the One Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
Behold The King of the Jews, though, with, in and into Whom both Jews and non Jews, all peoples and all nations have gathered in obedience and been reconciled to God that “whosoever will” may partake of the Divine Nature, in glory with the Father, through Incarnate Son, in union and communion, in and with Holy Spirit, God Almighty.
 See Strong’s H3064 יְהוּדִי Yᵉhûwdîy, yeh-hoo-dee'; patronymically from H3063; a Jehudite (i.e. Judaite or Jew), or descendant of Jehudah (i.e. Judah):—Jew. Strong’s H3063 Judah יְהוּדָה Yᵉhûwdâh, yeh-hoo-daw' From יָדָה (H3034) Genesis 29:35. Refer also to Genesis 35:23 and 49:10
 Genesis 32:28
 Genesis 25:21-28
 Genesis 17:19, 21:3
[b] Genesis 49:8 Judah sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for praise.
[c] Genesis 49:10 Or from his descendants
[d] Genesis 49:10 Or to whom tribute belongs; the meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
[e] Genesis 49:12 Or will be dull from wine, / his teeth white from milk
 See Strong’s H7886 שִׁילֹה Shîylôh, shee-lo'; from H7951; tranquil; Shiloh, an epithet of the Messiah:—Shiloh.
 Or ‘gathering’. See Strong’s 3349 יִקָּהָה yiqqâhâh, yik-kaw-haw'; from the same as H3348; obedience:—gathering, to obey.
 Matthew 1:21,25
 John 6:2, Matthew 1:1-21, Luke 3:23 Luke 1;35,2:4-5
 Luke 2:34 Matthew 1:18,20,2:11,13:35
 II Sam. 7:14; I Chronicles. 17:11-14, 22:9-10, 28:4-6 referencing Luke 3:31 The Jewish Concept of Messiah and the Jewish Response to Christian Claims
JEWS FOR JUDAISM
 NIV. See also Matthew 22:42-45
 Luke 2:1-7
 Luke 23:23, John 18:33
 Matthew 2:2 NIV
 Matthew 27:11NET – In Greek “αὐτῷ Σὺ λέγεις” has been translated as “It is as you say”, “You have said it”, “You have said so” in many translations.
 Matthew 27:13 Mark 15:2
 Matthew 27:23 NASB, Mark 15:14
 John 18:38, 19:7
 John 18:38, 19:4,6 KJV
 John 19:12,15
 John 19:19
 Luke 23:12 AMP
 Herod Antipas was a 1st-century ruler of Galilee and Perea. He bore the title of tetrarch and is referred to as both "Herod the Tetrarch" and "King Herod" in the New Testament, although he never held the title of king.
 Herod the Great ordered the massacre of the innocents below two years in Matthew 2:13-18 He died around 4BC. Taking into consideration that innocents were all under 2 years old when they were massacred, and the flight of Joseph, Mary and Jesus to Egypt (Matthew 2:14-15), and their return after Herod’s death, that would put the date of the birth of Jesus at between 7BC-4BC. Could the massacre of the innocents being below two years imply that the ‘star’ had appeared over Bethlehem of Judea at least 12-18 months before. Why Two years and not 6 or12 months, if at the time of the wise men’s visit Jesus was a new born?
 Matthew 2:22 Herod Archelaus was the older brother of Herod Antipas, and both were sons born to King Herod and Malthace, a Samaritan woman who was one of his ten wives. Four days before his death in 4 BC, King Herod changed his will to make Archelaus his heir instead of Antipas. After he died, Archelaus, Antipas and their half-brother Philip went to Rome and argued over their dead father’s will before Caesar Augustus, who divided Herod’s kingdom among them and gave Archelaus about half of it, comprised of Samaria, Judea and Idumea, which is the non-Jewish region just south of Judea (Antipas received Galilee and Perea, which runs along the Jordan River on its east side from about half way between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea to about half way down the Dead Sea, and Philip received Iturea and Trachonitis, both of which lie northeast of Galilee). Augustus withheld the title “king” from Archelaus and instead named him “ethnarch,” which means “ruler of an ethnic group”; promotion to “king” would follow if Archelaus, then just 18 years old, proved himself an able ruler. Archelaus didn’t, so Augustus removed him from power in 6 AD, turned his territory into the Roman province of Judea to be under direct Roman rule, and banished Archelaus to Gaul (France today), where he died in 18 AD.
 Matthew 2:19-23
 Matthew 21:9 RSV
 Mark 11:10 WEB
 Romans 1:1-3
 Luke 1:32
 γενομένου ἐκ σπέρματος Δαβὶδ κατὰ σάρκα Textus Receptus Morphological GNT Romans 1:3
 Greek γενόμενον ἐκ Verb - Aorist Middle Participle - Accusative Singular Masculine literally –‘becoming - γενόμενον” “ἐκ – “out of “
 Greek γενόμενον Verb - Aorist Middle Participle - Accusative Singular Masculine
 Galatians 4:4
 Philippoians 3:5-6 NIV
 εἷς - relational one, not μονο(one and only)
 εἷς - relational one, not μονο(one and only)
 1 Timothy 2:5
 Matthew 3:17,17:5
 ἐκλελεγμένος Luke 9:35 (Morphological GNT) ἐκλεκτός – eklektos Luke 23:35 Χριστὸς - Christos is translated a “messiah’ here
 Genesis 49:10 read with Luke 1;33
 מָשִׁיחַ mâshîyach,
 Luke 23:35 see footnote  above
 1 Peter 2:4 Complete Jewish Bible CJB
 Greek γραφῇ - graphē translated as Scriptures in English
 Greek Σιὼν – siōn translated aa Zion in English
 1Peter 5-6 CJB Complete Jewish Bible
 בָּחַר - bāḥar Strong’s H977
 סְגֻלָּה - sᵊḡullâ see footnote45 above
 See Exodus 19 especially 5-7 and Exodus 24:8
 Tanakh is an acronym, made from the first Hebrew letter of each of the Masoretic Text's three traditional divisions: Torah (literally 'Instruction' or 'Law'), Nevi'im (Prophets), and Ketuvim (Writings)—hence TaNaKh.
The three-part division reflected in the acronym Tanakh is well attested in the rabbinic literature. During that period, however, Tanakh was not used. Instead, the proper title was Mikra (or Miqra, מקרא, meaning reading or that which is read) because the biblical texts were read publicly. The acronym 'Tanakh' is first recorded in the medieval era. Mikra continues to be used in Hebrew to this day, alongside Tanakh, to refer to the Hebrew scriptures. In modern spoken Hebrew, they are interchangeable. Wikipedia: “The name “TANAKH””
 Jeremiah 31:31-34 in the Christian Bible Numberings in Italics ,as referenced in the Complete Jewish Bible are numberings as found in the Tanakh
 Hebrews 8:7-13 Complete Jewish Bible Footnotes [a] Hebrews 8:12 Jeremiah 31:30–33(31–34)
 Psalm 8:4-10 Complete Jewish Bible, Highlighing Mine, Numbers in Italics are numberings found in the Tanakh
 Psalm 22:1-2 NIV
 Matthew 27:46 CJB AMP and most English translations: “About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud [agonized] voice, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Refer also to Mark 15:34
 Luke 23:45 NRSVA
 Luke 23:46 CJB
 Colossians 2:9 RSV and Philippians 2:5-11
 Hebrews 8:7-12
 Read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
 and or obedience – gathering in obediance
Strong’s H5971 עַם
עַמִּֽים in text (inflectd) Hebrew Noun: Common Masculine Plural Absolute
 Genesis 49:10 KJV
 2 Corinthians 5:19, Colossians 1:20
 John 12:32 RGT
 John 12:33 RGT
 Luke 23:33
 John 19:19
 John 1:29
1 Timothy 2:5
 John 17:22-26 read with John 14:16,17, Romans 8:15-17, 1 Corinthians 6:17, 12:13, Ephesians 2:18, 4:4
,“Behold the Man” – Some thoughts for consideration.
A human being is a creature of time and space, a being within the created order.
It is written in Genesis that of all the creatures in creation, humans were the only ones made in the image of God.
What is this image of God that humans are fashioned to express?
In Colossians 1:15-20, Paul is explicit that Christ Jesus, the man, is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. Jesus himself had emphatically claimed, “He who has seen me has seen the Father” and “I and the Father are one”.
Christ Jesus is Incarnate Son of God. However, in Revelation13:8, the reference to the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, suggests to me that Eternal Son of God, the Word Who was God, by, through and for whom creation came into being, in Triune Counsel, before creation was also this Lamb.
As such, would it be proper to say that this 'slain Lamb of God' is the initial image of the invisible God, conceived in eternity, in Triune Counsel and Being, purposed to be actualised in creation, to be born out of a woman, in the fullness of time,in the Person of the Incarnate Son, the man Christ Jesus?
To me this 'slain Lamb of God' imagery may be considered to be the genesis blueprint, plan, design for creation, to be realised and perfected in creation, in and through the Word becoming flesh, the man Christ Jesus.
Paul wrote: “For the creation eagerly awaits the revelation of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly but because of the One who subjected it in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”
For this, the Eternal Son of God, Lamb of God even in eternity, became flesh, a human (Lamb of God in time, space, and human history) that creation, including mankind may be set free from bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
For this, the Word came and became, to free creation and us, for as it is recorded, as Incarnate Son, the man Jesus, he said, “if the Son frees you, you are truly free.”
Not only did Incarnate Son as the Lamb of God take away the sin of the world, as Christ Jesus the man, 1John 2:2 also states: “He is the atonement for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the whole world.”
I glimpse a part of the unfolding mystery of Triune God’s nature and character through the image of the 'slain Lamb of God' penned beautifully by Paul;
1. As to what happened in eternity:
“Who, though existing in the form of God, did not consider being equal to God a thing to be grasped. But He emptied Himself—taking on the form of a slave, and
2. As to when eternity and spacetime were joined and intersected as one:
“becoming the likeness of men.”
3. As to what happened in spacetime, in our human history:
And in fashion having been found as a man, He humbled Himself—becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
No wonder, Paul, after penning the above, continued:
“Therefore God also highly exalted him, and gave to him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, those on earth, and those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”- happening only after Lamb of God, as Jesus the man, was perfected at his resurrection.
Also, Triune God made Him(Eternal Son) Who knew no sin sin (singular - as in a created being, a human being, a man) for us, that we, might become the righteousness of God.
Query: Where was humanity made right with God, and when (did it) become the righteousness of God?
For me, the answer may be found in the gospel records associated with and of the baptism of Jesus, at the Jordan.
This event is also the only explicit record of the Theophany of God, Father, Son and Spirit being together in created space and time, in our human history.
“Jesus, when he was baptized, went up directly from the water: and behold, the heavens were opened to him. He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming on him. Behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
“When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
“Immediately coming up out of the water, he (John) saw the heavens torn open, and the Spirit like a dove descending on Him (Jesus)” and a voice came from the heavens: “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
This Triune Theophany happened, but only after Jesus was baptised into the baptism of repentance to “fulfill ALL righteousness.” For Jesus said concerning his baptism, "“Let it happen now, for in this way it is fitting for US to fulfill all righteousness.”
Note that Jesus used the word “us” instead of only“me”. For this baptism is not only for himself but also for us, for him to bring towards fruition of setting creation free from bondage into the glorious freedom of the children of God, through the 'fulfilling of all righteousness'.
It was only after Jesus, Lamb of God becoming one of us, for himself, for us, with us, in joint identification as us, acknowledged and repented for our sinsand the world's sin, to God, I submit, was all righteousness then fulfilled. Hence, Spirit's delight in and identification with Jesus by descending upon him as a dove, and Father's voice resounding throughout the heavens “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
For righteousness is all about being in a right relationship one with another. All this happened around the spacetime when and where Jesus was baptised. All righteousness or rightness was fulfilled between Triune God, the whole of creation, and humanity, there and then.
Is it any wonder that the Triune Theophany happened immediately after all this rightness was finally birthed into being, in, through and with the person of the man Christ Jesus, Lamb of God? Note again, this happened way before Jesus’ crucifixion and death at the cross at Calvary.
As such, I continue to meditate on the import and significance of this repentance by Jesus the man, Lamb of God, and its practical relevance to my living, in relationship to God, creation and fellow humans, in Christ.
In ending, I would like to share the words of the song “Behold the Man” which echoes the revelation of the Prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 53:1-12 and which holds a special place in my heart.
“Behold the Man, wounded and bruised, crown with thorns.
He was despised and rejected.
He was despised and rejected.
Behold the Man, man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.
We hid our faces from him.
We hid our faces from him.
We did not know that it was for our sins He died, that for us the Son of God was crucified;
That in love He bore our sorrow and pain and in love He willingly suffered.
Behold the man, suffering in silence, bearing our shame.
We hid our faces from him.
We hid our faces from him.
We did not know that this was God the Father’s plan, for God to bring redemption down to man.
That in love He gave His only Son, so that we might be forgiven.
Behold the Man, Risen in glory, Coming to reign;
By the Father exalted, Crowned with glory and honour.
Behold the Man, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Through All Creation, Jesus Christ is Lord,
He is Lord, He is Lord. HE IS LORD.”
Behold The Man
 John 19:5 a proclamation made by Pilate, the fifth governor of the Roman province of Judaea, serving under Emperor Tiberius from 26/27 to 36/37 AD, of Jesus of Nazereth.
 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created in the heavens and on the earth, visible things and invisible things, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things are held together. 18 He is the head of the body, the assembly, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he might have the pre-eminence. 19 For all the fullness was pleased to dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile all things to himself by him, whether things on the earth or things in the heavens, having made peace through the blood of his cross. WEB
 See also John 14:10-11, John 17:5,21,24
 John 1:14
 Galations 4:4
 Galatians 4:4” when the fulness of the time was come, God sent his Son, made of a woman(becoming out of - γενόμενον ἐκ γυναικός}, made under the law – (becoming under (ὑπὸ-hypo) the law oγενόμενον ὑπὸ νόμον). Note in both cases γενόμενον - Verb - Second Aorist Middle Deponent Participle - Accusative Singular Masculine- the becoming happening at a particular point in time.
 Romans 8:19-21 RSV
 ἐλευθερώσῃ Verb - Aorist Active Subjunctive - 3rd Person Singular ἐλευθερόω
eleutheroō Strong’s G1659 – makes free
 ὄντως ontōs Strong’s G3689 – Truly, in reality, in point of fact as opposed to what is pretended, fictitious , false – that which is truly etc… that which is indeed
 John 8:36 – my translation of the Greek
 1John 2:2 TLV see also Leviticus 16:30, 17:11 and Isaiah 53:11-12
 γενόμενος Verb - Second Aorist Middle Deponent Participle - Nominative Singular Masculine from γίνομαι – ginomai Strong’s G1096 same root word as “was made –became” in John 1:14
 Philippians 2:6-7 TLV
 σχήματι – schemati from root σχῆμα schema Strong’s G4976 - the habitus, as comprising everything in a person which strikes the senses, the figure, bearing, discourse, actions, manner of life. Synonym: see μορφή at the end, and Schmidt, chapter 182, 5. μορφή was the word translated as form in Philippians 2:6 preceding.
 YLT Philippians 2:8
 TLV philippians 2:8
 Philippians 21:9-11 WEB
 See post on Perfecting the Man Christ Jesus –A Glimpse into the Mystery of Suffering
 In 2 Corinthians 5:21 the word ἐποίησεν -Verb - Aorist Active Indicative - 3rd Person Singular from ποιέω poieō Strong’s 4160 – make
 See comments on word ‘sin’ in John 1:29 in previous post
 or “become” γινώμεθα - Verb - Aorist Active Indicative - 3rd Person Singular from γίνομαι
ginomai – same root word as that found in the words “was made – became”in John 1:14
 or rightness of God
 Matthew 3:16-17 WEB
 Luke 3:21-22 NIV
 Mark 1:10 AMP
 Mark 1:11 NASB
 Matthew 3:15 TLV Note also the Greek word πληρῶσαι translated as “to fulfil” Verb - Aorist Active Infinitive from πληρόω plēroō Strong’s G4137 – to make full, to fulfil – meaning of aorist - characterized by its emphasis on punctiliar action; that is, the concept of the verb is considered without regard for past, present, or future time. There is no direct or clear English equivalent for this tense, though it is generally rendered as a simple past tense in most translations. The events described by the aorist tense are classified into a number of categories by grammarians. The most common of these include a view of the action as having begun from a certain point ("inceptive aorist"), or having ended at a certain point ("cumulative aorist"), or merely existing at a certain point ("punctiliar aorist").
 Missing the mark
 Missing the mark See 1John 2:2
 Taken from the cantata "If My People" by Jimmy Owens. 1975? Lyrics are taken from Isaiah 53 - Christ the Suffering Servant
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
What a public proclamation by John the Baptist of the Person of Jesus.
John said of himself: ““I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’” “I baptize with water,….but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”
And of Jesus, after the proclamation: “This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”
John further testified: ““I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.” “I have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.”
Thereafter, it is recorded that John proclaimed specifically to two of his disciples, one of who was Andrew, who was to be one of Jesus’ earliest disciples: ““Behold, the Lamb of God!”
Of John, it is recorded that Jesus said:
1.“Most certainly I tell you, among those who are born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptizer; yet he who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he.”
2. “For I tell you, among those who are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptizer, yet he who is least in God’s Kingdom is greater than he.”
I remember Dr. Ruth Edwards, my New Testament Greek lecturer at the University of Aberdeen in 1982, pointing to the class, that the tense of the verb “takes” as recorded in the phrase “ takes away the sin of the world” was that of the present active participle.
She explained that what this meant was that at that moment of the proclamation, Jesus was already actively taking away the sin of the world as Lamb of God. It was not something that was going to happen in the future – the verb being of the present active participle. In text and context, it was already happening in the person of Jesus, as Lamb of God, even as John spoke.
This statement of hers continues to its profound impact, to and for me, as to ‘Who’ I say Jesus is.
This text asserts and explicitly proclaims that the sin of the world was already being actively taken away in the person of Jesus, the Incarnate Son of God, Lamb of God, way before his crucifixion and death on the wooden cross at Calvary.
For me, questions never asked and considered were and are now being asked, considered, framed and re-framed. In doing this, I am always indebted to Professor James Torrance, my Systematic Theology lecturer in Aberdeen, who shared with the class the principle that the “question always predetermines its answer”. Hence, for me, the importance of framing correct or incorrect questions, as incorrect questions asked will only give incorrect predetermined answers.
Three questions, concerning this mystery, that are continuingly arising, framed, re-framed, laid aside to be considered again, for me, are:
1. Have other writers in the New Testament alluded to this in their writings?
2. What is the significance of the Son of God being the Lamb of God?
3. What is this sin of the world that the Lamb of God was taking away and how?
Below are some passages in the New Testament that I opined are related to this proclamation.
1. The Apostle John, in Revelation, wrote that this Lamb was slain away from or before the foundation of the cosmos world, universe or creation.
2. In the first epistle attributed to Peter, it is written: “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.”
3. In Colossians, Paul wrote of this Person Lamb as the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created in the heavens and on the earth, visible things and invisible things, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things have been created through him and for him He is before all things, and in him all things are held together. He is the head of the body, the assembly, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he might have the preeminence..
In him also we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins. For in him all the fullness of the Deity was pleased to dwell bodily, and through him to reconcile all things to himself by him, whether things on the earth or things in the heavens, having made peace through the blood of his cross.
4. In Ephesians, Paul wrote: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and without defect before him in love, having predestined us for adoption as children through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his desire, to the praise of the glory of his grace, by which he freely gave us favor in the Beloved, in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in him to an administration of the fullness of the times, to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth, in him.”
Significance of Son of God being Lamb of God
1. In the above passages, I find that creation was birthed from this plan and design of Triune God in, of and from the Triune counsel of Son being Lamb of God slain in eternity, to be actualised in the Son of God becoming flesh to be Lamb of God in time.
2. This is to ensure and realise in the fullness of the times, the summing up of all things, things in the heavens and things in earth, in person of Incarnate Son, as Lamb of God, in creation for life eternal.
3. For only through eternal Son of God being the slain Lamb of God in eternity and Incarnate Lamb of God in time, is Triune God able to reconcile all things to himself by him, whether things on the earth or things in the heavens, having made peace through the blood of Son of God’s cross of and by being Lamb of God in eternity and time.
4. As such, Son of God as Lamb of God becoming human and continuing to be Lamb of God is ever in-essence:
4.1 Entwined with the mystery of the Kingdom of God.
4.2 Indivisible from the mystery, the revelation of Jesus Christ, which was kept secret since the world began.
4.3 Indissoluble from the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ…. to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth, in him.
4,4 Conjoined with God’s wisdom in a mystery, the wisdom that has been hidden, which God foreordained before the worlds for our glory”.
4.5 Joined as one in union and communion in the profound mystery of Christ and the church.
I believe that this joining as one in Christ in union and communion is part of the glory, which has been given to us in Christ, part of the glory Son had with the Father before the world existed. We are enabled though Spirit to become and participate as partners, joint heirs with and in the life of Incarnate Son of God as the Lamb of God, in and through the Spirit, within the constraints of our unique humanness, as humanly and divinely possible.
So what was this sin(singular) of the world that was being taken away in the person of Jesus, the Lamb of God, even before his crucifixion and death at the cross?
The Greek word for sin in John 1:29 is “ἁμαρτίαν–hamartian from ἁμαρτία-hamartia. Fundamentally the word connotes the meaning of missing the mark, error or failure.
What is this ‘mark’ that creation or the created order has missed?
Solomon in Ecclesiastes 1:2 understood all that is in creation as: “Futility of futilities! All is futility.” The Wycliffe Bible describes it in parenthesis as “emptiness and futility, yea, everything is empty and futile.”
Paul in Romans 8:20 wrote: “For the creation was subjected to frustration and futility, not willingly [because of some intentional fault on its part], but by the will of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will also be freed from its bondage to decay [and gain entrance] into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”
From the above, it would seem that the ‘mark’ that was missed was that of not being joined to divine essence, perfection and communion as divinely possible. The created nature and essence is not the same as the Divine, for creation, as is, has a beginning and will come to an end. The Divine is ever eternal, the Who was, is and is to come. Hence, the sin or missing the mark of creation is the unsurpassable chasm between what is created and what is Divine. It is inherently and essentially the difference in nature and essence between the Divine and created order.
According to Paul, this was not the will of Triune God. The plan and design for creation and all that is within it was for it to be set free from this bondage or sin into the glorious freedom of the children of God. This plan and design was already set in motion in Triune counsel eternity in Son, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped but emptied Himself and took the form of a servant, consenting to become a man, a creature of creation. I believe that this is what is meant when it is written of the Lamb of God that was slain before the foundation of the worlds.
This is the only Way, the Truth and the Life whereby all things may be summed up in Christ to know the Father, and all things may be reconciled to Triune God, by and in the Person of Incarnate Son, whether things in heaven or on earth, visible or invisible.
Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
 WEB-World English Bible
 John 1:29
 Matthew 3:1
 John 1:23 NIV
 John 1:30-31 NIV
 John 1:32-33 NIV
 John 1:34 WEB. See also Matthew 3:16,17 “Jesus, when he was baptized, went up directly from the water: and behold, the heavens were opened to him. He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming on him. Behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”WEB
 Matthew 11:11
 Luke 7:28
 αἴρων from αἴρω (airō) Strong’s G142 Verb - Present Active Participle - Nominative Singular Masculine
 Revelation 13:8 Greek ἀπὸ - apo Strong’s G575 – a primary article "off," i.e. away (from something near), in various senses (of place, time, or relation; literal or figurative)
 Revelation 13:8 GW, NOG, NIRV, NLT, OJB
 1 Peter 1:19-20
 Colossians 1:16-18 WEB
 Colossians 2:9 and Colossians 1:19
 Colossians 1:20
 Ephesians 1:3-10 WEB
 For me, counsel of Father initiating, Son mediating and Spirit generating
 blood = life See Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement, by reason of the life [which it represents]” AMP
 See Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23, Luke 14:27 – Likewise, I posit that the personal cross for and of Jesus was being Lamb of God as Son of God and Son of man for “ the disciple is not above his teacher nor the slave above his Lord” Matthew 10:24,25, Luke 6:40, See also John 13:13-16
 Mark 4:11
 Romans 16:5
 Ephesians 1:9 WEB
 Ephesians 1:10 WEB
 1 Corinthians 2:7 WEB
 Ephesians 5: 31-32
 John 17:22,
 1 Corinthians 12:27
 Strong’s G266 -
 The term hamartia derives from the Greek ἁμαρτία, from ἁμαρτάνειν hamartánein, which means "to miss the mark" or "to err". It is most often associated with Greek tragedy, although it is also used in Christian theology. Wikipedia
 See Strong’s G5356 and G5351
ingYeshua Immanuel is the Man Christ Jesus, a man like us. He is God Incarnate, God become human, as human as you and I.
According to the scriptures, this human, grew and developed from his becoming conception to a babe, a child and increased in wisdom and stature in favour with God and man. Little is known of his growing up years into manhood except this and that he had worked as a carpenter.
Most of what is recorded in the Scriptures is of him as a grown man onwards, from his baptism by his cousin John, his ministry, his death, resurrection and ascension.
However, concerning the purpose of his becoming human, there are many passages recorded in Scripture that address this.
For the purposes of this post, I would like to address the virtues of obedience and suffering in perfecting Jesus as a human, found in the Gospels, letters of Paul and letter to the Hebrews. And in the process, hopefully, shed a little light and understanding of the mystery of suffering and futility in the life of Christ and its application, if relevant, to our lives
I wish to begin by referencing some passages in Luke 13.
When warned by certain Pharisees that Herod wanted to kill him, Jesus answered: “Go ye and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and will heal still today, and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!”
The third day in Jesus’ answer may be interpreted literally to mean that he would continue to do what he was doing until the third day from his answer, or/as well as figuratively to refer to the third day when he is to rise from his death.
In the first literal interpretation, it would only mean that he had the intention to only cast out devils and heal until the third day from his answer.
In the figurative interpretation, it would mean that he would continue to be who he is and do what he had come to do and be perfected as a human and complete all that he had to do on his resurrection from the dead, on the third day from his death. I tend to prefer and favour this interpretation in light of the many references that he made concerning his resurrection on the third day. For, as Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:17 “if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile, you are still in your sins!”
Therefore it would seem that the resurrection of Christ is imperative not only for the human Christ Jesus to be perfected, but also is the expression of the evidential reality that the problematic issue of sin between God and man has finally found its complete solution in the man Christ Jesus.
Many have assumed that the human, God had become, was perfect, complete and whole in all ways and at all times.
There are, however, Scripture references that state or suggest that this is not the case. The passage in Luke 13:33-34 is just one of them.
The writer of Hebrews in Hebrews 2:10 wrote: “In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.”
Note that it was God, perfecting the man, Jesus, the pioneer of our salvation, through what he suffered. The suffering that Christ Jesus had to go through was to enable him to identify with us in all ways, that he might be our merciful High Priest, to be the mercy and atonement for our sins. For “Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.”
The man Christ Jesus could only be perfected or made whole and complete through obedience and suffering. Paul also alludes to this when he wrote: “And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.”
Only then, did God, therefore “also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” And this happened according to Jesus, only after his resurrection day, after he had been made perfect as a man.
For Jesus, the man, the challenge in embracing suffering and learning obedience in suffering, is essential and intrinsic towards growth into perfection vis a vis his relationship of love and goodwill, in union and communion with God and with us, humanity.
This is the way of his cross, unique to and for him.
Therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters ‘in all things’ so that he could be merciful. He became like them, fully ‘human in every way’, so that he could serve as a faithful chief priest in God’s presence and make peace with God for their sins.
Is it any wonder that in the prophecy of Isaiah it is written of him, the Messiah, that he would be “a man of sorrows, and knowing sickness.” “Surely he has borne our sickness and carried our suffering; yet we considered him plagued, struck by God, and afflicted.” “For it pleased Yahweh to bruise him. He has caused him to suffer( sick, make weak, to become helpless in suffering).”
All of these, he became and assumed, even feeling and falling into darkest depth in the void of Godforsakeness. In so doing, he proved and embraced his identity, identification, jointness and oneness with us in all of our humanness, in all things.
Such is the mystery and sacred expression of Father, Son and Spirit’s joint and several Triune love for us, in the man Christ Jesus, in whom the fullness of Deity dwells bodily.
Lest we forget, Father, Son and Spirit are ever one yet three. Though it was the Son who became human, God Incarnate, the joint and several participatory actions of all and each need to be recognized and appreciated – Triune God as and in Father initiating, sending, Son mediating, becoming and Spirit generating into happening.
As such, I am of the opinion that it would be proper to say that Father and Spirit also jointly share and participate fully in Son’s suffering and learning obedience though suffering as a man. Triune God, Father, Son and Spirit, through Incarnate Son, the mediator man Christ Jesus, identifies in jointness and oneness with us in all of our humanness, in all things, to enable us to partake of the Divine nature through union and communion.
As such we are not alone. We do not need to suffer alone. Jesus, the perfected and exalted man, our High Priest ever suffers with us, jointly in oneness with us, identifying and feeling our suffering, sickness, weakness and helplessness in and with us, in and through Spirit.
Let me put on record that I am not advocating that we seek suffering and sickness so that we can be perfected. Jesus himself preferred not to suffer. He prayed at Gethsemane ““Abba!” (that is, “Dear Father!”) “All things are possible for you. Take this cup away from me! Still, not what I want, but what you want.”
Jesus knew that Father God can take suffering away if he willed it, “All things are possible for you”. He did not want to suffer the pain, weakness, helplessness and the void of feeling godforsaken on the cross. Yet for him, his cross was to experience these things, with Father and Spirit. Father and Spirit ever remained jointly one with him, even though as a man he felt alone and abandoned, Godforsakened on the cross. Even when he felt Godforsakened, as a man, he still committed and thrust himself into the hands of Father in the void of Godforsakenness and death, “And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!” Having said this, He breathed His last.”
I believe, at this juncture, like Paul wrote of Abraham, his ancestor in the flesh, “In hope he believed against hope”, that Father was still with him and will never leave him. On his part, as a work in progress, man being perfected, he refused to abandon a right relationship with Father, even though he felt abandoned by God.
In my view, his cry with a loud voice: ““Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit”, before breathing his last, is a proclamation of this.
Jesus the man allowed God to be who He is, and in hope believed in hope that God will be with him in all of his life and suffering.
In allowing God to be with him in his suffering, working it into good for him in perfecting him in his humanity, I reiterate Paul’s statement “For this reason, God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
I believe that for us, even as we are joint heirs with him, we should allow him to suffer with us inasmuch as we are invited to suffer with him, that God may work all things into our good even into perfecting us towards our respective full potential as a unique and loved person.
Jesus’ life of a perfecting human, in obedience through suffering, opens for us, the Way, for this becoming, through the sufficiency of his grace, and the perfection of his strength in our weakness, suffering and helplessness.
 Matthew 1:25 “ Greek-Ἰησοῦς transliterated as ‘iēsous’ English Jesus, Hebrew יְהוֹשׁוּעַ ‘yᵊhôšûa’ English Jesus
 Matthew 1:25, Isaiah 7:14, 8:8
 2 Timothy 2:5
 Hebrews 2:14 “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature,”RSV
 John1:14, Luke1:35
 Colossians 2:9
 Hebrews 2:11 “For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified have all one origin. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brethren,” RSV
 Luke 1:35, John 1:14
 Luke 1:31, Luke 2:21-38
 Luke 2:41-52
 Luke 2:52
 Mark 6:3
 Matthew 3:13, Luke 3:21
 Luke 13:33,34
 See Matthew 16:21, 17:22-23, 20:17-19, 27:63-64, Luke 9:2, 18:33, 24:7, Mark 9:31, 10:34
 NIV Hebrews 2:10-11
 Greek ἱλάσκεσθαι – to pardon, to appease, purify, to cover, to reconcile, to make right again. See references in Septuagint when translated from the Hebrew root כָּפַר – kapar Strong’s H3722
 Hebrews 5:8-10 RSV
 Philippians 2:8 RSV
 Philippians 2:9-11 RSV
 Luke 13:32
 Isaiah 53:3 WYC
 Isaiah 53:4 WEB
 Isaiah 53:10 WEB Hebrew – הֶֽחֱלִי ḥālâ to be or become weak, be or become sick, be or become diseased, be or become grieved, be or become sorry
 Colossians 2:9
 Mark 14:36 CJB
 Luke 23:46 AMP
 Philippians 2:9-11 KJV
Luke 7: 36-48
“36 One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to eat with him. Jesus went to the Pharisee’s house and was eating at the table.
37 A woman who lived a sinful life in that city found out that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house. So she took a bottle of perfume 38 and knelt at his feet. She was crying and washed his feet with her tears. Then she dried his feet with her hair, kissed them over and over again, and poured the perfume on them.
39 The Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw this and thought, “If this man really were a prophet, he would know what sort of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner.”
40 Jesus spoke up, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”
Simon replied, “Teacher, you’re free to speak.”
41 ⌞So Jesus said,⌟ “Two men owed a moneylender some money. One owed him five hundred silver coins, and the other owed him fifty. 42 When they couldn’t pay it back, he was kind enough to cancel their debts. Now, who do you think will love him the most?”
43 Simon answered, “I suppose the one who had the largest debt canceled.”Jesus said to him, “You’re right!”
44 Then, turning to the woman, he said to Simon, “You see this woman, don’t you? I came into your house. You didn’t wash my feet. But she has washed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. 45 You didn’t give me a kiss. But ever since I came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You didn’t put any olive oil on my head. But she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 That’s why I’m telling you that her many sins have been forgiven. Her great love proves that. But whoever receives little forgiveness loves very little.”
48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.”
According to Jesus, all the woman’s actions in attending to his feet arose out of great love for him after her sins having been forgiven.
As such, we can reasonably infer that her “many sins” had been forgiven previously, but by whom, God or Jesus? Earlier in Luke 5:21, the Pharisees and teachers of the law were unequivocal in their thoughts of “Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
It is therefore reasonable to infer that this woman’s sins, had at the very least, been forgiven by God. Whether it was God through the person of Jesus in particular, we are unable to determine. Yet her actions in attending to Jesus’ feet out of great love to Jesus, in having had her sins been forgiven, suggests that she viewed Jesus as God, Who has forgiven her of her many sins.
But that is not all in the narrative. Continuing in Luke 7: 49-50, there is mentioned of a third virtue, of faith, intricately interlinked to, and, in play with the other two virtues of forgiveness and love.
“49 The other guests thought, “Who is this man who even forgives sins?”
50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace!””
What is faith? In Hebrews 11:1, the writer wrote of faith as:
“Faith means being sure of the things we hope for. And faith means knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.”
In the context of this woman, I can only surmise that it would have meant that she, in faith with great love, was sure that God had forgiven her of her many sins and that this person, Jesus, is God. She must have believed it with all of her being. Or else she could not have, out of great love, attended to the feet of Jesus, believing that her many sins have been forgiven.
Jesus’ comparison of her actions to Simon, the Pharisee, who invited him for a meal at his home, now becomes all the more telling.
For He said to Simon.
“I came to your house.”
All these, Jesus said, were expressed and done in faith with an outpouring of great love. I believe, in recognition and admiration of who she is and what she has done, Jesus proclaimed to her: “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace”.
A reference to a previous incident in the narrative recorded earlier in Luke 5:17-26 is instructive to enable us to appreciate a little bit more of what was happening here.
“17 One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. 18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.
20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
21 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said: “We have seen remarkable things today.”
Forgiving of sins to the Jews has always been the prerogative of God. For a man to forgive sins, it is tantamount to that man claiming to be equal to God. To the Jews, that is blasphemy.
For Jesus to proclaim again that this sinful woman’s many sins have been forgiven is a proclamation again of his Divinity to the people and hearers around him. The response by the guests: “Who is this man who even forgives sins?” is similar to the response of the Pharisees and teachers of the Law previously: “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
Is it not reasonable to then infer that, drawn and revealed by Heavenly Father, this sinful woman, in faith, believed that Jesus is who he claimed to be, the only begotten Son of God enfleshed.
This sinful woman of many sins must have had a revelation and experience of her many sins being forgiven, arising from God’s love for her, and, felt God’s love for her. Or else, how could she, in faith and great love, have attended to Jesus’s feet as she had done.
I believe that even as she had freely received God’s love she desired to freely love God in return. She could now reciprocate authentic love because God had first truly and authentically loved her.
I believe that deep down in her being, she was touched by the length, breadth, height and depth of God’s love for her, enabling her to recognise Jesus for Who he is and claimed to be.
I believe that to be able to encounter and be in the presence of Jesus, her Messiah, the Son of the Living God enfleshed, was what caused her to profusely shed tears of joy. She was experiencing the present with, and in the very physical presence of, her Lord.
In John 17:3, it is recorded that Jesus stated that these moments in the present or ‘now’ is what eternal life is: “eternal life means to know you, the only true God, and to know Jesus Christ, whom you sent.” The knowing is always in the present or “now moments.”
Another point to note is that the Greek word for “saved” “σέσωκέν- sesōken” connotes that this sinful woman was already saved by her faith before coming to attend to Jesus’ feet.
I also perceive her faith and love in Jesus being duly acknowledged and rewarded by Jesus when he affirmed, to her, ““Your sins have been forgiven” and “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace!”
After these words from Jesus, I believe, this woman would have been able to say that what she in faith previously believed, now she knows.
The apostle Paul in the later stage of his life expressed a similar sentiment in a phrase in 2 Timothy 1:12, “for I know who I have believed”
This narrative has challenged me to re-evaluate anew, my understanding of Who Jesus is, and the import of his words and works as recorded in the New Testament.
There are still a whole plethora of questions to be asked and answered. There are many challenges yet to appear, to be met and solved.
But the faith and response of great love I see in this woman and that of God’s love and forgiveness, inspires and spurs me to press on, forge ahead, in the discovery of Triune God’s high calling in Christ. For me, this is the promise and reality of growing realisation of the mystery of love, in union and communion with Triune God and one another.
What about you?
ἀφέωνται from root ἀφίημι aphiēmi
Speech: Verb Tense: Perfect
Definition of "Perfect"
In Greek corresponds to the perfect tense in English, and describes an action which is viewed as having been completed in the past, once and for all, not needing to be repeated. Jesus' last cry from the cross, TETELESTAI ("It is finished!") is a good example of the perfect tense used in this sense, namely "It [?], has been accomplished, completely, once and for all time." See Blue letter Bible in Luke 7:47
Voice: Passive Mood: Indicative Person: 3rd Person Number: Singular
Many translations translate the word as “are forgiven” implying the action as if it happened in the present instead of having been completed in the past as the word ἀφέωνται expresses. See also Young’s Literal Translation
 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
 See ἀφέωνται above
 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
 πολλαί from root πολύς polys See Strong’s G4183 - of multitude, number, etc., many, numerous, great.
 Just a point to note. There is no express reference to the woman “having been forgiven” previously, by Jesus, in Luke or in the other gospels. All inferences are just that. They are not facts or truths but perspectives and viewpoints.
 International Children’s Bible (ICB)
 Διδάσκαλε from root διδάσκαλος didaskalos See Strong’s G1320 –
1.teacher. 2. In the NT one who teaches concerning the things of God, and the duties of man
 Genesis 27:27, 33:4, 48:10, 50:1 Ruth 1:14, 1Samuel 20:41 Tobit 7:6
 I Kings 19:18
 See Strong’s H4899 מָשִׁיחַ mâshîyach, maw-shee'-akh; from H4886; anointed; usually a consecrated person (as a king, priest, or saint); specifically, the Messiah:—anointed, Messiah. See also Luke 4:18, Acts 10:38
 Isaiah 61:3 “He has sent me to the sorrowing people of Jerusalem. I will give them a crown to replace their ashes. I will give them the oil of gladness to replace their sorrow. I will give them clothes of praise to replace their spirit of sadness. Then they will be called Trees of Goodness. They will be like trees planted by the Lord and will show his greatness.” ICB
 Song’s of Solomon 4:1, 6:5, 7:5
 See Jeremiah 7:29
 See Exodus 35:35, 37 Proverbs 27:9 See also Matthew 26:7 Mark 14:3 at the house of Simon the leper. I believe that the giving of the perfume suggest the giving of her life as a living sacrifice unto her Lord.
 σέσωκέν from root σῴζω- sōzō See Strong’s G4982Speech: Verb Tense: Perfect Voice: Active Mood: Indicative
Person: 3rd Person Number: Singular
Definition of "Perfect"
In Greek corresponds to the perfect tense in English, and describes an action which is viewed as having been completed in the past, once and for all, not needing to be repeated. See 2 above
 Same Greek word ἀφέωνται (Perfect Tense)is used here as in Luke 7:47,48 above. Literally ‘have been forgiven’ – See Young’s Literal Translation
 Greek word βλασφημίας See Strong’s G988
 Same Greek word ἀφέωνται (Perfect Tense)is used here as in Luke 7:47,48 above. Literally ‘have been forgiven’ – See Young’s Literal Translation
 ἀφιέναι (Present Tense) also from root ἀφίημι aphiēmi Speech: Verb Tense: Present Voice: Active Mood: Infinitive
Note that here “to forgive” is in the present tense.
 Greek word βλασφημίας See Strong’s G988
 John 6:44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” ESV Matthew 16:16,17 “Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”ESV
 John 1:14 “ and the Word became flesh”
 Matthew 10:8 Jesus was later to command his disciples “Freely ye have received; freely give.”
 1John 1:4 ““We love because he first loved us.
 Good News Translation
 see 18 above
It is written in Jeremiah 9:23- 24:
“This is what the Lord says: “Let no wise man boast of his wisdom, nor let the mighty man boast of his might, nor a rich man boast of his riches; but let the one who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises mercy, justice, and righteousness on the earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.”
As pointed out in my previous post, it is not the benefits or blessings that we have been given by or desire from Yahweh ’ĕlôhîym that should be the point of our focus in life. Rather, our life is all about understanding and knowing Yahweh ’ĕlôhîym, particularly, that Yahweh ’ĕlôhîym is the One Who “exercises mercy, justice, and righteousness on the earth”, for the Lord God delights in these things.
The grace of exercising mercy and justice on earth is the righteousness of God, “for in these I delight, says the Lord”.
Psalm 89:14 states: “Righteousness and justice are the foundations of your throne. Mercy and truth stand in front of you.” My understanding of this verse is: ‘Mercy and Truth is always before and in front of Your Presence, is always uppermost in your mind and heart even as you administer and dispense righteous judgments from your throne of grace and glory.’
This is also an expression of the glory and goodness of God.
In Micah 6:8 it is written of what God deems good for humankind: “You mortals, Yahweh has told you what is good. This is what Yahweh requires from you: to do what is right (justly), to love mercy, and to live humbly with your Elohim.” For only in understanding and knowing God, can one then “live humbly with” our God(’ĕlôhîym).
We are to do justly.
This means that we are to do what is right, impartially and righteously. Our actions and judgements must be fair, equitable and justifiable.
We are to lovemercy. Love is to be the grounding for doing the right thing. Mercy must always be infused and be in the forefront in doing what is right impartially and righteously, not only to show others, but also that others may perceive and acknowledge that the truth of our actions is fair, equitable and justifiable.
This accords with the quintessential nature, glory, goodness and character of Yahweh ’ĕlôhîym as revealed to Israel, and more so in Christ Jesus.
Ever infused with love and mercy, this, to me, is true and authentic justice being done, being seen and acknowledged to being done.
The truth and reality of life and existence is that we are not alone. We live, move and have our being in the company of others. We are the sum of all our relationships.
As such, the impact of judgement, comprised of justice, ever infused with love and mercy, should take into consideration not only the welfare of the offender and guilty, but also the welfare of the living who have been affected by the actions of the offender and guilty, and who may suffer the continuing effects of such actions.
I believe that when Yahweh ’ĕlôhîym wills to be gracious and shows mercy to the guilty, authentic repentance on the part of the guilty and the consequential relationships that the pardoned may have with others are taken into consideration. If the effect of mercy in pardoning results in the pardon person, without repentance, creating and/or continuing to create intentional harm and suffering to others, I believe that full mercy will be withheld. In grace, love and righteousness, justice and judgement will be allowed to run their course, for the good of the whole.
For how Yahweh ’ĕlôhîym, in Christ Jesus, relates to me is also how Yahweh ’ĕlôhîym relates to others, and desires and wills that we relate to one another in like manner.
We are not alone with Yahweh ’ĕlôhîym in Christ Jesus. There are innumerable others besides us with Yahweh ’ĕlôhîym in Christ Jesus, interlinked in joint and distinct relationships with one another. I believe that is why the good of the whole will always be taken into consideration in Yahweh ’ĕlôhîym’s distinct interlinked expression of love, grace, mercy, goodness, truth, righteousness and judgement.
We should always call to remembrance that Immanuel means God with us, not God only with me. The ‘I and me’ are essential and needed before there can be ‘us’, but there must be more than one ‘I and me’ before there can be ‘us’. The ‘I am’ is integral to and cannot be torn away from ‘we are-us’ even as the ‘we are-us’ is jointly one to the several ‘I am’.
As such, I feel that it is imperative to appreciate and understand that it is not the characteristics and attributes of love, grace, mercy, longsuffering, goodness, truth, judgement and righteousness that defines Yahweh ’ĕlôhîym. Rather it is through the expressions of these characteristics and attributes in relation to us, that Yahweh ’ĕlôhîym enables us to gain a sliver of knowing and understanding Who the I Am That I am and I Will Be Who I Will Be was, is and will be.
And as in Christ Jesus, the fullness of Deity dwells bodily, so in Christ Jesus, we will find the fullest expressions of these characteristics and attributes. We should guard against pitting one attribute or characteristic over and against another. Rather, we should try to understand and come into a fuller experiential knowledge of how they are jointly one and yet distinct, having the infused qualities of the others, in varying degrees, whenever each is seen in their distinct expression.
There is also the mystery of choice as well as in Christ Jesus. And in the mystery of choice we find the mystery of preference and favour. In this we find the preference and favour for love, grace and mercy over judgement towards humankind. It is in this context that ““Mercy triumphs over judgment.”
I believe that it is also pertinent to note that notwithstanding that mercy is a prerogative choice of Yahweh ’ĕlôhîym, in Christ Jesus, a blessing awaits those who are merciful, for, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.”
It is not that if we do not show mercy we will not receive mercy.
“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, since we have been reconciled, will we be saved by his life?” “And even though you were dead in your transgressions and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, he nevertheless made you alive with him, having forgiven all your transgressions.” We have been given mercy in Christ Jesus.
Rather, over and above the prerogative of Yahweh ’ĕlôhîym to grant mercy as Yahweh ’ĕlôhîym wills, a specific blessing has been reserved to be awarded to those who are merciful, that they shall obtain mercy. We are being encouraged to be merciful with a blessing, that we shall obtain mercy, even as we show mercy. In being merciful, I dare say, that receiving mercy from Yahweh ’ĕlôhîym, now becomes a right for anyone of us.
Finally, I would like to say that the “throne of God” is also called the “throne of his glory”, the “throne of grace” and the “great white throne”. A description of this throne as a “throne of judgement’ is not referenced at all in the Scriptures. There is reference to judging the living and the dead, from the great white throne. This is in line with what the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 9:7 “But the Lord shall endure forever; He has prepared His throne for judgment.” But it is still not named as the “throne of judgement”.
Judgement and mercy are pronounced from the throne of glory and grace. It is the glory of God to give gracious judgement and abundant mercy from the throne of God. Judgement, mercy and grace are but expressions of love from Yahweh ’ĕlôhîym God to the every and whole of all, that in Christ Jesus, we may be one with Yahweh ’ĕlôhîym God even as Yahweh ’ĕlôhîym is one with us, in the man Christ Jesus.
Lest we forget, it is the person who gives meaning and definition to the throne, not the throne the person. Hence, it is through what is dispensed or the works from the throne that we can grow in the understanding and knowledge of the person who sits in the throne.
Even of Jesus, it is written that he said:” Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” ‘Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.”
These are but some of my musings on mercy and grace, in hope, that Spirit may nurture love in our hearts to commune with Father, Son and Spirit hereafter.
 Strong’s H2617 חֶסֶד cheçed, kheh'-sed; translated in the KJV as mercy (149x), kindness (40x), lovingkindness (30x), goodness (12x), kindly (5x)…. Modern translation tend to favour translating the word ‘lovingkindnesss’
 Strong’s H4941 מִשְׁפָּט mishpâṭ, mish-pawt'; judgment, justice, ordinance translated predominantly as judgment (296x) in the KJV. In modern translation more commonly translated as ‘justice’ as in theNASB
 וּצְדָקָה from צְדָקָה tsᵉdâqâh, tsed-aw-kaw' See Strong’s H6666; from H6663; rightness (abstractly) translated most times(128), as ‘righteousness’, in KJV.
 Jeremiah 9:24 Seer also Iasiah 58;2(a) “they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness”KJV
 צֶדֶק tsedeq, tseh'-dek; justice, rightness, righteousness from H6663See Strong’s H6666; rightness (abstractly) translated most times as ‘righteousness’ modern English Translations.
 See 2 above
 קָדַם qâdam, kaw-dam'; Strong’s H6923 Literally - go in front of
 Strong’s H6440 פָּנִים pânîym, paw-neem'; plural (but always as singular) of an unused noun פָּנֶה pâneh; from H6437); the face (as the part that turns)
 God’s Word Translation (GW)
 See Exodusa 33:18-19 and Exodus 34:5-7
 Strong’s H4941 מִשְׁפָּט mishpâṭ, mish-pawt'. See 2 reference above.
 Names of God Bible (NOG)
 I believe that David was expressing an associated hope and idea in Psalm 23 in the words: “Surely goodness and mercy(חֶסֶד cheçed, kheh'-sed – see 1 above) shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
 וְאַהֲבַת root from Strong’s H160 אַהֲבָה ʼahăbâh, a-hab-aw; feminine of H158 and meaning the same:—love. Outline of Biblical Usage [?] love: human love for human object, of man toward man, of man toward himself, between man and woman,sexual desire, God's love to His people.
 I want to acknowledge the contribution of Lord Hewart’s words:“Justice must not only be done, but must also be seen to be done”. This dictum was laid down by Lord Hewart, the then Lord Chief Justice of England in the case of Rex v. Sussex Justices,  1 KB 256.
 “containing all that is wanted or needed or possible” Merriam-Webster Thesaurus online
 Outline of Blibical usage: to glory against, to exult over, to boast one’s self to the injury (of a person or thing) Blue Letter Bible Strong’s G2620
 TLV, NTE, NIV..and in the majority of modern English translations. Strong’s G2620 κατακαυχάομαι katakaucháomai, kat-ak-ow-khah'-om-ahee; from G2596 and G2744; to exult against (i.e. over):—boast (against), glory, rejoice against.
 Matthew 5:7 ASV
 Romans 5:6 NET
 Romans 5:10 NET
 Colossians 2:13 NET
 In the context of whatever authentic mercy we can show, however wanting, because we are human.
 Matthew 23:22, Hebrews 12:2 Revelations 7:15, 14:5, 22:1,3
 Jeremiah 14:21, Matthew 19:28, 25:51
 Hebrews 4:16 where “we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” NIV
 Revelations 20:11, 22:3, 1:4 3:21
 Acts 10:42, 2 Timothy 4:1, 1 Peter 4:5
 Revelations 20:11-14
 See John 17:20-25
 John 10:37-38 NIV
 John 14:11 NIV
In Exodus 34:6-7, it is written that as the Lord passed by Moses on Mount Sinai, The Lord proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”.
This was a favoured and special personal revelation by the Lord God to Moses following the rebelliousness of the people in making the idol of the golden calf their god and the intercession of Moses before God not to destroy the people.
Earlier in Exodus 33:19, when Moses requested that Yahweh showed him His glory, Yahweh replied: ““I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim Yahweh’s name before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.”
Yahweh is a God of justice: “by no means clearing the guilty”. However, Yahweh is also God of justice tempered with mercy, limiting the consequences of the wrongful actions of a wrongdoer continuing to only until the fourth generation of the wrongdoer: “visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”
As such, I see that Yahwehʼ ĕlôhîym, as Lord God of justice, does not have a predisposition to have the wrongdoer punished without ending or let consequences of and from the wrongdoer’s actions continue forever.
For here, the character-glory and goodness of Lord God, Yahwehʼ ĕlôhîym, is revealed as that of the OneThree Being, Who, though, being God of justice, is also God, overwhelmingly predisposed to being “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, ever willing to show mercy to thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin”, and while “no means clearing the guilty”, limits the consequences of the iniquity or wrong to the “fourth generation” of the wrongdoer in mercy, reserving the discretion to show and dispense mercy before the limitation ends.
Mercy is not a right to demand on the part of the wrongdoer. Mercy is a sovereign prerogative discretion, will and choice of God, to be shown and given to the wrongdoer: “I will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.”
An insight to Yahwehʼ ĕlôhîym’s character-source and attitude of this character–glory and goodness, I believe, was specially revealed to the prophet Jeremiah, and recorded as and in the first part of prophetic words to the families of Israel in Jeremiah: “The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness(mercy) I have drawn you.”
These prophetic words revealed Yahwehʼ ĕlôhîym’s character predilection of love towards His people; “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love”.
Proceeding from this source-foundation of love, Yahweh ʼĕlôhîym’s desire to show mercy (lovingkindness) to the people, was and is so that they might be drawn to Him, “since all have sinned and continually fall short of the glory of God.”
Of this predisposition the record in Malachi 3:6 -7 has this to say: “I, Yahweh, never change. That is why you descendants of Jacob haven’t been destroyed yet. Since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my laws and have not followed them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says Yahweh Tsebaoth.”
I submit that the unchangeableness of Yahweh in the words “I, Yahweh, never change” or “ I am the Lord, I change not” specifically refers to this character predisposition as revealed in Jeremiah: “The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness(mercy) I have drawn you.”
The unchangeableness of Yahwehʼ ĕlôhîym cannot be applied to his Essence and Being, for Yahwehʼ ĕlôhîym is the ‘I AM Who I am and WHAT I AM and I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE’, the Everchanging and Unchanging of Exodus 3:14.
Only with regards to this predisposition to Israel can it be said that Yahwehʼ ĕlôhîym changes not, for in this, Yahwehʼ ĕlôhîym will not change.
However, because of Who Christ Jesus is, Yahwehʼ ĕlôhîym changed in Essence and Being, in, through and with the Person of Eternal Son, to make known that in love, the glory and goodness of Lord God, Yahwehʼ ĕlôhîym, abounds not only to Israel, but also to all humanity and the whole of creation.
In Christ Jesus, in love, the fullness of the glory and goodness of God, has been, is and will continue to be made known toward all who have sinned and fallen, falling and will fall short of the glory and goodness of God.
The writer, in his letter to the Hebrews expressed it like this:
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
The writer wrote of the throne of God as being the throne of grace, where mercy and grace may be received from and given by God.
The danger that many of us face when approaching this throne of grace is that we tend to primarily look to and focus at the benefits and blessings to be received.
The consequence is, we eventually lose focus and tend to forget that the whole purpose of approaching the throne is for the building of a better relationship with the Person Who sits on the throne. It is the encounter and interaction of the parties at the site of the throne of grace that is of utmost importance and value. The throne of grace is primarily another locus where all parties may ‘will’, to passionately grow in the knowledge of each other into and towards the communion and union oneness with and into one another.
Authentic grace one to another is a sovereign discretion of will and choice given by a person to another.
As such, at the throne of grace, I also see opportunities for, and, interflows of grace between God and humankind, in, through and with the man Christ Jesus, Incarnate Son, God with us, towards growing to fruition union and communion in oneness, between God and us.
I continue with my musings.
 the Lord יְהֹוָה – YAHWEH God אֱלֹהִים - ʼĕlôhîym
 רַחוּם adjective compassionate See Strong’s H7349 רַחוּם rachûwm, rakh-oom'; from root H7355; compassionate:—full of compassion, merciful.; 'אֲרַחֵֽם – arachem –I will have mercy or pity See pealim.com. From root רָחַם râcham. raw-kham Strong’s H7355 translated interchangeably as pity, compassion and mercy
 חַנּוּן channûwn, khan-noon'Strong’s H2587 חַנּוּן adjective gracious, only used as an attribute of God; from Strong’s H2603 חָנַן chânan, khaw-nan'; gracious
 Please refer to background events before this proclamation from Exodus 31:18 to Exodus 34:5. With reference to the tablets of the testimony please also refer to WYC translation. See also Strong’s H5715 and H5707 in Blue Letter Bible
 See Exodus 32
 See Exodus 33:12-19
 the Lord יְהֹוָה – YAHWEH
 Strong’s H2603 חָנַן chânan, khaw-nan'; gracious
 Exodus 33:19 World English Bible Note that the Septuagint translates this Hebrew word as the Greek ἔλεος éleos: of uncertain affinity; compassion (human or divine, especially active):—(+ tender) mercy.
 Please refer to my earlier post on Genesis Revisited (1) at www.theleaventable.org on the Lord יְהֹוָה – YAHWEH God אֱלֹהִים - ʼĕlôhîym.
 Exodus 34:6
 (See Blue letter BiJereMiah 31:3ble Strong’s H2617 translated 149 times as mercy and only 30 times as lovingkindness) See also GNV translation: “The Lord hath appeared unto me of old, say they: Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with mercy I have drawn thee.” This Hebrew word H2617 חֶסֶד cheçed, kheh'-sed; from H2616 is also translated in the Septuagint as as the Greek ἔλεος éleos: of uncertain affinity; compassion (human or divine, especially active):—(+ tender) mercy
 Jeremiah 31:3 NKJV please see Jeremiah 31:4-6
 the Lord יְהֹוָה – YAHWEH God אֱלֹהִים - ʼĕlôhîym
 See Jeremiah 30-31
 AMP Romans 3:23
 Names of God Bible
 (See Blue letter Bible Strong’s H2617 translated 149 times as mercy and only 30 times as lovingkindness) See also GNV translation: “The Lord hath appeared unto me of old, say they: Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with mercy I have drawn thee.” This Hebrew word H2617 חֶסֶד cheçed, kheh'-sed; from H2616 is also translated in the Septuagint as as the Greek ἔλεος éleos: of uncertain affinity; compassion (human or divine, especially active):—(+ tender) mercy
 See Amplified Bible
 Colossians 1:20. “For in Him was all fullness pleased to dwell.” Revised Geneva Translation. Colossians 2:6 “For in him all the fullness of the Deity dwells bodily” World English Bible
Note that the word ‘heaven’ which is found in many translation is actually ‘heavens’ plural “οὐρανοῖς” in the Greek is plural, as in Matthew 6:1 and 6:6 and the phrase “kingdom of heaven” found in Matthew’s gospel.
 Colossians 1:19 “
 Revelations 1:4,8, 11, 17, 21:6, 22:13
 Colossians 1:20, 26-27
 Hebrews 4:14-16 English Standard Version (ESV)
 exercise their will respectively, Intensely and passionately will oneself
The Greek word used for mercy is most often eleos(pity, compassion) and for grace is charis(goodwill, lovingkindness, favor).
Mercy and grace are closely related. They may have similar meanings, but they have their own unique characteristics.
As posted previously, mercy is deep and great compassion, release and forgiveness towards a wrongdoer. It is usually spoken of in the context of God not punishing us as our sins deserve. Rather, God full of mercy, in great and deep compassion, releases us from the penalty and consequences from our wrong by pardoning and forgiving us of our wrongs. There has to be a wrong that cannot be rectified and for which adequate compensation has not been made and full satisfaction not paid before mercy can be called into being and given. In its deep and great compassion we find also profound lovingkindness.
Grace shares with mercy the characteristics of unmerited favour. Essential to grace are also the elements of lovingkindness and compassion found in mercy. Grace carries the idea of an unmerited and/or undeserved gifting of a gift or favour to another. The recipient of the grace has not done anything to merit or deserve the gift or favour. It matters not whether a wrong has been committed. Its reach is more extensive and generous than mercy.
As such, it may help to view and understand mercy as a subset of grace, a very special and specific kind of grace, for a specific condition or situation. Mercy proceeds from and is birthed from grace.
The first time grace is mentioned in the Old Testament, it concerned Noah, and the narrative goes like this:
“5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagining of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 And the Lord repented that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him in His heart.
7 And the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, and the creeping thing and the fowls of the air, for I repent that I have made them.”
8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”
Here, we find that the word grace encompasses mercy within it.
I believe that the writer of Hebrews had a similar understanding when writing: “Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].”
Here, again, we have the imagery of mercy and grace being found in and received out of grace.
Paul’s statement and understanding of grace, I believe, is made very clear in Romans 11:6: “And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. But if it is by works, then is it no longer by grace; otherwise work would no longer be work.”
Such being the case, if Jesus died at the cross as full payment or full satisfaction for our sins against God, then it would seem to suggest that, in respect of His act:
I continue with my musings.
 See Strong’s G1656 ἔλεος éleos – compassion; kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them.
See also Strong’s 1653 (ἐλεέω) - have compassion (pity on)
See also Strong’s H7355 רָחַם râcham, raw-kham'- to love, especially to compassionate:—have compassion (on, upon), love, (find, have, obtain, shew) mercy(-iful, on, upon), (have) pity,
And H2617 - חֶסֶד cheçed, kheh'-sed; from H2616 -(loving-) kindness, merciful (kindness) pity.
See Isaiah 54:8 where both words were used.
 See Strong’s G5485 χάρις cháris – good will, loving-kindness, favour
See also Strong’s H2580 חֵן chên khane; from H2603 – kindness, favour, have pity and compassion
 21st Century King James Version
 Strong’s H2580 חֵן chên khane; from H2603
 See also Deuteronomy 34:6–9 especially vs 7 and 9
 Literally: bold freedom See Strong’s G3954 - παρρησία parrēsia – boldness, free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance, freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech
 “take hold of” See Strong’s G2983- λαμβάνω lambánō
 Amplified Bible Classic Edition
 Modern English Translation
Matthew’s Gospel has the only record of this parable that Jesus told.
“21 Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Until seven times?”
22 Jesus said to him, “I don’t tell you until seven times, but, until seventy times seven.
23 Therefore the Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king, who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he had begun to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But because he couldn’t pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, with his wife, his children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will repay you all!’ 27 The lord of that servant, being moved with compassion, released him and forgave him the debt.
28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him one hundred denarii, and he grabbed him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’
29 “So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will repay you!’ 30 He would not, but went and cast him into prison until he should pay back that which was due. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were exceedingly sorry, and came and told their lord all that was done. 32 Then his lord called him in and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow servant, even as I had mercy on you?’”
Essentially, this parable addresses Peter’s query as to one’s response to wrongs done to one’s self (“Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?). Peter embraced that one should forgive, but where should be the limit of forgiveness, “until seven times”?
Jesus answered: “I don’t tell you until seven times, but, until seventy times seven.”
Is Jesus saying that after the seventy times seven times, you are allowed not to forgive anymore? I don’t think so.
For Jesus then told a parable about what relationships are about in the Kingdom of the heavens. It is not about accounting and the number of times, but all about relationships.
“27 The lord of that servant, being moved with compassion, released him and forgave him the debt.”
“32 Then his lord called him in and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow servant, even as I had mercy on you?’”
This was about loving your neighbour as you love yourself. For me, this parable is also a precursor to his later command to “love one another as I have loved you.”
However, for the purposes of this post, I wish to focus primarily on the elements and meaning of mercy found in this parable.
First, inherent in mercy is moving, dynamic, great compassion – ‘The lord…..being moved with compassion.”
Second, essential to mercy is release – letting go of the bindings of one’s rights and entitlements that the other may be released - let go, freed of liabilities and obligations into freedom (released him).
Third, intrinsic to mercy is forgiveness – for one’s self to no longer take into account, to write off or wipe the slate clean of the debt or wrong. As such, both may start afresh and build a new and free relationship with the other, without the bindings of the unreleased debt or wrong on either party.
God is a merciful God.
It is also written that Jesus taught that the merciful are truly blessed, in that they shall obtain mercy: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”
However, for mercy to be given or birthed into being, there must first be a wrong or debt to be forgiven and to be released from. Without a wrong or debt, there is no recourse for mercy to be given or birthed into being.
It follows then, that if the wrong or debt can be fully compensated satisfied or paid, then, mercy does not come into play. There is no place or need for mercy from the person to whom the wrong had been done, as that person would have been fully compensated for the wrong or debt. Mercy is not and cannot be given if full satisfaction or payment is or has been made for the wrong or debt.
Such being the case, if Jesus died at the cross as full payment or complete satisfaction for our sins against God, can it be said that at or from that moment, our sins have been forgiven, and that we have received the mercy of God?
What is there for God to forgive, if the penalty for our sins was paid or assumed fully, exclusively and solely by Jesus at the cross, for us and on our behalf, and God accepted that as full satisfaction for the sins, wrongs and debts that we owe and/or will owe him?
Where do or can we find a merciful God at the cross, being merciful to us, if, there is no longer a wrong or debt to be forgiven, since God would have received from Jesus full satisfaction and payment in respect of our sins, wrongs or debts against God?
 Matthew 18:21-34
 Ten thousand talents (about 300 metric tons of silver) represents an extremely large sum of money, equivalent to about 60,000,000 denarii, where one denarius was typical of one day’s wages for agricultural labor. (Word English Bible Footnote c.) 10,000 talents is the price paid in silver by Haman to King Ahasuerus as a bribe to annihilate the Jews; Cf. Esther 3:9; a talent was worth a lifetime of wages for an average labourer. (International Standard Version Footnote v.)
 Greek σπλαγχνισθεὶς – from root σπλαγχνίζομαι Strong’s 4697 - Literally to be moved as to one's bowels, hence to be moved with compassion, have compassion (for the bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity) – dynamic, moving great compassion
 100 denarii was about one sixtieth of a talent, or about 500 grams (1.1 pounds) of silver. (World English Bible Footnote d.) The denarius was the usual day’s wage for a laborer. International Standard Version Footnote x.
 Matthew 18:21-34 World English Bible
 then word “heaven - οὐρανός” is actually in the plural “heavens - οὐρανῶν”
 Greek σπλαγχνισθεὶς -
 Matthew 5:7 KJV