Friday, May 15, 2015

A Light to the Gentiles

 19 “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance. 21 For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. 22 To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: 23 that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.” (Acts 26:18-23 (ESV)

Paul now makes the argument that not only was he not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but that in being obedient to this vision he has been faithful to his Jewish heritage, preaching nothing but that which the prophets and Moses said would come to pass. Here again, we see what prominence the Old Testament had for the early Christians, what prominence it should have for us today. This was Christ’s Bible. When Jesus spoke of scripture he was not speaking of the New Testament. The early Christians were saved quite apart from believing in anything found in Revelation or James, for that matter the Pauline corpus. Reading the New Testament is like reading Cliff Notes instead of the book in many ways. It’s like reading a commentary  and not bothering to look at the book the commentary is about. But the whole Old Testament, Moses and the Prophets find fulfillment in the resurrection of Christ who is the savior of Israel, the light unto the gentiles. 

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