S2E2: Miracles and Festivals
Beginnings /:2:/ Miracles and Festivals.
We contend that the Bible is an integrated narrative of 66 different books that progressively point toward Jesus the Messiah. Jesus' ministry was filled with miraculous signs and interpretive explanations of the ancient festivals of Israel. Jesus made the Jewish rituals meaningful for the contemporary people of His time, and equally understandable for us today! Remember, all the preview material below is optional. Just show up!
Scripture Covered: John 2-10
Themes: The feasts, festivals and ancient rituals of Israel; the miracles of Jesus and how they fit into the context of the biblical story.
Jesus revealed Himself as the Messiah in many different ways, including the fulfillment of prophecies, the performance of miracles, authoritative teaching on the scriptures, and His interpretation of ancient rituals so that the common person could understand and experience God's love and purpose for their lives. As we read the Bible we will discover that the entire narrative, both Old Testament and New Testament, are an integrated story about God and Humanity in which Jesus, the Messiah, is the primary character.
To illustrate how Jesus is the central character across the entire biblical narrative, our ministry partners at The Bible Project have created this short video summarizing the relationship between the Old and New Testaments and how together they tell the story of humanity's relationship with God:
Join us this week as we look at the miracles of Jesus and how He is directly connected to the feasts, festivals and rituals of ancient Israel.
Consider the saying: "The New Testament is in the Old Testament, concealed; the Old Testatement is in the New Testament, revealed!"
This week's gathering draws from John chapters 2-10. Because of the richness of these chapters, we couldn't cover everything in depth. So we started with a few opening concepts, such as: (1) "The New Testament is in the Old Testament Concealed"; (2) the difference between prophecy from a western perspective (prediction and fulfillment) and from the Jewish perspective (prophecy is pattern); (3) an outline of chapters 2-10 highlighting the 7 miracles in John and the 7 'I Am' statements; and (4) an example of the depth with which you can go into a Bible study using the first 8 words of John chapter 2 ("On the third day there was a wedding..." see notes for more detail).
With these concepts as our backdrop, the main topic of our gathering was "the precision of God." Engineers strive for precision, but only God is precise. Leviticus 23 describes the Feasts of Moses ("'The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be hold convocations, these are My feasts' says the Lord.") We reviewed the basics of each of the 7 feasts, along with the Jewish calendar, and how God fulfilled the first 4 feasts on the exact day they were prescribed (like an anniversary in advance). There are 3 feasts remaining unfulfilled in human history (Feast of Trumpets, Yom Kippur, and Feast of Tabernacles). As part of this, we discussed Genesis and how 2 of the dates for the 7 feasts (Feast of First Fruits and the Feast of Trumpets) were specifically identified as part of the Noah account. We concluded with the account of the Bronze Serpent from Numbers, which Jesus explained to Nicodemus during their discussion in John chapter 3 ("And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.") All of these are examples of God illustrating his plan for the redemption of man through example (or pattern). God is precise; God says what He means, and He means what He says!