New testament! After a number of years reading the Bible, I’ve finished the old testament. All the law, history, philosophy and prophesy come together in the four accounts of Jesus’ life that kick off the new testament.
I’ve already dipped into Luke and John along the way, but I’m going to start back sequentially: Matthew.
By reputation it’s the one with the strongest links to the old scriptures.
And what stronger link than kicking off with a geneaology! Many unknown names, but also many memories of the sweep of the Torah and the histories. It follows the father’s line and shows how David was related back to the patriarchs, and Jesus back to David.
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah. David, Solomon and all the kings of Judah good and bad.
Notable women are singled out, and what a crew: Tamar, a survivor in a cruel dynasty, Rahab, who sheltered the spies in Jericho and believed the coming judgement, Ruth from Moab, Bathsheba. These women often rose above the ignominy and nastiness of the patriarchys of the patriarchs. They ground the stories in gritty realities.
The symmetry of the numbers of generations and eras to lead to Jesus (3×14 generations), the messianic prophesy from Isaiah, the minutiae of the virgin birth in the narrative of Mary and Joseph. It all points to Jesus’ eternal cosmic significance.
God has planned this birth for generations, telegraphed it to a godless and uncomprehending humanity and engineered it. That’s all already present. Wow.
The reasons for Jesus are clear: to save us from our sins, to be God with us.