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It is Written
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Jesus prefaced His answers to the Devil’s temptations with the words “It is written” (Matt.4:3-10). When necessary, He referred to the Old Testament, whose prophets all pointed to Him. Jesus replied to His first temptation by the Devil, “It is written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” for the Devil had challenged Him to turn the stone into bread if He be the Son of God. Yet, ironically, when the Jews asked Jesus for a sign that they should believe in Him, He said in John 6:31-45 “as it is written, He (God) gave them bread from heaven to eat........I am the bread of life .....I came from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.” “It is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” Jesus did not think it necessary to prove who He was to the Devil, who knew perfectly well who He was, but he was appealing to His human nature, the weakness of man. Humans tend to be full of pride, trying to glorify themselves to prove how good and excellent they are. Jesus would have none of that, that is why He is our Saviour, that is why He was able to give us the gospel, the good news, by which we can live.
At the beginning of His ministry, He went to the synagogue as His custom was on the Sabbath Day and stood up to read. Presented with the book of Isaiah the prophet He read “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4: 17-19). When He had closed the book and sat down He said unto them: “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him and they marvelled at the gracious words which He spoke. Jesus indeed preached deliverance to the captives. Those who were bound by Satan’s power with demons that made their lives one of torture, He released from their enslavement and told them to go and sin no more. These individuals were so overjoyed and grateful for their release from their prison of hell that some of them wanted to stay with Him or they went away rejoicing, telling the world what Jesus had done for them. He gave sight to the blind, He healed the sick and infirm and He preached to them in parables to make their understanding less difficult and more meaningful.
When Jesus said “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your ears.”, He knew that the unbelieving Jews would take issue with His pronouncement. His Divine Intelligence penetrated their hearts and minds as He realised they were questioning His pedigree. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” Jesus countered that “No prophet is accepted in his own country.” He incurred their wrath when He made reference to what was written in the Old Testament.. Luke 4:25-27 He told them “many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout the land, But unto none of them was Elijah sent, save unto a widow in the city of Sidon and many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.” They knew He was referring to them, their insincerity and their hypocrisy. They then tried to cast him over a cliff but He escaped.
Jesus fell foul of the Chief Priests and Scribes for His healing on the Sabbath. He, in turn, challenged their thinking by asking whether it was better to do good or not on the Sabbath and that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. The man born blind went through a rigorous cross-examination from the Pharisees, even to the point of their demanding from his parents the truth of his blindness at birth (John 9:13-34).
The Pharisees placed heavy burdens on the people and Jesus, by pointing this out to them and to the people, was vilified and reviled. They were envious of His power, not only over the people who followed Him in droves, but the power He was given divinely from God above to perform miracles. In John 5:39 Jesus told the Jews, “Search the scriptures for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” And in verses 41-47 He tells them “I receive not honour from men..........I am come in my Father’s name and ye receive me not; if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.....For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” Yes, Moses had told the Israelites that God would send someone like him to be their leader. In Deuteronomy 18:18-19 “The Lord said unto me......I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will requite it of him.” God did requite it of Him.
History tells us that in 70 A.D. the Temple in Jerusalem was torched and its relics displayed bringing dismay to the Jews. In the ensuing melee the inhabitants, having long forgotten their cries of “Crucify him! Crucify him!” were slaughtered. Before His crucifixion Jesus had told the disciples that not a stone of their beautiful and revered temple would be left standing. He warned His followers that when they see the abomination of desolation prophesied by Daniel, the prophet in Dan 9:24-27, standing in the holy place, they were to escape to the mountains, leaving everything behind (Matt.24:15-21), and in Luke 21:20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.” And in verse 22 “For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.”
We too can quote, ‘It is written’ because we have read in 2 Timothy 3:16 that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
The following excerpt on “abomination of desolation” is taken from
This desolation of Jerusalem was prophesied by Daniel to come as a result of the people rejecting Messiah the prince. A careful study of Daniel 9:25-27 will show this to be the case. In verse 25 Messiah is promised to Israel and the city's restoration is also predicted. But then, ominously, all is prophesied for doom again. Verse 26 speaks of Messiah being killed by His own people and of how this act would cause their city and sanctuary to be desolated once again.
On both these occasions Jesus placed the guilt upon the people by stating, "they knew not the time of their visitation" and "ye would not." As a result of not responding to God's call to turn from their abominations, their temple was to be desolated. This prophecy was fulfilled in 70 A.D. when the Roman armies of Titus burned the temple to the ground. This second desolation of the temple perfectly paralleled its first destruction. On both occasions the abominations were done by the apostate people of God and the desolation was an act of judgment performed by a heathen army.
As Daniel heard Gabriel relay this prophecy, it was to his mind a replay of what he had seen happen to the Jerusalem of his day. The prophecy indicated that history would repeat itself, and this is exactly what happened. The abominations that God's people committed resulted, in both 586 B.C. and 70 A.D., in the destruction of their sanctuary and city -- first by Nebuchadnezzar, then by Titus.
Because Israel rejected the Messiah they lost their place as God's favored people. Jesus predicted this would take place by saying, "The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof" (Matthew 21:43). Israel forfeited their franchise of the gospel by their own obstinate sin.
Phyllis M. Inniss
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