Drawing from Jesus’ ministry as portrayed in the Gospels and contemporary practices, what is the place of healing and deliverance in advancing the Kingdom of God through missions?

At the beginning of his public ministry, Jesus went to the synagogue in Nazareth and read from the prophet Isaiah:

      4 18      “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19      to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”

Luke 4:18-19, ESV

Jesus told those gathered in the synagogue that this prophecy was now fulfilled, and in so doing, he defined the course that his ministry would take. Jesus healed the sick and delivered those oppressed by demons as he travelled announcing the kingdom of God. This was also the ministry of the early church and is being rediscovered in contemporary times.

The heart of Jesus Christ’s mission

Francis MacNutt writes “miraculous healing – with its twin, the casting out of evil spirits – lay at the very heart of Jesus Christ’s mission.”[1] MacNutt traces the reason for Jesus’ mission back to the Fall.[2] The Genesis 1 account of creation tells us that God saw his creation was good (verses 4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25); in fact in verse 31 God saw “it was very good.” However, in Genesis 3, the serpent, who is identified as the devil or Satan, tempted the woman and the man, who was with her, to sin. MacNutt explains that “whether we view [Genesis 3] literally or allegorically, the basic point is that, through pride, the human race sinned and fell from fellowship with its Creator.”[3]

MacNutt describes four consequences of the Fall. Firstly, that mankind became separated from God after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden.[4] Secondly, the world became “under the dominion of Satan.”[5] 1 John 5:19 “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”[6]

Thirdly, human beings became “inclined to sin.”[7] Paul struggles with this in Romans 7:15, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”[8] Bob Ekblad calls this “the microforces that assault people in forms such as anger, jealousy, lust, and greed, labelled by the early church fathers as ‘passions’ or ‘demons.’”[9] MacNutt says sin has brought sickness in our bodies, and ultimately death.[10]

Finally there are the macro effects of sin, described by Ekblad as “the larger macro powers such as legalism, nationalism, discrimination, and the like, labelled by social prophetic writers according to the biblical vocabulary surrounding ‘principalities and powers.’”[11]

But God was not satisfied to leave his creation in this state. The good news is that God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, into the world, to restore the relationship between God and man, to redeem us by paying the price for our sin, defeating the work of the devil, and to restore our inheritance in the kingdom of God.

Jesus healed every disease and affliction

All the Gospels include accounts of Jesus’ healing ministry. The writer of the Gospel of Matthew describes the ministry of Jesus as follows:

And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them.

Matthew 4:23–24, ESV

Matthew goes on to record that Jesus healed lepers, raised the dead to life, gave sight to the blind, opened the ears of the death and opened the mouths of the mute. He restored withered hands and enabled the lame to walk. Some of the diseases and afflictions may not be known in the same terms today. Leprosy, for example, could cover a variety of skin diseases and not necessarily the chronic disease also known as Hansen’s disease. Before the invention of spectacles, poor eyesight would have meant effective blindness. However, many of the sicknesses and conditions that Jesus healed were debilitating to the sufferer and to be healed of them would be transformational.

Matthew states that Jesus healed “all who were sick,”[12] (emphasis added). At Gennesaret the sick touched the fringe of Jesus’ garment, “And as many as touched it were made well.”[13] Jesus also healed a Centurion’s servant from a distance. In every recorded account Jesus healed those who came to him for help. MacNutt notes that choosing to heal on the Sabbath, at risk of punishment from the religious leaders showed how determined Jesus was to heal and that “healing and deliverance were not merely ‘signs and wonders’; [but] together with preaching, they were the central focus of His Kingdom message.”[14]

Jesus demonstrated who he was and why he had come by what he did. When John the Baptist in prison heard about what was happening and sent messengers to ask if Jesus was the Messiah, Jesus replied:

“Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

Matthew 11:4-6, ESV

The message Jesus sent to John the Baptist was the same fulfilment of the Isaiah prophecy recorded in Luke 4.

Jesus cast out demons

The Synoptic Gospels accounts of Jesus healing the sick also record that he delivered those oppressed by demons. The kingdom of God is in direct opposition to Satan’s dominion. MacNutt quotes 1 John 3:8 to illustrate this: “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”[15] [16] When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, in what is known as the Lord’s Prayer, he prayed “deliver us from evil,”[17] or in some translations, “deliver us from the evil one.” MacNutt argues that, “delivering people from evil spirits is, along with forgiving sins and healing the sick, an essential part of the Gospel.”[18]

Before Jesus began his public ministry he was baptised by John in the Jordan. Then the Holy Spirit led him to the wilderness where, after fasting forty days, he was tempted by the devil. The devil tried three ways to tempt Jesus; with food, by using Scripture, and by offering power and glory. Jesus resisted the devil each time and commanded him to leave. MacNutt cites the third temptation as further evidence that the world is “under the dominion of Satan.”[19] That the devil left Jesus when he ordered him, also demonstrates that the devil must leave at Jesus’ command.

Ekblad comments that “Jesus re-enters the land as the true Son of God and returning king to undo the devil’s works manifested in the anti-life passions and powers occupying the land.”[20] Jesus is now able to commence his public ministry. Ekblad continues, “Jesus’ successful resistance to the devil’s temptations in the wilderness is followed by aggressive confrontations with invisible spiritual enemies like demons, sickness, and legalism as he announces the kingdom of God and demonstrates constant love to human beings, including his opponents.”[21]

Ekblad draws the parallel between Jesus starting his public ministry and the Israelites conquest of Canaan under the leadership of Joshua. The name Jesus in Hebrew is Jeshua, which is a form of Joshua.[22] Ekblad notes that “the Greek term most used for Jesus’ deliverance ministry [is] ekballo (ἐκβάλλω), ‘to cast out.’”[23] In the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, ekballo is the word used to describe how the nations are cast out of Canaan. Ekblad writes that, “Forces like sickness, demons, sin, principalities, and powers are severely confronted by Jesus and the apostles much as enemies were violently attacked in the Old Testament.”[24]

Healing and deliverance in the early church

Healing and deliverance drew people to follow Jesus. Along with proclaiming the kingdom of God, they were at the heart of Jesus’ mission. Jesus also instructed his disciples to do the same when he sent them out.

These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.”

Matthew 10:5-8, ESV

The writer of the Gospel of Luke records that Jesus “gave [the twelve] power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases.”[25] Similarly, Jesus sent out the seventy-two and commissioned them to “Heal the sick.”[26] The seventy-two returned filled with joy and reported to Jesus that “even the demons are subject to us in your name!”[27] Jesus told them:

And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.

Luke 10:18-19, ESV

The early church continued to practice healing and deliverance in Jesus’ name. The Acts of the Apostles records how, following the receiving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, first the apostles and then later other believers healed the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits. Peter healed a lame beggar in Acts 3:1-10. Philip preached in Samaria and “unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.”[28] Paul also ministered in this way as he preached the Gospel message on his missionary journeys.

MacNutt explains that the reason why the early church continued to practice healing and deliverance was that “it was a natural part of the incoming kingdom of God. Jesus taught his disciples to move in power to help spread the Good News.”[29] MacNutt notes that Christians continued to pray for the sick and cast out demons for the next three hundred years.[30]

After Constantine’s conversion the church moved from being under persecution to general acceptance. The miraculous also declined over the centuries and became the preserve of only a few. In the Middle Ages healings would take place at shrines containing relics of the saints. MacNutt writes that following the Reformation most Protestant churches rejected such devotion as idolatry.[31] He explains that “Calvin also taught ‘Cessationism,’ the belief that supernatural healing ended with the death of the last apostle.”[32]

Healing and deliverance in the church today

With the advance of medical science any talk of healing and deliverance from evil spirits sounds like superstition. MacNutt writes that this is the view held by many educated Christian scholars.[33] He says, “The established wisdom of mainline theologians and Scripture commentators is that demon possession and exorcism come out of a primitive, superstitious worldview that we have fortunately escaped, but which Jesus, a man of his day, accepted.”[34]

Yet the experiences of those working with the poor and the needy suggest that there are other powers at work. Ekblad writes, “While this cosmology may seem archaic to some, my work with people struggling with addictions and mainstream people in emotional and spiritual turmoil is convincing me that our battle is not merely against flesh and blood.”[35] Inmates explain how spells are placed over batches of drugs which make the addicts take on a particular characteristic.[36]

In Bible studies, prisoners can identify “a ‘thief’ who robs, kills, and destroys or a power like this ‘ruler of this world’ who comes to you to mess with you.”[37] Ekblad continues, “I am convinced that a robust and clear-eyed view of evil helps us better differentiate God’s good works and people’s deepest desires from the works of the Enemy, so we can invite people to choose resistance and freedom over collusion and bondage.”[38]

From the birth of Pentecostal churches at the start of the twentieth-century, to the charismatic renewal of the last four decades, Spirit-filled churches have begun to rediscover the value of healing and deliverance in their mission. The purpose remains the same – to advance the kingdom of God. This is not to replace the medical profession, but working with it to help restore wholeness to people with physical, emotional and mental illnesses and conditions.

An approach provided by Chester and Betsy Kylstra prays into four problem areas. Firstly, generational sins and curses which pass down a family line, such as alcoholism, drugs or sexual abuse. This is taken from Exodus 20:3-6, “where the sin of idolatry results in the curse of “the iniquities of the fathers being visited upon the children unto the third and the fourth generations.””[39] Secondly ungodly beliefs, which are the “untruths and half-truths” we pick up from our upbringing, circumstances and life experience that shape our worldview.[40]

The third area for prayer is soul or spirit hurts, which are “the pain of past hurts [that] rule many lives.”[41] These are the bitterness of unforgiveness from past hurts that can fester and the ties that are made from unhealthy relationships. Finally, there is demonic oppression. Peter warns believers to, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”[42]

F.F. Bosworth poses the question, “Is it still the will of God, as in the past, to heal all who have need of healing?”[43] As we have seen, Jesus healed all who came to him, and the early church in the power of the Holy Spirit continued to work healing and deliverance. Bosworth points to the nature of God’s compassion to demonstrate his willingness to heal.[44]

      The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The Lord is good to all,
and his mercy is over all that he has made.

Psalm 145:8-9, ESV

However, it is a mystery why not everyone receives a healing when prayed for today; although the reasons would require a longer discussion. MacNutt concludes that, “Without the twin ministries of healing and deliverance, our preaching that God’s kingdom is here and that Satan’s dominium is being destroyed is hollow.”[45]

Conclusion

Healing and deliverance were central to the mission of Jesus. He taught his followers to practice these ministries and the early church continued to do so as they preached the Gospel message. Healing and deliverance are about undoing the effects of the Fall and reclaiming the world from the dominion of Satan. As people are restored and set free, the works of the devil are rolled back and the kingdom of God is advanced. Following centuries of neglect, the church is beginning again to move in the power of the Holy Spirit. Healing and deliverance are not an end in themselves. Rather they point to the God whose kingdom advances as he heals people and sets captives free.

 

 

Bibliography

Bosworth, F.F., Christ the Healer, (Grand Rapids, MI: Chosen, 2008).

Ekblad, Bob, A New Christian Manifesto: Pledging Allegiance to the Kingdom of God, (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2008).

Goll, James W., Deliverance from Darkness, (Grand Rapids, MI: Chosen, 2010).

Hammond, Frank D., Demons and Deliverance in the Ministry of Jesus, (Kirkwood, MO: Impact Christian Books, 1991).

Kylstra, Chester and Betsy, An Integrated Approach to Biblical Healing Ministry, (Lancaster: Sovereign Word, 2003).

Lozano, Neil, Unbound: A Practical Guide to Deliverance, (Grand Rapids, MI: Chosen, 2003).

MacNutt, Francis, Deliverance from Evil Spirits, (Grand Rapids, MI: Chosen, 2009).

MacNutt, Francis, The Healing Reawakening: Reclaiming our lost inheritance,(Grand Rapids, MI: Chosen, 2005).



[1] Francis MacNutt, The Healing Reawakening: Reclaiming our lost inheritance, (Grand Rapids, MI: Chosen, 2005), p. 16.

[2] Ibid., p. 27.

[3] Ibid., p. 28.

[4] Ibid., p. 29.

[5] Ibid., p. 29.

[6] 1 John 5:19, ESV.

[7] MacNutt, Healing, p. 30.

[8] Romans 7:15, ESV.

[9] Bob Ekblad, A New Christian Manifesto: Pledging Allegiance to the Kingdom of God, (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2008), p. 68.

[10] MacNutt, Healing, p. 30.

[11] Ekblad, p. 68.

[12] Matthew 8:16, ESV.

[13] Matthew 14:36, ESV.

[14] MacNutt, Healing, p. 51.

[15] 1 John 3:8, ESV.

[16] Francis MacNutt, Deliverance from Evil Spirits, (Grand Rapids, MI: Chosen, 2009), p. 38.

[17] Matthew 6:13, ESV.

[18] MacNutt, Deliverance, p. 39.

[19] MacNutt, Healing, p. 39.

[20] Ekblad, p. 69.

[21] Ibid., p. 69.

[22] MacNutt, Healing, p. 41.

[23] Ekblad, p. 80.

[24] Ibid., p. 81.

[25] Luke 9:1, ESV.

[26] Luke 10:9, ESV.

[27] Luke 10:17, ESV.

[28] Acts 8:7, ESV.

[29] MacNutt, Healing, p. 84.

[30] Ibid., p. 84.

[31] Ibid., p. 130.

[32] Ibid., p. 131.

[33] MacNutt, Deliverance, p. 47.

[34] MacNutt, Deliverance, p. 47.

[35] Ekblad, p. 71.

[36] Ibid., p. 73.

[37] Ibid., p. 76.

[38] Ibid., p. 76.

[39] Chester and Betsy Kylstra, An Integrated Approach to Biblical Healing Ministry, (Lancaster: Sovereign Word, 2003), pp. 15-16.

[40] Ibid., p. 16.

[41] Ibid., p. 150.

[42] 1 Peter 5:8, ESV.

[43] F.F. Bosworth, Christ the Healer, (Grand Rapids, MI: Chosen, 2008), p. 49.

[44] Ibid., p. 73.

[45] MacNutt, Healing, p. 213.

What sort of saviour or messiah was Israel expecting according to diverse Old Testament traditions?

Every king of Israel and Judah was known as “anointed one”, which in Hebrew is “messiah”, because the prophet or high priest anointed him, usually with olive oil, at the time of his enthronement. The anointing symbolised being set apart and made holy so that the king would represent his people before Yahweh, their God.[1] The line of kings came to an end with the exile of Judah to Babylon. Over time the name “anointed one” gradually took on a new meaning, that of a future agent of God who would save Israel. However, the Old Testament writers had different ideas as to what sort of saviour this messiah would be.

Messiah

Joseph Fitzmyer quotes the dictionary definition of “Messiah” as “the expected king and deliverer of the Jews.” He goes on to describe how the English word “Messiah” is derived from the Greek μεσσίας which is a form of the Aramaic ﬡמשיח (mӗšîḥā’), and is related to the Hebrew משיחﬣ (ham-māšîă), “the Messiah”.[2] Although, Donald Juel notes that “the absolute “the Messiah” never appears in the Old Testament.  The noun is always followed by a modifier (“his messiah,” “my messiah,” “the Lord’s messiah,” etc.).”[3] The idea of a Messiah משיח who would save Israel and herald in a “messianic age” develops over time. There are clues as to who this Messiah would be and the scope of his mission scattered through the Old Testament.

The kings of Israel and Judah

After Israel escaped slavery in Egypt and started to become a nation in Canaan, it did not have a king. Instead the people were governed by a series of men and women called Judges, raised up by God, who delivered them from the surrounding nations. Fitzmyer calls Israel a “theocratic people”;[4] God was their king rather than a man. Eventually the people demanded a king, as recorded in 1 Samuel 8, to rule over them in the same way as the other nations around them. Saul became the first king of Israel and he was anointed by the prophet Samuel.[5] Fitzmyer explains that “the custom of anointing a king was apparently inherited, from a Hittite or Canaanite practice and was used for kings in Israel for many centuries.”[6]

When Saul turned away from God, the Lord rejected him and in his place raised up a new king, David, who was anointed by Samuel.[7] After Saul’s death, the men of Judah anointed David as their king,[8] and eventually he was anointed as king over all Israel by the elders of Israel.[9] Thus started a dynasty of kings from the line of David who were to rule Israel, and later, after the northern tribes rebelled under Jeroboam, Judah until the final king, Zedekiah, was carried off to exile in Babylon.

However, it was not only kings who were anointed. Maurice Casey explains that priests and prophets could be anointed as well. He provides examples: “at 1 Kings 19:16 Elijah is instructed by God to anoint Elisha as a prophet instead of himself; at Leviticus 4:3 the high priest is called “the anointed priest”; and at Isaiah 45:1 the Persian king Cyrus is referred to as “his anointed”, that is God’s anointed.”[10] Fitzmyer adds that eventually, after the deportation to Babylon, “משיח was applied to the High Priest of the time.”[11]

Fitzmyer lists seventeen Old Testament passages where משיח is applied to the reigning king of Israel without “even hinting at a “Messiah” or a “messianic expectation.”” He gives a further fourteen examples from postexilic passages and the Psalms where משיח is used in the same manner. Fitzmyer is making the point that in each of these examples משיח should be translated as “Anointed One” rather than “Messiah” as they refer to historical figures acting as God’s agents who served His people.[12]

Messianic prophecies

There are other passages in the Old Testament that have been described as messianic prophecies. Fitzmyer splits these into two categories; those from before the monarchy which do not strictly describe a “Messiah” and those which talk of a continuation of the Davidic dynasty and begin to reveal the future hope of a Messiah. He argues that it is later Jewish and Christian tradition that has interpreted the former passages as referring to a coming Messiah. Examples include reference to Judah rising above the other tribes from Genesis 49:10 and Numbers 24:17 and God’s promise to Moses to raise up a prophet like him from Deuteronomy 18:15-18.[13]

The line of David

Fitzmyer’s second category of Old Testament passages build on the idea of a dynasty beginning with David. In 2 Samuel 7, the prophet Nathan delivers a message to David from the Lord that He “will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and [the Lord] will establish his kingdom … and [the Lord] will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”[14] Fitzmyer continues to list other passages which refer to the continuation of the Davidic monarchy, including Isaiah 7:1-9; 8:23-9:6; 11:1-10,[15] and Psalms 21, 45, 72, 101, 110 and144:1-11.[16]

Fitzmyer makes reference to the Servant Songs in Isaiah, especially from Isaiah 52:13-53:12. Here he argues that it is unclear from the text whether the servant represents the people of Israel, or an individual, or both. He also notes that משיח is not in the passage, and so should not be used to refer to a messianic figure.[17] Christopher Wright disagrees, adding that “the figure of a suffering servant was understood messianically” by the first century BC; the servant who would not only suffer, but be rejected and brutally killed.[18]

The idea of a restored monarchy from the line of David, and a reunified kingdom, emerges in Hosea 3:4-5, which was written about the time of the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel to Assyria. Hosea says “the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God, and David their king.” The suggestion of a future David is continued by Jeremiah writing to those in exile in Babylon in Jeremiah 30:8-9 and by Ezekiel, writing at the same time, in Ezekiel 34:23-24.[19] Both passages refer to a David of the future as being the king or prince.

Writing after the exile, Micah 5:2 describes the place of birth of the future king and Malachi 4:5-6 refers to the “great and awesome day of the Lord” before which the prophet Elijah would return. Fitzmyer explains that Elijah’s return was seen as “a precursor of the Messiah, because the coming of the Messiah depends on whether Israel repents and reforms; so Elijah was thought to come first to bring about repentance and reformation.”[20] It is evident that there was the expectation that the line of David as kings of Israel, or “anointed ones”, would be restored, but this does not yet necessarily refer to a Messiah figure.

The coming Messiah

N.T. Wright states that after the exile most Jews were hoping for a turn in Israel’s fortunes; that God would restore her fortunes. He writes “the symbols of covenantal life will be restored, because the covenant will be renewed: the Temple will be rebuilt, the Land cleansed, the Torah kept perfectly by a new covenant people with renewed hearts.”[21] Hope was placed in this “age to come”, sometimes described as “the messianic age.” N.T. Wright describes “the ‘salvation’ spoken of in the Jewish sources of this period has to do with rescue from the national enemies, restoration of the national symbols, and a state of shalom in which every man will sit under his vine or fig tree.”[22]

N.T. Wright and Fitzmyer both identify the book of Daniel as where the idea of a Messiah figure, who will restore the fortunes of Israel, begins to take shape.[23] [24] In chapter 7, Daniel sees a vision of four beasts which refers to four kingdoms (Babylon, Media, Persia and Greece) that would be replaced by the kingdom of God. In verses 9-14 there is the description of what Fitzmyer calls a “heavenly court of judgement”[25] where God is called “the Ancient of Days”[26] and there is identified “one like a son of man.”[27] Fitzmyer describes the four interpretations of who this character is. One interpretation is that the “son of man” is a human individual identified as the Messiah, although C. J. H. Wright says “most scholars are agreed that the “Son of Man” was not a messianic title or figure in the inter-testamental Jewish writings.”[28]

Later on in Daniel 9:24-27 there is a prophecy about seventy weeks, which refers to a period of 490 years, after which Judah would be restored. Verse 25 mentions “the coming of an anointed one”[29] which Fitzmyer notes is “the first occurrence in the Old Testament itself of משיח used for an awaited Anointed One.”[30] C. J. H. Wright adds that this “‘anointed one’ will come and will bring a climax to God’s purpose.”[31] N.T. Wright says that this passage “was a favourite of revolutionary minded Jews in the first century, since they reinterpreted it so that it spoke of a kingdom to be set up against the present Roman oppression.”[32]

A priest like Melchizedek

Margaret Barker has a different interpretation of the prophecy in Daniel 9, although she draws a similar conclusion. Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He blessed Abram in Genesis 14:18-20 and is referenced in Psalm 110: “You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.”[33] As previously mentioned this is one of the Psalms prophesying to the Davidic dynasty. Barker argues that there were those in the second temple period who “complained that they were still in exile, and that for them there had been no glorious return in the time of Joshua and Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah.” They were “cherishing the memory of an older faith, that of the anointed kings in Jerusalem and their lost temple.”[34]

Cross-referencing non-biblical Jewish texts found at Qumran to Daniel 9:24-27, Barker states that the 490 years is equal to ten Jubilee[35] periods. She continues “This is linked to Isaiah 61:1, another Jubilee text: “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me…  to proclaim liberty to the captives.”[36] Barker argues that a “divine high priest Melchizedek was expected to appear and proclaim the great Jubilee, to forgive sins, to rescue his own from the power of the evil spirits, to make the great atonement sacrifice and sit in judgment on the evil angels.”[37] In other words, the expected Messiah was an anointed High Priest.

Conclusion

From a Christian perspective, it is possible to retrospectively look back over the Old Testament and interpret a wider selection of passages that would be fulfilled by identifying Jesus Christ as the Messiah. However, when trying to understand the mindset of pre-Christian Jewish expectation, there is a progression of thought evidenced in Old Testament writings of first a continuation of the Davidic dynasty, of anointed kings, who would rule over Israel. This then develops at a time of national crisis, during the exile to Babylon, into an expected Messiah figure who would lead Israel into period of restoration, with the Temple rebuilt, the land cleansed and a messianic age of shalom, worshiping the true God.

Bibliography

M. Barker, Temple Theology: An Introduction, London: SPCK, 2004.

M. Casey, From Jewish Prophet to Gentile God: The Origins and Development of New Testament Christology, Cambridge: James Clarke & Co, 1991.

J. A. Fitzmyer, The One Who is to Come, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007.

D. Juel, Messianic Exegesis: Christological Interpretation of the Old Testament in Early Christianity, Philadelphia: Fortress, 1988.

C. C. Ryrie, The Ryrie Study Bible, Chicago: Moody Press, 1985.

F. C. Thompson, The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible, London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1988.

C. J. H. Wright, Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament, Oxford: Monarch Books, 2005.

N. T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God: Volume 1, London: SPCK, 1992.

 

 


[1] J. A. Fitzmyer, The One Who is to Come, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007), p.8

[2] Ibid., p.1

[3] D. Juel, Messianic Exegesis: Christological Interpretation of the Old Testament in Early Christianity, (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1988), p.11

[4] Fitzmyer, p.10

[5] 1 Samuel 10:1

[6] Fitzmyer, p.8

[7] 1 Samuel 16:13

[8] 2 Samuel 2:4

[9] 2 Samuel 5:3

[10] M. Casey, From Jewish Prophet to Gentile God: The Origins and Development of New Testament Christology, (Cambridge: James Clarke & Co, 1991), p.42

[11] Fitzmyer, p.11

[12] Ibid., pp.13-25

[13] Ibid., pp.26-32

[14] 2 Samuel 7:12-13, ESV

[15] Fitzmyer, p.35

[16] Ibid., p.43

[17] Ibid., p.40

[18] C. J. H. Wright, Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament, (Oxford: Monarch Books, 2005), p.154

[19] Fitzmyer, pp.47-49

[20] Ibid., pp.53-54

[21] N. T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God: Volume 1, (London: SPCK, 1992), p.280

[22] Ibid., p.300

[23] Ibid., p.304

[24] Fitzmyer, p. 57

[25] Ibid., p.57

[26] Daniel 7:9, ESV

[27] Daniel 7:13, ESV

[28] C. J. H. Wright, p.149

[29] Daniel 9:25, ESV

[30] Fitzmyer, p.62

[31] C. J. H. Wright, p.143

[32] N.T. Wright, p.304

[33] Psalm 110:4, ESV

[34] M. Barker, Temple Theology: An Introduction, (London: SPCK, 2004), p.3

[35] A Jubilee is a Sabbath rest for the land defined in Leviticus 25, being a period of seven times seven, i.e. 49, years.

[36] Barker, p.71

[37] Ibid., p.72

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