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THIS is My Son!

The Spirit of God and the divine voice from heaven confirmed the calling and identity of Jesus - Son of God and Messiah of Israel – Mark 1:9-11 .  In the Gospel of Mark , Jesus first appears at his baptism in the Jordan. The passage identifies him with his hometown, Nazareth , a small village of no importance. But its very insignificance plays a part in the larger narrative - Jesus is the Messiah who does not fit popular messianic expectations - even as he fulfills Scripture - [ Photo by Eugene Kuznetsov on Unsplash ].

New Priesthood - New Law

The new priesthood after the order of Melchizedek installed in Jesus also means a “change in law” - Hebrews 7:12 .  Hebrews is structured around several comparisons that demonstrate the superiority of the “ word spoken in the son ” over the past revelations “ spoken in the prophets ,” including Moses and the angels. The previous “words” were true but partial, promissory, and preparatory. But now, “ upon the last of these days ,” He has “ spoken ” with great finality in one who is a “ Son .” - [ Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash ].

New Covenant Surpasses the Old

In his death and resurrection, Jesus inaugurated the promised New Covenant, thus rendering the old one obsolete  -  Hebrews 8:13 .  According to  Hebrews , the “ word of the Son ” surpasses all past revelations “ spoken in the prophets .” He went beyond his predecessors, having “ achieved the purification of sins ,” therefore, he was exalted to “ sit down ” at the right hand of God, where he inherited “ all things .” His victory signaled the inauguration of the promised “ new covenant .” - [ Photo by  Jessica Ruscello  on Unsplash ].

Disciples and the State

Paul instructed believers in the very heart of the Empire not to resist the government, for its existence had been “arranged” by God  –  Romans 13:1-8 .  Writing to the house churches of Rome, Paul presented clear principles for Christian conduct towards the State. He exhorted believers to “ subordinate themselves to governing powers: for there is no authority except by God ,” a statement written at the time Nero the absolute ruler of the Roman world, the man who because the first emperor to persecute Christians - [ Colosseum - Photo by Craig Zdanowicz on Unsplash ].

One New Man

By his death, Jesus has formed one covenant community, “one new Man,” based on faith in him by one and all   –   Ephesians 2:11-22 .  Paul was adamant. Now, “ in Christ Jesus ,” no longer can there be “ Jew or Gentile .” He has “ broken down   the middle wall of partition ” that once separated Jew from Gentile, “ that he   might reconcile them both in one body for God through the cross .” Having voided the “ law of the commands in ordinances ” that separated them, he is “ creating in himself  one new man .” - [ Photo by  Andrew Seaman  on Unsplash ].