Issues in the City of Corinth

The city of Corinth was a bustling town due to its location on the isthmus that connected the Peloponnesian peninsula with the rest of Greece. The isthmus was useful for military and commercial movement, and since the area was a crossroads for sea traffic from around the world, Corinth had ports for travelers to base. Corinth was a wealthy city due to its ability to tariff traffic and due to its ongoing world commerce throughout the city. Corinth was a religious and philosophical hub as people from around the world visited and introduced their culture and ideas (Hafemann 172).

The contextual setting of Corinth contributed to the Corinthians becoming intellectually and spiritually prideful. They were overly fixated on human wisdom and the wisdom of the world, and they became culturally arrogant and addicted to power, wealth, style and sophistication. This affected the church community in areas of sexual integrity, food practices and communal worship. Church members who followed the cultural norms thought that they were above other people within the church, and so they behaved and treated people differently. They thought they could engage sexually with anyone, eat whatever food they wanted and exercise their spirituality whenever they felt moved.

This type of attitude also led to a boastful competition and division within the church regarding leaders. Rival factions developed among the Corinthians based on their preference of and loyalty to certain Christian speakers. One would say, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ” (1 Cor 1:12). Paul addresses this by explaining that the church is not a popularity contest, but rather the church is a community of people centered on Jesus. He points out that their dividing based on their favorite teacher is a sign that the Spirit of God is not prevailing in their lives, and so while they think they are spiritual, they are acting like those who are unspiritual (Hafemann 164-165).

This behavior was so prevalent in the Corinthian church that Clement of Alexandria needed to address it again several decades later. Clement refers to Paul’s Corinthian letter and writes, “he [Paul] wrote to you concerning himself, and Cephas and Apollos because even then parties had been formed among you” (Chap. XLVII). Then, he describes their present similar behavior as “highly disgraceful, and unworthy of Christian profession” (Chap. XLVII). He finishes his admonition by writing, “…through your infatuation, the name of the Lord is blasphemed, while danger is also brought upon yourselves (Chap. XLVII).


Works Cited

Clement of Alexandria. “The First Epistle of Clement.” ANF v.1.

Hafemann, S.J. “Corinthians, Letters To The.” Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, edited by Gerald F. Hawthorne and Ralph P. Martin. Inter-Varsity Press, 1993, pp. 164-179.

Two Important Themes in Romans

Centrality of Christ

While the centrality of Christ may not be everywhere apparent throughout the book of Romans, it is a major theme because it underlies every other topic throughout the book. The Apostle Paul begins the letter with a strong Christological statement. Romans 1:2-4 states, “the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord” (NIV). Several passages throughout the book present God’s act in Christ as the center of God’s revelation (i.e. 3:21-26; 5:12-21). Furthermore, this theme is seen by the constant refrain “through Jesus Christ our Lord” (especially in Chapters 5-8). Romans is a complex and sometimes daunting theological letter and much has been written about it (from Augustine to Luther to Barth to many others), but I think this most basic underlying Christological theme of God’s act in Christ, must not be overlooked. Douglas Moo writes, “while Christology is nowhere in Romans the expressed topic, it is everywhere the underlying point of departure” (25).

Salvation

In view of my prior paragraph, I risk being accused as over-simplifying and neglecting the whole book of Romans by proposing the basic theme of salvation as a major theme and by quoting from chapter one again (I really did consider the rest of the book). Nevertheless, Romans 1:16-17 states, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith” (NIV). This appears to be a strong thesis statement for the Apostle Paul that sets the salvation theme for the rest of the letter. Throughout the letter Paul explains God’s salvation as the transformation, renewal and regeneration of the world which involves the incorporation of the Gentiles and the continued significance and relationship with Israel. For Paul, the gospel message was his main focus which primarily involved the theme of salvation. Other statements by Paul with a strong salvation presentation are Romans 10:9 “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (NIV), and Romans 13:11 “And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed” (NIV).


Works Cited

Moo, Douglas J. “The Epistle to the Romans” Stonehouse, Ned Bernard, et al. The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Eerdmans, 1974.

Romans 12-16

In Romans 12-16, Paul describes the practical outworking of the gospel that he presents in the prior sections. Throughout his letter, Paul explains that Christ gave himself as a sacrifice, and this gracious life giving gift should be the stimulus for sacrificial living by Christians. Paul explains to his readers that the sacrificial giving of themselves in service and commitment to God is the proper and logical response to Christ’s divine act of grace (12:1-2). This service and commitment to God can take various forms, and everyone has been given a gift, a role and a function to perform in the community of faith. Paul adds that the exercising of such gifts, roles and functions should be permeated by love, humility, empathy and hospitality, and Christians should live in harmony with one another (12:3-16). Such a focus should also extend to the wider world including enemies, the government and neighbors outside the Christian community (12:17-13:10).

Moreover, Paul points out the eschatological basis for such service and commitment to God. Christians should recognize that the final hopeful “day of salvation is already casting the rays of its light on our path, and our lives must reflect that light.”[1] Christians should walk in the light of the new day, living soberly and expectantly while putting behind them past deeds of darkness (13:11-14).

Next, Paul uses Christ-like service principles to address a divisive issue in the church at Rome: the observance of certain dietary codes and rituals. Paul exhorts his readers to follow the example of Christ who did not insist on his own rights. Thus, they were to live in sacrificial harmony and tolerance with one another despite their differences of opinion on the issue (14:1-15:13).

Paul concludes his letter to the Romans by giving more information about his situation and travel plans (15:14-29), by requesting prayer concerning his Jerusalem ministry (15:30-33), by commending a sister in Christ along with other greetings (16:1-16), by giving a final warning about false teachers and by giving personal notes and a benediction (16:17- 27).


[1] D. A. Carson, Douglas J. Moo, and Leon Morris. An Introduction to the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992), 240.  

Romans 9-11

In Romans 9-11, Paul explains the reversal and irony of those who do not pursue justification by works of the Law but rather have faith in Christ alone; they are the ones who experience the Deuteronomic blessings. Those who focus their efforts on being saved through following the Torah are the ones who experience the Deuteronomic curses (Pate et al. 218). Thus, since the Israelites are the ones that follow the Torah, they do not have faith in Christ, and so Paul discusses Israel’s rejection of Jesus by paralleling their lack of faith in Jesus with their lack of faith in the Law. Romans 9:31-33 states,

…but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. As it is written: ‘See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.’

Romans 10:3-4 states, “Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” Pate et al. explain these verses by pointing out that Israel misunderstood the Law. God’s intent of the Law was that it was to be pursued by faith and not by an individual’s own works righteousness based system. As the verses portray, Israel was guilty of lacking such faith, and this lack of faith was perpetuated in Israel’s rejection of Jesus (219).

Furthermore, the Israelites rejected Jesus because they failed to recognize “the dynamic activity of God whereby he brings people into relationship with himself” (Moo 633). This is the righteousness of God that is presented in Romans, and so as the Israelites were ignorant of the righteousness of God, they failed to submit to his righteousness because they were individually seeking a righteousness that was based on their keeping the law (Moo 636).


Works Cited

Moo, Douglas J. “The Epistle to the Romans” Stonehouse, Ned Bernard, et al. The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Eerdmans, 1974.

Pate, C. Marvin et al. The Story of Israel: a Biblical Theology. Inter-Varsity Press, 2004.

 

Romans 6-8

Following Romans 1-5, the Apostle Paul continues by explaining that the new humanity created by and united with Christ will still battle with sin, the law, the flesh and death. This is the tension in the already/not-yet in full formula. While reconciliation and transformation into the new humanity has already happen, this decisive act by God is not yet complete. Humans will still experience the weaknesses of the sinful flesh and the exertion of sin in their lives. Thus, in Romans 6-8, Paul explains the already reality in Christ and then how people should live in the not-yet conditions.

There is an ongoing battle with sin in this transitory life, but Christians can battle with confidence knowing that Christ has delivered them from the tyranny and oppression of sin. Christ’s death and resurrection broke sin’s powerful hold on humanity rendering it powerless in dictating terms to those who have identified themselves, through baptism, with Christ in his death and resurrection. Therefore, Christians must not tolerate or cooperate with sin, and their living should be directed toward and determined by Christ who is their new righteous and better master (6:1-23).

In 7:1-23, Paul addresses the Law and explains that Christians are dead to and released from the legal code and transferred to the new life of the Spirit.  According to Paul, the problem with the Law is that it has become the instrument of the sin that it was intended to thwart. The Law made the situation worse instead of better for the people. The Law has become a curse on those who attempt to keep it. The Deuteronomic promise of life based on the Law actually provoked the opposite effect of death. However, Paul is quick to explain that the Law should not be blamed, but rather the Law and the flesh have been manipulated by sin. Sin has distorted the Law and humanity.

Paul explains in Romans 8 that the curse of the Law has been reversed to blessing for those whose faith is in Christ. God has accomplished in Christ what the Law could not because of sin and death and the weakness of the flesh. Moreover, those who are in Christ receive the Spirit of Christ and are assured of final victory over death and over the flesh. They become God’s children and must live out this reality while being assured that nothing can separate them “from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (8:39).

Roman 1-5

Paul begins Romans by declaring the gospel of the righteousness of God. He states, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith” ( 1:16-17 NIV). Then, Paul moves on to his next section by explaining the Deuteronomic curses that are applied to the Gentiles and the Jews.

First, the Gentiles are under God’s wrath because they disobey his moral law as revealed in natural order of the universe (Pate et al. 213). Romans 1:18-32 describes the unrighteousness of the Gentiles by showing that they are completely entangled in sin, selfishness and idolatry, and so they are guilty before a holy, righteous and just God.

Second, the Jews might think that since they have the Torah (Law), they are safe from experiencing the Deuteronomic curses; however, Paul announces that Israel will experience divine judgement because they continue to disobey the Torah (Pate et al. 213). In fact, Paul explains that the Jews are more guilty than the Gentiles because they have the written Law available to them and should understand God’s moral standards. Thus, Israel is also trapped in sin, selfishness and idolatry, and so they are in need of rescue (Rom 2:1-3:8).

Then, Paul circles back around and lumps everyone together, both Jews and Gentiles, and declares that no one is righteous before God. All are guilty and face the wrath of God, but there is good news in God’s saving righteousness. God’s righteous character moved him to rescue the world through Jesus. Jesus enacts the “deuteronomic blessings and the prophetic promise of restoration” (Pate et al. 214) and ended the Torah and its curses (Pate et al. 214). Jesus’ atoning sacrifice for the sin of all people and his resurrection from the dead defeated sin and its consequences. Therefore, those who accept Jesus’ sacrificial gift by faith are declared righteous (Rom 3:9-26). This fulfilled God’s promise to Abraham of creating a new multi-ethnic family as his new covenant people. Thus, Abraham has become the father of the new covenant family that is made up of people from around the world who have faith in Jesus, the Messiah (Rom 4).  In Roman 5, Paul further explains the implications of justification by referring back to Adam who sinned against God resulting in a sinful humanity. Then, Paul contrast Jesus as the new Adam who was faithful and obedient to God and concludes that through Jesus, as the new Adam, a new humanity is being created and transformed. A new humanity that receives the life and light of Jesus.


Works Cited

Pate, C. Marvin et al. The Story of Israel: a Biblical Theology. Inter-Varsity Press, 2004.

Philippians 4:10-13 Commentary

The general purposes for the letter to the Philippians was for Paul to respond with appreciation for the support and the gifts that he received from the Philippian church through the sending of Epaphroditus (1:3-5, 2:25-30, 4:10, 4:14, 4:18). Second, Paul gives news about his circumstances and the ongoing advancement of the gospel in spite of his imprisonment (1:12ff). Third, although the Philippian church was a thriving Christian community, Paul needed to exhort them to pursue unity in the midst of some problems within the community (2:1-11, 2:14, 4:2) and to stand firm in the faith when experiencing trials provoked by those outside the community (3:2ff).

Philippians 4:10-13 fits within the context of the whole letter due to its focus on personal gratitude for the partnership and support. This passage follows Paul’s flow of thought in the previous sections about rejoicing, trusting in God through prayer (4:4-7) and meditating on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy (4:8).  He finishes the previous section by stating, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me─put into practice and the peace of God will be with you” (4:9). After this statement, it seems as if Paul stops and reflects for a few moments, and then he puts his own words into practice by rejoicing in the Lord for the Philippians and meditating on all the blessings he has received from them throughout the years and more recently in his imprisonment. He also touches upon his trust, contentment and strength in the Lord in whatever circumstance, which personalizes his previous statements about experiencing the peace of God (i.e. 4:4,9).

Philippians 4:10-13

I greatly rejoice in the Lord that now at last you have renewed your concern for me; as to whom indeed you were thinking, but were lacking opportunity. Not that I am speaking according to lack for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be humbled and I know what it is to abound. In everything and in all things I have learned the secret both to be filled and to hunger, both to have plenty and to have lack. I can do all things through the one strengthening me.

v. 10 After encouraging the Philippian church several times throughout the letter to rejoice (2:18, 2:28-29, 3:1, 4:4), Paul adds to his previous statements of personal rejoicing (1:18, 2:17) by stating I greatly rejoice in the Lord. Paul adds the adverb μεγάλως (megalōs) greatly to this rejoicing statement which he does not include in previous personal rejoicing statements. Thus, the addition gives emphasis to the exuberant and profound manner of his rejoicing in the Lord. Paul continues by giving the reason for his greatly rejoicing by writing that now at last you have renewed your concern for me. The greek word translated renewed is ἀναθάλλω (anathallō).  This word appears only in 4:10 in the Greek New Testament and may be defined as “grow up again, bloom again” or “cause to grow or bloom again.”[1] Paul solely uses this word picture of the beautiful process of a flower growing or blooming again in order to describe the concern of the Philippians. The Philippians had shown and continued to show their concern for Paul since the beginning of his gospel ministry, and Paul again acknowledges this fact by writing, as to whom indeed you were thinking; however, the Philippians encountered a season where they were lacking opportunity to provide supportive gifts to Paul due to his imprisonment.

v. 11 Paul inserts the disclaimer Not that I am speaking according to lack which is similar to his later statement in 4:17 Not that I seek the gift. Paul may have written these statements in view of the the cultural norm of Greek moralists, Stoic philosophers and Cynics to commend those who were completely independant and were content in any situation. Therefore, Paul continues this idea by writing, I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  He explains later that his contentment involves much more than a psychological pursuit or a physical discipline.

v.12 Here Paul gives a series of contrasting circumstances in which he knows how to be content, to be humbled and to abound…to be filled and to hunger…to have plenty and to have lack. Paul uses the word μυέω (myeō) which appears only in Phil 4:12 in the Greek New Testament. This verb has some cultural connection to the mystery religions of the Greco-Roman world with the meaning of “initiate (into the mysteries),” but in the more general sense it has the meaning of “learn the secret.”[3] Paul uses this term in the general sense but there is likely an “ironical echo of the mysteries” in greek religion, gnostic philosophy and cultic magic.[4] Paul uses this word to explain that he has learned the “secret of faith,” which he summarizes in the next verse.

v. 13 I can do all things through the one strengthening me. Paul shares the secret of his sufficiency and ability in whatever situation, and it is solely through God. Since the preposition ἐν (en) is followed by the dative τῷ (tō) the one, it may be interpreted as a dative of agency, “used to indicate the personal agent by whom the action of action of the verb is accomplished”[5] and thus translated through . Furthermore, Paul uses the word ἐνδυναμόω (endynamoō) which occurs seven other times in the Greek New Testament and may be defined as “strengthen someone or something, to make someone strong in something.”[6] In Paul’s life and ministry he received a continual strengthening.  “This strengthening takes the form of support, and is thus to be construed, not in terms of mana, but in terms of a personal relation between Christ and his servant.”[7]

Conclusion

In this passage, the author meant to teach that Christians should rejoice in the Lord for the partnership and support of other Christians and should show concern for others whenever they get the chance.  Furthermore, Christians should learn to be content in whatever circumstance because they can do all things through the one strengthening them.


[1] Walter Bauer et al. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL : University of Chicago Press, 1957), 53. [2] Craig S. Keener, IVP Bible Background Commentary : New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 566. [3] Bauer et al., A Greek, 530. [4] Gerhard Kittel and Gerald Friedrich, eds. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Abridged In One Volume by Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids, MI : Eerdmans, 1985), 619. [5] Daniel B. Wallace Greek Grammar beyond the Basics : an Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI : Zondervan, 1996), 163. [6] Bauer et al., A Greek, 263. [7] Kittel and Friedrich, Theological, 191.

Apostle Paul’s Missionary Approach

5297_orgThe Apostle Paul focused his missionary endeavors primarily in areas controlled by Rome, either in Roman provinces or cities ruled by Roman high governing officials. This may be due to his Roman citizenship which would have given him freedom and security in his movements throughout the Roman world. Paul traveled to large cities along the major Roman roads and nautical trade routes. He was committed to preaching the Gospel message to as many people as he could, and so he was primarily focused on breaking new ground, going places that had never been evangelized. He did not want to overlap the evangelization of other missionaries (Polhill 98-99).

When Paul arrived in a city, he went directly to the local synagogues to begin his preaching. This would have been a natural place for Paul to visit considering his Jewish heritage. His strategy was to preach before people who were seeking God and had some prior exposure to the Hebrew scriptures. From the synagogue, Paul would continue his ministry in private homes, like Lydia’s home (Acts 16:40) and Philemon’s home (Phile 2). Paul also used the tent-making workplace to preach the good news (see Acts 18:3). His primary task was to plant Jesus communities in each city and then move on to the next destination (Polhill 99).

Another important missionary strategy by Paul, was his continued nurturing of the churches through letter writing, revisiting whenever possible and establishing other leaders. The thirteen letters attributed to the Apostle Paul in the New Testament are probably only a sample of Paul’s love, nurture and concern for the churches he planted. The Book of Acts depicts at least three occasions where Paul visited the churches that he planted on his first missionary journey (see 14:21-23; 16:1-5; 18:23). The Apostle Paul invested in the lives of other leaders by instructing and equipping them for the ongoing ministry of the churches. These leaders and churches would raise up other leaders and send them out into the world to preach the Gospel and plant more churches, thus continuing Paul’s missionary strategies (Polhill 99-100).


Works Cited

Polhill, John B. Paul and His Letters. Broadman & Holman Publishing, 1999.

Significant Events in the Book of Acts

The Book of Acts is an account of the works of the Holy Spirit through the lives of the early Jesus followers. Here are three significant events in the book: 1) the coming of the Holy Spirit, 2) the conversion of Saul, 3) the Jerusalem Council.

1) After Jesus’ resurrection and before his ascension, Jesus appeared to his disciples and told them to stay in Jerusalem until they have been “clothed with the power from on high” (Luke 22:48). He was referring to the gift of the Holy Spirit that was promised by the Father (Acts 1:4). Jesus explains to his disciples that they will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them which would enable them to be Jesus’ “witness in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). At the Jewish Festival of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came and filled the followers of Jesus, so they could become part of God’s new transformative work in the world. Through the filling of the Holy Spirit, believers can live by the energy and influence of God’s Spirit empowering them to love others and share the good news about Jesus’ kingdom and his new humanity.

2) The next significant event is the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, who became the Apostle Paul. Saul’s background information is best summarized in his own words in Philippians 3:5-6 where he describes himself as “circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless” (NIV). These statements point to his strong Jewish heritage, education and commitment to the Jewish faith. Saul was driven to protect his Jewish heritage and faith, and so he sought to eradicate the Jewish Christian sect. This attempt to squash the Christian faith was the nature of his trip to Damascus, but while on the road, he was confronted by the risen and exalted Christ which led him to become Christ’s follower (Acts 9). At this point, Saul became the Apostle Paul, and he became the most influential missionary to the Gentiles. Most of the Book of Acts details his missionary journeys throughout the Greco-Roman world. Everywhere Paul went, he preached the Gospel of Jesus and established Jesus communities. God used Paul in a powerful way in order to fulfill his Old Testament promises concerning the inclusion of the Gentiles.

3) With the inclusion of the Gentiles into the Kingdom of God, the early church experienced some challenges between the Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians which led to the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15). As the number of Gentile Christians grew, some Jewish Christians became concerned about the moral standards of the church. Therefore, they proposed that Gentile Christians needed to keep the Jewish law and undergo circumcision. After much debate on the matter, Peter explained that God had already revealed his will in the matter by giving the Holy Spirit to the Gentile Christians. God purified the hearts of the Gentile Christians and made no distinction between them and Jewish Christians. Paul and Barnabas concurred and spoke about the miracles and wonders that God had been doing among the Gentiles. Then, James spoke to the issue saying, “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God” (Acts 15:19). Thus, the leaders of the church were in agreement which prevented a major schism between the Jewish and Gentile Christians.

Messianic Prophecies and Jesus

Before presenting specific messianic prophecies that Jesus fulfills, a good verse to consider is Luke 24:27 which states, “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he [Jesus] explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

Jesus fulfills the Hebrew Scriptures (OT) as a whole. He fulfills God’s promises to Abraham in that he redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit (see Gal 3:14) and God’s promises through the prophets (Acts 10:43 “All the prophets testify about him [Jesus] that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”)

Jesus fulfilled prophecies about division among the people concerning him, and their rejection and betrayal of him. Psalm 118:22-23 states, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.” A similar prophecy appears in the New Testament in Luke 2:34-35 which states, “Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” Jesus fulfilled these prophecies through his life and ministry, in that people were divided over him. The haughty, the arrogant and the religious elite rejected him and were rebuked and judged, but the humble, the meek and the poor in spirit accepted him and were exalted.

More specific to a messianic betrayal is Jesus’ betrayal by Judas.

OT Prophecy: Psalm 41:9 Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me.

NT Fulfillment: John 13:18 “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me.’

OT Prophecy: Jeremiah 19:1-13; Zechariah 11:12-13

NT Fulfillment: Matthew 27:9-10 Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”

Isaiah spoke of a future messianic figure who would bring good news to the people. He prophesied this messianic message,

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,  because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God,to comfort all who mourn (61:1-2).

Jesus proclaims that he fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy from 61:1-2 (and 58:6.) Luke 4:16c-19 states,

He [Jesus] stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me  to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.

Jesus fulfilled this messianic prophecy throughout his ministry by carrying out the role of a prophet proclaiming the good news of deliverance and salvation through his life and ministry.

Furthermore, Jesus connects the Jonah story with his death and resurrection. Thus, in Jesus’ view the Jonah incident is a prophecy concerning his death and resurrection, which is later confirmed by eyewitnesses to his resurrection.

Jonah 1:17 Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Matthew 12:39-40 He [Jesus] answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Acts 2:31-32 that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.