Rethinking and Unlearning

Rethinking and Unlearning

January 2022

 

We need to be willing to change what we believe, from what we’ve been taught, to the truth that is revealed to us. As information is made known to us that contradicts what we think we know, the truth of the matter must be searched out and our beliefs must follow the evidence, not our emotions.

 

Here are three examples that I have:

 

  • Number one: Jesus was led into His forty-day fast in the wilderness immediately after His baptism in the Jordan River.
    • Matthew 3:16-17 records the baptism of Jesus and the voice heard from heaven
    • Matthew 4:1 KJV, the next verse, states, “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.”
    • Could there be a time gap between Matthew 3:17 and Matthew 4:1?
    • Mark 1:9-11 records the baptism of Jesus and the voice heard from heaven
    • Mark 1:12 KJV, the next verse, states, “And immediately the Spirit driveth Him into the wilderness.”
      • Strong’s 2112, euthys, is the word used for immediately. The word can also be translated as soon or shortly.
    • Could there be a time gap between Mark 1:11 and Mark 1:12?
    • Luke 3:21-22 records the baptism of Jesus and the voice heard from heaven
    • Luke 3:23-38 records the generations of Jesus going back to Adam
    • Luke 4:1 KJV, the next verse, states, “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,”
    • When Jesus “returned from Jordan,” where did He return to?
    • Could there be a time gap between Luke 4:1a and Luke 4:1b?
  • Those three gospels record the events, in various details, of the story of the baptism of Jesus and the trek into the wilderness.
  • But there is a fourth gospel.
    • John 1:15-28 records the exchange between John the Baptist and the priests that were sent by the Pharisees to question him
    • John 1:29-34 records the baptism of Jesus and the voice heard from heaven
      • John the Baptist declares Jesus to be the Lamb of God
    • John 1:35-36 KJV states, “Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; and looking upon Jesus as He walked, he saith, “Behold the Lamb of God!”
      • This was the day after the baptism of Jesus, and He is still in the area
    • John 1:38-42 records the meeting of Jesus with Andrew and a second disciple, and with Simon
    • John 1:43 KJV states, “The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, ‘Follow Me.’”
    • The rest of the chapter concludes with the story of Jesus meeting and calling Philip and Nathaniel
    • Chapter 2 of the Gospel According to John begins with the wedding celebration in Cana of Galilee where Jesus performs the first of His public miracles
    • Where is the trek into the wilderness for fasting and testing?
      • Could it be between verses 41 and 42 of John 1?
    • John 1:43 begins, “The day following …”
      • Following what?
      • Certainly, it appears to be the day on which Andrew appears to have brought Simon to meet Jesus in verse 42
      • The question can be asked whether that same day is the day Andrew found his brother and told him about finding the Messiah, the Christ
    • Result: I don’t believe that Jesus was led into His forty-day fast in the wilderness immediately after His baptism in the Jordan River. There were a few days revealed in the Gospel According to John.

 

 

  • Number two: the first time the disciples met Jesus, or possibly even heard of Him, was when Jesus called them, saying, “Come, follow me.”
    • Matthew 4 begins with the account of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness and recounts prophecies concerning Him through verse 16
    • Matthew 4:17 KJV states, “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, ‘Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”
      • Here we see that the ministry of Jesus begins after His time in the wilderness
      • We are not told here how much time passed, perhaps to recover from the fasting, between coming out of the wilderness and preaching as He travelled through Galilee
    • Matthew 4:18-20 KJV states, “And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And He saith unto them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ And they straightway left their nets, and followed Him.”
    • We tend to read these verses without concern for any passage of time between events.
    • Mark 1 covers the baptism of Jesus and His trek into the wilderness, as well as John the Baptist being imprisoned
    • Mark 1:14-18 KJV states, “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.’ Now as He walked by the sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, ‘Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.’ And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed Him.”
      • “Now after that” is not a quantification of time; it is open-ended
      • At some point after “that John” was put into prison
      • “He saw Simon and Andrew” does not mean it is the first time that Jesus saw them
    • Luke 4:38 KJV states of Jesus, “And He arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought Him for her.”
      • Is this Simon the same Simon Peter?
    • Luke 5:10-11 KJV states, “And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, ‘Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.’ And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed Him.”
      • This was a minimum of one day following 4:38
      • Was Jesus in the boat when the disciples launched out deep?
        • Another belief that He was ashore – Hmmm???
      • John 1:35-42, as we saw in the first example, records Jesus meeting Andrew the day after He was baptized and then Andrew finding his brother, Simon Peter, and bringing him to meet Jesus.
        • The meeting with Andrew was before the wilderness while the calling to follow Him was afterwards
      • Considering the accounts in the Gospels according to Luke and John, it appears there may have been multiple encounters before Jesus called them from their fishing boats, including being in the boat of Andrew and Simon
    • Result: I don’t believe the first time the disciples met Jesus, or possibly even heard of Him, was when Jesus called them, saying, “Come, follow me.” At least for some, whereas some may have had a great wave of faith by Holy Spirit or other possible circumstances that caused them to leave all and immediately follow Jesus.

 

 

  • Number three: John the Baptist was akin to a crazed loner
    • Mark 1:1-11 records some background on John the Baptist and mentions the baptism of Jesus
    • Mark 1:6 KJV states, “And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;
      • John’s attire and diet as given here are launch points for degrading John and seeing him as something less than he is
      • In addition, the religious leaders can look down on him due to his lack of position as a prophet, Elijah, or even the Christ, or for not being in their formal religious system
    • John 1:25 KJV states, “And they asked him, and said unto him, ‘Why baptizes thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?’”
      • The priests were sent by the Pharisees to check John out knowing that they had not given him authority to baptize the people
      • The respect for John from the religious leaders was quite low, if any at all, as some evidently thought he had a devil
    • Luke 7:33 KJV has Jesus saying, “For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, ‘He hath a devil.’”
    • And such is the picture often painted in some Sunday School classes and some teachings
    • However, Jesus had better to say of John
    • Luke 7:28 KJV states, “For I say unto you, among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
    • Matthew 17:11-13 KJV states, “And Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, that Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.’ Then the disciples understood that He spake unto them of John the Baptist.”
      • High praise from Jesus
      • John also had disciples and was called Rabbi by them
    • John 1:35 KJV states, “Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;”
    • John 1:40 KJV states, “One of the two which heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.”
    • John 3:25-26a KJV states, “Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying. And they came unto John, and said unto him, ‘Rabbi,’ …”
      • These examples are in addition to the many people who came to hear his message of repentance and were being baptized by John
    • Result: John the Baptist was neither crazed nor a loner, though he may have been alone for some years in preparation for his ministry.

 

 

There are many more “Sunday School” lessons that may not be completely accurate. Like the old joke goes; How many of each animal did Moses take on the ark? The quick answer is two because the focus is on the animals and the ark. This is what has been drilled into us. The answer to the joke is zero. Noah was on the ark, not Moses. Yet, even two is the wrong answer.

 

  • Genesis 7:2-3 KJV states, “Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.”

 

There are a couple of points to notice here. First, we must be willing to adjust our thoughts and beliefs based upon what is revealed in Scripture. Second, the whole of Scripture must be studied and used if we wish to understand the full story and the principles being taught within the pages of Scripture.

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