I NEVER WOULD HAVE READ “THAT”…

… AND THOUGHT OF “THIS”
(Jesus fulfilling the Psalms in His Life)

It’s always easier to see stuff when you know the whole story and the big picture.

I have read the Psalms many, many times and the Gospels equally. I have to tell you that I don’t know if I have, even with the whole life of Jesus before me, been good at correlating the two.  The Bible is a supernatural book and it cannot be exhausted with one reading.

I love what Spurgeon said…

“No Scripture is exhausted by a single explanation. The flowers of God’s
garden bloom not only double, but sevenfold; they are continually pouring
forth fresh fragrance.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Well, I just started smelling some of the fresh fragrance of the Psalms being fulfilled in the life of Jesus.  Psalms that I have read, but never thought of Jesus.

When I read the Bible, especially the OT, I need to think “Jesus”.
Listen to the words of the resurrected Jesus….

Luke 24:44
And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you,
while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were
written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, AND IN THE PSALMS,
concerning me.

Wow, did you get that?
Jesus in the Psalms!

Let me show you what I stumbled on and how I started to read Psalms differently.
It was in John 15.

John 15
22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.
23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

I have read the Psalms many times.  I can’t tell you that there has been many times when I have read a Psalm and said that was fulfilled in Jesus’ life and ministry. I know the Psalms are part of David’s life, but when I ran into this verse in John 15 and Jesus said “I am the fulfillment of ‘they hated me without a cause'” – whoa!.  I have read Psalm 35 many times (and this verse) and have never read Jesus is coming to fulfill that verse.
How many more verses are there in Psalms that Jesus fulfilled.

There are a few things that I learn from this.
First, those who try to tell me that the OT has no correlation with the NT is just not true. Or to see Jesus in the OT is very very much allowable and encouraged by the resurrected Jesus.

When we read the Gospels and many of the stories of the Bible, we know the end.  EVEN WITH THAT ADVANTAGE, I don’t know how many of these Psalms I would read and think Jesus.  I need to learn to read differently. I need to see Jesus more.

Let’s look at some

PS 8:2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

Would you have read Psalm 8 and thought triumphant entry and the children singing on Palm Sunday?
Not me!

Here’s another…

Psalm 110:1 The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand,until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

Would you have thought this applies to the question that Jesus asks the Pharisees….”What think ye of the Christ and whose son is he?”
My mind was not going to Psalm 110 with that question!

Matthew 22
41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,
42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.
43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying,
44 The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?
45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?
46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.

In Matthew 23 Jesus weeps over Jerusalem and their unwillingness to come to Him.

Matt 23:37
37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

I have not read Psalm 118 thinking about this moment with Jesus

Ps 118:26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord: we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord.

Let’s keep reading…..

Let’s see Jesus at the last supper washing the disciples feet and letting them know that someone will betray Him…

John 13:18
18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.
19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.
20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

What Psalm had I read that would associate with this?

Psalm 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

I think when it’s all said and done, I have a new prayer that I pray when I start reading the Bible.
It’s a request that some Greeks made but it sounds more like prayer to me. They said to Philip , “Sir , we wish to  see Jesus” (John 12:21).

1. Ps 8.2 > Mt 21.16
2. Ps 110.1 > Mt 22.44
3. Ps 118.26 > Mt 23.39
4. Ps 82.6 > John 10.34
5. Ps 41.9 > John 13.18
6. Ps 35.19, 69.4 > John 15.25

PLAYING WORD GAMES WITH JESUS

I’ve had people play word games with me in counseling.

“Were you in the city last night?”
Their response “No…”
(because it was in the afternoon).

Word games! 

“Did you steal $100?”
Their response , “No….”
(it was only $50 in their mind).

So because I did not ask specifically they think they are not lying by saying “no” when in actuality they know what I was asking.  It’s games.  You may be able to play games on me because I did not ask the question specifically.  But not Jesus…..

Jesus knows…
Nothing gets by Jesus…
Especially Peter…
It was ignorance vs Omniscience…
Guess Who won?

In reading this year the Weymouth translation of the NT , he does a masterful job in relating the conversation that Jesus and Peter had post resurrection of “Do you love me?”

There is a nuance in the Greek that is hard to catch
It is the interchange of “love” words…
As I was reading the Greek NT you can see the words clearly….
Jesus was asking “do you AGAPE Me?”
Simon kept answering with a different word “You know Lord that I PHILEO You.”
this exchange went back and forth twice.

And then the kicker….
Jesus asks Peter “Do you even PHILEO Me?”
And then it says, “It grieved Peter that Jesus asked him the third time ‘do you even PHILEO Me?’”

Jesus was challenging even the lower love.

The Weymouth translation catches this and gives it such clarity.  Notice the exchange of  “do you love Me?” and Peter’s response of “You are dear to me”

Nothing gets by Jesus…
He challenges us on every level…

You read it and see it for yourself

JOHN 21:15-17
15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these others do?” “Yes, Master,” was his answer; “you know that you are dear to me.” “Then feed my lambs,” replied Jesus.
16 Again a second time He asked him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Master,” he said, “you know that you are dear to me.” “Then be a shepherd to my sheep,” He said.
17 A third time Jesus put the question: “Simon, son of John, am I dear to you?” It grieved Peter that Jesus asked him the third time, “Am I dear to you?”

I can’t seem to get this…

“greater works than these (you) will do”

John 14:12
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do,
he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.

This is such a tough verse to wrap oneself around…
“GREATER WORKS” than Jesus?
Are you kidding me?
Jesus raised the dead…
Jesus multiplied food…
Jesus stopped nature in it’s tracks by talking to it….

So you are telling me greater than that?

I’ve heard this verse in the midst of high octane pentecostal meetings and someone will blurt out in a commissioning service “greater works you will do”….everyone would join in the “amen’s” but I have to say if you cornered any “amen-er” and simply said “what does that mean?”  I’m really not sure any one of them could tell you the answer.

I know I couldn’t.

Thanks for the great Romans expositer and Philadelphia Presbyterian Pastor, Donald Barnhouse.  His Romans commentary was what I cut my teeth on.  While reading him one day, I ran across this in his commentary that dumbed it all down for me.

Sometimes… I just need stuff dumbed down.

Donald Barnhouse explained this verse with this amazing illustration.

“Aboard a US submarine in enemy waters a sailor was stricken with an acute case of appendicitis.  The nearest surgeon was thousands of miles away.  Pharmacist Mate Wheller Lipes watched the seaman’s temperature soar to 106 degrees.  His only hope was an operation or he would die.  Said Lipes, “I have watched doctors do it, I think I could.  What do you say?”   the sailor consented; and in the wardroom, about the size of a train compartment the patient was stretched out  on a table beneath a floodlight.  The mate and assisting officers, dressed in reversed pajamas tops, masked their face with gauze.  The crew stood by  the diving planes to keep the ship steady; the cook boiled water for sterilizing.  A tea strainer served as an antiseptic cone.  A broken handled scalpel was the operating instrument.  Alcohol drained from the torpedoes was the antiseptic.  Bent tablespoons served to keep the muscles open.  After cutting through the layers of muscles the mate took twenty minutes to find the appendix.  Two hours and a half later, the last catgut stitch was sewed, just as the last drop of ether gave out, 13 days later the patient was back to work.  A successful operation.

Admittedly this was a much more magnificent feat than it had been performed by a trained surgeon in a fully equipped operating room of a modern hospital.

(Here goes his amazing explanation)

Study this analogy and you come up with  the real meaning  of Christ’s words “greater works than these shall he do because I go unto my Father….” For Christ to work directly on a soul to quicken and bring out of death into life is great…. but for Him to do the same thing through us is an even greater work.”

Now that makes sense to me.
I can wrap my puny mind around that.
The “greater work” is not that the work is greater (than NT works) but what makes it greater is the rough and unconventional instruments He is using and yet it still happens.
Jesus goes to the Father and He decides to use us to get the job done.
You and I are the unconventional instruments our Master Surgeon uses  and when the operation is all done….you don’t praise the scalpel but the One Who used the scalpel.  We have too much scalpel worship and not enough Physician praise; but that is another topic for another time.