The first book I read as a missionary going to China is called “Jesus in Beijing”. It is a wonderful book on some of the known history of Christianity, not just in Beijing but anywhere in China where Jesus can be found. It is our hearts to desire to plant the mustard seeds of the kingdom elsewhere we can by God’s grace. We are still yet a short distance away in both time and distance from the place where we should go to sow the Gospel seed independently of our co-workers. Working with Jake Taube allows us the time to acquire what we need with the language and learn from his experiences in training men and church planting.
We are of course searching for more of Jesus along the way, our hearts ache for His presence. One mustn’t make the mistake to think Jesus would be easier to find in America with all the conveniences of church, freedom, and resources. While the gift of pastors and teachers help us to see Jesus in the Word through their well done messages and books, the surrounding abundance of them in culture can be, in my opinion, an illusion of intimacy with God. It is a shameful feeling stepping out onto dark waters only to discover the faith we thought we had begins to sink into the tossing waves of doubt. In this place, the Holy Spirit is showing me the impurities of my faith and how I desperately need Jesus to continue building onto it.
Before Peter’s faith could be commended, it had to first be rebuked. Jesus needed to build Peter’s faith to a greater understanding of who Jesus is. Peter knew Jesus enough intellectually to step out of the boat, but not enough expel the doubts. As dross from heated silver rises to the surface so does the impurities of our faith when put to God’s tests.
Jesus of course proved much by calming the storm that of course bolstered the faith of His men, but displaying His supernatural power is not God’s chosen way to reveal Himself to us. The foundation of what Peter then and you and I now need to know about the Savior is already given in the prophecy and law of the Old Testament. Much of what the New Testament writers saw in Jesus, looked through the lens of the Old Testament to get there.
Good study of New Testament will go at lengths to understand application of Old Testament passages the author makes. One should ask the question, “Why does this NT author interpret the passage this way?” Jesus fulfilled all what prophets required, not just by morally fulfilling the law, but in Jesus we arrive at the destination that all Old Testament symbology and signs point to. The lens of the Old Testament are permanently and unalterably focused while looking at Jesus, His mission to the cross, and the commission He gave us. Searching for Jesus in every passage of the Old Testament is the best hermeneutical method we can employ. God has ultimately chosen Jesus Christ to reveal Himself to us accepted by faith as according to final picture of the Messiah the law and the prophets have painted for us.
I wish for this post to be a prologue of future posts sharing with you searching for more of Christ in the Old Testament.
So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom,
and apply thine heart to understanding;
Yea, if thou criest after knowledge,
and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
If thou seekest her as silver,
and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord,
and find the knowledge of God.