Tuesday, 8 May 2012

How does the Bible commentate on itself? (2)

Here are the answers that match the red OT references to the blue Gospel references…and which indicate clear Word and Phrase Associations:

A. Deuteronomy 2.14                   =       O.  John 5.5    

B. Isaiah 43.25                             =        P.   Matthew 9.6 

C. Job 9.8                                    =        N.  Matthew 14.33

D. Deuteronomy 18.15                =        L.  John 6.14

E. Psalm 107.28-29                    =        K.  Matthew 8.27

F.  Ezekiel 34.11,16                    =        M.  Luke 19.10   

G. Jeremiah 17.13                      =        T.   John 8.6,8  

H. Isaiah 40.3                             =        S.   Matthew 3.1

I.  Zephaniah 1.14-18                 =        Q.   Matthew 3.7

J.  Psalm 119.1,50,142,151       =        R.   John 14.6

We have looked at the commentary on M. Luke 19.10 in  F.  Ezekiel 34.11,16.

What, then, is the commentary on the Phrase Association between O. John 5.5  and A. Deuteronomy 2.14?:

O. A certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty–eight years.

A. The time we took to come from Kadesh Barnea until we crossed over the Valley of the Zered was thirty–eight years 

Why does the phrase ‘thirty-eight years’ only appear twice in the whole Bible, in John 5.5 and Deuteronomy 2.14?
The key to the answer  is what happened at Kadesh:

Numbers 13.26-14.1:
The spies came back to Moses … at Kadesh; they brought back word to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. Then they told him, and said: ‘We went to the land where you sent us. …Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; …We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.’ And they gave the children of Israel a bad report …So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night.

Therefore, as a direct result of the people’s decision to accept the ‘bad report’ of the spies….and to refuse to trust in God, they were condemned to wander in the wilderness for thirty-eight years.

The certain man who had an infirmity thirty–eight years specifically represents the attitude that refuses to trust in God, preferring rather to trust in man.  Later in John’s report we read:
Jesus found him in the Temple, and said to him, ‘See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.’
What ‘sin’ had the man committed that caused Jesus to say, ‘Sin no more’?
No ‘sin’ is mentioned in the report……because ‘sin no more’ is a Hebrew expression that means ‘return to Torah, return to keeping God’s Commandments’.

Jesus then adds, ‘lest a worse thing come upon you’.  What is worse than being paralysed and unable to walk for thirty-eight years?  The answer is death….forever!

In the next blog we will make the connection between the healing of the paralytic in P. Matthew 9.6 and B. Isaiah 43.25.

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