Cutting Room: Christ Unveiled

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Cutting Room is every bit of research that didn’t make it into the Sunday sermon. As always, thank you to my research assistant Ryan Tanski!
— Pastor Pilgrim

Quotes about Jesus

  • "He was the meekest and lowliest of all the sons of men, yet he spoke of coming on the clouds of heaven with the glory of God. He was so austere that evil spirits and demons cried out in terror at his coming, yet he was so genial and winsome and approachable that the children loved to play with him, and the little ones nestled in his arms. His presence at the innocent gaiety of a village wedding was like the presence of sunshine. No one was half so compassionate to sinners, yet no one ever spoke such red hot scorching words about sin. A bruised reed he would not break, his whole life was love, yet on one occasion he demanded of the Pharisees how they ever expected to escape the damnation of hell. He was a dreamer of dreams and a seer of visions, yet for sheer stark realism He has all of our stark realists soundly beaten. He was a servant of all, washing the disciples feet, yet masterfully He strode into the temple, and the hucksters and moneychangers fell over one another to get away from the mad rush and the fire they saw blazing in His eyes. He saved others, yet at the last Himself He did not save. There is nothing in history like the union of contrasts which confronts us in the gospels. The mystery of Jesus is the mystery of divine personality." -James Stewart, Scottish theologian
  • I would propose that the subject of the ministry of this house, as long as this platform shall stand, shall be the person of Jesus Christ. I am never ashamed to avow myself a Calvinist, but if I am asked to say what is my creed, I think I must reply, “It is Jesus Christ”. The body of divinity to which I would pin and bind myself forever, God helping me, is Christ Jesus, who is the sum and substance of the gospel, who is Himself all theology, the incarnation of every precious truth, the all-glorious personal embodiment of the way, the truth, and the life. -Spurgeon
  • "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." -Ghandi 
  • "If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses." -Lenny Bruce  
  • "You think that your laws correct evil - they only increase it. There is but one way to end evil - by rendering good for evil to all men without distinction." -Leo Tolstoy
  • "We're more popular than Jesus." John Lennon

Word studies for verse 2 “witness” and “testimony”

Witness = martyrian (μαρτυρεῖν): I witness, bear witness, give evidence, testify, give a good report.

  • to be a witness, to bear witness, testify, i. e. "to affirm that one has seen or heard or experienced something, or that (so in the N. T.) he knows it because taught by divine revelation or inspiration" (sometimes in the N. T. the apostles are said μαρτυρεῖν, as those wire had been eye-witnesses and ear-witnesses of the extraordinary sayings, deeds and sufferings of Jesus, which proved his Messiahship; so too Paul, as one to whom the risen Christ had visibly appeared)
  • From the word Martus, where we get Martyr 

Testimony = marturia (μαρτυρία): Also means to witness

  • In a legal sense, one who testifies before a judge, or in this case The Judge. 
  • a testifying: the office committed to the prophets of testifying concerning future events

Verse 4 “what are the ‘seven spirits’?

  • There are at least three possible interpretations of the seven spirits of God. The first is that the seven spirits of God are symbolic of the Holy Spirit. The Bible, and especially the book of Revelation, uses the number 7 to refer to perfection and completion. If that is the meaning of the “seven” in the "seven spirits," then it is not referring to seven different spirits of God, but rather the perfect and complete Holy Spirit.
  • The second view is that the seven spirits of God refer to seven angelic beings, possibly the seraphim or the cherubim. This would fit with the numerous others angelic beings that are described in the book of Revelation (Revelation 4:6-9; 5:6-14; 19:4-5).
  • A third possibility is based on Isaiah 11:2, which says, “The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him — the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.” This could possibly explain the seven spirits of God: (1) Spirit of the LORD, (2) Spirit of wisdom, (3) Spirit of understanding, (4) Spirit of counsel, (5) Spirit of power, (6) Spirit of knowledge, (7) Spirit of the fear of the Lord. The Bible doesn’t tell us specifically who/what the seven spirits are, but the first interpretation, that they are the Holy Spirit, seems the most likely.

Other Bible references for verse 8 “Alpha and Omega, who is and who was and who is to come"

  • Isiah 44:6 - Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.
  • Revelation 22:13 - I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
  • Isaiah 48:12 - “Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called! I am he; I am the first, and I am the last.

Word studies for verse 9 “partner in the tribulation” and “patient endurance”

  • Now the Revised Version is distinctly an improved version in its rendering of these words. It reads ‘partaker with you,’ instead of ‘companion,’ and so emphasizes the notion of participation. It reads, ‘in the tribulation and kingdom and patience,’ instead of ‘in tribulation and in the kingdom and patience’; and so, as it were, brackets all the three nouns together under one preposition and one definite article, and thus shows more closely their connection. And instead of ‘in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ,’ it reads, ‘which are in Jesus Christ,’ and so shows that the predicate, ‘in Jesus Christ,’ extends to all the three-the ‘tribulation,’ the ‘kingdom,’ and the ‘patience,’ and not only to the last of the three, as would be suggested to an ordinary reader of our English version. So that we have here a participation by all Christian men in three things, all of which are, in some sense, ‘ in Christ Jesus.’ Note that participation in ‘the kingdom’ stands in the centre, buttressed, as it were, on the one side by participation ‘in the tribulation,’ and on the other side by participation ‘ in the patience.’ We may, then, best bring out the connection and force of these thoughts by looking at the common royalty, the common road leading to it, and the common temper in which the road is trodden-all which things do inhere in Christ, and may be ours on condition of our union with Him.