September 10, 2007

Jesus in the Manger

Category: Bible - NT - Luke :: Permalink

I know that some people seem to read through every blog in their blogroll daily or even weekly, checking for new entries and reading each one in full.  I don’t.  When I do check a blog in my list and see that there’s a new entry, I often do little more than glance at it.  I simply haven’t had the time to read each one carefully.

But some blogs repay more study than others, and so I’m now making a point to go back and read each entry in them.  Eventually, I may catch up so that I can read each new entry as it gets posted, but right now, I’m a few years behind.  What that means is that I’ll occasionally point you to some entry from a few years back.  Maybe you read it already way back then or maybe you didn’t, but I didn’t, and so the thought in it is new to me.

In my opinion, the blog with the highest level of important content out there is Peter Leithart‘s, and so that’s where I’ll start.  In writing on Luke 2, Leithart asks:

In the light of Isaiah 1:3, why is it important that Jesus is laid in a manger? “Bethlehem” means “house of bread.” Does this shed further light on the sign that the angels give? See 1:53.

I’ve preached on this passage several times before, noting that Jesus is in an animal’s feedtrough, but I’ve never put things together the way Leithart is suggesting here.  The manger is the place where the animals get their food.  Is Luke suggesting, then, that Jesus Himself is to be the food for the animals, which, in turn, represent Israel?

Leithart also points out the connection between the last episode in that chapter and the end of Luke’s Gospel, a connection I may have guessed at but hadn’t seen spelled out before:

The final episode in this chapter is another of Luke’s stories that foreshadows the whole gospel. Jesus and his parents journey from Galilee to Jerusalem (2:41), as Jesus will later journey from Galilee to Jerusalem with His disciples (9:51). In both cases, Jesus makes the journey for Passover (2:41; 22:1). After Jesus celebrates Passover, he is “lost” (2:43-35; 22:47-23:56), and is “found” three days later (2:46; 24:1-49). People are confused by the whole thing (2:48; 24:19-24), but Jesus explains that it is “necessary” for these things to happen (2:49; 24:50-53).

If Gentile hope for peace and Israel’s hope for salvation are going to be realized, it is “necessary” for Jesus to be “lost” and “found,” to die and rise again, at Jerusalem during the Passover.

Posted by John Barach @ 11:59 am | Discuss (0)

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