What does being reconciled mean? It means returning to what was. The past is not forgotten so much as canceled.
8 Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion, [God holds nothing against us; He just wants us back]
We begin where we left off yesterday, which was,
Why does the Trinity interest me so?
Because I do not think that God the Father turned away
from God the Son on the cross even while God the Spirit
was at work expunging sin. More on that tomorrow.
We learn from Saint Paul that God reconciled us to Himself through Christ. How? By being in Christ while Christ was on the cross, as the Spirit reconciled us to Him (Them). Let’s read it:
6 So from now on we regard no one from a human point of view. Though we have known Christ from a human point of view, now we no longer know Him in this way. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away. Behold, new things have come. 18 But all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting people’s sins against them [but canceling them]. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
Concerning this Triune God, the Jews have an ancient creed. It is called the Shema. It begins like this:
4 “Hear, Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! Deuteronomy 6:4
Let’s analyze it:
- “Shema” (pronounced, Shem-ah’) is the Hebrew word for “hear.” It makes sense that they call it the Shema.
- It is for all Israel to say and believe.
- The “Lord” is “Yahweh,” and it is the proper name for the God of Israel.
- “God” is “Elohim,” which is a plural form; it’s the Trinity! See Genesis 1:1-3 combined with John 1:1-3.
- Yahweh is One Triune Being!
I said that the English language is a poor interpreter of Hebrew. Well, it turns out that it’s not much better translating Aramaic or Greek, either. Jesus is asked what the greatest commandment was. We find His answer in Mark 12:29-31,
29 Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; 30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Notice how Jesus began with the Shema. But, there is a difference. The Greek words don’t match up.
- “The Lord” does not use “Yahweh,” but “Kurios,” which means, “Master, Lord.”
- “Our God” does not use “Elohim,” but “Theos,” which simply means “God.”
- It comes out as, “God is Master.”
What Jesus says in the Greek is true, but it is not the Shema that Moses said and the people of Israel chant today. What happened?
- Jesus spoke Aramaic. It was the language of the day and the region.
- When Mark wrote down what Peter said, it was either in Aramaic or Greek.
- Someone copied it or translated it into the Greek we have today.
- It was then translated into the English version that is in our Bibles.
Did Jesus deliberately change the Shema? Was it changed for Him by translators? Did Peter mean to have Mark write it like that? I don’t know. All I know is that it is different. It is NOT the Shema that speaks of a Triune God, the Trinity. My conclusion is this: Even when we know something that has been passed down for centuries, time doesn’t make it right or accurate. Jesus makes things accurate. In this case, Jesus is the living Proof of a Triune God. He’s God the Son. So, I believe the Moses version and I believe Jesus’ version. In fact, I have no problem melding the two. The Spirit testifies that Jesus is the Son of God and is the Second Person of the Trinity. We know that God is the Master of the Universe, so both statements are true regardless of how they came to be.
We listen to the Word of God (Jesus) to explain the word of God (the Bible).
Keep digging! Exciting stuff!!!
Abba, I am constantly in awe as I study Your Word. Thank You for the enlightenment of the Spirit, especially concerning Jesus and His interaction with people. May I garner in myself His characteristics and put them to good use; I know I will with Your partnership. Amen.