Who Is Jesus?

April 25, 2017
Justin Bass, Darrell L. Bock, and J. Scott Horrell

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Topic Time Codes

01:21
What is Christology?
03:56
The humanity and divinity of Jesus Christ
11:10
Christology in Mark 2
18:27
Three categories of miracle stories in the New Testament
22:01
Christology in John 9
23:03
Sabbath disputes
26:14
Jesus’ response to the Sabbath in Matthew 12
30:32
Jesus reconfigures the Passover
41:20
Who has the authority to cleanse the temple?

Transcript

Darrell Bock
Welcome to The Table where we discuss issues of God and culture. I'm Darrell Bock, Executive Director for Cultural Engagement at the Hendricks Center at the Dallas Theological Seminary. And I am also Senior Research Professional of New Testament Studies, which will be relevant to our topic today because we're gonna discuss Christology.

And I've done something a little bit unusual because what I've done is I've brought in a New Testament guy over here, Justin Bass, and a systematic theology person over here, Scott Horrell, both teaching at the seminary to discuss in a cross-disciplinary kind of way issues related to Christology, but not Christology in the way you normally think about it. We're not talking about which passage what are the passages were Jesus confesses who he is or the text says he's the Son of God, those more kind of direct passes, but kind of the indirect passages and the indirect ways in which Scripture reveals who Jesus is.

But to start us off, I'm gonna start us off on the theological foot so, Scott, welcome.
Scott Horrell
Thank you.
Darrell Bock
You're a veteran of The Table. We're glad to have you back and you teach Christology here at the school?
Scott Horrell
I do, yes.
Darrell Bock
Okay and when you do it in a context of systematic theology, what kinds of things are students covering?
Scott Horrell
Well, I do like to start with our lord's humanity but also you're talking about the two natures side by side.
Darrell Bock
That's right.
Scott Horrell
So the beauty and mystery of holding those together I think is fascinating. But, of course, typically we look at the passages where the deity of our lord is made clear both whether in his own self-profession, which is very rare, to take Johannine passages
Darrell Bock
[Crosstalk] Exactly, yeah.
Scott Horrell
… but then the high Christologies: John 1; Colossians 1:15 and on, Hebrews 1, these high Christologies that really do declare this one as the exact manifestation of God. So putting that together with our Lord's humanity you've got this almost paradox but not finally of humanity in all its mystery and beauty and deity together in the one personal consciousness of our Lord.
Darrell Bock
Okay, let's just to cover our bases quickly run through some of these texts. Obviously, John 1 and particularly John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God. The Word was God," is one such text. You alluded to I think Hebrews 1:3, the exact manifestation of God. Later on in that chapter we've got Jesus sitting on the throne. You talked about Colossians 1, which puts Jesus on what I call the creator side or the creator …
Scott Horrell
That's right, yeah.
Darrell Bock
… creature divide, which in the context of the Jewish monotheism if there's only one God and there's only one creator and you say Jesus is associated with the creation rather than being a creature, you've shoved him off to the deity side of things. Fair enough? Will I pass the exam?
Scott Horrell
And if you don't get it in Chapter 1, you get it in Chapter 2. "In him all the fullness of deity dwells in bodily form."
Darrell Bock
[Crosstalk] Deity dwells in bodily form. Exactly, good text.
Justin Bass
And Romans 1, I mean, Paul makes clear that we worship and serve the Creator rather than the creature and so Paul would not worship any creature no matter how exalted that creature is.
Darrell Bock
Now that begins to build a bridge to what we're eventually gonna be talking about and that is those kinds of things that Jesus does or that he is the object of without saying that point to that. So I'm gonna put a save button on that one because that's one of the places we're going.

Now, the other thing that I think befuddles people – I think that'd be a good word to use – is this combination of how the human and divine work together. We've just come out of a discussion on our campus in the context of a chapel in which the discussion was made did Jesus learn math. Terrible question, right? [Laughs]
Scott Horrell
Well, I think even that is something of a mystery. What we can say very clearly is what is not the case. Jesus – well, there was a guy named Appolinarius who wanted to say that Jesus was divine on the inside: his mind, his higher soul you might say but then human on the outside, kind of a coconut. God on the inside, human and on the outside. And already Gregory of Nazianzus and others were saying – this is around 380 – no, if what is not assumed, that is what the Son did not assume fully in his human nature is not saved, is not healed. So Apollinarianism was condemned as a heresy early on. But then came Nestorius who wanted to preserve the full deity and the full humanity of our lord but he kind of put those in a body. So you have kind of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in one body and that seemed at least allegedly …
Darrell Bock
I'm God. No, I'm not. I'm God. No I'm not. [Laughs]
Scott Horrell
[Crosstalk] So one time he's human and the other he's God.
Darrell Bock
[Crosstalk] Schizo Christ.
Scott Horrell
So that too is rejected about 430 and the one objecting to that forcefully was another man named Eutyches who was mixing up the nature so the divine became human and the human became divine, and the Church said, "No, that's not right either." So we arrive at Ephesus, Council of Ephesus in 431, more clearly the famous Council of Chalcedon or the Definitio Fide, the Faithful Definition in 451 where we come to – the language was not used there but what we call – here's a big word – hypostatic union, meaning infinite nature of God together with the very finite nature of humanity together, not confused not separable in one person of Christ.
Darrell Bock
Yeah and so we end up with the interesting questions like well and then alongside this we have texts. Jesus grew in wisdom, you know, in Luke 2. We have the idea of Jesus suffering a death. Okay, God doesn’t die, those kinds of things so –
Justin Bass
If I can add another wonderful theological word that Scott Horrell taught me in Trinitarianism, one that stuck with me forever was "perichoresis".
Scott Horrell
Oh, yeah.
Justin Bass
Pronouncing that correct? Perichoresis. I love that. The mutual in-dwelling of the Son and the Father and the Spirit in one another. I think that's just such a beautiful teaching and we see it in John 17. "I and the Father and the Father's in me."
Scott Horrell
I think Hebrews is extraordinary because Chapter 1 is all about the deity of our Lord. Even angels are –
Darrell Bock
[Crosstalk] Absolutely.
Scott Horrell
Chapters 2, 3, 4 and up to 5:10 he's tempted in all manner like as we. He was proved faithful as our servant – as our high priest in all of this. You have them put together and yet there's no final theology of explaining this to us. That's what's given us 2,000 years of fascination.
Darrell Bock
That's why you have a job, right? [Laughs]
Scott Horrell
If I get it right in our podcast, yes.
Darrell Bock
That's good. Well, they'll be writing you later. They'll send me the cards and letters and I'll just pass them on.
Scott Horrell
There you go.
Justin Bass
But to you agree that all the Trinitarian theology is a footnote to the Chalcedonian and the Cappadocian Fathers and . . .
Scott Horrell
Well, I wouldn't say – I would say in one way Chalcedon is a footnote to Nicea or the confession of trinity. Jesus really is God like the Father is God. There's not two gods. There's one God and yet Father and son are in real relationship so this has been interesting. At the ETS, the Evangelical Theological Society meeting, the annual one just a month ago as we're speaking right now, trinity was the main topic. Does God have one mind, one will, one action or can we say with Father, Son, Holy Spirit there's three wills, three minds, three activities as each glorifies and loves the other? And I think I want to say yes, both. Both have to be true if you have true trinitarianism.
Darrell Bock
[Laughs] Right, right, interesting.
Scott Horrell
So then Chalcedon is how is it? Is Jesus is really God, how is he human? How is he man? And there's Chalcedon.
Darrell Bock
So you take a semester, I take it, to go through this or a good part of the semester to go through this for students?
Scott Horrell
Oh, surely. Love it, yes.
Justin Bass
One of the greatest classes here other than Luke and Acts.
Darrell Bock
And you put – I'll pass on that. And you'll – you associate, help students associate passages with concepts that have been discussed and the way this has been articulated philosophically? We've stayed out of the Trinitarian language of the ousian and homousian and all that stuff that comes earlier that's a part of this.
Scott Horrell
Sure.
Darrell Bock
So there's a very technical conversation, particularly on trying to nail down the divine side of things and how it interacts with the human I think is what often happens. And then what I think happens to people popularly is that they create this and articulate this Jesus in which obviously the super-human or the divine features almost overwhelm the human side.
Scott Horrell
Yeah, I was a missionary in Latin American for 18 years in Sao Paulo. Taught right by the Pontifical University. In Latin thought very often the deity of Christ is raised so high that I can't – he's God. He's not gonna sin. He doesn't really understand me, but Mary his mother really does. So I'll talk to her or the saints as in more classical Catholicism. They understand me and Mary will talk with her son and her son won't deny his mother what I request, so Jesus is almost taken out of the equation. He's set aside as so fully God that he doesn’t understand me and I don't understand him, so I'll go through the saints and Mary.
Darrell Bock
So the kind of transcendence that often comes in a theology that has a high view of God that almost removes him from being in touch with us …
Scott Horrell
Practically so.
Darrell Bock
… comes into place and that actually is not a biblical faith, is it?
Scott Horrell
No, not at all.
Justin Bass
They're completely missing, I mean, you think of Hebrews and John which has the highest Christology. We also see Jesus as the most human. I mean he learned obedience through what he suffered in Hebrews 5 and we also see in John how he is clearly getting tired, learning. He's very clearly presented as a human in John even though he in the beginning was Word, was the Word and the Word was God so …
Darrell Bock
Well, all of that is to lay groundwork for the rest of what we want to talk about, which is thinking about Christology kind of turned on its head and to think about if I'm a person who walks up to Jesus and what I see is just kind of another human being, okay, I don't have this theological understanding. How does the scripture provoke my thinking to think about who it is that Jesus really is? And granted, as you mentioned, there are a few places where it just outright says it. There are even fewer places where Jesus himself outright says it and, as you noted, those are predominantly present in spots in the Gospel of John and some of them are said by Jesus and some of those are said to Jesus and he accepts it. Perhaps the most famous of those is the word of the doubting Thomas, "My Lord, my God" at the end of that narrative.

There are a wide variety of ways in which this is done, but my point is that scripture is literally loaded with other ways to do this that we often don't think about and that often are in many ways just as revealing. So I want to talk about those for a second and talk about it from a New Testament side on the one hand and then theologically reflect on the other. So I'm gonna just go through kind of a list of texts and so let's start here.

Perhaps one of the ones that shows up earliest in a gospel narrative is the scene in Mark 2 where Jesus is confronted with a paralytic who has come to have Jesus heal him and I love this. This is one of my favorite passages in all of scripture. It's a great story. I mean it's crowded. They can't get in. I mean everything about it says this isn't happening.
Justin Bass
It's blasphemy.
Darrell Bock
The creative group climbs up on the roof, lowers him down in front of Jesus. I can imagine watching the whatever descended from above …
Scott Horrell
Digging into the roof
Darrell Bock
… digging as they dug into the roof and cut out the way to drop down and they put it before him. And what Jesus says to the guy is not be healed or get up and walk. He says to him …
Justin Bass
Your sins are forgiven.
Darrell Bock
Your sins are forgiven. And then there are the theologians in the audience.
Scott Horrell
[Laughs] Easy.
Darrell Bock
Now you always got to be aware of theologians in the audience, okay, because the theologians in the audience, they immediately pick up on what Jesus has actually done. They get what we call the cultural script. They get what's going on here and their reaction is he can't do that and why can't he do it?
Justin Bass
Only God can do it. Isaiah 43.
Darrell Bock
Only God can forgive sin. But you got a problem, okay. This is why I love this, okay. How do you see forgiveness of sins? Ever thought about that for a second? How do you see forgiveness of sins?
Justin Bass
It's difficult.
Darrell Bock
Okay, you're a theologian, right.
Scott Horrell
Good point. Sort of invisible, isn't it?
Darrell Bock
[Laughs] Oh, there they went. See you later. Glad you took off. Oh yeah, Jesus did that. So you can't see forgiveness of sins. He's making a claim and a divine claim at that that you actually cannot see. You can't verify in the way particularly our empirical world would verify it, right. And so he does this: He asks a question and the question is, you know, what's harder to say? Your sins are forgiven or get up and walk? Now, we're approaching final exams week, right? This is a great question to ask a student on a graduating exam. Which is easier to – and it's a little bit of a trick question, right, because on the one hand pretty hard to say get up and walk unless you can heal somebody, right? That's high up there on the ladder. And on the other hand, if you say your sins are forgiven, that's actually in one area pretty easy because no one can test to see if it's happened, right?
Scott Horrell
[Crosstalk]
Darrell Bock
[Crosstalk] So I can get away with saying that although if I said to you, Scott, your sins are forgiven I know you're …
Scott Horrell
I know I wouldn't be too pressed. [Laughs]
Darrell Bock
I know you wouldn't be too comforted, right? So there's something going on here and then Jesus just to – I love it. He's got – he comes around and he says "In order that you might know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth, I say to you get up and walk."
Justin Bass
So he showing something visible to prove the invisible.
Darrell Bock
Exactly right. That's exactly what he's doing. He's showing you something that you can see that's difficult to do and that in the minds of the audience would take some type of transcendent power to accomplish and it becomes the verification for something you can't see. I call this a Power Point, all right. He's making a point about his power, okay. It's gonna be visible and so when this guy gets up and walks, his walk talks, and it says the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. Now, in going through all that we can't forget where we started, which is with our theologians, our blessed theologians …
Justin Bass
[Crosstalk] He cannot forgive.
Darrell Bock
… that say, I say, now don't give the Pharisees too hard a time here, all right, because one of the ironies of the Gospels is that sometimes the observations that the theologians make even as Pharisees is correct. You put that all together what is that passage now telling you I ask the theologian. [Laughs]
Scott Horrell
Well, I think somewhere on the same level as the theologians are the demons in Mark 1 who seem to get
Darrell Bock
[Laughs] They also get it right.
Justin Bass
They get it earlier than the rest.
Darrell Bock
Fair enough.
Scott Horrell
So the Christology of demons even in Chapter 1. What are the disciples and others who hear demons saying "Who are you, Son of God, that have come to cast us into the pit" or whatever else. I mean several times in Mark so that's prefacing even Mark 2.
Darrell Bock
Right.
Scott Horrell
The supernatural world got it right before the Pharisees began to try to figure it out to [crosstalk]
Darrell Bock
[Crosstalk] And so notice what's happening here. Some of the very opponents who are objecting to what Jesus is doing in an ironic kind of way are making a testimony and revealing who Jesus is as he's doing the variety of things that he's doing.
Justin Bass
And I think that question is key all throughout Mark because we see it repeated where the Pharisees say there “Who is this who forgives sins?"
Darrell Bock
Right, yeah.
Justin Bass
But the question "Who is this?" I think that's what the story is supposed to enact from us from the audience there but also from the reader. Who is this who can do this? I like to parallel it with when I've taught on this, I've paralleled it right next to each other. It's powerful when you do it with I can't remember the exact verse but it's in 2 Samuel 12 when Nathan gives the great parable to David, and then David falls on his face after he says, "You are the man." And he says, "Don't worry, David. Yahweh has forgiven your sins." He says "The Lord has forgiven your sins," and you parallel that with what Jesus says. Jesus says "Your sins are forgiven" but he says, "The Lord has forgiven your sins." You're already seeing something different with Jesus than the prophets of old.
Darrell Bock
That's right and that actually comes into another point that comes when the miracle stories come up in the New Testament. It goes something like this: That there are really three ways in which miracles are performed in Jewish materials. This isn't just talking about New Testament. And it says they are mediators of numinous power. Numinous power is transcendent power pointing to something supernatural that's at work. They are mediators of numinous power, which means they use an object or some type of thing to invoke the gods to act. Some type of formula or something like that is the way that would work. Magical formula would fit into this category.

The second category is they are partitioners of numinous power. They pray to God that God would act and he acts. So they're healers but they're not direct healers, if you will, okay. The third category is called they are bearers of numinous power. Now, if you actually study the Jewish materials carefully, you will find that they bulk of healings that take place in the context of Judaism belong in those first two categories. There are very few people who act directly and kind of bypass the appeal to God either through prayer or through the use of an object that he has somehow designated as the means by which to do this, to mediate this healing.

And the observations made – this is by a book by Eric Eve called The Jewish Context of Jesus' Miracles. And the point that he makes is the bulk of the Gospel miracles are Jesus is a bearer of numinous power. He doesn't pray before the miracle happens and he doesn’t use, generally speaking, an object through which to perform the miracle. He simply speaks and it happens.
Justin Bass
It's the I’s. It's the ego.
Darrell Bock
That's exactly right and in Mark 2, of course, the authority is directly stated as being his. "In order that you might know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins, I say to you get up and walk."
Scott Horrell
You know, I would say that's true in Mark 1 as well. I mean there were exorcists. Jewish people were famous for being that. But it's his own power in an instant, no formulas, no fees.
Darrell Bock
That's right.
Scott Horrell
Demon be gone. It is his own authority that casts them out so [crosstalk]
Darrell Bock
[Crosstalk] It’s the same idea
Justin Bass
We see him commanding the wind and the waves.
Scott Horrell
That gets pretty heavy.
Darrell Bock
[Crosstalk] And that was the other passage I was gonna go through because now we've mentioned demons, okay, and we've mentioned this paralytic guy who's gotten a healing. Now we're talking about the disciples. The disciples are looking at what's going on. They see him walk on the – calm the wind and the waves.
Justin Bass
Who is this?
Darrell Bock
Who is this that's able to calm the wind and the waves? And if you know your Old Testament, you know who's in charge of the wind and waves. God is.
Justin Bass
Psalm 107.
Darrell Bock
Exactly right so there are all these cultural scripts is what we call them, these embedded ideas in which God is associated with certain kinds of activity that Jesus is performing without invoking directly God as a separate figure and it's showing who he is, okay. It's not a, you know, I call it the non-Mohammed Ali approach. It isn't going around saying "I am God. I am pretty." Okay, all right but it's in the – I'm doing God stuff. What does that say about who I am?
Justin Bass
I'm doing things that only God can do.
Darrell Bock
That's right. Another passage that goes along the same lines – and we're gonna come up to a break so I may not get all the way through this. But another passage that goes along the same lines is John 9, the healing of the blind man. There's no blind person healed in the Old Testament. One of the signs of the eschaton is that blind people are going to be healed. This is something that God does. When the objection comes, the person who did this we don't think he's theologically orthodox is basically the objection. The blind man goes "Look, I don't know. You can raise – all I know is I can see."
Justin Bass
We've never heard of anyone healing someone going blind, as they say in the story.
Darrell Bock
In the end there's in the backdrop the fact that this is associated with in some cases you've got healings going on the Sabbath as well. You had that to mention and the Jewish belief was God doesn't help someone who violates the Lord's day. Boom, you've got another dilemma on your hands.

Let me go to another one. This is a fun one. This is the disputes on the Sabbath, okay, and I think to set the table for this we just need to sit back and think through what the Sabbath day is, okay. I mean in one sense how far back in the biblical story does the Sabbath go?
Justin Bass
First chapter, chapter 2 first few verses of Genesis.
Darrell Bock
Okay so we're in Genesis 1 and 2, right. We've got the week. God rests on the seventh day. That becomes the basis for having the Sabbath so that's an interesting starting point. Who's responsible for telling Israel that the Sabbath is important, okay? God is, right? Ten Commandments, pretty important set of commandments. Sabbath in there.
Scott Horrell
First four.
Darrell Bock
Okay, there it is so you've got that one. So there's just lots of ways in which the – I actually think this is one that escapes us because for us the Sabbath is not a big deal anymore. I mean we don't think about it enough and how it functions theologically.
Justin Bass
For the Jews at the time of Jesus, the Sabbath was something willing to die for.
Darrell Bock
Yeah and it was a distinctive marker of Judaism to have this day.
Justin Bass
Exactly, circumcision, temple.
Darrell Bock
So you're talking about in one sense it's the Lord's day. I mean it's the day that you set aside to rest but also it was set aside and designed to be a day not only of rest but also of reflection about who God is, etcetera, and so it's the Lord's day. So we get these disciples roaming down the road, right, coming down and they're plucking grain, okay. Looks pretty innocent to me. I mean, right, people need to eat.
Scott Horrell
I've done it.
Darrell Bock
I haven't thought about plucking grain on the Sabbath but no, no, it looks pretty innocent, right. And our theologians are present again, aren't they. [Laughs] They show up, right.
Justin Bass
Spying on that freedom they have in Christ.
Darrell Bock
Spying on the freedom they have, yeah, and although I'm not sure they – maybe they recognize they have that freedom in Christ already or not. But whether they do or not, they issue a little protest.
Justin Bass
A fatwa.
Group
[Laughs]
Darrell Bock
Oh man and the protest is?
Scott Horrell
Well, you can't heal on the Sabbath.
Darrell Bock
Yeah, you can't heal on the Sabbath. You can't pluck grain on the Sabbath, right.
Justin Bass
Again, who are you?
Darrell Bock
It's interesting. Actually, we got two solid controversies. Your mention of healing. There are actually two events back to back. There's the plucking of grain on the Sabbath followed by a healing on the Sabbath. Okay, you can't do that. There's a wonderful passage in the Mishna. It's Sanhedrin 7:2 and it's called the 40 Less 1. It's the 39 things the second century AD Jewish tradition said you cannot do on the Sabbath, okay, and threshing is in the list. Plucking is in the list, that kind of thing so they've definitely violated that part of the deal. So Jesus responds, okay. For this one we probably ought to go to Matthew 12 because Matthew 12 gives more examples.
Scott Horrell
Oh, that's the sharp one.
Darrell Bock
Okay, all right and it comes – I say this is four responses but there really are three and then one, okay. So the first is David, right, and what does David do with his men? They eat the showbread.
Justin Bass
They eat the showbread.
Darrell Bock
And Jesus explicitly says, "They eat the showbread which is not permitted to eat." Okay so that's the first.
Justin Bass
Except for priests.
Darrell Bock
Except for priests, okay, so there's an example within the scripture, and I'm assuming that in the background here – and maybe this is a bad assumption but I think it's a decent one. Because there wasn't a lightning bolt or something that came down because they survived that violation of the law that that's supposed to give the objectors pause about understanding what's going on in the scripture, okay. Second example is, I believe, the exhortation out of the prophets that I desire mercy and not sacrifice if I'm not mistaken.
Scott Horrell
Isaiah.
Darrell Bock
Okay so there's a prophetic reason perhaps. The third example is –
Scott Horrell
That's the big one.
Darrell Bock
Well, the third one is the working in the temple, right. Don't they work in the temple on the Sabbath?
Scott Horrell
Oh, you're talking Matthew 12?
Darrell Bock
Yeah, I'm talking Matthew 12, right? So the third one is working on the Sabbath, and then the last one is in a category unto itself.
Scott Horrell
Absolutely.
Darrell Bock
And it says – you've got the Bible open there.
Scott Horrell
"And they brought to him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute and Jesus healed him so he could both talk and see" and this was the Sabbath so it's an accusation.
Justin Bass
I think it's every time Jesus does a healing he does it – if we're told what day it is, it's on the Sabbath.
Darrell Bock
It's on the Sabbath, that's right.
Justin Bass
It's very intentional.
Darrell Bock
And the fourth response …
Justin Bass
Goes back to that Mishna.
Darrell Bock
… I think at the beginning of Chapter 12 I think we're dealing with the …
Scott Horrell
The grain fields.
Darrell Bock
… the grain fields and I think the fourth response is in the grain field passages and the Son of Man is …
Justin Bass
Lord of the Sabbath.
Darrell Bock
… Lord of the Sabbath.
Scott Horrell
Yes, Verse 8.
Darrell Bock
The way I read this, okay, I got three reasons that come from scripture that should give you pause that not every time this happens you got a problem, okay. But then – I don't want to use the card analogy. I apologize – there is the card, the joker that you play at the end that wins the hand. And the joker that's being played is the Son of Man and the joke in the joker is Lord of the Sabbath. Now here's the question: Who has the authority to be Lord over the day that is the Lord's?
Justin Bass
Oh, of course. That's right. And this just happens to be one of the sayings that even the most critical of scholars agree Jesus said.
Darrell Bock
That's right.
Justin Bass
Jesus said, "The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."
Darrell Bock
So you've got that so that's another one so look at what we've got. We've got forgiveness of sins. We've got healing on the Sabbath. We've got a claim of authority over the Sabbath. We've got a claim of authority over how the creation operates in the calming of the winds and the waves.
Justin Bass
Hush, be still.
Darrell Bock
Hush, be still so we're building all these little categories along the way.
Justin Bass
We could add the bridegroom, the fact that Jesus presents himself as the bridegroom. He also presents himself as the shepherd of Israel and so we see those titles and the image of bridegroom and shepherd is very specific to the Old Testament of Yahweh of the God of Israel.
Darrell Bock
Although on that one there could be an ambiguity because David is presented as a shepherd who shepherds the person as a king. So some of these …
Justin Bass
The new David, the new David that's to come.
Darrell Bock
That's right. Play with the ambiguity between the human category for which it is associated and the divine category out of which it also could be associated.
Justin Bass
I think it's all of them coming together. That's what makes it so incredible of what's being applied to Jesus.
Darrell Bock
Let me give you another one. This is actually one of my favorites because I think this one's really subtle. Jesus is gathered at the Last Supper.
Justin Bass
Also one of my favorites. You know I use this one.
Darrell Bock
Yeah, this is fun. Okay so what kind of a meal is this? We know from the synoptics it is a …
Justin Bass
Passover meal.
Darrell Bock
… Passover meal, okay. Cultural script. Passover, designated feast out of the Torah, prescribed as to how Israel is supposed to observe it. Also prescribed for what event it connects to, okay. It is a retelling of the time of the tenth plague when death passed over and out of the backside of that last plague came the liberation of the nation for which they are grateful so all that's in place.

So Jesus gathers them together for Passover meal and he says, "Guys, you have heard it said unto you we're supposed to celebrate a Passover. But today I'm telling you we are going to reconfigure this imagery."
Justin Bass
Surprise after 1,400 years.
Darrell Bock
And so now these elements that you've been associating with something else are now gonna be associated …
Justin Bass
With me.
Darrell Bock
… with me and my death. Here's the question: Who has the right to change a Torah national feast and redefine all the liturgy associated with it? What kind of person is that? And so I ask my theologian … [Laughs]
Scott Horrell
I believe.
Justin Bass
If you remember
Darrell Bock
Yeah, go ahead. What's going on here? What would you say?
Scott Horrell
Well, is the New Testament in my blood? A quarter of the Bible that has something to do with this.
Darrell Bock
That's exactly right.
Scott Horrell
So a new covenant. Jeremiah's new promised covenant at least is partially now being fulfilled.
Darrell Bock
That's right.
Scott Horrell
Go to the 12 tribes. Now we'll learn soon it goes to all the nations.
Darrell Bock
Okay so that's how the symbolism changes, but the question alongside I'm asking is what gives Jesus the right to walk in and alter all of that?
Scott Horrell
He is the Son of Man not in the sense of Ezekiel being called Son of Man but Daniel 7, this other one will be given a kingdom. Surely pieces were beginning to come together at this point.
Justin Bass
This is the suffering sermon of Isaiah 53. He's both. He's the exalted, vindicated Son of Man of Daniel 7. He's also the suffering servant of Isaiah 53 that will bear the sins of Israel. So this is how God is gonna bring about his new exodus.
Darrell Bock
And so Jesus is exercising this kind of liturgical authority and he … let me ask it this way. Who has the right to change what God has revealed?
Scott Horrell
God.
Darrell Bock
Exactly.
Justin Bass
And the greatest feast day, the greatest event. I mean the way we look back at the cross in the New Testament is the exodus of the Old Testament.
Darrell Bock
So here's another. I do think it's a very subtle kind of Christological claim but I think it's an interesting …
Justin Bass
I think it has it all, incredible.
Darrell Bock
… Christological claim. It's right in the middle of everything that Jesus is doing. He's explaining the whole point of why he's come to the earth. He's taken the symbol of what it means for Israel to be a delivered nation and the act of deliverance that God has. And we've created the second and now ultimate deliverance out of this and he now takes that same piece and transforms all the imagery in relationship to himself. And the only way that can happen legitimately is if two things happen: if he has the authority to do it, which points to who he is, and then he executes what's being depicted in such a way that he's there to be on the other side of it, which is of course what the crucifixion and resurrection are all about.
Scott Horrell
Well, the pascal lamb.
Darrell Bock
Yeah, exactly.
Justin Bass
I almost this passage – I'd like to hear what you think on this. But I think it almost speaks to Jesus himself, his own consciousness of what he came to do.
Darrell Bock
Absolutely.
Justin Bass
I think this passage more than any other and especially because of how historically solid it is because we don't just have it in the gospels. We have this saying in this entire account we have in 1 Corinthians 11.
Darrell Bock
Absolutely.
Justin Bass
So I mean if we have any authentic words of Jesus in the Bible, it's these. "This is my body. This is my blood. This is the new covenant." I mean this shows that he was thinking of himself not just as the Son of Man but as the suffering servant of Isaiah 53.
Darrell Bock
Yeah and if we apply the standard kinds of rules that get applied to critical things like this when it comes to Jesus, we've got an epistle that says it. We've got the tradition out of the Gospels that says it, so it's what's called multiply attested. It isn't just that it's told four times.
Scott Horrell
That's right.
Darrell Bock
It's told from distinct independent sources in doing so.
Justin Bass
And so early.
Darrell Bock
And very, very early in doing so, so there's all that that's going on.
Justin Bass
This is what Bart Ehrman struggled with, you remember, in our discussion.
Darrell Bock
Yeah, exactly to again and here's what I think is going on. Here's why I think these categories are important and, Scott, I'd love your reaction to this and that is we were joking about this in the break. If I walked into the room and said I'm God, okay, you're a theologian. What would you do?
Scott Horrell
I would ask for white coats and chains.
Darrell Bock
[Laughs] Yeah, exactly, okay so how do you do it? I mean because obviously the assumption in these texts is he has every right to say that, but how is he gonna be heard for saying that?
Scott Horrell
I think it's so profound the way our Lord comes into this world. Of course, Muslims say well, Jesus never claimed to be God, things like that. I like to turn it around in class and say all right, let's talk about it. What if Jesus had said he is God? You're to worship me. Of course, we've got Philippians 2 that says he didn't do that, didn't grasp equality with God in the sense of claiming his rights. He eschewed them and how fascinating. How biblical, how beautiful that is. I mean he's even deflecting "Are you the Christ" and questions like that. He pushes those aside. He won't answer those because he wants to define it himself.

But if somebody's coming down to say they're God, you know, the old C.S. Lewis stuff, you lock them or they're crazy as an egg or whatever else it might be. But the profoundness of Jesus indirectly showing hundreds of times that he is Messiah. But there's an evocation of disciples and others who come to say "Well, who are you?" That's what the crowds were saying and there's something about Jesus that just fascinates and pulls us in to say wow, I don't understand this, but this is not just a spirit-filled man. There is an authority reality of this one that goes beyond anything human we've ever seen.

So he attracts. It's like a magnet for those God calls to himself. There's a beauty there. I think in the mystery of "no one comes to me unless the Father draws him" and yet "whosoever will may come." There is this beauty that, you know, somebody like a Friedrich Nietzsche or Kazantzakis. They can understand the Gospel and reject it and yet a Helen Keller or G.K. Chesterton or T.S. Eliot they hear and there's something that draws them. So I actually see behind the mystery of our Lord presenting himself, a kind of sovereignty of the Lord at the same time. He draws. He attracts.
Justin Bass
Even with his humility.
Scott Horrell
Yeah, with that beauty those that are his own.
Darrell Bock
Yeah, I call it the combination of two things. I think there's an invitation and there's a kind of enticement at the same time in which he isn't compelling it. It is a disclosure, okay, that invites a response.
Scott Horrell
And at the same time kind of a subtle sovereignty behind it all.
Darrell Bock
That's right.
Scott Horrell
You didn't choose me. I chose you.
Darrell Bock
Right, right.
Scott Horrell
So there's the fascination of all that together.
Justin Bass
But I think this is the greatest question of Christology of early Christology is how this crucified man who never wrote anything, who wasn't a conqueror, how he so quickly – not centuries later but within the first decade – is already being hailed as Lord of the world and the God of Israel in the flesh. I mean how is that possible? That's the great question of Christology.
Darrell Bock
In the context of a political power and presence of Rome that was absolutely totally overwhelming in many ways. And so and yet people were drawn to him and saying it's not the guy in Rome.
Justin Bass
They're saying this crucified man is Lord and not Caesar who has all the power. It's incredible.
Darrell Bock
Yeah, you look at that initially and you go that's got to be crazy but it's true.
Justin Bass
And, of course, the Caesars were bowing down to Jesus within about 300 years.
Darrell Bock
Well, the line I like to use
Scott Horrell
The Son of God, yes.
Darrell Bock
The line I like to use is that everyone knows who Jesus is and now Nero is the name for a dog. [Laughs]
Justin Bass
That's right, exactly. I do like that.
Scott Horrell
[Crosstalk]. . . my dog.
Justin Bass
Especially Nero. We should pick on Nero I think. He's pretty bad.
Darrell Bock
Yeah, that's right, exactly.
Justin Bass
He is the antichrist.
Scott Horrell
[Crosstalk] Dalmatians.
Darrell Bock
He's worthy. He's worthy.
Group
[Laughter and crosstalk]
Darrell Bock
So well, a fascinating conversation so let's kind of loop around. We've kind of done some of these. I mean we could do many more but I think we've kind of given the feel for what – well, let me give you one more. I can't pass this.
Justin Bass
I had one I wanted to – I don't know.
Darrell Bock
Okay, go for it.
Justin Bass
But I just love it's not actually what Jesus does, but it's the way Mark and really all the Gospels present Jesus because they all begin with bringing in the word of Isaiah of Isaiah 40 as John the Baptist is preparing and they quote Isaiah 40:3. He's preparing the way for the Lord and, of course, again if you go back to the text of Isaiah 40, he's preparing the way for Yahweh. And who is John the Baptist preparing the way for? He's preparing the way for Jesus and I think that, I mean, right off the bat in Mark in the earliest Gospel, I think we have really if you go deep into that text. It's subtle, but I think you have the same as "Before Abraham is, I am." I think that's incredible.
Darrell Bock
I had a different one and that is who gets to mess with the temple, the temple cleansing. What gives him the authority? You could say well, that's just a prophetic act. But really it's not a prophetic act because he entered into the city before he went to the temple on the back of the donkey claiming to bring a kingdom as its king.

And the first thing he does when he enters the capitol is to go to the temple and assert his authority over the temple to challenge the way in which the temple is being operated. I mean he really goes to the heart of what Judaism – there's only one temple in second temple Judaism – and does his thing.
Justin Bass
I see – I don't know what you think but I think it's also similar to Isaiah 40. It's the fulfillment of Malachi 3:1 where it says "The Lord whom you seek will come to his temple." I mean the Jews were waiting hundreds and hundreds of years. God's gonna somehow return. What's this gonna look like? It actually looked like an incarnation and he actually walked into that temple. That's fulfillment of Malachi.
Darrell Bock
This is one that has that ambiguity to it that I talked about before, which is it can kind of work – you can put your weight on either foot. There's a messianic foot or who has the authority? The way to make the more divine point of it is who has the authority to mess with and define the sanctity of God's temple except God himself.
Justin Bass
Yeah, putting those together.
Darrell Bock
You can put those together but the point is some of these are designed to be kind of both and. They're designed to show how they play on both sides because Jesus is making for people the transition from the earth up.
Justin Bass
He's the Messiah but he's something so much more.
Darrell Bock
More or another way to say it is he's the Messiah but what kind of person is the Messiah? And he's pushing that side of it in this whole second half of Jesus' ministry is pushing. On the one hand it's yes, he's gonna suffer. You weren’t expecting that of the Messiah. But the other half of it is he's gonna be exalted. And you probably may not have been expecting that of the Messiah at least in the way God's gonna exalt him out of this so there's a huge package deal here. Go ahead.
Scott Horrell
I have a fascinating quote. R.T. France has not written as many books as our host, Dr. Bock, but he's well-known for his commentaries. This is out of an old book I Came to Set the Earth on Fire: A Portrait of Jesus. Three or four sentences.
Darrell Bock
Okay.
Scott Horrell
One remarkable feature of Jesus' teachings as the Gospels record it is how much he talks about himself and what staggering claims these things involve. He called men to believe in him, to trust him. He demanded their uncompromising allegiance to himself and declared that the criterion of their final judgment would be their response to him. He sent them out in his name. He gave them power and protection. He forgave sins and invited the distressed "Come to me and I will give you rest." In one remarkable passage he pictured himself as the judge of all nations sitting as king on his throne and pronouncing eternal judgment on the basis of what men had done to him." With his humility all his authority as well.
Darrell Bock
That's amazing. You know the "in his name" is an important idea because if you think again, put it in a Jewish context. There's only one name that's involved in the business of deliverance, right. There's only one person who's the object of devotion. This is a monotheistic religion and yet religious, you know, he commissions the end of Matthew. He commissions people to go out and baptize people in his name, okay, the name of the Father, the Son and the Spirit. That tells you something.
Justin Bass
That's right.
Darrell Bock
And so one of the fascinating parts of this – and our time has vanished – one of the fascinating parts of this is how many different ways Jesus does this this way. He reveals who he is by what he says or what he does. And if you understand the context of what it is that he is evoking, then you will get what he is doing and saying. In fact he's saying who he is by what he does.
Justin Bass
That's right.
Darrell Bock
And in that we come to see who Jesus really is. Well, I thank you all for taking the time to help us explore this idea and we welcome you back to The Table and hope you'll come to see us again soon.

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