After a break for Advent, Redeemer’s senior pastor will return this Sunday, January 11 to our series from Deuteronomy. Listen to previous sermons here, and read below for his countdown to returning to this much beloved series:
Jesus taught the Word of God. He wrote the Word of God. Jesus IS the Living Word of God. Throughout his teaching ministry, for hope and truth and encouragement, Jesus regularly pointed people to God’s Word, which was for them the Old Testament. Below are the top four Old Testament books from which Jesus quoted most often:
#4 Exodus: In the last week of his life, when the great hope and reality of the resurrection must have been on his mind–when he wanted to encourage others with that great hope, Jesus quoted from Exodus 3 of Moses’ encounter with God at the burning bush. But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord “the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive. Luke 20:37, 38
# 3 Isaiah: In the days between His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem on Sunday and the Last Supper on Thursday night, Jesus cleansed the temple. He drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. Then He quoted Isaiah 56:7 when He said, “It is written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.’” Immediately afterward, the blind and the lame came to Jesus at the temple, and he healed them. What a picture of hope Jesus gives of His zeal and His power to make things right!
#2 Deuteronomy: Perhaps the most famous response Jesus ever gave to one who was trying to trap him in a game of wits is found in Matthew 22:37. In that account, an expert in the law tested Jesus with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?” Jesus replied by quoting from Deuteronomy 6:13: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. “
#1 Psalms: On the cross, suffering the agony of crucifixion, Jesus cried out in a loud voice the words of Psalm 22:1, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Then, when His suffering was over, Jesus fulfilled the words of Psalm 31:5, “Into your hands I commit my spirit…”
With His words and His life actions, Jesus both spoke and acted out the truth of God’s Word: the hope of the Word, the judgment of the Word, the duty required by the Word, and the love in action that fulfilled that Word.
Jesus quoted many more times from each of these four books and from other Old Testament books. So I am reminded once again of the truth that the Apostle Paul wrote to the young pastor Timothy:
ALL (emphasis mine) Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. II Timothy 3:16, New Living Translation
Some 16 months and 44 sermons later, we return this Sunday to our series from Deuteronomy–and why not? Where are we rushing off to? Wherever we are in God’s word, we are studying God’s truth: the truth that Jesus wrote, the truth that Jesus lived, and the truth by which the Spirit of Jesus renovates and transforms our lives.