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Why Jesus Quoted Scripture

Posted by adventbiblestudy on May 11, 2013


Study methods explained. Bible stories, studies with links between Old and New Testament texts.

Learning about prophecies fulfilled shows how to understand all scripture.

Looking at scripture Jesus quoted is key to understanding what Jesus was teaching. Often the original Old Testament texts not only led into, explained and answered the questions He was asked, but added important details only revealed by reading surrounding texts. This is a mystery few people understand and based on the reception Jesus received, few are able or willing to accept. It may be the best evidence we have showing the Bible was written by the hand of God. If the religious leaders of Jesus’ day would have taken time to read the texts He pointed them to, they would have understood who He was, and never would have killed Him. Here are some examples fro Matthew chapter 12.

Matthew 12:7 NLTse But you would not have condemned my innocent disciples if you knew the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’

Isaiah 1:11-18 NLTse “What makes you think I want all your sacrifices?” says the LORD. “I am sick of your burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fattened cattle. I get no pleasure from the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. (12) When you come to worship me, who asked you to parade through my courts with all your ceremony? (13) Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts; the incense of your offerings disgusts me! As for your celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath and your special days for fasting– they are all sinful and false. I want no more of your pious meetings. (14) I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals. They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them! (15) When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look. Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen, for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims. (16) Wash yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways. (17) Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows. (18) “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.

Notice how the original Old Testament texts has two parts. The first explained the question Jesus was asked. But some Pharisees saw them do it and protested, “Look, your disciples are breaking the law by harvesting grain on the Sabbath.” (Matthew 12:2 NLTse). The second part of the prophecy answers the next question Jesus was faced with, before He was asked.

Then Jesus went over to their synagogue, where he noticed a man with a deformed hand. The Pharisees asked Jesus, “Does the law permit a person to work by healing on the Sabbath?” (They were hoping he would say yes, so they could bring charges against him.) (Matthew 12:9-10 NLTse)

Jesus not only answered their question by example:

Matthew 12:12-13 NLTse And how much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Yes, the law permits a person to do good on the Sabbath.” (13) Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored, just like the other one!

Jesus already provided the answer in the OT texts He pointed them to before the event occurred.

Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows. “ Jesus was not only able to back up what He said with scripture, He was given the ability to quote scripture to explain the next event the Holy Spirit was leading Him to. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus answered their question BEFORE they had any idea they were going to ask it. Based on the fact this prophecy was written hundreds of years before Jesus was born proves – only God could have written it.

Matthew 12:14-16 NLTse Then the Pharisees called a meeting to plot how to kill Jesus. (15) But Jesus knew what they were planning. So he left that area, and many people followed him. He healed all the sick among them, (16) but he warned them not to reveal who he was.

It was evident the religious leaders did not agree with Jesus’ answer about the Sabbath. The priests thought they had the authority to establish rules for the Sabbath. For the most part, they left God out of their decisions. This not only broke God’s heart, but worked to turn many people away from Him. God did not want us to miss the lesson, so He repeated it in the same chapter.

Matthew 12:17-21 NLTse This fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah concerning him: (18) “Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen. He is my Beloved, who pleases me. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. (19) He will not fight or shout or raise his voice in public. (20) He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. Finally he will cause justice to be victorious. (21) And his name will be the hope of all the world.

Isaiah 42:1-9 NLTse “Look at my servant, whom I strengthen. He is my chosen one, who pleases me. I have put my Spirit upon him. He will bring justice to the nations. (2) He will not shout or raise his voice in public. (3) He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged. (4) He will not falter or lose heart until justice prevails throughout the earth. Even distant lands beyond the sea will wait for his instruction.” (5) God, the LORD, created the heavens and stretched them out. He created the earth and everything in it. He gives breath to everyone, life to everyone who walks theearth. And it is he who says, (6) “I, the LORD, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness. I will take you by the hand and guard you, and I will give you to my people, Israel, as a symbol of my covenant with them. And you will be a light to guide the nations. (7) You will open the eyes of the blind. You will free the captives from prison, releasing those who sit in dark dungeons. (8) “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to anyone else, nor share my praise with carved idols. (9) Everything I prophesied has come true, and now I will prophesy again. I will tell you the future before it happens.

Reading the full prophecy adds so many details. The end of this prophecy is significant. “I will tell you the future before it happens.” Another vital point to the second half of this prophecy is opening the eyes of the blind. When we consider this prophecy was written hundreds of years before Jesus was born, the fact Jesus knew to quote this specific text on this day in history is amazing to say the least. Look at the next event the Spirit led Jesus into.

Matthew 12:22 NLTse Then a demon-possessed man, who was blind and couldn’t speak, was brought to Jesus. He healed the man so that he could both speak and see.

Matthew 12:28 NLTse But if I am casting out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you.

A close study of the Bible shows how Jesus actually used scripture to answer questions before asked. Jesus not only quoted Old Testament scripture to reveal near future events, He also pointed the priests to hidden prophecies about Him, His death and resurrection. Jesus pointed them back to Jonah.

Matthew 12:39-40 NLTse But Jesus replied, “Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah. (40) For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.

Jonah 2:1-10 NLTse Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from inside the fish. (2) He said, “I cried out to the LORD in my great trouble, and he answered me. I called to you from the land of the dead, and LORD, you heard me! (3) You threw me into the ocean depths, and I sank down to the heart of the sea. The mighty waters engulfed me; I was buried beneath your wild and stormy waves. (4) Then I said, ‘O LORD, you have driven me from your presence. Yet I will look once more toward your holy Temple.’ (5) “I sank beneath the waves, and the waters closed over me. Seaweed wrapped itself around my head. (6) I sank down to the very roots of the mountains. I was imprisoned in the earth, whose gates lock shut forever. But you, O LORD my God, snatched me from the jaws of death! (7) As my life was slipping away, I remembered the LORD. And my earnest prayer went out to you in your holy Temple. (8) Those who worship false gods turn their backs on all God’s mercies. (9) But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise, and I will fulfill all my vows. For my salvation comes from the LORD alone.” (10) Then the LORD ordered the fish to spit Jonah out onto the beach.

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2 Responses to “Why Jesus Quoted Scripture”

  1. Richard said

    Wow! Great study.

    Like

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