The Bread King Sat on His Holy Hill – John 6, Ps 132

2010 March 12

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Do You Hear what I Hear? (Psalms)

The Feeding of the Five Thousand in John 6 is, in part, formed by emphases from the Psalms of Ascent, especially Ps 132, where the Messiah is the Bread King of giving to the poor.

I contend that the Psalms of Ascent were indeed used at times of pilgrimage to festival.  People give different explanations for their use, but one of the major views says that they were used on the way to the three annual festivals.

John’s gospel gives further reason to believe this, through two clues, the Lifting of Eyes, and the Bread King.

Looking Up

One thing characteristic of the Ascent is the lifting of eyes.

If these are pilgrim travelling songs for the ascent into the hills toward Zion, it would make sense that they should be lifting their eyes as they go up to Gods’ high place.

But only three places in all the Psalms talk of lifting eyes:

  • PS 121.1 I lift up my eyes to the hills.  From where does my help come?  My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
  • PS 123.1 To you I lift up my eyes,  O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
  • PS 131.1 O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me

These are all Psalms of Ascent.

In John 6.4-5, we hear:

Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. 5Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said…

Jesus lifts his eyes, and sees the crowd.  They are following him because he does famous miracles.  But there are so many present, precisely because it is the season for pilgrimage.  And if these pilgrims are singing, then the Psalms of Ascent would be what is on their minds and is in their hearts.

Maybe they had heard Ps 132 right before they got to the blessing of bread from David’s son.

The Bread King:

Ps 132, a Psalm of Ascent, talks about the blessing that will come from the coming king, the Christ, (anointed one) who will rise up from David’s  line of sons.  He will give bread to the poor.  David was the one who brought the ark home, he found it in a field, and returned it to its resting place.  David was seated there on his throne, the ark is the footstool of God’s throne.  Here’s the Psalm with keys underlined, and then look at the explanation of John 6 after:

1Remember, O LORD, in David’s favor,
all the hardships he endured,
2how he swore to the LORD
and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,
3“I will not enter my house
or get into my bed,
4I will not give sleep to my eyes
or slumber to my eyelids,
5until I find a place for the LORD,
a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”

6Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah;
we found it in the fields of Jaar.
7“Let us go to his dwelling place;
let us worship at his footstool!”

8 Arise, O LORD, and go to your resting place,
you and the ark of your might.
9Let your priests be clothed with righteousness,
and let your saints shout for joy.
10For the sake of your servant David,
do not turn away the face of your anointed one.

11 The LORD swore to David a sure oath
from which he will not turn back:
One of the sons of your body
I will set on your throne
.
12If your sons keep my covenant
and my testimonies that I shall teach them,
their sons also forever
shall sit on your throne
.”

13For the LORD has chosen Zion;
he has desired it for his dwelling place:
14This is my resting place forever;
here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
15I will abundantly bless her provisions;
I will satisfy her poor with bread.
16Her priests I will clothe with salvation,
and her saints will shout for joy.
17There I will make a horn to sprout for David;
I have prepared a lamp for my anointed.
18His enemies I will clothe with shame,
but on him his crown will shine.”

John 6.2-15, the Feeding of the Five Thousand is end capped by Jesus, the son of David “sitting on a mountain” (vv.3, 15)

He and the people sit (vv. 3, 10 twice, 11), and they come to a resting place in a field full of grass (v.10),

Because he gives them bread, they want to make him king (v.15).

Since so much of the Ascending Psalms are used for this event AT passover time, we may assume, the Psalms of Ascent were indeed part of the backdrop of Passover celebration.

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Trouble or Victory?

2008 December 15

“In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16.33 – Click to see John 16.25-33 at Logos)

I usually hear this verse when people are referring to the promise of trouble.  It seems, that Jesus is admitting to a background of trouble, but emphasizing the optimism of victory.  And the victory isn’t future, it is past:

Yes, it’s true there will be trouble – but keep your chin up –  I’ve already won the fight.


Jamie Soles – THESE ARE THEY

2008 May 17

John 5.39-40: 39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

Jamie Soles http://solmusic.ca

I only own 4 of Jamie Soles’ 12 albums. But the 4 discs contain 76 songs between them.


Giving infants the ROYAL treatment they deserve.

2007 November 20

Feed My Lambs

I imagine that nobody has been on pins and needles to hear my review of chapter one of The Auburn Avenue Theology: Pros and Cons – Debating the Federal Vision. For some reason, I just CAN’T get through the review of chapter 1, even though I have read it three times.

—so—

Instead of waiting until I can get the whole thing together, I will skip the theaters and send this tidbit direct to video…or just play it here [much of this is my own wording or reasoning, but inspired by a paragraph in Wilson’s work]:

Think of all the adult people you know at church.

Not just any long term visitor, but actual recognized members of the church. Now ask – do you treat these people like Christians? You have to treat them as Christians- unless you have enough proof to excommunicate them (declaring thus that they are not-faithfilled toward the Lord).

When an adult unbeliever converts – we baptize them, and afterwards everything we do toward them is with the normal assumption that they are Christians. BUT WAIT!, you say. Some of them will prove to be false.

You are right. But until they do, you base their treatment on their baptism; this is CLEAR:

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

(Gal 3.27)

In fact, Paul explicitly uses baptism of ALL church members to prove UNITY of all church members so that they have to treat each other equally; see the next verse.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

(3.28)


They are all ONE if they are “in Christ.”

—–So how do we know a man is “in Christ”?

—–ANSWER: “All the baptized have put on [become part of] the Christ, so none of you can act superior.”

If we treat Christians as Christians, then until a person proves to be a dead branch IN JESUS that God will break off and throw into the fire (John 15.1-6), we must accept them as part of the church – they are IN JESUS. And we say to them along with all of God’s people: “Hear O Israel, Yhwh OUR God, Yhwh is one God” (Deut 6.4 – My rephrasing – not inaccurate).

Here is the big therefore:

Therefore, we must treat baptized children the same way. Like Christians. WAIT, the Kingdom can’t belong to those too young to believe?

Now they were bringing EVEN INFANTS to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for TO SUCH BELONGS THE KINGDOM OF GOD. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not RECEIVE THE KINGDOM LIKE A CHILD shall not enter it.”

(Luke 18.15-17)

Part of the rebuke to us is that THE PEOPLE WE SHOULD BE ASKING ADVICE FROM ABOUT HOW TO GET THE KINGDOM RIGHT IS THE INFANTS.

In the biblical pattern, it isn’t just any random child, or every child, but the children of believers who are set apart for God through his covenant. (Gen 17, Ac 2.38-39, 1 Cor 7.13-15).

Will some of them leave the church? Yes, some will. But in the same way as there are some adults who leave even after profession and baptism and who seem to be believers.

But we expect all people who are covenant members to be believers.  And we should expect it, trusting God’s promise in Baptism: that the people of God, as a group are saved. So we say to everyone in the group – “You are saved.” Even the Infants.

Which is what we do in Baptism, AND the Lord’s Supper.

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–All scripture referrences, unless otherwise noted, are English Standard Version, thanks to Bible Gateway.