Wednesday, 26 December 2018
Question of the day: 1 Timothy 3:16 states in part, "great is the mystery of godliness." How do we unwrap the mystery?
Answer: The Greek transliteration is eusebeias mysterion meaning the mystery of godliness. The same verse gives us six steps or proofs for answering the question. Let's see what they are and their implications.
1. Revealed in the flesh: From the Greek word for "revealed" we get our English word "epiphany." Jewish scholars agree that God cannot take on human form. Why not? What would prevent Him? Asher Intrater deals with this exhaustively in his book "Who Ate Lunch With Abraham?" Emanuel is the Hebrew word meaning "God with us." Does Yeshua fulfill this prophesy or not? Isaiah 9:5a "For to us a child is born, a son will be given to us ..." The very same verse goes on to give us names for this child, "His Name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God My Father of Eternity." (Please see the RT at the bottom.)
2. Vindicated in the Spirit: The Greek word translated as “vindicated” is expanded as "to show to be righteous, declare righteous." Righteous means "without sin." For
starters, 1 Peter 2:22, Hebrews 4:15, 2 Corinthians 5:21 all declare Yeshua is without sin. There are many more.
3. Seen by angels: Yeshua was not only seen, but ministered to by angels following His temptation. The angels are both witnesses and messengers of the great events of Yeshua's life.
4. Proclaimed among the nations: This is certainly true. Yeshua has been (and is being) proclaimed throughout the world. This is not the "great commission" found in Matthew 28:19, (to make disciples) but it is connected. Discipleship starts with proclaiming Yeshua.
5. Trusted throughout the world: The Greek means to "have faith." People trust Yeshua throughout the world. Do I really have to spend time proving that to you?
6. Taken up in glory: This Greek word is only used 5 times in the NT. Every time it is connected to Yeshua's ascension.
Rabbi Trail: In the Jewish culture that is revealed in the Hebrew language, a name is not just what a person is called, but a revelation of character traits. We find the same thing in First Nations people. If "Running Bear" is more like "Slow Turtle" then he gets a name change. In our case, this child is named both "Mighty God" and "My Father of Eternity." The revelation that God came in the flesh is so strong it’s amazing the word "mystery" can be connected to it. End RT.
We really are a privileged people. What is called a mystery in 1 Timothy 3:16 is not such a mystery to us. Let's first give thanks. Now let's ask God for wisdom and anointing to take such a gift as this and use it effectively to enlarge God’s kingdom. May God answer our prayer with power. Amen.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,