Thursday, January 19, 2017
Heb 8:6-13; Ps 85:8-14; Mk 3:13-19
“Near indeed is his salvation!”
In the LORD alone has kindness and truth embraced. The kindness, that surpasses all expectations and all human limitations, is his boundless kindness. The truth, that could only be available because it is revealed, is his universal truth. In the Lord Jesus, in his incarnation, has kindness and truth embraced. In his mercy the LORD has granted us salvation, a share in his own divine person. Indeed, the Lord Jesus is divine by nature; we are divine by participation in his divinity. His salvation, his rescue, and his boundless kindness are near to all who fear him. This is glory dwelling in our land. Even justice and peace will kiss. The justice, only the Just Judge himself can accomplish, will meet his gift of peace that surpasses understanding. It is truth, absolute and liberating truth, which will spring out of the earth, and it is justice, pure and unbiased, that shall look down from the heights of heaven. One of the benefits of the LORD will be his new covenant, which will be written on the hearts of all who share its increase. In today's gospel the Lord Jesus has chosen the twelve apostles who will walk on before him, along the way of the cross, the way of his steps.
What is old about the Old Covenant? What has become obsolete and has grown old, so old that it has come close to disappearing? Certainly, it's not the love of the LORD. From the beginning of the Old Covenant until the end of the New Covenant, the LORD is kind and merciful. He is faithful in his promises and merciful in his judgments. Our ancestors did not stand by his covenant, and the LORD ignored them. However, the LORD did not give up on his Chosen Ones. He has established a New Covenant in which the Holy Spirit has written the stipulations of the agreement upon the hearts of all God's people. His Word will be in their minds and on their hearts. He will be so close to each member of his family that they shall not teach their fellow citizens. Everyone shall know the LORD in the most intimate depths of his heart, from the least to the greatest. Indeed, the LORD will forgive their evildoing and remember their sins no more. Is there anything more delightful than to hear the LORD call us by name? Indeed, He fills us with a new and transformed desire to preach and witness to the gift of "Christ, ever ancient, and ever new."
In today's gospel the Lord Jesus is beginning his New Covenant. Just like the first Moses on the mountain with his twelve representatives of the twelve tribes of Israel. The Lord Jesus, the New Moses, called twelve of his disciples to be his Twelve Apostles. He sent them out, just as he had been sent out from the Father. He gave them a share in his prophetic spirit, just like Moses shared his prophetic spirit with the leaders of the Twelve Tribes. In the Power of the Holy Spirit Moses sent them to judge and govern so that his task would not be so overwhelming. The New Moses does not need to be concerned with exhaustion; the Lord Jesus is still the Lord of his New People, the Church. His chosen ones are sent forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons. These are the very things that the Jewish Leaders did not like about the Lord Jesus and his ministry. In giving them a share in his power, the Lord was also giving them a share in his opposition to the powers that be. In naming the Twelve and sending them forth the Lord Jesus communicated clearly that he was starting something new. In this prophetic sign the Lord Jesus let his opponents know, He was not afraid of their threats. Indeed, he was doing the Father’s will, and the New Covenant has begun, grace upon grace unto the ages of ages. Even if one of the Twelve would betray him, he will rise up in glory and pour out upon all mankind the Holy Spirit so that all people will be given the summons to the New Covenant.