The goal of this book, according to the author, is to set our hearts on fire with God’s love, just like the hearts of those disciples who encountered Jesus on the road to Emmaus. In the first chapter, Gray begins this undertaking by helping us understand the connection between the two testaments of the Bible. He addresses in this first chapter the expectations of the Jewish people in their anticipation of the promised Messiah. The Old Testament holds many keys to understanding the New Testament. Elijah, Elisha, the wilderness and the Jordan set the stage for John and the baptizing of Jesus. As Israel awaited the promised Messiah these connections would speak loudly to Jesus as the fulfillment of the Messianic prophesies.
Gray says that “descent of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus is a turning point in Israel’s story.” The Jewish people experienced and lived through the first part of Isaiah’s prophecy…exile and domination. Now, in Jesus, they are eager for the second part of Isaiah’s prophecy to come to fruition.
– Deacon Ralph
I am pleased to see that in the very first chapter of Mission of the Messiah that we are gently instructed on a few ‘basics’ necessary to understanding the meaning of that title; the ties of Elisha and Elijah to Jesus and John, the definition of Messiah, the necessity of anointing, and the importance of the genealogy of Jesus. I find this book quite appropriate as we move through the season of Lent and I believe that as we progress week to week we might find ourselves in a place of deeper understanding of the Sacred Scripture readings we hear at Mass during Lent, Holy Week, and the Easter season.
The questions at the end of the chapters are a good review of the material read but they also prod us to think a bit deeper and to make some associations we might not otherwise consider. Share your thoughts on the chapter each week! Tell us what you discovered while pondering the questions! And please, toss out your own questions for all of us to consider.
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