I am discipling a young man named Shaun. Frequently, when I ask a “who” question, Shaun will whimsically respond with a simple Sunday School answer. Unfortunately for many however, Sunday School answers are all they have for the questions about what they believe and why. Their responses leave genuine seekers with little of substance to contemplate. They walk away from encounters with people who profess faith to look for answers elsewhere.
Today’s blog article poses a question that people seeking the truth about what we believe may ask. It is a genuine inquiry that deserves a reasoned response.
What is the main subject of the Bible?
From beginning to end, Genesis through Revelation, the Lord Jesus Christ is the supreme subject of the Bible. It takes a disciplined mind; however, to identify His Person and work in the totality of Scripture.
Creator: In the opening stanzas of the Bible, we discover that it is Elohim, an inclusive term for the three persons of the Godhead, that is the creative catalyst in the formation of the entire universe. However, it is not until John’s prologue (John 1:3) that we are told that it was the God made flesh member of the Godhead who made all things. That individual is identified by John as Yeshua.
Supreme Ruler: In the Upper Room Discourse (John 14-17), Yeshua explained to His disciples that everything He did and said came directly from His Father in heaven. Complete sovereignty resides with the Father. However, it is the Father’s will that in all of Creation, it is in His Son that all authority rests.
As the supreme authority in all things, Yeshua rules through the governments and institutions established on the earth. Throughout history great nations have risen and fallen. Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Spain, Great Britain, Germany, and Russia are all examples of nations who once had great influence only to see it reduced or eliminated over time. It remains to be seen how long the United States will retain its place of prominence among the nations.
Perhaps one of the strongest passages that speaks of this is Jeremiah 18:7-10.
At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it. Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it; if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.
Just as it is clear that Yeshua raises up and tears down all nations according to the purposes He has for HIStory, this is even more true regarding the nation of Israel in particular. Ever since entering the Promised Land, the Jewish people have experienced repetitive cycles as a nation. Nowhere is this cycle more clear than in the book of Judges. National sin led to slavery at the hands of oppressing nations. Recognizing that they had strayed from serving God alone, the people would cry out in supplication (prayer) to God for salvation from their oppressive circumstances. Once free again, over time they would forget what got them in trouble in the first place. The lips that once sang the songs of salvation fell silent and sin would once again found its way into the national life of God’s people. The cycle then repeated itself.
One point of interest is that even though it was Israel’s own sin that created the problem, in proportion to the way the nations of the world treated God’s chosen people, the people of Israel, the nations themselves would either be blessed or destroyed. Even today with Israel as a nation unrepentant towards God, among the nations of the world this principle is still at work as a result of the unconditional Abrahamic Covenant.
Head of the Church: Here is what Ephesians 1:22–23 says about Yeshua.
And He (Father) put all things in subjection under His (Son) feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His (Son) body, the fullness of Him (Son) who fills all in all.
Scripture is clear that Jesus’ purpose for the Church is that its individual members be salt and light in a sinful world. While He continues to work His will through the rise and fall of nations, the single place that all people of all nations should be able to look for wisdom and example should be the Church.
The Bible tells us that in the latter days people who claim to belong to Christ will no longer desire to listen to, understand, or act on the sound doctrine available in His Word. This does not negate Yeshua’s headship over the entire Church. Whether or not the members of the Church bend their knee to their Supreme Sovereign, King Jesus remains on His throne. There is a judgment that awaits even believers who fail to recognize His authority over the individual members of the Body of Messiah (Church).
Incarnate Word: Verses 1 through 18 of the first chapter of John reveal that it is the Author of all things, the second person of the Godhead, who stepped into humanity’s present as the Word made flesh. The prophet Isaiah proclaimed that this person would be known as Immanuel, God with us. By His presence among men all the characteristics and attributes of the Godhead became visible and discernible in a way that the Scriptures alone could never reveal. From the dawn of HIStory it was always God’s express will that He would reveal himself in an intimate way to all of creation in the person of Jesus Christ.
Savior: Before the ravages of sin entered the world, God had planned to provide a Savior for mankind, for all who would believe. That Savior is His only begotten Son, Yeshua of Nazareth. While most of humanity refuses to acknowledge this fact, even Satan himself recognizes that while he may win skirmishes on the battlefield, he has lost the war. In the Old Testament, Yeshua is pictured as the Servant Jehovah that would bear the sins of the entire world (Isaiah 53:4-6). Dying on the cross, He suffered the judgment due to sinful men, women, boys, and girls. Buried in a rich man’s tomb, just like Scripture said He would be, Jesus rose again on the third day. What a Savior we have.
Today our Savior is also our High Priest according to Hebrews 7:25–27. And one day he will return as the sovereign of the entire world to rule from Jerusalem for 1000 years.
So, what is the main subject of the Bible? I can almost hear Shaun’s “little boy” voice now… “Jeeezus.” Way to go, Shaun!