The Silent Years
Between Malachi & Matthew
Between Malachi & Matthew
If you know me, this comes as no surprise. I’m not a big fan of the Christmas season holidays. Don’t get me wrong; the miraculous news delivered first to the Bethlehem shepherds is still Good News. It’s the best news, news the whole world needs to hear. On December 21st, 1971, the Good News reached my mind and heart. I am a sinner, saved solely by the actions of the Bethlehem Baby on the Cross. The name He was given is Jesus. He is fully human, and yet He is God.
I know what the meaning of “is” is.
Jesus is not a created being. He has always existed, enjoying a familial relationship with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus is God the Son. The eternally existing One made God visible to humanity. While nothing concerning Jesus has changed, everything changed for me that Friday evening, fifty years ago, at Jesus Chapel in El Paso, Texas.
Growing up, my family attended church weekly. In 1954, that was what most folks we knew did. I had heard some of the Bible stories. Noah and the Ark, Joseph in Egypt, David and Goliath, Joshua at Jericho, and the Christmas and Easter stories. That’s about it.
I never heard anybody say, “Arlie, you are a sinner in need of the Savior. His name is Jesus. Let me tell you His story so that you can know Him like I have come to know Him.” What were they waiting for?
Last week, on Christmas Eve, you may have sung a familiar Christmas Carol, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.
“The world in solemn stillness lay to hear the angels sing.”
The image portrayed by this melody is of a world deep in conflict, waiting for an angelic sign that peace was about to break out. There is no mention of how peace was to be realized on earth. Sadly, not one word of this carol, written by a unitarian pastor in 1849, even hints at the birth, life, and sacrificial death of Jesus as the exclusive deliverer of peace between God and humanity.
The historical events unfolding over 400 years between Malachi and Matthew signaled to the Remnant of Israel that their wait was ending. The Messiah of Israel, Savior of the world, was soon to be revealed. While there were no active prophets in Israel during the “Silent Years,” God was still loudly declaring His intent to fulfill the promise that began in the Garden of Eden.
I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you on the head and you shall bruise Him on the heel. – Genesis 3:15
To understand Jesus and explain Him to others, we must discover Jesus in His own historical and geographical context. Jesus was a Jew. He still is!
Last year, Disciple Daily produced Talk Thru the Old Testament, a series of forty lessons that illuminate the foundation story of the life of Jesus and those who first followed Him. Most people call this story the Old Testament. This year, we are producing an additional forty lessons covering the fulfillment story, Matthew through Revelation. This is your invitation to Walk Thru the New Testament.
Look at the world around us. No one else is coming to help. He has already come, and He is coming again! The first time, Jesus appeared as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” The next time He comes, He will be the Righteous Judge of all people and all things. He will rule as King.
Right now, I am primarily speaking to fathers and grandfathers. Stop waiting for professional Christians to teach your family the Bible. That is your responsibility. The thought of picking up that responsibility may scare you to death. But, for this time and purpose, Disciple Daily exists.
The Bible is a collection of ancient Jewish literature that leads those who hear it and meditate on it directly to Jesus. One week at a time, Disciple Daily will send you a link to a video demonstration of hand signs and keywords that will help your family remember the storyline of the Bible. Accompanying each video is a written explanation of the background material. Find some consistent time as a family, preferably around the kitchen table. After enjoying a delicious meal together, share the spiritual food we have given you a recipe for. Teach them the Bible, the story that leads individuals and families to know, understand, and follow Jesus.
Disciple Daily is here to help. The video accompanying this blog provides an example of what we are preparing for your use in 2022. It is a bit longer than what we generally offer. We hope you enjoy Between Malachi and Matthew now.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask them. Disciple Daily is here for you!