20 May 2011Acts 13:26-33
"You are my Son; today I have begotten you." (v. 33)
Paul is still in the synagogue in Pisidia (see Acts 13:13-25), having begun a long speech
which marked a new step in the spread of the gospel (good news of
Jesus) throughout the Hellenistic (Greek) world.
After he had given his audience a potted history of Israel leading to the climax of the story, Paul gives time to the Christ event itself in a speech known by some biblical scholars to be the 'Testimony of the Present'. He points out to them that those in Jerusalem did not see what was under their noses.
The way this story is recounted spoke directly to the dominant Greek culture and its love of tragedy, as Paul tells of what was written indicating a level of predetermination in a series of events leading to tragedy - the death of a Messiah. However, the story does not end there for the tragedy has turned to celebration as the same Messiah (also as predicted) has risen from the dead and ironically witnessed by those who either had refused or were unable to see in Jerusalem. Paul finishes this part of his speech by quoting the Psalm 2:7: "You are my Son; today I have begotten you", indicating that the ancient promise in the Davidic tradition has indeed been fulfilled.
The element of predetermination suggested here might lead us to believe that we should all sit at home and watch Coronation Street rather than spreading the gospel. What do you think?
Would you be able to see what was under your nose if the predicted second coming of Christ happened this weekend? How would you know, and how would you prepare in light of this text?