Today's Little Lift
by Jim Bullington
Was Jesus an ignorant man whose life was portrayed by ignorant men whose stories are only believed by ignorant men? Today’s headlines read: “Ancient Wall Possibly Built by King Solomon.” This current event is news because many scholars deny that David ever lived, or if he lived, he was not king of Israel, or if he were king of Israel, the biblical accounts of his reign are mostly mythical.
Eilat Mazar of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is leading the dig which unearthed the artifacts under consideration. She dates these items to the time period consistent with the biblical accounts of David and Solomon. Furthermore, she has indicated that the unearthed walls, gatehouse and fortifications are all consistent with the type of regime the bible ascribes to the two biblical monarchs. Her claims, however, have not gone without skepticism. Another scholar from the area was quoted as saying that he has seen nothing to convince him that a strong centralized government existed at the time the Bible claims that David and Solomon ruled. Further this particular skeptic is quoted to have said, “There's a kernel of historicity in the story of the kingdom of David.”
To say there is a “kernel of historicity in the story of the kingdom of David” is the same as saying that there is an admixture of truth and fiction that make up the biblical stories about David. A kernel of truth may be a mighty admission to some, but it says a lot more to those who are believers in the Jesus of the Bible. “And the Pharisees said to Him [Jesus], ‘Look, why do they [Your disciples] do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?’ But He said to them, ‘Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat, except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?’” (Mark 2.24-26).
Jesus believed that David existed. He further believed the facts about David right down to who ate bread with him on a particular day. Jesus chided the Pharisees who were confronting Him by asking, “Have you never read what David did?” The events about which He was speaking occurred a millennium before this confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees. So, how could they have known? Simple enough; Jesus provided the means by which they could have known. “Have you never read what David did?” Jesus then summarized events from David’s life that are recorded in the Old Testament books of History. Jesus knew what David did because He had read it. Further, Jesus based the defense of His disciples on the minute details of what had been written about David.
Sarcasm is sometimes justified; I try to use it sparingly, but I must stoop to such. Poor ignorant Jesus! Did He not know that David was just a mythical person whose deeds had been enhanced over the centuries through the telling and retelling of them? Was He not aware that the written accounts of David contained only a kernel of truth and certainly could not be relied upon down to such detail as was cited here? Poor Mark! Why didn’t he at least omit the story so as not to incriminate the One whom He was writing to glorify (of course Matthew and Luke fell into the same dumb trap)? And poor believers of the first century; surely someone should have recognized the fabrications about David and removed them before they came down to us! And, Oh by the way; poor believers of today who wait ever so patiently for the world to admit that Jesus was at least a good man, ignorant and misguided though He might have been!
Jesus believed the Hebrew Scriptures. He commended those who lacked knowledge of the era to read the book! Take it from Jesus; the book is better than the movie. Have you never read what David did?
1. If Jesus really was the Son of God, why did he endorse a book which only has a kernel of truth?
2. To what extent does the focus passage show that Jesus believed the Old Testament Scriptures?
3. What discovery do you think it will take to convince the world that Jesus is the resurrected Messiah?
4. If Jesus was mistaken about the inspiration and preservation of the Hebrew Scriptures, what else might He be mistaken about? What impact does this type of admission have on the credibility of the Scriptures and the Christian faith?
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