I've always been fascinated by Jesus - captivated by His wondrous and holy ways. I've been enamored with Him since birth - drawn to Him inexorably.
Always will be.
One of the most mysterious (and yet captivating) aspects of His interactions with man is also at the root of one of the most commonly misunderstood aspects of The New Testament. I'm speaking of His pre-incarnate appearances in The Bible - from Genesis through Malachi. Too many folks (who read only enough of the Bible to make themselves a danger to themselves and to others) are of the mindset that the "Story of Jesus" is only told in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
This sad opinion is woefully bereft of truth.
But first, what IS true:
The Gospels (itemized above) do indeed recount the days of The Lord Jesus' flesh - from the moment of his miraculous birth through the account of His miraculous resurrection (and the great commission of His disciples).
What is ALSO true: One CAN indeed read the New Testament and be illuminated by the conviction of God without reading the Old Testament (being saved from their sins through repentance and the Holy Blood of Christ). This grace has even been given to many who have never had the privilege of reading any of the Bible.
That conceded, now on to what is NOT true:
It is NOT true that the Gospels convey the ENTIRE story of The One and Only Begotten Son of The Lord God Jehovah, whom we know as Jesus (or Yeshua). For a more complete picture of who He is - and for a full-bodied understanding of the Gospel message - one must go back to Genesis and trace His footsteps from The Garden.
How? By recognizing His pre-incarnate form as summarized by John at the very beginning of his Gospel account:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:1-5
Which means - every reference to "The Word of The Lord" (in the Old Testament) is discussing the 2nd person of The Holy Triune, Elohim. Long before He left His Throne (at Abba's right hand) to take up flesh and give Himself as a ransom for our sins, He was commonly known among His worshipers as "The Word of The Lord". He has always been - and always will be - the One through whom The Lord God Jehovah speaks to His children.
"So Jesus said, 'When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.'" John 8-28
It is quite true that one can be saved without this knowledge - but I am equally convinced that this knowledge is essential for maturation as we are sanctified and refined by His Holy Word. By familiarizing yourself with ALL of Yeshua's interactions with mankind (even before the days of His Flesh), you gain a better perspective of how truly magnificent it was for Him to finally be standing among us.
Then you understand that He was no mere "holy man" that God randomly chose to "be His son" - but He is the VERY ONE who formed us out of clay, made the covenant with Abraham as He walked through the sacrificial pieces, met with Moses on the Mountain, called Samuel as a child, and conveyed Abba's Words to every true prophet. He was The One who helped Daniel to his feet (in his vision), giving him strength to stand - Who came down to see if Sodom and Gomorrah had indeed defiled themselves as was reported by the angels. It was He who turned Isaiah around - sending him back to a weeping Hezekiah with words of mercy and healing...
The ENTIRE BIBLE is about Jesus. Finding Him - and then knowing Him better - is the greatest of all adventures.
Did you know that one can also trace the movements of the 3rd Person of the Holy Triune - from Genesis to Revelation? The One most know as Holy Spirit?
For those who are interested, that's where I'll pick it up next time.
Your brother and servant in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Mark Scott Grimmett GoldenLight Ministries