Saturday, 24 March 2018
Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, 2 Timothy 2:8
The KJV and the NKJV are incorrect in their translation of this verse. The order is wrong, and the word “that” is incorrectly supplied. It should read: “Remember Jesus Christ, raised out of the dead, of the seed of David, according to my good news” (YLT). By diverting from the proper order of the Greek, the actual focus is wholly obscured. It is first on Christ Jesus – Remember Christ Jesus. “Christ” means “Messiah” or “Anointed One.” He is the fulfillment of the messianic promises which existed from the very fall of man. From there, the focus is directed to the raising of Christ from the dead. The Anointed One is alive, now and forever.
Paul has been speaking of the hardships a minister will encounter, and also of the responsibilities and benefits which go with the position. But things for a minister, by the very nature of the job, will be difficult on good days and almost overly burdensome on bad days. If the job were just a regular one, meaning with no connection to Christ Jesus, he who filled it would surely become despondent rather quickly. But it is not.
The job of a minister is one which is based on factual history. As this history is the basis for being a minister, it is to be remembered and considered at all times. Jesus Christ was raised out of the dead. He is a literal, physical human being who suffered and died in the execution of His duties – given to Him to perform by God.
However, in properly performing His role, He prevailed over death; having died without sin of His own. Thus it demonstrates that His death is sufficient for the removal of the sins of His people He died for (substitution). As this is so, then death can no longer hold them either. Christ’s death is a one-time act with eternal ramifications. Paul is telling Timothy that his duties as a minister have eternal significance, and that should prompt him on during even the lowest moment of his ministerial life.
From this remarkable point of surety, he then says that Jesus Christ is “of the seed of David.” His words here are given to substantiate and validate Christ’s human nature – both before and after the resurrection. As a human, He truly died. As a human, He truly rose. Being “of the seed of David” also confirms His acceptability as Messiah. The Lord’s promise to, and covenant with, David concerning the Messiah (2 Samuel 7) is that He would come from David’s line.
The ancestral line of Christ, which is clearly recorded in the Gospels; the work He performed; the death He died; and the resurrection He was given; all point to His fulfillment of Scripture. This is what Timothy is being asked to remember when he is downtrodden and worn out from the battle. The remembrance of these truths is to be the elixir which will pick him up and set him on his feet once again.
Paul then finishes up with, “according to my gospel.” The message he preached was committed to him by Christ personally. It was a bestowal which is in accord with sound doctrine anticipated in the Old Testament, and which is realized in the work of Jesus Christ. He calls it “my gospel,” because it is a personal gospel to him as much as it is a proclamation for others to hear. And yet, elsewhere Paul speaks of “our gospel.” It is in the plural (1 Thessalonians 1:5 & 2 Thessalonians 2:14). In this, he shows that though the gospel is personal, it is not his anymore than it is for all other ministers who preach it. The thought is similar to saying, “I love my Jesus,” and yet a group can say, “O how we love our Jesus.” Like the gospel message, He is both a personal Savior, and the Savior of all who are saved.”
Paul’s words here in 2 Timothy are reflected by his opening words to those in Rome –
“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God 2 which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Romans 1:1-4
Life application: Paul is speaking to Timothy as a minister who will surely face immense difficulties and times of great trial. But the words of this verse belong to all in Christ. We should remember Christ Jesus, raised from the dead, of the seed of David at all times. What God has done in Him is something we can reflect on, and hold securely in our hearts at all times. It is the great reassurance that all is ok!
Lord God, it is true that we face times of real trial and difficulty, but as followers of Christ, if we just redirect our thoughts and minds to what He accomplished, we can let go of the troubles and stresses we face. He came, He lived, He died, and He rose again. The theology which is tied up in that thought should be enough to keep us upbeat and content through any time of trouble that we face. Hallelujah! Christ has prevailed. Amen.