Did Jesus Have a Wife and Children?
Is this "the greatest revelation into the life of Jesus in nearly 2,000 years"? So speculates one report on "The Lost Gospel." This new book explores a 1,500-year-old Aramaic-language manuscript found at the British Library. Called the Ecclesiastical History of Zacharias Rhetor, the document speaks of a figure named Joseph who had a wife named Aseneth. According to Barrie Wilson and Simcha Jacobovici, these characters symbolize Jesus and Mary Magdalene, showing that the two were married and had children.
Lest you think the two have rewritten history, listen to what scholars say about their thesis. "It sounds like the deepest bilge," according to one Oxford professor. Another scholar calls it "utter hogwash" and warns that "we're basically looking at a sensationalist money-making scheme here." An earlier documentary by Jacobovici has been branded one of the top 10 scientific hoaxes of all time. A group of 17 renowned academics publically rejected another of his claims. Just because something sounds legitimate doesn't mean that it is.
Consider the fact that unemployment in the U.S. has fallen below six percent for the first time since 2008. Here's one reason why: retiring baby boomers and others dropping out of the labor force have brought the percentage of people in the workforce to 62.7 percent, the lowest since 1978. By contrast, retail sales in the U.S. slipped 0.3 percent in September, but were 4.3 percent ahead of last year. Is this bad news or good news?
Where do you need discernment today? Are you facing a perplexing decision? Struggling to solve a problem? In need of direction and wisdom?
Reading Hosea 12 today, I was struck by God's declaration: "By a prophet the Lord brought Israel up from Egypt" (v. 13). We think of Moses as a leader and warrior. But he was primarily a prophet, one who revealed the ways of God to the people of God, leading them to obey the will of God to the glory of God.
Do we need more prophets of God? The Lord has a will for every dimension of our lives. He has wisdom for your business decisions and family challenges and personal problems. He wants us to know his will more than most of us want to know it. As Janet's latest blog post reminds us, we must know God before we can make him known. How can you receive his revelation today?
Moses' example is our answer: "There has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face" (Deuteronomy 34:10). Choose to "know" God "face to face" by seeking intimacy with him through prayer, Bible study, confession, worship, and silence. Then claim his promise: "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you" (James 4:8). And declare to your culture what he declares to you.
Then you will say with the prophet: "The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary" (Isaiah 50:4). Whose weary soul will be sustained by God's word through you today?
Publication date: November 12, 2014
For more from the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, please visit www.denisonforum.org.
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