I Corinthians 15-16
We are in the Church Stream finishing the book of I Corinthians today. We are using the New American Standard Bible this week.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
15 – The theme, in case anyone missed it, is: THE RESURRECTION. Christ Jesus raised from the dead and we who are His and with Him shall raise from the dead too. Paul belabors that Jesus rose, appeared to hundreds, plus the 12, and more times to the chosen ones in Jesus’ inner circle. I mean really folks (reading between the lines) do you think all these people were hallucinating in unison? ‘can’t happen! Jesus ROSE from the dead. Believe it for real / forever.
Paul explains the order of the Resurrection, the logic of it and the importance of it. Instead of reciting, or rather repeating again what Paul said, it’s important to realize what he was encountering as he was traveling through Greece, and Asia Minor: – – – Paul would periodically have a person in the congregation interject while he/Paul was teaching and preaching. They would blurt out, “yeah, but He died. They killed Him. Was He a crook? and He let them kill him?…was this because He felt guilty?” The pattern of this century was that when a self proclaimed Messiah came on the scene, He either took over and then He would reign, or he was killed. and between 50 BC and 50 AD scores of “Messiahs” came forth and they were all executed along with their followers. Jesus appeared to be one of them. The shame associated with following a false Messiah often never left someone who was duped by their false messiah. Jesus’ and the events of his last week looked too similar to the false messiahs and so some were puzzled as to how seriously to take Jesus Christ of Nazareth, born in Bethlehem, to a virgin, ad infinitum. So Paul takes this entire ch. 15 to explain to full orb’ of the Resurrection of Jesus; it’s veracity and the comprehensive logic behind it. We remember Paul asserting that he was not ashamed of the gospel in Rom. 1:16. Well he wasn’t – and he wanted all others to feel the same way.
-The description and Paul making a clear distinction between our bodies here and our bodies in the Resurrection is poignant and necessary. REmember that Corinth is in Greece. The Greeks were obsessed with strength, and bodies, and training and health – the muscle statues all over the empire attest to this. And along with this, the Greek/Roman perplexity of aging was a mental embarrassment or conundrum of the heart to most all the pagan world. Why did it have to be that we aged, and weakened and died and were then just … gone? The Gospel solved this situation!!.
And how quickly will this change be to our new bodies? as fast as one can bat their eye.
16 – The collection of names and concepts listed here is a description of Paul’s warm heart for those he is discipling as well as those he is talking about. He is gathering an offering for Jerusalem Believers. The instruction and tips that he gives of how to treat each person is wonderful. He says to thank such and such, honor so and so, care for so and so. His word for how to treat Timothy was because Timothy was a great teacher yet was insecure regarding his family; a Greek parent and a Jewish parent and Timothy was getting “looked at sideways” in some places and Paul wanted that to stop. The particulars are a little bit amusing/ /perhaps entertaining in that they give personal insight to the settings and persons back then. Many of us know what it’s like to leave a note for a baby sitter. It says things like, “be sure and make certain that Joey drinks all his milk. Remember that Jill is afraid of heights so when you do the walk, take the lower path. Timmy prefers to be read to first thing in the morning as well as at bedtime so be sure to do this. He will miss it if you forget. Etc. Paul just outright cares about all these people and … He gets it from Jesus. We should too.
We have seen all this week that “completion invites visitation”
The Tabernacle was finished at the end of Exodus and God showed up gloriously and the whole nation was is awe – in a way that stuck with them permanently
When the Temple is completed in I Kings, the ark is brought in and there is a regal ceremony, prayer and dedication and sacrifices and God appeared to Solomon!! oh my word!
In the Psalms this week, especially 76 and 77, we see a completion of a mind going full circle from complaining to enjoying the triumph of God as God’s victories and great deeds are recalled. Gratitude brings on the visitation for that is the main thing God wants in our heart.
Jeremiah tells of a punishment that is going to be walked through, Jerusalem will fall a remnant will be preserved, just complete the Babylon time and in Jer. 23, he tells us that the Savior will visit…
Joel 3 tells that the nations will be judged. Once this is completed there will be a visitation [on the Day of the Lord ] that will be blessings that flow like streams down mountsides and it will be more than just sweet water
Luke1 tells of the completion of all the years and preparation coming up to the arrival of the greatest visitation of all time. It will happen in Luke 2 but by the end of Luke 1 all items and preparation have been completed after 4,000 years since exiting Eden. Angels are visiting – more than once and once all this is completed, the Main Visitation of all time happens [next week!]
I Cor. 15 explains the completion of the explanation of the Gospel. Christ Arose, haleluia. Paul wanted them to understand this. And he wanted to visit them again soon.