But the purpose of this blog post isn’t to discuss whether Jesus' words or actions prove that He was God. Instead, the purpose of this post is to discuss Jesus’ perspective. By perspective, I mean Jesus’ viewpoint. Specifically, what do Jesus’ words and actions tell us about how He looked at things?
We have all read and seen the stories of modern day false prophets. Ex post, or after the fact, it’s pretty easy to spot the fact that they were false. They say and do things that show that they didn’t really have a Godly perspective- at least of the God that we are familiar with intuitively. This God is an all-knowing, all-loving God. And these false prophets generally get it wrong. They make mistakes. They prophecy things that don’t happen. And their actions indicate that they are motivated by selfishness.
I have a friend who recently began to read the Bible for the first time. Her plan is to read the Bible through, cover to cover. I thought about how I might encourage her in her Bible study. In my book, The Reasonable Person, I discuss the fact that some Christians only dabble in the Bible. They read a verse of this and a verse of that, to support a proposition. They avoid the Old Testament because it’s, well, old. They believe that because Jesus changed everything, they don’t really need to read Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and the rest of it.
But the truth is that we learn a lot about Jesus through the Old Testament. First of all, if you are so inclined, Jesus birth, life, death and resurrection are described in the Old Testament. If you read the Old Testament carefully, it’s almost like a secret code of prophecy, in which Jesus is prophesied. It’s not blatant and obvious, but it’s there. And I’ve learned that God acts in a subtle way. He doesn’t use a lot of fanfare because He doesn’t need to. He’s God.
If you’ve read it, you know that Genesis and Exodus begin with a bang. They describe the creation of the earth and mankind. They describe the fall. And they describe the beginning of the restoration of mankind to God.
But suddenly, you hit Leviticus. Leviticus is a complex, seemingly endless set of rules and regulations about almost anything you can imagine. There are rules about dealing with people. There are rules about sexual relations. There are rules about property. There are rules about cleanliness. And there are rules about animal sacrifice, in order to atone for sin. You had to kill certain animals, in very prescribed ways, in order to wipe out a particular sin that you had committed. Leviticus is long and frankly boring stuff. And a few books later, we read the same stuff in Deuteronomy.
But when you think about it, these rules are exactly what the nation of Israel needed at the time. God had given mankind everything it needed. But it wasn’t enough. Mankind had to take the reins for itself. They started killing each other. They had been in captivity in Egypt. Now, they were making a fresh start. They were heading to the Promised Land. They had proven that they needed a lot of guidance. And so God, through Moses, established an intricate and detailed statute which prescribed how they were to live. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone- today, every jurisdiction in the world has established intricate and detailed statutes and codes for exactly the same reason.
So, I wanted to warn my friend that once she reaches these books in the Bible, she should be prepared to drink a lot of coffee. And then it hit me- the point of this blog post. I’ll get to the point shortly. But first, pull out your Bible. Read through Leviticus and Deuteronomy quickly. You’ll see what I’m talking about.
Now flip over to the New Testament and read Matthew 22:34-40. The religious establishment at the time was trying to test Jesus. At this point, Jesus had a lot of followers, which was something pretty dangerous for the Pharisees. They want to show Him to be a fraud. These law teachers know the scripture well. They also know that the rules are complex, intricate and numerous. So they asked Him an unanswerable question. It was clearly a trap. They asked Him which was the most important of all of these rules.
In reply, Jesus makes three points: (1) the most important rule is to love God; (2) the second most important rule is to love other people as you love yourself; and (3) all of the hundreds and hundreds of rules together, in essence, mean #1 and #2.
And this brings me to the point. If you’ve read through Leviticus and Deuteronomy, you can appreciate the significance of Jesus words. He boiled all of it down into two rules. Jesus distilled hundreds and hundreds of arcane, intricate and detailed rules into two rules. And He did it as only the Author of those rules could. Jesus had inside information, because he gave the rules in the first place. Jesus’ perspective was a supernatural one. But, He also knew that the legal system was about to change. With the sacrifice that He would make, there wouldn’t be a need for animal sacrifices any longer. So, He was really only concerned with two things- how we would relate to each other, and how we would relate to Him.
So I think my friend is absolutely right with her plan. By reading it cover to cover, she is going to learn the full story; not just the highlights, or worse, someone else’s view of it. And she is going to learn about its Author.
And by the way, we’re still talking about Him two thousand years later.
 John 10:30.
 Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 11:27, 27:43, John 14:7-10, Luke 12:8-9.
 Matthew 9:2, Mark 2:5, Luke 5:20.
 John 2:1-25
 John 11.
 Mark 1, 3; Luke 4,6, 11; Matthew 8, 12; John 5 are some of the examples of Jesus’ healing miracles.
 Christians believe that there are hundreds of such scripture. Some examples: Isaiah 7, 9, 11, Jeremiah 23, Malachi 3.
 This became known as “The Golden Rule.”