Ignorance of Jesus

Now that I’m Catholic, I can’t stress how many times I’ve heard the ancient saying “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ!” by St. Jerome, theologian and a Doctor of the Church. I hear it frequently on podcasts, from theologians, and followers on social media. Strangely, before becoming Catholic, I didn’t know this quote existed.

Precisely, ignorance of the Old Testament leaves us baffled at the coming of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. Therefore, without proper comprehension, one is easily oblivious to the greatness of the messiah that was foretold centuries prior to the Incarnation.

Jesus makes a similar point against the religious leaders during his time. After healing a man on the Sabbath and claiming equality with God, the Jews plotted to kill him (John 5:1-18). As a result, Jesus gave a rebuttal against their criticism by defending his unique relationship with the Father, he addressed their unbelief, and the various witnesses that foretold the coming of Jesus. Specifically, Jesus says, “You search the scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf (39)” and, “For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words? (46-48).”

Jesus pretty much connected him being prophesied back to the Old Testament. The coming of the Messiah wasn’t something that randomly happened during the 1st century. Instead, this figure was to be expected by an accompanying lineage and signs that bore witness to his authority. He would be a descendant of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3), a unique prophet that would have God’s word (Deuteronomy 18:15), and he would descend from the Davidic throne (2 Sam 7:12). Furthermore, in between these verses, there are tons of prophecies that Jesus fulfilled that only the messiah would perform such as miraculous signs that demonstrated God’s redemptive work (Isaiah 61-1-2), he would be the powerful Son of Man [Jesus called himself this frequently in the Gospels] (Daniel 7:13-14), and a special messenger preceded his arrival [Fulfilled by John the Baptist] (Malachi 3:1).

The list of Messianic Prophecies that have New Testament fulfillment are abounding, but many failed to see this figure in Jesus. How bizarre! I think the Samaritan woman got it right. The woman knows from the Scriptures that the messiah will “tell us everything.” During his brief encounter with the woman, Jesus demonstrated his all-knowing power when he revealed the secret of her numerous husbands. It’s only when Jesus discloses he is the messiah that she finally connected the dots

The messiah will know all things + This man knows all things about me=This prophet is the messiah.

Immediately, she runs and tells everyone about the encounter so others can have a life changing experience by the messianic king. Jesus longed for the religious leaders and Jews to mimic a similar experience. Unfortunately, “He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him (John 1:11).”

The New Testament books such as the Gospel of Matthew and the Book of Hebrews makes the case compellingly clear that the Israelites had to look no further because the Kairos, appointed time, for the Christ had come to fulfill the Mosaic Law and be a light to the world. Sadly, many were unheeding to the signs and wonders of Jesus Christ.

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5 comments

  1. This reminds me of when I come across people my age who enthusiastically take their time trying to gather insights and creating theories from things like a fictional universe built through music videos released by popular artists. Unlike God, though, those artists who would often end up leaving it to the madness of the fans, and if those artists do try to explain all that stuff, they would often end up trying too hard to explain it. Meanwhile, God has made a real universe with a lot more glorious complexity that we can actually live in as well, and if we need help to understand it and fit into it, then He’ll even offer a helping hand that will never disappoint the faithful! So many great things hidden within the world await our initiative, and Scripture always works more powerfully than what today’s pop culture would boast of! And whatever true good shows up in pop culture, well, we can be certain that God did work there as well, yeah? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve always hated the “art is subjective” because it leads to a flurry of crazy ideas. In fact, modern art for at least the last century has descended into an abyss of post-modern thinking while on the process denying the beauty and transcendent quality of authentic meaning.

      I think your comment revolves around that.

      We can always find truth with God’s aid. Thankfully, he has set up a Church that has Tradition, Magisterium, and the Bible to be helping hands!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s definitely difficult to be subjective, alright. Anything goes there, and one can even flip its barrel on oneself without proper guidance. At best, I think showing the “multiple meanings” of art works as a way to present pieces of a bigger picture and not to present individual standalone pieces. I mean, if art really has multiple meanings that can stand on their own, then why would we still care about how contradictions can happen? And certainly, we have differences that we should live with, but being different can be good or bad. We all know which one we should live with there.

        And hey, praise and thanks be to God very much yet again!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes! Reading & knowing Scripture is literally ‘Catholicism 101.’ (You know this, but I like links: Catechism of the Catholic Church, 101 http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a3.htm#101 )

    I’m impressed at how many gentiles knew what – make that Who – to expect when the Apostles started following the ‘to all nations’ instruction. Then there’s Gamaliel’s good sense, and that’s another topic. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • This reminds me of Sheba. She wasn’t a Jew yet came and received instruction from Solomon. That’s the Church in motion. Those called out from all corners of the world seeking the Messiah.

      In knowing the Scriptures and familiarizing ourselves with types and shadows in the Old Testament, its clear that the “New Israel” is for everyone so the commission mandate really is powerful.

      Liked by 1 person

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