Christ Jesus the True Israel: Luke 6:12-16

Christ Jesus the True Israel: Luke 6:12-16. Another passage that presents the Lord Jesus Christ as the True Israel is Luke 6:12-16, which details Jesus’ prayerful selection of his twelve disciples. Concerning this passage, Beale writes the following: “Jesus’ beginning act of reconstituting a new Israel with himself as its head is expressed in Luke 6:12-13, where he goes up to the mountain and chooses twelve disciples from among a larger group of disciples. This likely reflects the new Mount Sinai, where Jesus begins to start Israel’s history over again by choosing twelve people, who represent the beginning stage of the reconstituted people of God.”[1] Elsewhere, he writes: “…Jesus’ appointment of the twelve apostles represented not only a reconstitution of the new Israel around himself, which was to grow exponentially, but also the creation of a new people to live in a new creation.”[2] In a similar fashion, David W. Pao and Eckhard J. Schnabel note: “Some commentators…have detected an exodus allusion here, as Jesus’ act of establishing the Twelve brings to mind what Moses did on his way to the mountain as ‘he set up twelve pillars, corresponding to the twelve tribes of Israel’ (Exod. 24:4)….[T]he call of the Twelve does bring to mind the foundational event of Israel. The connection between the twelve disciples and the twelve tribes of Israel is made explicit in 22:28-30.”[3] France comments: “The disciples of Jesus both correspond to the Old Testament people of God in that in their experience the history of Israel is repeated, and they also assume and carry to completion the destiny which in the Old Testament was to be Israel’s. This is due to the close relationship between Jesus and his disciples. To use the Pauline terminology, they are ‘in Christ’. It is because he himself sums up in his own person the status and destiny of Israel that his disciples come to share that position. As the people of the Messiah of Israel they are themselves the true Israel.”[4] Again, we see the history of Israel recapitulated in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.


Footnotes:

[1]Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology, 682-3. See also Craig L. Blomberg, “Matthew” in Gregory K. Beale and Donald A. Carson, The Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007), 35.

[2]Ibid., 425.

[3]David W. Pao and Eckhard J. Schnabel, “Luke” in Gregory K. Beale and Donald A. Carson, The Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007), 294-5.

[4]R.T. France, Jesus and the Old Testament: His Application of Old Testament Passages to Himself and His Mission (Vancouver: Regent College Publishing, 1998) 65.

 

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