The book “Songs of the Deliverer” tells the story of Christ re-imagined in modern day. The book is a work of fiction but the stories and characters are based on the New Testament. These Reflections are written to highlight the Biblical pericopes featured in the second book of the series, Faith Wins, to be published in 2016.
Referenced in Chapter 2
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)
Jesus Christ walked the earth for about thirty years. He came to tell us about God and teach us about life. For our sake, he was crucified and died. For us, he rose from death to reveal the truth of eternal life. There were men and women who were witnesses to all of this. They were followers and believers, disciples and apostles of the one true Savior of the world. And when Christ was gone, it fell upon them to bring the good news of Christ to the rest of us.
And they did.
Just not right away.
Jesus died sometime between 30 and 33 AD. While the exact dates of the Gospels are unknown, there is good evidence that they were written in the 50s or 60s. Some say the Gospel of John wasn’t written until the 80s, or even later. The earliest writings of the New Testament are Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians and to the Galatians. There is substantial proof those were written about 50 AD. So, in the best scenario, it took about 20 years for the apostles to begin to write and disseminate the good news of Christ. Why did it take so long to spread the news of the greatest story ever told?
Well, it wasn’t going to be easy on them. Jesus warned them about the troubles they would face speaking in his name:
“Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them.” (Matthew 10:17–18)
He even told them it could divide families and friends:
“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of me.” (Matthew 10:21–22)
These risks would make anyone think long and hard about coming out as a Christian. But eventually, they did. What made them finally declare their faith publicly and proudly?
Jesus had told them:
“But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (Matthew 10:19-20)
It took a while for the Holy Spirit to work its will among the apostles. Not because the Spirit is weak, but because we are weak. It takes faith to feel the presence of the Spirit within us and it takes trust to let the Spirit guide us. But when we are strong with the Spirit, we can do great things, just like the apostles did.
And so called by the Holy Spirit of God, Matthew, Mark, and Luke wrote their Gospels of Jesus Christ. Paul wrote his many letters and epistles. Luke added a second book, the Acts of the Apostles. And there were other letters, some embodied in the canon of the New Testament and others that were not. And then the Gospel of John was written. And, in clear and compelling language we are told precisely who Jesus Christ was:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
The Word of God was sent to us to prove the truth of heaven: Christ is the proof.
And now the good news of Christianity is told for all time all over the world.
It took a while, but it’s been worth the wait.
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