“It is necessary” Part 2
I’ve had some further thoughts about our little Greek word, “δεῖ.” That’s one of the advantages of taking a portion of Scripture at a time, meditating on it for a week, and writing reflections. The little Greek word, “δεῖ” is small but powerful. It’s the word behind the phrase, “Scripture must be fulfilled,” specifically the “must be,” in that phrase. Another way to translate the word is “it is necessary.” The word crops up in the gospels time and again. And this is what came to me since yesterday’s post.
Matthew reports that Jesus told his disciples, that “he must go [it is necessary] to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” This begins it all. Jesus’ destiny on earth was to be enthroned on a Roman cross, the culmination of a life of teaching, serving, calling people to repent and believe, healing and forgiving sin. All that was necessary for you and for me and our salvation. Jesus did what was necessary for us because he loved his Father and us.
Then we have the necessity of Judas’ replacement, spoken of here by Luke. God’s plans must move forward. The Apostles are an essential part of that plan. They would be the ones proclaiming the message of Jesus in the languages of the many people gathered in Jerusalem for this grand Pentecost Celebration, the Feast of Weeks. They would also be instrumental in opening the doors to the Gentiles at the Council of Jerusalem recorded in Acts 15. Having seen the work of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, they would surely be open to the idea that the Gospel message was open to all people.
Then comes the Prodigal Son parable when the father says, “‘We had to celebrate and rejoice because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’” (Luke 15:32). This echos the celebration of the angels of God when one sinner repents, says Jesus. (cf. Luke 15:7, 10) Joy is a necessity in the Kingdom of God. It is our source of truest strength. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, and a beautiful adornment for all the faithful.
So here is the progression: Jesus’ suffering and death, secures our salvation. That mission continues through the Apostles and all believers who share the gospel message of salvation. Then comes the ultimate celebration of joy, and the praise of God’s glorious grace. Reminds me of a favorite song I’ve shared before, but worth sharing again…