It’s so important to know the Old Testament. In it is such rich supply of GOD’s Word to His people, both Jew and Gentile.
Value of the Old Testament
Apostles to Jesus: James and John knew their Bible, the Holy Word, the Scriptures back in their time — which is what we Gentiles call The Old Testament.
Jesus only referred to the Bible Scriptures of the Old Covenant or Old Testament. The new wasn’t written yet. Jesus was writing it on the hearts of those who were following Him at the time.
I discovered a text many others of you may know… But I didn’t know it. Although I’ve read the Old Testament in full, start to finish, at least 4 times (as well as the Pentateuch, Psalms and Proverbs numerous times, as well as the prophets repeatedly), I never recognised this until today:
11 Then I answered and said to him, “What are these two olive trees—at the right of the lampstand and at its left?” 12 And I further answered and said to him, “What are these two olive branches that drip into the receptacles of the two gold pipes from which the golden oil drains?”
13 Then he answered me and said, “Do you not know what these are?”
And I said, “No, my lord.
14 So he said, “These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth.”
The two anointed ones who are on either side of Jesus?!
I believe it is this scripture that James and John refer to in Mark 10:37,
“They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.””
It must be, surely! Unless of course it matters that one text says “stand” and the other says, “sit”. Whether these young men were wanting to be those anointed, or simply had the concept of being on either side, I suspect they were referring to the concept of being on either side as mentioned in the Zechariah text.
The brothers wanted a place next to Jesus in Heaven. They recognised Him as “the Lord of the whole earth” and wanted to be anointed to be next to Him.
Why seeing this matters
Kernels of truth hidden from view pop up all the time when reading the Old Testament. It is not just history and law. it is Truth that helps us, enables us, to know GOD better, to know Jesus better, and to be better guided by Holy Spirit to live the life laid out for us.
What does this text reveal?
It reveals these disciples knew their scriptures. It reveals these disciples recognised Jesus as Messiah. It reveals they were looking out for themselves and/or wanted to be close to Jesus in eternity. It helps to confirm, especially for Jewish people, the validity of scripture.
We need to know all scripture
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16)
At the time when Jesus walked, the only scripture available was what was written already by those chosen by GOD. They are irreplaceable. Jesus didn’t come to replace but to confirm the Law. We need both Testaments to complete the scriptures.