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When Jesus Quotes The Old Testament?
When Jesus quotes the Old Testament it is clear that He is not just a mere man but rather He is the true Son of God. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus illustrates His divine origin and purpose through repeated references to the Old Testament. In doing so, He not only reveals His connection to the God of Israel, but He also illuminates the salvific purpose for which He had come to earth.
In Matthew 5:17 Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them.” In this passage, Jesus claims that He has not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. He is thereby affirming His role as the Suffering Servant of God, who must take upon Himself the sins of the world so that God’s people can be reconciled to Him. Jesus similarly reminds us that He has come to fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament in Luke 24:44. Here He explains that all the scriptures concerning Himself must be fulfilled.
Jesus also draws on the Old Testament to make spiritual points. In Matthew 21:13, Jesus quotes Psalm 8:2 when He says, “Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.” Through this quoting, Jesus is conveying the power of faith in something greater than ourselves, even if it comes from the mouths of babes. He further urges us to remember God’s power even in the face of adversity.
Finally, Jesus also frequently uses Old Testament scripture to challenge the religious authorities of His day. In Luke 4:18, He quotes Isaiah 61:1-2 and proclaims, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.” By quoting Isaiah, Jesus is revealing His true identity as the Anointed One, or the Messiah. This explicit declaration of His Messianic status angered the religious leaders of the time, who then sought to do away with Him.
Throughout the New Testament, Jesus continually employs Old Testament scripture to demonstrate His divine purpose, emphasize spiritual truths, and challenge the religious authorities of His day. By His use of the Old Testament, Jesus reveals Himself to be the infinite, unchanging God of all ages.
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