Agonizomai: Heb 11 - 21 - Christ - The True Firstborn

Friday, April 09, 2010

Heb 11 - 21 - Christ - The True Firstborn

Heb 11 - 21 - Christ - The True Firstborn

Heb 11:21 By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff.

In what way was this faith exhibited in Jacob’s case? The context is once more that of the promise. Jacob prefaced his blessing of Joseph’s sons by referring to God’s gracious dealings with him and to the promise of nationhood and a land for an everlasting possession. {Ge 48:3-4}

But he then went on to prophesy concerning them, favouring the younger, Ephraim over the elder, Manasseh. Never having seen either of them before, he believed God that Ephraim would excel, and he blessed him contrary to all the traditions of the culture. In fact, Jacob did not see either of them clearly, even then, because he was blind with age. Once more, the principle of the failure of the firstborn was maintained. Only one firstborn Son would ever amount to anything and that would be the only begotten Son of God, the firstborn of all creation, Jesus Christ.

Abraham was not a firstborn son. Isaac was not a firstborn son. Jacob was not a firstborn son. Judah was not a firstborn son. All these patriarchs represent not only the succession of the line of faith, but also the failure of the line of man. It is at one and the same time both stunning and humbling to see how God wove this all together in history.

But Jacob showed faith by prophesying (concerning all his sons) what God had ordained rather than what men expected.


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