If Satan truly had free reign and will, he could have attempted this attack long ago, perhaps before the possibility of Jesus having world wide ministry and impact. We know that there have been other chances. We know that the religious have been planning as well. We also know that the prophecies and Jesus have spelled the coming events out well so that Satan would know how not to go about this. And yet he does. God plays him like a fiddle.
God had His prophets at this time. He had also we find out searched for a leader to make up a hedge but found none. Later He would find Ezra and Nehemiah but, this may illustrate to us a important difference in temperance or skill set or anointing between a prophet and a leader, that it is rare for one man to be both. Moses and David both prophesied (mostly Messianic) though not in the sense of a Elijah or Issiah, Ezekiel or Jeremiah. I can not think of a prophet that was made to rule.
The all important first love. The church of Ephesus is doing a whole lot right. They contend for the faith as Jude would exhort, resist evil and suffer for Christ's name sake as Peter. Their first love no doubt was for Him as a person and for each other as His friends. For as much as they are doing right, they still need to obey the great commandment kjv@Mark:12:30-31.
All Jerusalem? The Persians had (as recently as 40+/- years) invaded and temporarily held Jerusalem. This visit of the magi may have been seen in the city as a plot to regain the city. It is an interesting way to create a public buzz around the messianic arrival.
This is the first of three times that the Lord appears to Abraham (kjv@Genesis:17:1kjv@Genesis:18:1). If no one can look upon the Father and live the Lord must be the Son or else this is figurative. Jacob also has an appearance but, specifically states that he saw the Lord face to face kjv@Genesis:32:30 .
We tend today to see the gospel as pertaining to individuals and salvation, which in part it is. Jesus is shown here as also seeing the gospel in terms of groups and cities and generations. Just as a man can be inhabited/possessed/re-inhabited so can collective movements and generations. Individuals think and act and behave within groups. Unclean spirits think and act and behave in similar conjunction. In Jesus' time He saw a perfect storm of the two mounting against Him. Though He could be convincing to some individuals one on one at this time, it would not be until His death and resurrection that the true forces driving individuals within masses could be dealt with.
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