Editorial -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 57:1 (Mar 2014)
Article: Editorial
Author: Anonymous


Three experiences have brought home to me the importance of leaving a legacy in recent days: completing my book (co-written with Justin Taylor) The Final Days of Jesus: The Most Important Week of the Most Important Person Who Ever Lived (Crossway, 2014); working on a biblical-theological commentary on Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus (Biblical Theology of Christian Proclamation series; B&H); and the passing of my esteemed mentor, William J. Larkin Jr.

When completing work on The Final Days of Jesus, I was reminded once again of the tremendous legacy left by Jesus. Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God. He was also a first-century Jewish rabbi who taught with unmatched authority. Jesus trained twelve close followers (though one, in God’s sovereign providence, fell away); left an extensive body of teaching (though he himself, as far as we know, never wrote a book); and earned the reputation of being a man of love, performing countless good deeds, and, being God the Son himself, exhibiting an unparalleled relationship with God the Father.

Jesus demonstrated great reverence for the authority of the Hebrew Scriptures. He prayed before strategic decisions such as the appointment of the Twelve, and later before his arrest and crucifixion. He was a man who knew what it was like to be rejected and to forgive. In all of this, Jesus made clear that he had come to earth not to draw attention to himself but to give his life for others in order to bring them to God. Jesus was the greatest man who ever lived, as well as the preexistent Word-become-flesh, and we’ll never, on this side of heaven, be able to fully grasp the extent of his legacy. It is literally off the charts.

The importance of leaving a legacy was also impressed upon me afresh while working on a biblical-theological commentary (still very much a work in progress) on Paul’s final letters in the NT, his epistles to Timothy and Titus. Much ink has been spilled, and continues to be spilled, on the alleged pseudonymity of these letters as well as on their social background and other matters of academic concern, but at least as important is the way in which they attest to Paul’s heart for mentoring his apostolic delegates (with possible salvation-historical echoes of the Moses-Joshua relationship).

Similar to Jesus, Paul knew that the way in which he would leave a legacy was by living a life of faithful service and by training a group of committed followers who would continue to engage in the task of spreading the gospel. Leadership training! For Paul, training the next generation of Christian leaders was much more than a magic formula, a tired cliché, or a canned series of steps to follow; it was a corollary of his holy compulsion to see the gospel triumph over all ...

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