Problem Prophecies.

Discussion in 'The Gospels & Acts' started by jubal, Nov 12, 2018.

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  1. jubal

    jubal Puritan Board Freshman

    In Psalm 41 there is a line that is quoted in John 13:18

    9 (psalm 41) "Even my close friend in whom I trusted,who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me."

    John 13:18
    "I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’"

    The problem is in psalm 41 verse 4 it says "I have sinned against you" then continues on to talk about all of that sinners enemies.

    4"As for me, I said, “O LORD, be gracious to me;heal me, for I have sinned against you!”
    5 My enemies say of me in malice,
    “When will he die, and his name perish?”
    6 And when one comes to see me, he utters empty words,
    while his heart gathers iniquity;
    when he goes out, he tells it abroad.
    7 All who hate me whisper together about me;
    they imagine the worst for me.
    8 They say, “A deadly thing is poured out on him;
    he will not rise again from where he lies.”
    9 Even my close friend in whom I trusted,
    who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.
    10 But you, O LORD, be gracious to me,

    It seems Jesus is claiming this Psalm is about him, the problem is Jesus is sinless so this Psalm shouldn't logically be able to be about him.

    Yet he clearly says Psalm 41 is fulfilled by Judas betraying him.

    My study shows a couple of responses to the problem, all of which I find lacking.

    Option 1.

    Jesus is only referring to verse 9 and not the rest of the Psalm. This makes the text schizophrenic.

    Imagine I said on the news to a reporter
    "I have a dog.
    I also have a cat.
    Likewise I have a lizard"

    Saying Jesus only means verse 9 is about him would be him saying that when I said "I have a cat" was about him.

    Thus I find option 1 dubious

    Option 2.

    Jesus became a sinner on the cross or immediately prior to the cross . This option has been advocated in history but runs into other problems with the rest of scripture.

    Philippians 2:8 "And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. "

    Philippians indicates Jesus was perfectly obedient so no act of his was sinful

    Romans 8:3
    "For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the LIKENESS of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh"

    Romans 8:3 says he was in the likeness of sinful flesh not sin actually sinful flesh. So we can't say that he had the taint of original sin either.

    So what do we do with this?
  2. Afterthought

    Afterthought Puritan Board Junior

  3. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    Consider types, foreshadows, etc. in Scripture.

    David was a shadow of He is to come. What was begun in David would be fully accomplished in Our Lord. The types in Scripture are imperfect, perfected in Our Lord. We cannot force the shadow to be the actual object shadowed.

    The verse that seems to trouble you the most, Ps. 41:4, is not the defeater you imply to the overall sense of the Psalm in its descriptions of all that Our Lord experienced, and particularly in the fulfillment of prophecy that Our Lord explicitly declares in verse nine.

    Rather Ps. 41:4 places on display what is expected (the elect, e.g., David), distinguishing elect from the non-elect, one who seeks reconciliation and mercy by admission of sins. Hence the imperfect shadow, like all such in Scripture, teaches us something—not everything—about He who is shadowed.
  4. jubal

    jubal Puritan Board Freshman

    I am aware of this position but it seems to fall under the problem of Philippians 2:8

    If Jesus is perfectly obedient even unto death then he cannot fail to live up to Gods standards.

    So it seems even the imputation theory fails to explain this.

    Remember Hebrews and Corinthians both say that Jesus became sin, not became a sinner.

    It seems the meaning is something like "Jesus became sin, Jesus died and so did our sins."

    MR Religion

    I actually meant to address the issue of types but forgot about it.

    Here is the problem with types.

    Nowhere in the bible do we have a clear statement that affirms that types can "fulfill scripture".

    Furthermore we have good reason to suspect that Jesus means the normal kind of fulfillment when he says fulfilled.

    The reason being there is a identical psalm, number 69.

    69 and 41 take the following format:

    Forgive me I have sinned
    My enemies hate me
    Kill them please.

    John says 69 is about Jesus because he says Jesus fulfills the part that says "They gave me poison for food,
    and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink."

    Peter states also states that the part that reads

    "May their camp be a desolation;
    let no one dwell in their tents."

    is about Judas.

    The problem is Peter makes it clear that when he says fulfill he means it in the most standard sense.

    “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit foretold through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus."

    Here it is absolutely impossible for this passage to not be a literal fulfillment because he states was written about Judas.

    Saying that this Psalm was written with another enemy of God in mind but is actually about Judas would be like saying a story about Dan Daley is actually about William McGonagle because there both Medal of Honor winners.
  5. Afterthought

    Afterthought Puritan Board Junior

    This position does not require Jesus to fail to live up to God's standards. He is identifying with his people and leading them in the confession of sin. As a starting point, remember that Christ himself sang the psalms as a man. What meaning could they have for him?

    Being in his humiliation and suffering due to sin imputed to him (he always bore our sin from birth to death), there is a sense in which he can confess such sin on behalf of his people (or in identification with them as his brethren), even though he did not commit them personally. Christ became sin in the sense that sin was imputed to him, and he was numbered among the transgressors. It is too much of a simplification (in the context of this discussion) to say that Jesus became sin, not became a sinner, and then leave it at that as though that were a sufficient answer.

    To arrive at this position in its fullness, one must start with the typology of the psalter, but I'll leave that for others to discuss.
  6. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    It is one of the great pleasures of Scripture to see a new testament reference to Christ being spoken of in the old testament.

    At the very least, these instances cause one to meditate on such things, asking for God's Spirit to give you the mind of Christ, at least in small portion.

    So I thank you for bringing this up. I've meditated on the Hebrew word for sin there in Psalm 41. Hebrew, of course, is broader in its use of its vocabulary. "I have sinned against thee" could also mean "I am blameworthy" or "I am offense."

    In any event, whenever David speaks in a psalm, my default position is that, in some way, he is speaking Christ's words prophetically (unless clearly shown otherwise). Sure, he draws from personal experience in setting the stage, as it were. We know he sinned repeatedly. He is in distress. He is also God's anointed.

    Relying upon God's mercy as a faith-backdrop, he can speak here for Christ of the dismay of betrayal.
  7. Taylor Sexton

    Taylor Sexton Puritan Board Junior

    Amen! My favorite is perhaps John 12:41 in reference to Isaiah 6.
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