McMahon depicts the book in a futuristic yet traditional way. He presents the combination of theoretical as well as practical essence of the church according to the traditional understanding of the Hebrews. This book is built on the foundation of the church but never the less enables students to critically analyze the church in all aspects and denominations. The first chapter is mostly about the narration of Jesus and his foundations on the church. It is called ‘The Story of Jesus’. The chapter centers on the aspects that the story of Jesus showcases the nature of the church and the foundation of his mission on the planet. This is in comparison with the traditional foundation and what Christ makes it mean for a Christian in their action.
McMahon (5) makes a valid point when he supposes that the story of Jesus would be distorted and all over the place without the connection that Mathew does with Jesus and Israel. Mathew shows the ancestral linage of Jesus before getting into the dynamics of the wonderful works and life of Jesus (McMahon 6). This, the author argues is necessary since it shows where the life and practices of Jesus emanated from therefore giving it the background it so needs. In addition, the same style of introduction is observed in the first book of Old Testament.
In the book of Genesis, the story about the covenant is heavy felt. This, the author says, is to remind Christians of Israel in relation to the church. In today’s society, many misunderstand this great book of Genesis and view it as a story tale but in its sense it should be the embodiment of God in the affairs of his people. Abraham who is dominant in this book is also a key point of reference since it was him that God made most covenants with. The most significant covenant that God made with Abraham was that he would make him a father of great nations (McMahon 7). He also promised to make Abraham’s name great and bless as well as curses those who did the same to Abraham.
This story gives a foundation to the proceedings of the Bible as well as the advent of Christ. After Christ was born the people of Israel still hang on to this promises that were made to Abraham by Christ. Though in their understanding the Israelites thought that the coming of Christ would directly benefit them and put them at their right place on earth, this actions are a reference point in the foundation of today’s church and the history of Christ’s great deeds.
The story of Abraham leads to the story of Exodus. The book of Exodus is mostly about God liberating the Israelites from slavery. In this book of the bible, it shows God as loving, understanding, forgiving, and merciful God (McMahon 8). This is mostly at the height of the Israelites showing dissatisfaction, selfishness, and disobedience in a road likely to lead to destruction. Even after the Israelites disregard the covenant ever so often, God holds on to his promises and covenants. He goes ahead and liberates them from their oppressors and delivers them to the Promised Land. This continues to give foundation to the story of Jesus since it forms the foundation of the Gods traits same as which Jesus is expected to lay his foundation on.
Another reference point in the New Testament that can be linked to the story of Jesus is the story of King David. David is anointed as the king of Israel. Despite the fact that King David had numerous downfalls, his future predecessor was quite perfect. Above all, Jesus unlike David keeps reminding the people that God is the true king (McMahon 9). Thus his name is Christ or Messiah. Just as God anointed David as the new king when the people needed it, Jesus was the new king in the New Testament when they also needed reassurance even more.
In the beginning, people gave David too much credit for the kingdoms improvements and this did not sit well with God. People choose to ignore that David was there as a custodian and not as his own instrument. However, the balance was achieved when David took advantage of Bathsheba the wife of his most loyal solider Uriah. After he is summoned by Nathan the prophet, David acknowledges his misdoings and a balance that God is looking for is achieved. This story draws even more sense today in a generation where leaders often forget the superiority of the Lord almighty and that they are just but custodians of his people (McMahon 9). This greatly benefits the church of today and their leaders.
After David, the kingdom of Israelites altogether started collapsing due to poor leadership. Their downfall was eminent after stronger nations like Babylon started emerging. They took them into exile and the beautiful city built by David collapsed. Around this period of time, very many developments in the Hebrew culture changed. Political, social, and cultural changes took place in their daily lives. Even in exile for many years, there was still hope that God would come to their aid and take charge of the situation as he always did. Over this period, the people of Israel are more aware of God’s greatness (McMahon 11). They understand that their destiny is in the hands of God and since he made so many promises to them, they would still get liberated for a second time. They believed that God would never get back on his word. Throughout the years, God continued to bless Israel with his blessings even despite their wayward ways. All these attributes and more made foundations of today’s church stronger.
In the New Testament, Jesus the son of God was born to remind the Israelites that he would never forget them. It was a time when the Israelites were again under the rule of the romans and many had lost hope. Even after his birth, many found it hard to shake themselves out of their misery and instead of rejoicing for his coming, they rejected and abused him. This was again history repeating itself, nevertheless, Jesus still died for our sins (McMahon 16). It depicts God and his son as ever patient, forgiving, and understanding. However, the New Testament is mostly focused on exalting God and understanding his rightful place. The miracles that Jesus performs are a manifestation of his power. In this scenario, Jesus always gives the acclamation to God. John the Baptist acknowledges Gods greatness when he says that a more powerful man is yet to come (McMahon 12). Episode with Soul’s blindness continues to showcase this character.
This book by McMahon is quite comprehensive of the events that took place in laying the foundation of the Christian church. Even though the chapter is really spread out throughout the Bible, I agree with his approach as well as arguments. In the beginning of the chapter, the writer promises to focus on the New Testament but broadens throughout the bible. Nevertheless, the broad approach enables readers to understand the history of the expected characters and works of Jesus throughout the New Testament.
In conclusion, Jesus is the foundation of the Christian church. The question raised in the first paragraph of the chapters visiting the issue of ‘what would Jesus do?’ tends to be answered in the end of the chapter. It is not an issue of moral doings but serene understanding forged by humility and deep understanding. This is the only way one would understand WWJD concept (McMahon 5). All the characterization that God shows to the Israelites are relevant to the topic in the fact that the traditional sense of the Israelites makes us as modern Christians understand God better. It is in his actions and promises that we today have such trust and faith in him. In addition, these testaments make us understand the compassion is Christ to die for everyone at the cross. It was not merely an accident but an orchestrated plan right from the day Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. This reading aims to help us understand the great qualities of Christ that which we must try to follow as Christians.
McMahon, Christopher. Called Together: An Introduction to Ecclesiology. Minnesota: Anselm Academic, 2010. Print.