Troublesome Topic: Jesus Had the Authority to Cut a New Covenant

Lesson 11 of 13

Jesus was with His disciples for about three and a half years (possibly only two and a half years) before He mentioned His intent to establish a New Covenant. He waited till the very end and spoke of it for the first time during His final Passover supper with His disciples Matthew 26:28.

If this were so key to what God wanted to do, why did Jesus not address this issue throughout His entire ministry? One reason has to do with what scholars have called the Messianic Secret—the fact that Jesus came to be the spiritual liberator of His people while they were expecting Him to be their political liberator. The disciples did not understand this, and we probably would not have either if we were in their shoes. It was only after Pentecost that the pieces fell into place for them.

Jesus waited till the end before disclosing His intention to establish a New Covenant so His disciples would have time to see for themselves who He really was. Usually a suzerain/vassal covenant was set in place by a king or ruler, but Jesus looked like an unemployed peasant wandering the countryside. If He had started saying from the beginning that He intended to establish the New Covenant spoken of by Jeremiah, even His disciples would not have believed Him. But after two and a half to three and a half years, the disciples knew Jesus had authority over any disease, over natural forces, over demonic forces and the entire spirit world, and over life and death. By the time Jesus spoke those words in the upper room, they knew He could establish whatever He wanted to establish; there was no doubting His authority.

The next lesson in all three series on Covenants is: The Cutting of the New Covenant