Jesus, The Author & Finisher of FaithVolume 3, Number 2
Created Date: June 29, 2008
Posted Date: June 29, 2008
The faith of Jesus, Introduction Part 2:
In our last study we examined the Greek word "archegos," translated Author by the King James translators in: "looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of (the word "our" is not in the original) faith, Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." This study will examine the word "Finisher" used in this verse as we learn how it was/is that Jesus "finished" faith.
Although the Greek word "archegos," translated "Author" in Hebrews 12:2 is found 3 other places in the New Testament the Greek word "teleiotes," translated "Finisher" is used only here in the entire New Testament. "A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament" by Ethelbert W. Bullinger gives the meaning of the Greek word "teleiotes:" "a completer, a perfecter, who brings one through to the goal so as to win and receive the prize." However, as will be pointed out later, it does not appear this definition states the full meaning of the word.
Jesus lived some 33 years as a man on earth but He did not start His public ministry until he was 30 years old. His public ministry lasted three years, during which He "Finished or completed" faith. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, as inspired by the Holy Spirit, record some of what He did during those three years. At the beginning of His ministry Jesus "hit the ground running," so to speak, in perfecting faith. Only Matthew, Mark and Luke record the incident that began His ministry and thus His walk of perfect Faith in God's Word and since Mark gives the most succinct of the three accounts it is quoted as follows: "In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased." The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.".
Thus began Jesus' life of perfect faith in God's Word. He must have suffered terribly, having no food for 40 days and nights, all the while surrounded by wild animals waiting to devour Him while the wily Devil picked away at Him with various temptations. We will examine this incident in detail as we proceed but suffice it to say here that Jesus' faith was tested sorely right here in the beginning.
The primary sinful characteristic found in all mankind, which we all inherited from Adam, is selfishness/ self-centeredness, the results of which are described by the Apostle Paul: "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Galations 5:19 - 21a.
Jesus was all Man because He was born of a woman, but he did not inherit Adam's sinful nature because the seed placed in Mary was of the Holy Spirit. Thus He was subject to sin because He was human, that is, He could have sinned but He didn't. He knew no sin,. He never waivered from doing God's will; His faith never failed. He was not self-centered like other men and He affirmed this many times in both word and deed. He was here to do God's Will, not His own: "Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work." ; "I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me." ; "For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me." . And when He was about to pay the ultimate price for the sin's of mankind He willingly acquiesced to the will of His Father: "And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will." , see also and .
Most of the Old Testament Saints we have studied who were born witness to by their faith showed their flaws. That is, their sinful humanity was evident even though they obeyed God and did His will in some facet of their lives. As we look back we think of those who God called to do great things: Abraham, Moses, David, etc. They shinned in following God's Word, i.e., by faith they did what God said to do in their own particular circumstance. But, their human nature showed through the bright veneer at times: Abraham's faith waivered when he almost gave his beautiful wife Sarah to a heathen king just to save his hide; Moses did not follow God's instructions and struck the rock twice out of anger to draw water there from; and we are familiar with the sins of David, a man after God's own heart. But Jesus never failed, He never waivered, He never did other than God's will.
In our last study it was noted that I had called a Greek friend of mine who was born, raised and educated in Greece and who still lives in Athens, Greece to ask him for the definition of the Greek word "archegos," translated "Author" in Hebrews 12:2. He was also asked for the definition of the word "teleiotes," translated "Finisher" in this verse. He was not told how this word is used in the Bible but only given the spelling of it and without looking in a dictionary nor with any hesitation he said "teleiotes" (translated "Finisher") means: "absolutely perfect; to do something perfect; something very fine, very good; you cannot do anything better."
As we proceed in this Volume of Faith Studies we will examine the life of faith of the Man Jesus during His ministry here on earth in order to determine, if we can, just how He was/is both the "Author" and "Finisher" of faith. That is, how He was the originator; the first in order; the One responsible, captain, leader, the one who leads other people, as well as how He was the completer, the perfecter, who brings one through to the goal so as to win and receive the prize, no one can do better, of faith.
Jesus lived a life of perfect faith in God's Word. He "finished" faith. He did it absolutely perfectly, no one could do it better, and the wonderful thing is that He did it out of Love for us: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.". "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." 2 Corinthians 5:21.