What’s With 3?


I pulled up Biblegateway this morning and found this scripture as the daily verse, but what drew my attention was the announcement at the beginning: 

For the Third Time Jesus Foretells That He Will Die and Come Back to Life

Matthew 20:17-19 When Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, he took the twelve apostles aside and said to them privately, “We’re going to Jerusalem. There the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the experts in Moses’ Teachings. They will condemn him to death and hand him over to foreigners. They will make fun of him, whip him, and crucify him. But on the third day he will be brought back to life.”

Whats with the 3rd time? What significance does that have? I’m not a biblical scholar by any means, just a lover of the Word and a deep thinker, but seriously, odd that it was his 3rd time telling he would be raised on the 3rd day. So I looked it up and according to Rabbi Dr. Hellil ben David;

“The number 3 is used in the Torah to mediate between two opposing or contradicting values. The 3rd value mediates, reconciles and connects the two. Time is divided into three portions: The past, the present, and the future. The position in time that is most expressive of the non-physical is the present, because it is so fleeting and instantaneous. The function of that time, the present, is its service as connector. The number three expresses connection. According to Jewish law, once something is done three times it is considered a permanent thing. This is called a “chazakah“. Once we have done something three times, we have connected to it and connected it to this world.”

Isn’t that interesting? What Jesus was doing by saying it 3 times was making the connection between past, present and future. He was making it permanent thing. He connected himself to it and connected it to this world. OMG! That gets me so excited! Thats what I love about the Word of God, it’s so rich and full and purposeful. I’m so glad I didn’t miss this nugget of truth this morning. 

More than anything, I want my words to have purpose as well. I want to connect myself to the promises of God and have those promises connected to me. That’s why it’s so important to speak the Word over your life over and over again. Job 22:28 says, “You will also declare a thing, and it will be established for you; So light will shine on your ways.” Shine on me, Lord, that I may see the way you want me to take and say the things you’d have me to say.


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