Now that we have made it through all “seven things the Israelites were not bidden to do” in relation to the brass serpent — which teach us seven ways not to look at the gospel — I wanted to share this juicy little tidbit that tells us maybe sometimes we should take Pink with a grain of salt. I mentioned way back in Part 0 that Pink went a little crazy with the number 7 in his Exposition of the Gospel of John. In the Conclusion to that book, Pink explains why, and it gets a little scary:
In connection with the spiritual arithmetic of the Bible we have been deeply impressed with the constantly recurring seven in the Gospel of John, and it is surely not without significance that there are twenty-one chapters or 3×7, in it. It is true that the chapter divisions are of human origin, and that man does nothing perfectly, yet we believe that in the providence of Him who has “magnified his word above all his name” (Ps. 138:1, 2), He has not only superintended the placing of the different books in the Canon of Scripture, but has also guided, or at least overruled, many or most of its chapter divisions. Obviously is this so, we are fully assured, in connection with the Gospels.
Matthew has twenty-eight chapters, 7×4. Now, four is the number of the earth and seven of perfection. How appropriate that the Gospel which most directly concerns God’s earthly people and the earthly kingdom of Christ, should be thus divided; for no perfection on earth will be witnessed until the Son of Man returns and sets up His throne upon it. Mark has sixteen chapters, 2×8. Two is the number of witness and eight of a new beginning. Most suitably are those numbers here, for in this second Gospel Christ is portrayed as the faithful and true Witness, the perfect Servant of God, laying the foundations of the new creation. Luke has twenty-four chapters, 6×4, or 2×12. Whichever way we divide the twenty-four, the result is in striking accord with the subject of this third Gospel. In Luke Christ is presented as the Son of man, the last Adam. Thus 6×4 would speak of man connected with the earth; or, 12×2 would tell of that perfect government which awaits the return to this earth of the “second Man” (1 Cor. 15:47). John has twenty-one chapters, 7×3. How striking this is! For seven speaks of perfection and three is the number of Deity. Thus, the very number of chapters in this fourth Gospel intimates that here we have revealed the perfections of God! These are what have occupied us as we have gone through it chapter by chapter.