John bursts onto the scene at a precise moment of history, in an exact locale: during the reign of Tiberius Caesar, along the banks of the Jordan River. Luke does everything short of giving us a fixed date and geographic coordinates.Read More
Suddenly, the focus of this next psalm changes from blasting oppressors with “Go, get ‘em God!” to a deep heart cry for mercy. What an amazing about-turn!
It is as if the psalmist has been caught by surprise and out of the depths there is a wrenching plea: Hear my cry for help! Listen hard! Open your ears! Listen to my cries for mercy.Read More mercy, hope, forgiveness
This passage reflects a crucial, game-changing moment in Jesus’ ministry. He publically forgives the sins of a crippled man, then heals his physical condition as well. The man is told to pick up his mat and go home.
By declaring his right and ability to forgive sins, Jesus equated himself with God.Read More forgiveness, miracle, home
When we deceive or rob others we can expect some kind of revenge. That’s just how life works. What a shock when a victim of our actions sets aside their combative attitude and grievance and responds with forgiveness and grace. That is what occurred between Esau and Jacob.
Jacob’s spiritual and character transformation was not complete even after coming face to face with God.Read More grace, forgiveness
Life on this planet is full of injustice. If truth be told, I struggle when I’m not treated fairly! I want justice. I want wrongs to be made right. I want people to know how much pain they’ve caused and how deep their offense has been embedded in my being. Perhaps this is why this passage strikes a chord in my heart every time I read it. Particularly verse 19 that says, “But Joseph told them, ‘Don’t be afraid! I have no right to change what God has decided.Read More forgiveness, injustice
The coming of the kingdom means an engaging with the powers. Jesus has come to redeem a fallen world and that involves doing battle – plundering the house of the enemy. Jesus’ healing of a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute strikes hope in the hearts of some and judgment in the hearts of others. Is he Son of David or only a servant of Beelzebul prince of demons?Read More forgiveness, words, powers
Very often we respond to others in ways we have been treated. When someone is kind to us we are more apt to be kind to others. If someone gets mad at us, we are likely to be in a poor mood and pass on anger to others. The truth is we reflect how we perceive we are being treated. In this parable the man who refused to forgive showed a greater lack than just financial poverty, he lacked pity.Read More grace, forgiveness, kindness
How easy it is to misinterpret God’s word, especially when we read it through the lens of unbelief or limited understanding.
The Sadducees believed that there was no life after death. Seeking to prove their stance correct, they tried to engage Jesus in debate. They referred to Moses’ teaching about widows marrying their husband’s brothers, and then they applied that law to a Jewish folktale about a widow who married seven brothers.Read More forgiveness, biblical illiteracy, studying the Scriptures