The story of John the Baptist’s question to Jesus is one way the gospel writer seeks to establish the authority of Jesus. “Are you the One who is to come or shall we look for another?” discloses a measure of uncertainty from John and his disciples. The answer Jesus gives, referring to his work on behalf of the blind, the lame, the lepers, the deaf, the dead and the poor, all makes reference to themes found in the prophet Isaiah that characterize the promised messiah (Isaiah 61:1-3).Read More
Posts tagged "gospel"
A Hinge Point in History
Work-life balance dominates our thinking in a 24-7 work world. Navigating the daily digital demands is the new stressor replacing the old work-week grind. Consulting gurus talk about the “creative destruction” of business, medicine, education and government. Long standing social formations are tottering everywhere. The economic signals from long stable national economies are alarming. What is going on?Read More Dix Commandements @en, loi @en, bonne nouvelle, law, gospel, Ten Commandments
The Master Pedagogue at Work
Jesus was the master teacher and Mark does a masterful job drawing us into the story he recounts to his community. We are in the very centre of the Gospel. We arrive at the “hinge” to which Mark has been taking us. Interesting enough, the only ones who recognize him to this point in the story are the evil spirits. It is time to ask the critical questions of his followers. Like a good teacher, he begins with an open question, “Who do people say that I am?” Upon their response, he asks what any perceptive teacher would ask, “But what about you? Who do you say I am?”Read More promises, gospel
The Large Crop
Somehow, in the last 2,000 years, the church lost its sense of urgency. Not many of us live like we have the pressing agenda outlined in today’s passage. Jesus’ words seem so strange. Maybe they belong in the past.
Yet, it’s a theme throughout the New Testament that time is short for spreading the gospel. It’s not just in this passage.Read More faith, witness, urgency, gospel
The Helpless and the Good
Helpless beings in a meaningless world: this is Solomon’s appraisal of the human race. Again and again throughout the book of Ecclesiastes, these are adjectives he uses to describe us, slaves and kings alike. We stumble about, blind, naked and without understanding. With all our art we try to conjure a meaning behind our lives.Read More gospel, helplessness, intelligence
The Truth and Its Consequences
The Christian leader Stephen bursts into the Acts story. Luke tells us he was “full of faith and the Spirit” (v 5) and “full of grace and power” (v 8). Through him the Spirit does “signs and wonders” and his opponents in the Greek-speaking Jewish synagogues cannot withstand “the wisdom and Spirit with which he speaks” (v 10). And when he does present the gospel, people discern that his “face is like that of an angel” (v 15).Read More wisdom, truth, gospel
Saul’s transformation from a man who persecuted Jesus’s followers to being counted one of them is blindingly swift. After the short period of several days with the Lord’s followers in Damascus, he is publicly preaching the same message he had sought to stop. Soon after, he does the same thing in Jerusalem, and he attempts to join the followers.Read More gospel, gentiles, encouragement
The Life I Now Live
Read Reflect There is no way to exaggerate the way the Spirit of God has used this text in the life of the church and world. For in it the gospel – the “no other gospel” – is stated so clearly. Peter knew the gospel. He knew that in Jesus, God has done everything that […]Read More faith, gospel, response
Persuaded or Opposed
Read Reflect Ultimately, there can only be one of two responses to the gospel – one is either persuaded or opposed. One may take a position between the two for a while, but in the end one has to decide for or against Christ. When we share the message of Christ (vv 2-3), some people […]Read More response, persuaded, opposed, opponents, Scriptures, gospel
I Was Like You. . . . .
The crowd is seething with anger and wants Paul dead! . . . . but there he is, safe and sound, thanks to the rescue of the Roman occupying forces. Can you imagine the hostility of the crowd when Paul asks his arresting officer for permission to speak to these people with closed ears?Read More strategy, testimony, gospel, transformed life