This passage raises a question, raised elsewhere in the gospels, about the so-called messianic secret: that Jesus spent the first stretch of his earthly ministry on a kind of stealth mission, in a kind of game of cloak-and-dagger.Read More
As usual, Jesus is more concerned with the root of a problem than the fruit of a problem. He is more concerned with the causing of sin than the committing of sin. It’s easier to focus our concern upon the sin committed rather than the cause. We frown upon the pregnant teen but fail to address the emotionally-absent father whose absence drove the daughter to look for male companionship.Read More sin, holiness, discernment
Being human, we are often “me centered” and we tend to forget really important things. When this forgetfulness moves us away from God, we need to find ways to remember.
The Lord did not want Israel to ever forget that he, the Lord of salvation, delivered them from slavery in Egypt. God delivering Israel was like God taking his own son out of Egypt. Literally, we see this in God sparing the firstborn sons of Israel on the night of PassoverRead More holiness, remember, sacrifice
These next two chapters are central to the story of the Old Testament. God is coming down to meet and speak with his own people. They are his own because they are descended from Abraham, and he has led them back from slavery in Egypt. God has redeemed them from the might of Pharaoh. He has provided for them in the wilderness and he has been with them in the pillar of fire and cloud.Read More obedience, covenant, holiness, faithfulness
When God reveals himself he often prepares the way by telling his people what he will do, then he does it, and then he explains what he has done. We get an excellent example of this in the passage before us. In chapter 19 the Lord told Israel that he would come and speak with them, in chapter 20 he gave Israel his law, in following chapters he will expound his law and its implications for their lives.Read More worship, holiness
This passage tells us about the confirmation of the covenant that God made with the nation of Israel at Mount Sinai. It is an important part of God’s progressive revelation of himself to Israel and the world. The account involves three different groups of people: the people of Israel; Aaron and his two sons Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel; and then Moses and his aid Joshua. All of them are part of this confirmation ceremony.Read More salvation, covenant, holiness, ceremony
Having given Israel his law and having confirmed his covenant with them, the Lord now gives instructions about making a sanctuary for him where he may dwell among them. That God should dwell in the middle of a sinful people that he has redeemed for his own is another amazing example of his grace. But so it is, God himself will live in a tabernacle – a tent – among his people.Read More holiness, beauty, tabernacle
This passage raises a question, raised elsewhere in the gospels, about the so-called messianic secret: that Jesus spent the first stretch of his earthly ministry on a kind of stealth mission, in a kind of game of cloak-and-dagger. He was a holy subversive, doing heaven’s work incognito and on the sly. He didn’t want anyone to know who he was. He didn’t want word out about what he was doing. He warned people to keep his work and his identity secret.Read More holiness
After twenty years of building, Solomon adds the “coup de grace,” the exclamation point, to his masterpiece. With great ceremony and sacrificial ritual, he brings the Ark of the Covenant to the temple, placing it in the “Holy of Holies.” At this moment something astonishing happens.
A cloud of luminous haze suddenly fills the house as the priests leave the “Holy of Holies.Read More holiness, glory, God’s presence
On the Day of Pentecost God’s Spirit began renovating the human heart and restoring human society. God was creating a new covenant community with Jesus in the centre and God’s love radiating outward in all directions. As Charles Moore writes, the first Christians didn’t just invite Jesus into their hearts and begin attending church in Jerusalem.Read More holiness, Temple