Christian living takes us to a place above and beyond anything we might have imagined here on earth. Jesus asks a lot of us.
These verses represent one of the most striking constructions in all of ScriptureRead More
After Jesus’ arrest he was brought before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor. As Pilate tried to determine the nature of the charges against Jesus, he asked him about the accusation that he was a king. Jesus answered, “My kingdom doesn’t belong to this world. If it did, my followers would have fought to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. No, my kingdom doesn’t belong to this world.” (John 18:36)Read More kingdom, Jesus, parables
There is a beautiful inevitability in Jesus’ teaching in this passage. Light shines. The hidden is found. Seeds sprout. Sometimes to amazing and unexpected lengths. And the Kingdom does come, whether we think so or not.
It is quite easy, especially in the North American Church, to question the church’s relevance to our culture.Read More kingdom, transformation @en, faith
Have you ever packed a suitcase and then had that niggling feeling that you are forgetting something? Something’s missing but you can’t quite put your finger on it.
The rich young man who approached Jesus was lacking something. He didn’t know what it was either. He politely knelt before Jesus and asked what he needed to do to have eternal life. Jesus reminded him of the commandments.Read More kingdom, wealth, Eternal life
This event in the life of Jesus is often referred to as the Triumphal Entry. A quick reading of the passage seems to confirm the appropriateness of that title. Nevertheless, such an interpretation raises some difficult questions. How can Jesus be received so positively at the beginning of the week, when at the end of the week the crowds will call for his blood? This festival took place every year, with the same songs, the shouts of “Hosanna,” and the waving of palm branches.Read More kingdom, Messiah, deliverance, Hosanna
“She gave birth to her firstborn, a son . . .” Such a simple description of an event that’s happened millions of times in this world. Except that this time it was unique. Earth changing.
Luke the historian frames the story in the political history of the day. Augustus, the adopted son of Julius Caesar and the Roman Emperor, had ordered a census. Joseph, in obedience to the Roman authorities, had gone back to his ancestral town to register. Augustus, who by an iron hand had brought peace to the whole empire, was in control.Read More birth, poverty, history, kingdom
Lord, have mercy.
In my experience he does – plenty of it, which is a very good thing for us. The question is whether we will have mercy for anyone else. Having received mercy, can we find it in our heart to extend mercy?
Mercy is getting better than what we have coming. As Jesus says, when you repay money you have been lent, no mercy is required.Read More mercy, kingdom, generosity
I remember once being present when people were discussing whether, if Jesus were among us today, he would agree to being interviewed on T.V. It was an interesting discussion.
The Jews expected God’s kingdom to be launched with a big fanfare. It’s easy to see why. Passages like Zechariah 14:9: (“The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.”) They looked forward to a day when God would rule.Read More kingdom, big numbers
The smooth natural English of the CEV hides a key to understanding this whole passage. If you have another translation or can find it online, it is worth looking at either the ESV or the NIV.
The key word is “day,” which occurs ten times in verses 10-14 in yesterday’s reading, with phrases like “the day of misfortune,” “the day of calamity.”Read More hope, Day of the Lord, kingdom