Those in the crowds who were listening to Jesus were well acquainted with John and his preaching in the wilderness. What John preached signified that something extraordinary was about to happen and that repentance was the order of the day. Jesus challenges the crowd to consider again why they journeyed to the wilderness. It was not to see a reed swaying in the wind or to see a man dressed in fine clothes.Read More
It comes as a bit of a surprise that the scribes and Pharisees would ask for a sign. Surely healing the blind, raising the dead, and casting out of demons, should count for something. How can they miss what is going on through the words and works of Jesus? Well, perhaps through stubbornness, blindness and the wish to hang on to their own version of things rather than be disrupted by an alternative.Read More discipleship, self-centredness, sign
Joshua looks up and sees a man with a drawn sword. It is not designated as a vision and Joshua does not treat it as a vision. He walks toward the man and speaks to him, asking him “Whose side are you on?” The one-word answer is pivotal to the story and to all of life. “Neither.” The question, as others have said, should be “Whose side am I on?” for we face Christ on holy ground, the Lord of history and the Lord of our lives.Read More obedience, discipleship, self-centredness
Oh, how quickly we let worries define us and take charge of our lives! Even as I write, savvy online advertisers raise the alarm about the state of my wrinkles, relationships and waistline. I am encouraged to fixate on food and be consumed with my career.
Worry gravitates towards the trivial, distorting our priorities. Rather than examining the state of our souls before God, we concern ourselves with how we look to other people.Read More worry, self-centredness, God’s authority
Chapter 6 tells the story of the completion of the building of God’s house. It took four years to build the foundation and three for the superstructure. It was magnificently finished in gold leaf and cedar. A masterpiece. And then we read the first verse of chapter seven, where, to our surprise we’re told it took Solomon THIRTEEN years to build his own house! What, as they say, is up with that?
Maybe nothing other than being human is up with that.Read More self-centredness, lukewarmness, spiritual growth
These few proverbs consist of warnings not to act simply on our own or to take our direction from those who lack wisdom. Engaging in fraud to get your food (or your livelihood) offers only momentary pleasure. You can be pleased to have outwitted someone in deceiving them – but in the long term such action turns sour (See Job 20:12-19). This is a practice which commonly exploits the poor and for that there is no lasting reward.Read More discernment, self-centredness, fraud, counsel