When we hear the question, “do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?” we recognize that the setting is a courtroom and the person taking the oath is giving testimony. Today’s passage has a similar setting which is often missed by the distance between our two cultures. It presupposes a Jewish law court where evidence must be provided by the witness of others rather than oneself.Read More
This encounter in the hills of Gilead must come to a clear conclusion. They can all turn back towards Laban’s to live as they were and fight to the finish, or agree to let Jacob and his entourage pursue the direction the Lord has given him. Laban realizes, albeit begrudgingly, that he must let them go. It would seem some of his willingness is created by his daughter’s and grandchildren’s allegiance to Jacob as Laban exclaims “there is nothing I can do to keep my daughters and their children.” A covenant between them is therefore in order (vv 43-44).Read More covenant, blessing, witness, providence
In Mark’s telling of this story of Jesus casting out demons from a man into a herd of pigs, we see details about what happened after the townspeople begged Jesus to leave their part of the country.
The people beg him to go. The man begs Jesus to take him along. What dramatically different responses to Jesus’ demonstration of power over evil.Read More obedience, witness, envy
After 400 years of waiting, after 40 years of wandering, teaching, and preparing, the day has arrived. The promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is kept. The promise to Moses, that God would use him to lead the people out of Egypt to a promised land, is now kept.
God keeps his word. God’s promises come true. These verses tie up the story and declare again that God is great and good.Read More promise, witness
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
When we hear the question, “do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?” we recognize that the setting is a courtroom and the person taking the oath is giving testimony. Today’s passage has a similar setting which is often missed by the distance between our two cultures. It presupposes a Jewish law court where evidence must be provided by the witness of others rather than oneself.Read More witness, testimony, behaviour
Have you ever felt trapped by someone who was picking a fight with you about God, or maybe felt tongue-tied to explain your faith?
Put yourself in the blind man’s shoes: he does not yet fully understand what’s happened to him or who Jesus is, yet he’s summoned to a second meeting with powerful religious leaders.Read More humility, witness, testimony, gentleness
Our God is a God of miracles. When he puts spiritual truth on display, often he reverses physical truth. As he intended, when we are faced with the unexplainable we have to concede that we are not in full control of our world.
The Jews of Jesus’ day had compartmentalized the events they saw unfolding.Read More salvation, witness
Imagine you adventured alongside Peter and John in the first century. Jesus spoke with you after his resurrection. You were there when Peter and John healed the broken body of a poor beggar in Jesus’ name. But that healing created such an uproar that you were jailed by authorities and told never to speak about Jesus again. You decided to disregard their warning, take the risk, and obey God instead.Read More obedience, witness, discernment, mission
For me, reading the Book of Acts is like listening to the movements of a majestic symphony. Following an entire symphony from beginning to end is very different than hearing a just a few bars or sound bites played out of context.
Before going much further, consider taking some time to read through the entire book of Acts in two or three sittings.Read More power, witness, resurrection