Logs in our eyes

“… first remove the log from your own eye …” (Matthew 7:1-5).

The Sermon on the Mount is meant to draw a contrast between the kingdoms of men and the Kingdom of Christ. Jesus says, “You have heard it said … but I say.” In this text (Matthew 7:1-5), Jesus says, “Here is what some people do; but here is what I want you to do.”

He included a strange, if not humorous, image to get attention and make his point: someone with a log in his eye trying to get a splinter out of someone else’s eye.

We suggest these four thoughts from the text: Continue reading “Logs in our eyes”

That’s crazy talk

Some of Jesus’ statements are quite attractive: statements like, “God so loved the world…” and “Judge not…” are generally beloved by most people.

His actions draw crowds still today. He called out hypocrites and spent time with outcasts. He upheld the little guy and pulled down the crooked establishment.

But this is where the admiration should end. So Jesus defied some conventions and said some pretty things, does that make him special? Continue reading “That’s crazy talk”

Jesus’ Favorite Food

Jesus was urged to stop and eat, to which he replied, “I have food to eat that you do not know about” (John 4:32, NASB).

The disciples were befuddled. One can imagine them scratching their heads, looking around for Jesus’ secret stash of goodies: “No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?” (John 4:33).

Then he said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work” (John 4:34). Continue reading “Jesus’ Favorite Food”

Can I bend your ear?

He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Mark 4:9, ESV)

Hearing is a natural phenomenon. We don’t even have to try. It just – happens.

Yet, the physical act of hearing might as well be a miracle. There are so many things that have to be in place, so many things have to go right for it to happen, that it is a wonder we can hear anything at all. Think of how it works, and all of the things that can go wrong. Continue reading “Can I bend your ear?”

The Wrong Battle; the Wrong Weapons

The most desired of conditions, peace is by far the most elusive.

Peace – in its simplest definition – is the absence of conflict. But there has always been conflict. There was conflict among the angels of heaven. There was conflict in the Paradise of Eden. There has since been conflict between all clans.

We know and appreciate the concept of peace. We crave and long for it. We write and sing about it. We fight and die for it. We want it as much as anything, yet we have no earthly idea how to both obtain and keep it.

The human being is conflicted. He is conflicted with his world, and with his self. Life is a search to ease the stress, curtail the strain, scratch the itch of conflict. But the itch returns, the scratching ensues, and the cycle continues. Continue reading “The Wrong Battle; the Wrong Weapons”

Flipping the coin

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword” (Mt. 10:34).

Almost any picture we paint of Jesus is lacking. It is especially true of the canvas, but also of the heart. Jesus is complex – infinitely so. When we think we have captured him, some other piece of him floats by and we must pour out all the other pieces and try to put them back together again. Haygood put it this way: Continue reading “Flipping the coin”

No righteousness at all

“For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20).

Jesus said that a person couldn’t enter the kingdom unless their righteousness exceeded that of the scribes and Pharisees. One might be inclined to ask: What, exactly, was the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees? And how can we exceed it?

To answer the first question in a word: self-righteousness. Continue reading “No righteousness at all”