Want to see love?

Brightly colored ribbons were tied around precious packages for family and friends. Wonderful holiday feasts warmed guests inside only to be matched by the love shown and shared.

Want to see real love? Let’s go straight to the cross.

Jesus had been tried by the Jews, but they knew their accusations against him would have no traction with Pilate, so they made up different ones. After a cursory examination of Jesus, Pilate could find no fault and told the Jews and sent Jesus to Herod. Herod sent him back without charge (Luke 23:15). Continue reading “Want to see love?”

The humble king

The disciples argued just before Jesus left for Gethsemane on the evening of his betrayal, denial, and trial. The argument was an attempt to set rank. Jesus would show them what really mattered.

First, Jesus went to pray. He humbled himself before God asking the cup of suffering be taken away. Instead of the way some pray — raising a hand to God and demanding for help — Jesus said, “Not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Continue reading “The humble king”

Leaving the heart’s door open

The chief priests and the scribes wanted Jesus dead.

But, these kinds of things are delicate. The Sanhedrin didn’t have the power to put a man to death — only the Romans could do that — and Jesus was innocent and not worthy of any sentence at all.

Importantly, the enemies of Jesus needed a way to make sure they had their man. They needed someone who knew Jesus to hand him over to them. Accuse the wrong man and the Romans would be less likely to listen next time. In addition, the scribes and priests knew the people supported Jesus. The religious leaders couldn’t just take the Lord into custody. Riots may ensue. Continue reading “Leaving the heart’s door open”

Think important things

People learn to prioritize at a very early age.

Parents usually give their youngsters tasks around the house called, “chores.” Those little jobs help teach responsibility. Children are also expected to complete their homework each day. Both are important things for kids to remember.

In college, students learn to make reading and studying priorities for successful college life. When the students become adults, there are work and social priorities.

What is the most important priority of all? The Bible teaches the most important things are spiritual things. Continue reading “Think important things”

Rules

The world has never had any rules. The world doesn’t even really like guidelines. How can something like, “Live for today,” qualify for a rule or a guideline?

William Barclay wrote, “One of the characteristics of the world in which we live is the lowering of standards.”[1] Many in the world have no standard at all. The disciple of Christ must live according to the standards of Christ. The only other option is to live in profligacy. Continue reading “Rules”

Mindsets

Is Jesus teaching three disconnected lessons in Luke 16, or is he driving at a specific lesson in the chapter?

Jesus taught with a regard for context. Slicing up portions of his teaching has created misunderstandings through the ages.

In Luke chapter 15, Jesus used three lessons: the parable of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. Our duty is to find the lost and teach them the gospel. It was the very reason Jesus was sent into the world (1 Timothy 1:15). Continue reading “Mindsets”

He came for a reason

Why did Jesus come into the world? There are ten statements Jesus makes explaining why he was here. Five of them are in the gospel written by the apostle John.

Jesus said he had come in his father’s name (John 5:43). This means he came by his father’s authority. If a policeman knocks on someone’s door and shouts, “Open in the name of the law,” he means the door must open by the authority of the law.  Jesus talked a great deal about authority because it was important for people to know who was behind his teaching. Continue reading “He came for a reason”

Your verdict

Years ago, my job covering the cops and the courts for a daily newspaper kept me in courtrooms nearly every afternoon. Jury trials were my favorite to cover because it was never quite possible to predict what might happen.

Juries are composed of different types of people. There are those who carry guns and those who don’t. There are those who think everyone is innocent and those who think everyone charged with a crime is guilty. There are those who will vote for the death penalty and those who wouldn’t vote to give that sentence no matter what. Continue reading “Your verdict”

Greater love

Opposition to Jesus was rising. While the Lord would not shrink from opposition, it was too soon to allow a plot against him to succeed. He withdrew to the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 12:15; Mark 3:7-8).

There is a revealing look into the heart of God’s son in Matthew chapter 12. It is seen in Isaiah’s prophecy hundreds of years before Jesus ever came to the world, and it shows precisely what Jesus was most interested in doing. Continue reading “Greater love”