John was in prison. Jesus’ cousin was jailed by Herod, who did not appreciate what John said about his illicit marriage to Herodias. This particular Herod was known as Antipas. He reigned over Galilee and Perea.
John understood that his work was coming to an end and asked Jesus through a messenger if he was the one whose coming was foretold. Some say that during this challenging trial, John’s faith weakened. None of us are perfect, not even John. Continue reading “Rediscover the Bible”
There are many things that can “fill us up.” Fried chicken can fill one up. Marital love can fill one up. Our vocation in life can often come pretty close to filling us up in several ways.
The apostle Paul had a wish for the members of the church at Ephesus. He wrote, “That you may be filled up to all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19b). One might achieve that by learning the breadth, length, height, and depth of the love of Christ, which, he said, surpasses knowledge. Continue reading “Christ’s love from all sides”
Good parents in every country of the world have one thing in common: they want their children to become happy and productive people. To send the children on their way, parents teach their idea of success life. Sometimes that idea does not bear the best fruit.
God wants his children to learn how they can achieve true happiness, and his only son, Jesus, communicated his wishes in the “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew chapters 5-7. Jesus’ sermon is more than platitudes. It is not a speech designed to please people. Instead, it is the ultimate parent’s love, and intelligence poured into a message designed to teach people the righteousness that exceeds. Continue reading “The true formula for happiness”
There is a direct quote by the Lord Jesus that many people have misunderstood. Many know it, but some misapply it. Jesus said,
“For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Some believe that God sent his only son to those individuals chosen explicitly by him. They say God knew each individual and selected them so they could not possibly have resisted. They say others not called will never live eternally even if that was what they wanted. Continue reading “The choice is yours”
The events of Mark chapter 10 are probably very close to the time Jesus would be arrested, tried, convicted, and crucified. One would think the disciples would grow more introspective, but that was not the case.
James and John came to Jesus to ask him to seat them on his left and right hands, positions of honor, and authority. Jesus told them they misunderstood what they were asking. Continue reading “Serving as slaves”
While teaching in the temple, Jesus said something that probably interested the Pharisees and Scribes who were likely there. Jesus asked, “How was it that the experts in the law said Christ is David’s son?”
Jesus was not trying to show that he was better than David. He was trying to show his listeners the Messiah was greater than David. How could that be since he descended from David? The answer is because the Messiah is divine, not human. Continue reading “Jesus the Messiah”
Of the churches Jesus mentioned in Revelation chapters two and three, his most pointed remarks concerned the lukewarm members at Laodicea.
Laodicea, in Greek literature known as Laodikeia, was a city of Romans, Phrygians, and Syrians. It was known as a producer of a powder used to treat diseases of the eyes, probably why the Lord Jesus advised them to “buy eye salve to put on your eyes so you can see” (Revelation 3:18). Their materialism had blinded them to what was truly important: the service of God. Continue reading “Behold, I stand at the door and knock”
The worship of God requires careful attention to our motives and thoughts. Many people don’t realize that God knows everything we think. God knows if we are sincerely showing our love and respect in worship or if we are just going through the motions.
In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warned his listeners about their giving and praying in Matthew 6:1-8. The first two words in the first verse of that chapter are “be careful.” Continue reading “Be careful”
The disciples of Jesus were a study in contrasts.
In Luke 10, 70 of them went to tell others the kingdom of heaven was at hand. They returned with great joy, informing the Master that even the demons were subject to them (Luke 10:17).
Fast forward to Jesus’ arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, and another picture emerges. Continue reading “Standing with Jesus”
Some may think Jesus and his disciples wandered around Palestine for three years without any aim or purpose. Nothing could be further from the truth.
When the Lord and his disciples found a man born blind, Jesus said the man was blind so “that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:3). Then, the Master said, “We must work the works of Him who sent me” (John 9:4). Continue reading “See the light”