See the Prince of Peace

What did Jesus look like? No one knows. Yes, there have been many pictures painted of men as “models,” but no true picture exists.

Does this mean we can’t understand what he looks like? Until the second coming of Christ, it does. But his spiritual likeness is just as important, isn’t it?

Someone may say, “How can we come to understand his spiritual likeness?” All we need to do is look in the scriptures for the answer. Continue reading “See the Prince of Peace”

Think of the widow

The village of Nain was about six miles southeast of Nazareth. Its name meant “pleasant,” probably for the view afforded from its 1,690 ft. height. From the view, it is said one could see snow-capped Mt. Hermon.[1]

As the Lord Jesus was traveling with a large crowd toward the city, he came upon the funeral procession of a young man. His mother, a widow, was following the bier, weeping.

What comes next is one of the most beautiful passages in the Bible. Continue reading “Think of the widow”

A place to stay

My sisters and I often spent at least a week in the summer visiting our uncle and aunt’s home in Kentucky. My favorite pastime was riding my uncle’s tractor. I would spend hours just sitting on it, pretending I was off plowing the back forty acres.

By the time my sisters and I were teens, we knew not only the way to Kentucky, but also the way to our uncle and aunt’s house in Caldwell County. We knew it just as well as we knew where our home in Tennessee was. Continue reading “A place to stay”

His blood be upon us

“O LORD, do save, we beseech You; O LORD, we beseech You, do send prosperity! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD; We have blessed you from the house of the LORD” (Psalm 118:25-26 NASB).

The words of Psalm 118 are important because they are almost word-for-word what the Jews in Jerusalem said to Jesus only short days before his crucifixion.

More than 100 years before Jesus was honored as a conquering king, the Jews greeted Simon Maccabaeus in an almost identical fashion, waving palm and willow branches crediting him with saving their nation.

Days later, however, the crowd’s voice changed. Instead of proclaiming his innocence before Pilate, they cried, “Crucify him!” (Matthew 27:22). The change in the crowd is odd for more reasons than the obvious. Continue reading “His blood be upon us”

What will you give?

How much is your soul worth?

Some would take umbrage to such a question and say, “My soul is worth more than any amount of money because it is eternal,” and that would be right. Would it surprise you to know, however, there are people who would happily settle for much less?

Some people don’t mind being religious as long as it doesn’t cost them anything. Just filling a pew on Sunday gives them the feeling that they are religious and good people. When the church asks them to give or help on a regular basis, they refuse. In just such a way haven’t they sold their souls in exchange for much less? Continue reading “What will you give?”

Wisdom is justified in her children

My father once wrote, “Just as children can learn goodness by the lives of their godly parents, so faithful Christians can evidence in themselves the valuable wisdom of God.”

Those words were written in the margin of a commentary on the book of Matthew by H. Leo Boles in the 1950s. Boles, of Matthew 11:19 wrote, “The works of wisdom are the best evidence of wisdom.”[1]

Boles was addressing one of my favorite sayings of Jesus, “Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children” (Matthew 11:19 NASB). Continue reading “Wisdom is justified in her children”

Are you growing?

Soils and hearts are alike as far as Jesus was concerned.

There is the hard ground next to a road. The little grassy paths on which the people of Palestine walked would become hardened. The soil would become so packed down as to be almost impenetrable. Any seed inadvertently thrown down on this ground would be “devoured” (Mark 4:4). A hard-hearted person may hear the word of God, but in no time at all Satan takes it away (Mark 4:15). Continue reading “Are you growing?”

Opening our eyes to Jesus’ love

In the days Jesus lived, a blind man might find the road into the new city of Jericho a good place to ask for money.

Jericho had been destroyed by God in Joshua’s day (Joshua chapter six). But, a new city had been rebuilt and became the winter palace for the Hasmonean King Herod.

Matthew 20 tells us Jesus was traveling from old Jericho on the way to Jerusalem when two blind men called out to him. Only one of the men was named in Mark 10:46, Bartimaeus. Continue reading “Opening our eyes to Jesus’ love”

He loved the unlovely

There is one group with whom Jesus talked more than anyone except his disciples: the Pharisees.

The Pharisees are mentioned 82 times in the gospels, and almost all of those are in connection with Jesus teaching them. Just in the book of Matthew, the Pharisees are referred to 27 times. In more than one chapter in that book, there are three or more uses of the word. Continue reading “He loved the unlovely”