Context is important. If you heard the words, “dead dog,” all that would tell you is that a dog is dead. There is no other information. Yet, the more information added to that statement would bring out what happened to the dog.
Interpreting the Bible is a matter of understanding the context of a passage under consideration, and the context of the chapter and of the book. Disregarding the context is one of the reasons why people can make costly mistakes in understanding God’s word. Continue reading “Context is important”
Just before Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount, his disciples were with him (Matthew 5:1). From at least that point until Peter confessed Jesus is the Christ his disciples were constantly present. They heard lesson after lesson and saw miracle after miracle. So, why on three occasions in the book of Matthew did he accuse them as being people of “little faith?”
In Matthew 8, Jesus had been teaching people in Capernaum and then “got into a boat.” God’s word doesn’t say why Jesus got into a boat, but what happens afterward is good evidence why. Jesus was asleep when a storm developed and threatened to toss everyone overboard. The disciples woke the Master saying, “Lord, save us! We are about to die! (Matthew 8:25 NET). Jesus said, “Why are you cowardly, you people of little faith?” Continue reading “You people of little faith”
The Gettysburg Address was only 272 words. It took Abraham Lincoln less than three minutes to deliver it. Edward Everett, the famous orator and U.S. senator who preceded Lincoln spoke for two hours from a prepared manuscript of more than 13,000 words.
After Lincoln’s speech, Everett wrote the president saying, “I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes.”
The Lord Jesus Christ said more in four words than some could say in 13,000. Continue reading ““Go, your son lives””
People carry some very heavy burdens in this life. There are burdens they would like to drop, but sometimes they just do not know how.
The rich ruler of Luke chapter 18 had the heavy burden of his possessions. The Lord Jesus knew the weight this man was carrying. He tried to help him get rid of it, but the young man left with his burden intact. It must have been sorrowful, indeed, to watch this man leave eternal life behind to carry a burden that might result in him losing his soul. Continue reading “The burden of selfishness”
What is the abundant life?
Jesus said that he came that people might have an abundant life (John 10:10). The prosperity preachers think that Jesus meant he came so that we would be rich in money and possessions. How truly they misunderstand the son of God!
A study of John 10 shows exactly what Jesus meant. The Lord began by saying he is the door of the sheep (John 10:1, 7). After the sheep were placed in an enclosure for the night, the shepherd put his body across the entrance. Wolves would, therefore, have to take the shepherd’s life before gaining access to the sheep. Continue reading “Abundant life is a life sacrificed”
Jesus was the kind of preacher who taught the masses (Matthew 13:2). He healed multitudes of people (Matthew 14:14). He had compassion on the multitudes (Matthew 15:32).
Jesus, however, did not just deal with crowds of people. He taught individuals, too. Continue reading “Teach just one”
The sight of the three greatest men of God on a mountaintop must have been awe inspiring at least.
Simon Peter was so overcome with the sight that he wanted to build a shelter or shrine for Moses, Elijah and Jesus and asked the Lord’s permission. Before the disciple could utter another word he was interrupted. A “bright cloud overshadowed them,” and a voice was heard from the cloud. The voice said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” (Matthew 17:5 NASB). The sound of the voice was so alarming Peter, James and John fell to the ground afraid. Continue reading “Listen to him!”
Jesus fashioned a whip of cords and drove the money changers out of the temple because they had made his Father’s house just an ordinary place of business (John 2:16).
Something interesting happened with the Lord’s disciples. These Galileans remembered King David had written, “For zeal for your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me” (Psalm 69:9 NASB). The disciples applied this verse King David had written of the Christ directly to Jesus. Continue reading “Attitude”
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”
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.
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”