John the Immerser was imprisoned by Herod Antipas about 70 miles from where Jesus was preaching.
John sent some of his disciples to ask Jesus if he was the coming one or not. No one is sure why John did this, but it is understandable since he was about to lose his head for telling the king the truth about his marriage to his brother’s wife.
After answering John’s disciples, Jesus turned to the other people and asked them a question. When they went out to the wilderness, what did they go to see (Luke 7:24-26)? Continue reading “What did you go to see?”
My wife watches me when we cut grass together. She watches closely. If I start mowing in a way she doesn’t like, she will stop her mower and make hand signals to correct me. I don’t mind. She’s only trying to help.
Jesus was at the synagogue one day and the Scribes and Pharisees were watching him closely. They weren’t watching Jesus to help him. Their motives were darker. Dr. Luke wrote they were watching to see if Jesus would heal someone on the Sabbath. They wanted to accuse him of doing something wrong (Luke 6:7). Continue reading “Jesus did what was right”
Does God give us his word in such a way as to confuse us? Some people think Jesus taught in parables to obfuscate the truth so no one could understand it. Did he?
The answer is no.
It is possible for a person’s mind to be so set against the word of God that such a one would reject what God tries to teach. A good example of this is one of the “hard sayings” of Jesus in John chapter six. The Lord said, “As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me” (John 6:57 ESV). Continue reading “Opening our minds to the truth”
It is easy to think this life is what is important. We may be tempted to think this life is all there is. It isn’t.
Many are swept up in politics, world events, trouble, flood, famine, and war. The newspapers are full of the negative things that happen every day. After a while, we may become convinced those things are more important. They aren’t.
Jesus had his problems with the self-important Pharisees. They wanted to kill him because of his teachings and his growing popularity. Jesus said the game the Pharisees were playing was not important at all (Luke 12:1-5). Continue reading “Make a truly great decision”
I love being a father.
If every bit of progress of my children isn’t imprinted on film or memory card, it is in my mind as fresh as the day it happened. Those memories include when each of our three children walked, when they learned to ride a bicycle, and graduated from college. Sure, there have been trials and difficulties but the joys outweigh them all.
Each child has repeatedly assured us of their love for their mother and me. I know their love is genuine because they show it often. Continue reading “Being a father”
The Romans taxed nearly everything. They taxed personal income and the use of roads and harbors. They taxed carts according the number of wheels, and they taxed for the animal that pulled the cart. If a person was walking with a bundle on his back, a tax collector could require the bundle opened and taxes could be collected on any item therein.
Many Jews became tax collectors hired by the Romans. The Jews punished these people they called, “publicans,” because of their association with the Romans. Continue reading ““They that are whole need not a physician””
Words and meanings are important. Dictionaries and texts to teach language exist for this purpose. Socrates supposedly said, “The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.” Every speaker, even politicians, learn that effective communication means one must understand words.
What is the definition of peace? Continue reading “What is peace?”
It’s time to look for my magnifying glass again.
Someone keeps taking my magnifying glass from my desk because she needs to see something small up close. Magnifying glasses come in handy when we need to enlarge something so details can be seen.
The mother of Jesus placed the Lord under a glass in a passage called “the Magnificat.” In her praise of God in Luke 1:46-56, she zoomed in on the greatness of God so others could see him.
Let’s take a close-up look of God through Mary’s magnifying glass. Each statement begins with the personal pronoun, “he.” Continue reading “Under the magnifying glass”
Pilate was warned concerning Jesus.
Pilate knew Jesus was not guilty of sedition, but he ignored that innocence. He was warned by a troubled wife, but he ignored her warning. He was warned by his own conscience that Jesus was innocent, but he could not withstand the Jews clamoring for the Lord’s death.
“Why? What evil has he done,” Pilate asked knowing the crowd could not answer. The question meant nothing to the mob of Jews. They wanted the blood of this man who had only helped, healed, and given them hope. Continue reading “Standing with Pilate”
Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew chapters five, six and seven is wholly original. Nothing like it had ever been preached before. While Pharisees and scribes almost always cited Old Testament references for their lesson points, Jesus used the Old Testament in a different way.
Six times in Matthew chapter five the phrases, “it was said,” and “but, I say to you,” were given by the Lord. Jesus was showing the truth of the Bible’s teachings in contrast to the narrow, limited and often mistaken applications of Jewish leaders. Continue reading ““The Real McCoy””