Standing with Pilate

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”

My stubborn will

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would have none of it!” (Matthew 23:37 NET).

Jesus knew the city of Jerusalem so well. He had witnessed its founding and watched as King David took the city and made it his capital.

But he had also watched Jerusalem overcome by the idolatry and sin that characterized it in the Divided Kingdom and saw it led into bitter captivity to the Babylonians. Continue reading “My stubborn will”

Understanding the Gospel of John

The Gospel of John is a treasure for students of the New Testament. It can fill our days and sustain us for many years. Yet, we must develop an appreciation for what the author is trying to accomplish.

Matthew, Mark and Luke were edifying their readers and bringing souls to Jesus. However, false doctrines about Christ were arising and needed to be addressed.

Who better to do so than the man who was probably the closest to Jesus among all those on earth? (John 13:23-25). Continue reading “Understanding the Gospel of John”

Do these two things ever distract you?

“I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” (Luke 4:43)

There are numerous things that vie for our attention in this digital age. Computers, smart phones, tablets, social media apps – they all ring, bleep, notify, chime and alarm us of the next seemingly important thing. Much of the time, it is just social candy that distracts us from more nourishing things in life.

This is also true spiritually. We can easily become distracted from our mission and purpose as Christians, if we’re not careful. Here are a couple of things that can distract us: Continue reading “Do these two things ever distract you?”

Two sermons, two very different reactions

We will guard our hearts no matter what happens. We will rationalize or pretend whatever is necessary to bring our lives into some kind of equilibrium. It’s the human way.

While we hear with our ears, we interpret the data through our hearts and minds. That is the real battlefield in terms of the gospel.

We find an excellent example in Acts where two similar messages evoked diametrically opposed reactions. Continue reading “Two sermons, two very different reactions”

Political activism can distract us from the Christian mission

Niccolo Machiavelli said, “Politics have no relation to morals.” Sadly, this is sometimes true of those who passionately follow politics. Losing our focus on spiritual principles, we live in an adversarial world of anger and myth.

Our passion becomes our overriding force and everything is filtered through it. Seeing the world through political lenses rather than the spiritual can distort our understanding of God’s word and endanger us spiritually. Continue reading “Political activism can distract us from the Christian mission”