Jesus entered Jerusalem in triumph. Riding as a king upon his donkey, the Lord of heaven and earth faced the last few days of his life teaching and trying to convince others of the truth of his message.
Who is a true son of God? The Scribes and Pharisees thought they were. The answer Jesus gave in Matthew 21:28-32 would disappoint them. Continue reading “The two sons”
Who is the greatest person who ever lived? Who is the greatest ruler or king of all time?
Those questions could cause fights.
Some people may point to a particular president or even a dictator as the answer to either one or both questions. There are others who would also like consideration.
Let’s complicate the issue a little. You must prove your answer with the incontrovertible truth. Continue reading “The greatest person”
Jesus was expected to travel to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Tabernacles.
It was fall in Palestine, about the 15th of Tishri (October 12 on our calendar), and the harvest of wheat and olive oil was complete. It was a time of plenty and thanksgiving for God’s blessings.
The Feast of Tabernacles commemorated the wilderness wandering of the Jews at the end of the year.
Although Jesus would go to the feast, he continued walking in Galilee. He knew the Jews were seeking an opportunity to kill him. Jesus’ brothers came to him and warned him to stay away from Jerusalem. Continue reading “Jesus: the truly qualified teacher”
Jesus suffered arrest even though he had done nothing wrong and not even the false witnesses could agree on what he had done.
Jesus preached love, joy, and peace in a world that needed all three. He helped people understand their need to obey God and live according to God’s word. He pleaded with the Jews to abandon their hypocrisy and become the shining lights the world needed.
For all this, Roman soldiers and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus, bound him and delivered him to Annas and Caiaphas, the two men acting as high priests.
They hated Jesus for no other reason than they were envious of him (Matthew 27:18; Mark 15:10). Continue reading “The greatest injustice”
Dozens of portraits depict Jesus with a crown of thorns crucified on a cross. In all of them, there is the look of pain and sorrow accompanied by such a long and painful death.
What we don’t see in any of these portraits is Jesus’ joy.
Yes, that’s right. Joy.
Humans always equate sorrow with pain and death. Have you ever thought death could bring joy? Continue reading “Joy at the cross”
Jesus decided to sail across the Sea of Galilee sometime around sunset.
Suddenly, a storm rose with a fury well known by fishermen who sailed the sea. With winds that brought cold air down from the mountains mixing with air heated during the day, the lake’s storms often spelled disaster for those caught on the water.
As they sailed, Jesus fell asleep in the boat. As the winds increased, the waves became higher and higher. Soon, the storm was in full force. Rain began filling the boat along with the waves that were breaking into the craft (Luke 8:23). Continue reading “Where is your faith?”
The Bible does much teaching through contrast. Jesus and Satan in Matthew chapter four show the contrast of the spiritual thinking of the son of God and Satan’s temptation from selfishness.
In John 12, there is another contrast between Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Judas Iscariot, the soon-to-be betrayer.
Imagine the great emotion in the house as Jesus entered. Not too long before, Jesus had raised Mary’s brother Lazarus from the dead. Not since Elijah had anyone seen a miracle like that one. Imagine the welcome Jesus received as Lazarus, Martha, and Mary embraced the Lord. Continue reading “A lesson of contrasts: Mary and Judas”
There is something wrong in the world. Have you noticed it?
The world is afflicted with blindness.
It isn’t that people can’t use their eyes; instead, people don’t want to use their eyes.
The Jews witnessed the powerful miracles of Jesus and yet they were mysteriously afflicted with blindness. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world,” (John 8:12). The Jews couldn’t see it. Jesus said, “For if you do not believe that I am he, you will die in your sins,” (John 8:24b). The Jews continued to grope in the dark. Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free,” (John 8:31-32). And the Jews, still blind, told Jesus they had never been enslaved. Continue reading “A world of blindness”
Is all life on earth the result of an accident that caused an accident?
Instead of an accident, consider the design of the eye. Scientists believe they understand how vision works by comparing the eye to a camera and how it focuses an image on the retina. But, what happens after the image arrives on the retina? Science doesn’t know how that “message” is transported to the brain and how that message is recreated there. Continue reading “Obey the giver of life”
“When he had concluded saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. A centurion’s servant, who was highly valued by him, was sick and about to die. When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, requesting him to come and save the life of his servant. When they reached Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, ‘He is worthy for you to grant this, because he loves our nation and has built us a synagogue’” (Luke 7:1-5 CSB).
This centurion seems to have been an exceptional Roman. Stationed in Galilee, he became involved in the local life, even to the point of building a synagogue for the Jews of that town. Perhaps he was attracted to the God they worshipped and their way of life. If you visit Capernaum today you will see extensive excavations of the first century town and an impressive synagogue that would have dominated the town even in Jesus’ day. The current synagogue dates from the 4th century but it is built on the foundation of the first century synagogue, so you get an idea of the size of the one built by this Roman centurion. Continue reading “A faith that amazed Jesus”