Rejection by his own

In Luke’s record of Jesus’ life, the Lord’s visit to his hometown of Nazareth would seem to take place just after his immersion and temptation. When we compare this with John’s account it would seem that around a year had passed. During this year were the events recorded in the first few chapters of John: the wedding at Cana, the visit to Jerusalem, and the visit in Samaria. Continue reading “Rejection by his own”

Thirsty?

The Feast of the Tabernacles was instituted by God in Leviticus 23. Also known as the Feast of the Booths, it was characterized by the construction of tent-like booths that represented the temporary housing used by Israel during its wilderness wanderings. It was God’s way of instructing Israel to rely on him and not themselves.

Near the end of Jesus’ life, he traveled to Jerusalem during this feast and went into the temple to teach (John 7:14). Imagine sitting and listening to the Lord Jesus teach the truths of God’s word and the magnificent lessons he brought! Continue reading “Thirsty?”

Is your name written there?

Our family had a good friend who was skilled in sleight-of-hand magic. Our children were about 10 or 15 years old at the time and were mesmerized by the illusions he could perform. They were particularly amazed by a finger guillotine he used. He asked each of them to place their fingers in the guillotine, and then it would seem he would close it over their fingers without ever hurting them. They couldn’t figure that out. Continue reading “Is your name written there?”

Do you know Jesus?

Have you ever heard of Jesus Christ? Some might call that a foolish question. It would be difficult if not impossible to have lived in the world for the last 2,000 years and not know that name.

Here’s another question: how well do you know Jesus Christ? Some people would immediately dismiss the question as absurd. Many insist they do. As to how well they know him is another question. Continue reading “Do you know Jesus?”

It’s no trick; the Bible reads minds

There are some good magicians who claim to read minds. They use tricks they have learned to appear to have the power. Basically, it is just clever deception.

The Bible is the word of God because it tells us what people are thinking. It tells us what kings are thinking when they would rather not have anyone know. There is evidence of this in all three of the synoptic gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Continue reading “It’s no trick; the Bible reads minds”

Salt and light

In the “Sermon on the Mount,” Jesus spoke about the two things that make life on earth worthwhile: salt and light. These two things are usually taken for granted, but we could not live without them.

Salt is necessary for life. Consider the beating heart. The heart beats because of a chemical exchange of sodium (salt) and potassium (another salt). Were it not for these salts, we die. When the two are out of balance, the heart doesn’t function well. Having too much salt means the body retains water and that can result in problems. Having too little potassium can also cause problems and can send a person to the hospital. Continue reading “Salt and light”

For the sins of the whole world

Religions are often identified with certain people groups. They are limited, mostly, to certain regions of the world. They make up a part of the culture of those groups. They do not always welcome outsiders. There are a few so-called world religions, but most of these are also limited.

Jesus died as the “atoning sacrifice” sent by God, “not only for our sins but also for the whole world” 1 John 2.1-2. This is a staggering affirmation. The apostle John writes it in the context of the need of a group of Christians to have a sacrifice for their sins and to be forgiven even after their conversion. It implies several things. Continue reading “For the sins of the whole world”

Never alone

The artists’ conceptions of God are interesting. The Almighty usually appears as a very old, very kind man. To them he is human. That concept, however, does not fit the facts. 

Jesus said that God is spirit (John 4:24). The artists may say, “But the Bible says God has eyes and ears.” Yes. The Bible does indeed refer to God’s eyes and ears. God does see and hear but not like human beings. King David spoke of God hearing him (Psalm 40:1-2). And, yes, God does hear us. Continue reading “Never alone”