Jesus is better

“After God spoke long ago in various portions and in various ways to our ancestors through the prophets, in these last days he has spoken to us in a son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he created the world. The Son is the radiance of his glory and the representation of his essence, and he sustains all things by his powerful word, and so when he had accomplished cleansing for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Thus he became so far better than the angels as he has inherited a name superior to theirs.” (Hebrews 1:1-4 NET)

God had given his message to his people throughout history through his ‘prophets’ – not that they were necessarily writing about the future, but they were receiving the word of God directly from him and writing it down. No one prophet received the entire revelation of God’s will, but each had a portion depending on what was needed in their time or what God needed his people to be prepared for. Continue reading “Jesus is better”

Following Jesus involves a cross

Crucifixion was Rome’s way of dealing with people it didn’t like. Crucifixion was Rome’s way of dealing with enemies. Its gruesome nature was a part of Rome telling people they’d best behave or they might find themselves hanging from a cross one day.

Jesus had a discussion with his disciples that put the figure of the cross front and center. In Luke 9, Jesus told the men following him that if they were his disciples, they must deny self and take up a cross. The condemned was required to carry his own cross to the place of execution. The figure is clear. Continue reading “Following Jesus involves a cross”

How’s your hearing?

What an amazing thing it is to have ears!

Think of all the things one hears in the course of a day. As I was playing golf with my grandson today, we heard the nice sound a golf ball makes when it is well hit by a metal golf club. We turned at one point in the day and heard the rustle of a deer just before it broke through the woods into the fairway. What is more relaxing than the sound of rain falling gently on leaves?

Yet, there is more to hearing than the ability to detect sounds. There are many people who hear the biblical and moral advice of parents only to walk away without really hearing anything at all. There are those who have heard the truth once but now are so far away from it as to seem ignorant of it. Continue reading “How’s your hearing?”

“Abraham rejoiced to see my day”

The Lord Jesus Christ did his best to show the Jews the truth of his deity, but they were not receptive.

In John 8, Jesus told them Abraham rejoiced to see his day. The Jews, not believing the statement said, “You are not yet 50 years old and have seen Abraham?” Then Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I am.” The Jews would have stoned the Lord right then and there because they knew he claimed that he was God. As F.F. Bruce wrote, “He was using language which only God could use.”[1]

Jesus attempted to show and prove that he is the Messiah for which the Jews had waited. True, however, to the prophecy of Isaiah, “he was despised, and we considered him insignificant,” (Isaiah 53:3). Continue reading ““Abraham rejoiced to see my day””

Meek and lowly in heart

When I think of meekness, I think of Jesus.

Meekness is misunderstood. It is considered weakness by many. The picture of Caspar Milquetoast comes to mind. Caspar, a 1950s comic strip character created by H.T. Webster for his cartoon series entitled, “The Timid Soul,” was known as a person who “speaks softly and gets hit with a big stick.”

That description does not fit the Creator of heaven, and earth Paul described in Colossians 1:16-18. Jesus was meek, but he was not “timid.” Continue reading “Meek and lowly in heart”

Sign: Word Harder

Learning to do more

There is a quote from Jesus in his “Sermon on the Mount” that challenges me. It is within Matthew 5:46 and is, “what do you do more than others?”

Let’s get an idea of the context of this statement. In Matthew 5:20, Jesus warned his disciples and by implication all of us, that unless our righteousness exceeds that of the Scribes and Pharisees, we will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. We must do more.

Jesus called us to abandon anger (Matthew 5:21f). He called us to abandon lust (Matthew 5:27ff). The Lord warned us to watch our tongue (Matthew 5:33ff). Then we are challenged to love the unlovable (Matthew 5:43-48). Continue reading “Learning to do more”

The Operation of Christ’s priesthood

Did you know that Christ is functioning as a priest right now? We readily recognize Christ as Prophet and King, but we might fail to see him as our High Priest. But the Hebrews writer takes great care to show this aspect of our Savior’s work.

In a previous article we focused on the quality of his priesthood. Now, we wish to turn our attention to the operation of his priesthood. What is it that he does for us as High Priest? The Bible presents at least three ways that Christ ministers to us as our priest.

Continue reading “The Operation of Christ’s priesthood”

Get up and keep on walking

During one of the feasts in Jerusalem, the Lord Jesus entered the city through the northeast gate called the “sheep gate.” Nehemiah had built the portal and probably a sheep market when he supervised the reconstruction of the city’s walls.

There was a pool there that was deep enough for swimming. The sick gathered because of a legend that said when an angel “stirred” the water the first one into the pool would have a cure. Continue reading “Get up and keep on walking”

He still drives people’s minds

History tells us the great philosopher Socrates was arrested and tried for denying the Athenian gods and for corrupting young people. Some writers suppose Socrates was arrested and tried because he criticized politicians and disliked the election system.

The real reason why Socrates was arrested, tried and executed was that the people of Athens (including the politicians) didn’t like the method of cross-examination he used. Socrates revealed their poor reasoning and foolish assumptions. He challenged them to explain and define what it was they believed. Continue reading “He still drives people’s minds”