“…the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan River, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins…So John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, ‘You offspring of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Therefore produce fruit that proves your repentance, and don’t begin to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our father.” For I tell you that God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones! Even now the ax is laid at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.’” (Luke 3:1-9 NET)
John caused quite a stir when he began preaching and baptising. Can you imagine what that would have been like? For the past 400 years there had not been a prophet in Israel. The country had been invaded many times but no word from God. And then this ‘wild’ man began to preach what might have been considered a ‘harsh’ message. Can you imagine being called the “offspring of vipers”? Continue reading “A radical message”
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?”
“From the elder, to Gaius my dear brother, whom I love in truth. Dear friend, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul. For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, just as you are living according to the truth. I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are living according to the truth.” (3 John 1:1-4 NET)
In the letter we call “3 John” we find correspondence from the writer, who identified himself as “the elder,” to a Christian named Gaius. It has long been attested that the writer was the apostle John, which would seem to be accurate. In this letter we find three men who can each tell us something about what being a Christian should look like. Continue reading “Are we spiritually healthy?”
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”
Jesus and John approached their audiences differently, but their message of repentance for the coming Kingdom was the same. People played up their differences merely to discount the messengers and discard their message. Continue reading The World Is Never Happy
Everybody loves the Jesus of the wedding in Cana. The story has all the elements of a warm fuzzy, the ancient equivalent of Chicken Soup for the Soul. But the very next story is a slap in the face, after the tingling feeling of the wedding. Continue reading The Whipping Jesus