The word “heaven” appears some 50 times in the book of Revelation, in the original language. It is fitting that the last book of the Bible contains the second highest count of the New Testament. Yes, sometimes it refers to the sky or physical space above us, but even then our attention is directed upwards.
The Great Revealing shows “God in heaven” directing all events as the Sovereign King, Revelation 16.11, and to whom people give glory, Revelation 11.13. The great throne is in heaven, Revelation 4.2. Continue reading “Thoughts on heaven”
“As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax booth. ‘Follow me,’ he said to him. So he got up and followed him. As Jesus was having a meal in Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When Jesus heard this he said, ‘Those who are healthy don’t need a physician, but those who are sick do. Go and learn what this saying means: “I want mercy and not sacrifice.” For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’” (Matthew 9:9-13 NET).
Have you noticed those whom Jesus spent time with? He wasn’t concerned to appear politically correct and only spend time with the movers and thinkers of his day. His concern was the everyday, normal people. Continue reading “Jesus came to call sinners”
The Romans taxed nearly everything. They taxed personal income and the use of roads and harbors. They taxed carts according the number of wheels, and they taxed for the animal that pulled the cart. If a person was walking with a bundle on his back, a tax collector could require the bundle opened and taxes could be collected on any item therein.
Many Jews became tax collectors hired by the Romans. The Jews punished these people they called, “publicans,” because of their association with the Romans. Continue reading ““They that are whole need not a physician””
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