February 17, 2014
The Pharisees brought out the full range of emotion from our Lord Jesus. When He tried to show them the spirit of the Sabbath, they clung to the letter of the law, even that which they themselves had added to it. He asked them a simple question, one that begged a correct response. He asked whether the law permitted good on the Sabbath or evil? They wouldn’t reply. So, he put the man with the withered hand before the whole assembly in the synagogue and healed him. The man and his family rejoiced, but the Pharisees left angry, plotting with the Herodians, whom they normally hated, to plot the killing of Jesus. This scene caused conflicting emotions in Jesus. He was both angry and sad. Angry at the sinful pride that wouldn’t answer His question. And sad at the hard hearts that wouldn’t listen.
February 15, 2014
John the Baptist was God’s appointed Messianic forerunner, coming in the spirit of Elijah, announcing the coming of the Christ. John’s birth was surrounded by miraculous events: an angel’s announcement, a priestly father’s doubting muteness, a barren mother’s pregnancy, an unborn baby leaping with the Spirit’s joy. John was larger than life. Jesus called him the greatest ever born of woman. Yet, John knew his role. He was merely the herald of the coming King. He was a servant of the One who would baptize us not with water, but with the Holy Spirit.
March 12, 2013
This was the question the women who wanted to anoint the Lord’s body had as they headed towards the tomb on that first Easter morning. Arriving there, they found the huge stone had already been rolled away, revealing the empty tomb. Do you know someone that seems close to believing, yet there is a kind of unmovable stone standing in the way? You can lead them to the cross and to the tomb, but only God can remove the stone. Pray that the stone is removed, so that they can finally see and believe.
March 10, 2013
This was Jesus’ response to the high priest who asked whether he was the Christ. His answer? “I am.” Jesus used both the Hebrew name for God and the prophetic title of “Son of Man” in his answer. Jesus was crucified for claiming to be the Messiah. Then, three days later he defeated death and the grave and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that His claim was true!
March 6, 2013
This is one of the eschatological signs that Jesus gave the disciples in response to their question about the end times. It is both sign and instruction. Are you involved in helping proclaim the gospel to all nations? Those who are obedient are either involved in sending or going.
March 5, 2013
This was a devastating critique of the Sadducees’ theology by Jesus. They affirmed only the Torah and denied the resurrection of the dead. Jesus declared them wrong on both. There are many today who claim to be teachers and theologians that Jesus would stand against because they dismiss the Bible and deny the resurrection. Do you believe the Bible? Do you believe in the resurrection? What does Jesus think of your theology?
March 5, 2013
This was Jesus’ response to the question concerning what is the greatest commandment. His answer to love God and love others summarizes the 10 Commandments. For if we love God, we will keep the first 4 commandments. And if we love our neighbor, we will keep the last 6. The problem is that we cannot love God and our neighbor with all our being. We are conflicted and selfish at heart. We are sinners. Yet, to those who receive Jesus, the love of God is poured out. Jesus gives us His love for God and others. When we abide in Christ, we have the kind of whole love that follows God’s commands, not as rule-keepers, but from the heart.