One day as Jesus was speaking, a woman in the crowd called out, “God bless your mother—the womb from which you came, and the breasts that nursed you!” This well-wisher was bestowing a blessing in true Jewish fashion. Luke records the event just after the Pharisees had been challenging Jesus. 1 This blessing holds significant … Continue reading MOTHERS BLESSING
If you hear of a new Christian movement or someone claiming God has spoken to them, what is your reaction? Personally, I tend to be sceptical. I can understand the response of the first people who observed the actions of Jesus. Having the authority to cast out evil spirits can't have been commonplace. The Bible tells us people … Continue reading WHOSE AUTHORITY?
A crowd had gathered around a boy possessed by a particularly disruptive spirit.1 At the start of the chapter, the disciples had been given authority to drive out all evil spirits.2 But the demon causing the child's violent convulsions was more than a match for the disciple's faith. It challenged their focus and spiritual authority, it shifted … Continue reading SPIRITUAL FOCUS
After miraculously feeding 5,000 people, 1 the crowd proclaim Jesus is a prophet and consider making Him their king. They would've been reminded of the story of Elisha miraculously feeding people with bread during a famine. 2 Jesus also attracted the attention of the civil authorities. Herod Antipater (nicknamed Antipas) was the tetrarch (ruler of a quarter) of Galilee … Continue reading PROVISION
Last week we observed Jesus commanding nature and evil spirits. This week He follows on by displaying authority over sickness and death1. Throughout this event the two interactions with Jesus mirror each other: Character A man called Jairus Character A woman in the crowd High social status The leader of a local synagogue Low social status Unclean because of condition Dilemma … Continue reading TOTAL REVERSAL
1. God's Ceremonial Laws The ceremonial laws are called hukkim or chuqqah in Hebrew, which literally means “custom of the nation”; the words are often translated as "statutes." The sacrificial system, the atonement for sin and laws for regulating worship. They include instructions on regaining a right standing with God (e.g sacrifices and other ceremonies regarding … Continue reading THE LAW OF GOD
God is in the small. This may sound strange, however...