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Showing posts from March, 2016

Eye Witnesses To The Resurrection of Jesus

I like Crime shows. I find it fascinating to see the story pieced together by examining the evidence and hearing the testimony of those who knew something about the crime. Investigators take a look at the evidence, which leads to clues, which leads to witnesses who tell their story. In the end what happened emerges and we get the picture of what took place.

That’s what we are going to do today. We will examine the witnesses in the scripture so you can grasp that this book we call the Bible isn’t just a manual or rule book, but a story about people who encountered God--witnesses so to speak of the risen Christ.

The witnesses of John 20 tell the story of how they each experienced the resurrection of Jesus. In John we hear the words about witness and testimony often. It was customary for a truth to be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. In John 20, we have more than two or three as the author of John seeks to establish the truth of his book through the testim…

What kind of King? Clues from Luke 19:28-44

Palm Sunday is the time of year we celebrate the procession into Jerusalem--a royal procession declaring that Jesus is king.  But what kind of king is Jesus?

There are a number of clues in the text that can give us insight into just what kind of King Jesus is.

Our text is  Luke 19:28-44.

The first clue is that Jesus asks his disciples to find him a donkey or a young colt.  The symbolism in this choice of how to ride into Jerusalem was deliberate and calculated--designed to reveal just what kind of king Jesus would be.  Most kings would ride in to their royal city on a horse with his army in tow.  But a king who rides in on a donkey is one who would bring peace.

He did not come with a sword, or an army or on a horse nor did he come in a chariot.  Jesus came riding on a donkey in humility defining himself as a king of peace.

Our second clue is the emotion displayed by Jesus.  I find it interesting that he is not riding in with a look of triumph or even with a joyous expression welc…

Marks of Discipleship in John 12:1-11

1 Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead. 2 A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. 3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance. 4 But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, 5 “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” 6 Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself. 7 Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” 9 When all the people heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, the man …

The Older Brother of Luke 15 and the Ministry of Reconciliation

It's most interesting to me that in the lectionary, the story of Luke 15 is pared with Paul's letter to the 1 Corinthians... chapter 5:11-21 on the ministry of reconciliation.  It makes sense as one of the roles given to the people of God was to bring the light of God to the rest of the world.  It was also a common role for an elder brother loyal to his father's household.  This is, of course why Jesus is telling the story of the loving father and the two lost sons.  It's clear from our former discussions of the father, that the kind of God that Jesus reveals is one who graciously awaits the return of his younger son who has wandered away.  He returns home with the idea that it is better to be a slave in his fathers house than hungry in a far country.  The older brother also considers himself a slave... reminding the father that while his younger brother has been squandering his inheritance, he has been slaving away on the family farm.  But the God Jesus is revealing …