There’s a fascinating scene that appears at the end of Matthew 19, in which Peter, speaking on behalf of the rest of the apostles, makes the same self-righteous claim that the “rich young ruler” made to Jesus’s face only a few moments prior. It’s this erroneous assertion by Christ’s disciples that leads him to tell, perhaps, the most intriguing and unsettling parable of the kingdom in all of Scripture.
Zechariah 3 commences the fourth vision of the Lord to the prophet Zechariah. The first, second, and third visions having told of the future spiritual restoration of the nation of Israel, give way to the fourth vision, as if to answer the prophet’s inquiry, “How?” How will God accomplish this restoration? How will a righteous God clear the names of the guilty?
John 3 is, perhaps, the most famous chapter in all the Bible. It certainly contains the most famous verse in John 3:16. But the scene in which this verse takes place is often overlooked. The conversation between Jesus of Nazareth and Nicodemus the Pharisee is intriguing in its own right, but what’s most curious is the way their dialogue ends. What happened to Nicodemus after that twilight conversation with Christ?
There are several portions of the Bible, for one reason or another, that stand out from among the rest. These passages are usually ones we would call “pillars of the faith.” Such is what the first ten verses are of Ephesians 2, in which the apostle Paul relays a gloriously grandiose picture of God’s colossal gospel.
At the beginning of Revelation, John is instructed by Christ himself to record his marvelous visions and accompany his writings with specific missives to the “seven churches in Asia.” (Rev. 1:4, 11) What’s clear in each of the seven letters is Jesus’s inexorable determination to stir and to strengthen the faith of his children in each church body. It’s no different in the seventh of these letters to the church at Laodicea, in which the Spirit of God seeks to disrupt their leisurely lives with the urgency and currency of the gospel.
If you were forced to describe yourself in one sentence, what would you say? What would you say if you could only use one word? However you would describe yourself, it is certainly very unlike how Jesus describes himself. Instead of asserting his dominance and authority through coercion and force, Christ proclaims a gospel of the kingdom that is predicated on meekness.
Whenever I hear a speaker open with the words, “Turn to the Book of Revelation,” I tend to get a little uneasy. I get nervous because I never know how that speaker is going to handle the mysterious material in the book. Oftentimes, the comfort derived out of Revelation is from “knowing what’s going to happen.” But, very plainly, that’s not even close to the comfort Jesus gives.
Mooring refers to something permanent or fixed to which a ship is secured. It’s what keeps a vessel protected from the perilous waves that could otherwise leave it adrift. The mooring is absolutely essential to the life of any seafaring vessel. Similarly, unless we are moored and fastened to something (Someone) permanent, we, too, will be tossed about, to and fro, in this life.
Among the most revered of the Psalms is Psalm 18. Its lyrical marvel, brimming with magnificent language that desirous of one thing: God’s glory. As King David reflects on his life and the many deliverances throughout which came at his God’s hand, he’s inspired to pen this wondrous psalm. But David’s song of deliverance is our song too.