What it means that the disciples found the Messiah – John 1:35-42, Part 4

Jumping back into the story of Jesus’ first interaction with his disciples, in John 1:35-42, we met two men who were already disciples of John the Baptist. John the Baptist points out Jesus, and the two men start following Jesus. Jesus, it seems, catches them in the act, saying to them, “What do you want?”Continue reading “What it means that the disciples found the Messiah – John 1:35-42, Part 4”

John the Baptist’s testy interaction with the religious establishment – John 1:19-34, Part 4

Because John the Baptist said the darndest things, you can imagine it did not sit well with the religious leaders, especially when he called them snakes.  And that brings us back to the passage we are studying this week: John 1:19-34. We learn in John 1:19 that the religious elite back at their HQ inContinue reading “John the Baptist’s testy interaction with the religious establishment – John 1:19-34, Part 4”

Did Jesus really die and come back to life? – Easter 2022, Preview

I just walked back in to my office at our church building, because I was outside changing the message on the church sign.  It had previously advertised our Maundy Thursday service, and now the new message asks, “Did Jesus really die and come back to life?  Let’s talk about that.”  How would you answer thatContinue reading “Did Jesus really die and come back to life? – Easter 2022, Preview”

How God’s Kingdom overturns injustice – Mark 11, Part 5

In the previous post, we learned that, just as the crowds proclaimed on the first Sunday when they shouted, “Blessed is the coming Kingdom of our father David,” Jesus brings the Kingdom of God in our lives. But God’s Kingdom is not just within people, it is also within cultures and societies.  Yes, God wantsContinue reading “How God’s Kingdom overturns injustice – Mark 11, Part 5”

The Kingdom of God is within you – Mark 11, Part 4

What is the Kingdom of God? Jesus himself taught about it, almost from the very beginning of his ministry.  As we continue studying the events of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry on the very first Palm Sunday, we’ve been following Mark’s account in Mark 11. Mark tells us that the people in the crowd, as Jesus rodeContinue reading “The Kingdom of God is within you – Mark 11, Part 4”

The surprising way Jesus fulfilled prophecy on Palm Sunday – Mark 11, Part 3

Jesus was the Messiah, but he was not the Messiah the Jews were looking for. When the Jews interpreted messianic passages like Psalm 118, which they quoted on the original Palm Sunday, they concluded that the Messiah was going to be a king of the line of the great king David.  This new king wouldContinue reading “The surprising way Jesus fulfilled prophecy on Palm Sunday – Mark 11, Part 3”

Jesus was and was not the Messiah? – Mark 11, Part 2

How does my experiment with the American flag relate to Palm Sunday? You can read about that experiment in the previous post.   As we begin to answer that question, turn with me to Mark 11, and read the story of the first Palm Sunday.  We are studying Mark’s account of the story of Jesus’ TriumphalContinue reading “Jesus was and was not the Messiah? – Mark 11, Part 2”

Why “Lord Jesus Christ” is subversive, and “grace and peace” is more than a greeting – 2 Thessalonians 1, Part 3

Have you ever heard someone talk about Jesus Christ, as if “Christ” is his last name, or surname? The name “Jesus Christ” has become so culturally familiar, perhaps most often used as an expletive. What does his name mean? Continue reading, as our study through 2 Thessalonians chapter 1 during this first week of AdventContinue reading “Why “Lord Jesus Christ” is subversive, and “grace and peace” is more than a greeting – 2 Thessalonians 1, Part 3″

Christians were the first atheists? – Colossians 1:15-20, Part 2

In the first post in this series, we talked about what Jesus might have looked like. Paul in Colossians 1:15-20 says that Jesus is the image or icon of the invisible God. There are many ways that we English-speakers use the word “icon,” and one way is found in the Orthodox church paintings called icons.Continue reading “Christians were the first atheists? – Colossians 1:15-20, Part 2”

Jesus’ classic burn of the religious leaders – Matthew 21:1-17, Part 4

I recently watched Netflix’ series Messiah. It depicts what might happen if a christ-figure entered our contemporary world. The series was intriguing because it kept you guessing. Was he Jesus? Or an imposter? Maybe a terrorist? What were his real motivations? Were his miracles tricks or real? Were his teachings good news or were theyContinue reading “Jesus’ classic burn of the religious leaders – Matthew 21:1-17, Part 4”