John 4:47 describes a desperate scene: “When this [royal official] heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.” This was a world of honour and of strict social convention. The royal official humbled himself before Jesus—something … Continue reading Desperation at the feet of Jesus
Jesus healed a man who was born blind. This irked some of the Pharisees. They peppered the man who was healed (and his parents) with questions, trying to discredit the man or the miracle. Quite understandably, he got tired of repeatedly explaining how it happened. “I have told you already,” he said, “and you would … Continue reading Will you knock in vain on a closed door?
Hebrews 10:24-25 says: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing…” Let me say something which is perhaps a bit awkward. People can be difficult. They can rub us the wrong way. You know … Continue reading People we don’t like—and our true source of unity
Bible scholar Luke Timothy Johnson says the most important question we need to answer is whether or not Jesus is alive. Not only do we believe in the Jesus of history, but in the Jesus who was raised and continues to be alive—reigning and ruling at God’s right hand. See Hebrews 1:3: “The Son [i.e. … Continue reading Sustained by his powerful word
The story of the Good Samaritan is known for what it teaches about showing mercy to others. Luke 10:36-37 famous reports: “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus … Continue reading Seinfeld and the Good Samaritan
Do you need wisdom to ground you? To make you more stable? Me too. Fortunately, Jesus’ half-brother James (a prominent leader in the early church), tells us what to do: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. … Continue reading Well-grounded people
Generally speaking, people want to be happy. But what is happiness, anyway? Is it related to status, money, or an all-expenses paid vacation? What about a lollipop while watching the sunset? I want to share four “ingredients of true happiness” according to John Calvin, a towering figure in Christian thought from the 1500’s. I value … Continue reading 4 ingredients of happiness
The apostle John had a very simple and direct way of saying things: “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8). He’s saying that if you don’t love, then you don’t know God. Love is so central to who God is, that we can’t neglect it in our … Continue reading Can you imagine the sun with no heat?
Psalm 91:3-4 says this: “Surely [God] will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” [A rampart is a protecting wall.] Save you. Cover you. Refuge. Shield. Rampart. These … Continue reading Coming to him with the greatest freedom