The Mathematics of Grace

Is there a more difficult scenario for a parent than to be estranged from one of their (grown) children whose precise whereabouts are unknown? I suppose there could be something, but it’s hard to fathom (and who really wants to try?). But suppose you were in this situation (and God bless those of you whoContinue reading “The Mathematics of Grace”

Seven Miles From Jerusalem

Two disciples are headed to Emmaus (a village about seven miles from Jerusalem) where presumably they have been attending the Passover Feast. But that’s not what is on their hearts and minds. They are thinking about Jesus and how He had been turned over to the Romans for crucifixion by the Jewish leaders. As ifContinue reading “Seven Miles From Jerusalem”

The Fellowship Of His Sufferings

As we read through the gospels, we come across a number of things that are said to be involved in following Jesus. Here are a few: being born again (John 3:3-5), loving God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:34-40), receiving the kingdom like a childContinue reading “The Fellowship Of His Sufferings”

Grateful Hearts Make Us Whole

When Jesus was traveling along the border of Samaria and Galilee, He went into one of the villages. On His way in, ten lepers met him. It wasn’t uncommon for such groups to station themselves outside of towns and villages so they could petition passersby for help. They were somehow aware of who Jesus wasContinue reading “Grateful Hearts Make Us Whole”

Great Or Small?

Our need for God’s forgiveness (as well as its relationship to us forgiving others), is brought home in a major way in a story that Luke records in 7:36-50 of his gospel. Following Tiede (Augsburg Commentary), it seems that having shown Jesus’ teaching (“When Jesus has finished saying all of this,” – v. 1), LukeContinue reading “Great Or Small?”

“Go Tell John”

Blessed is the one who does not fall away on account of Me. (Luke 7:23).  Have you ever wondered how John took these words from Jesus?  I have. The message from Jesus came to him some time after he had been imprisoned by Herod Antipas.  Antipas was part of the Herodian dynasty.  The Herodians embodied Lord Acton’s adageContinue reading ““Go Tell John””

Deliverance In The Wilderness

The summer before I started third grade, we moved into the house that I would grow up in.  It was in the downtown area of a small town.  We could walk or ride our bikes anywhere we wanted to go.  For an eight year old, this was heaven.  There was a baseball field just around the corner and up theContinue reading “Deliverance In The Wilderness”

Everything Else Is Just Hype

There’s more to the account of Simon the magician (Acts 8:4-24) than sometimes meets the eye. One of the overarching concerns in Luke-Acts is the kingdom of God. Luke uses the phrase almost 40 times in the two books.  He begins Acts by telling Theophilus about the 40 days Jesus spent with the apostles after His resurrection, and howContinue reading “Everything Else Is Just Hype”

True Power and Trusting God

When Jesus sends His disciples out to preach to the towns and villages, He tells them to “take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt” (Luke 9:3). The text doesn’t tell us exactly how long they were to be gone but we are told they went “from village toContinue reading “True Power and Trusting God”