Category Archives: Discipleship

The Sign of Jonah

Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet.” (Matthew 12:38-39. See also […]

What a Waste!

What a Waste! – The Pilferer. The scent was exquisite but almost overwhelming. The occasional, warm evening breeze through the open shutters was quite a relief. Whatever Mary had slavered on Jesus’ feet was clearly top-of-the-line perfume. “Probably cost her a fortune”, thought Judas. “What a waste!” (Matt. 26:8). “Why was this perfume not sold […]

God Goes to Synagogue

[Jesus] went into their synagogue. And a man was there whose hand was withered. And they questioned Jesus, asking, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might accuse Him. And He said to them, “What man is there among you who has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of […]

Jesus Tested

Jesus was still dripping wet from baptism when the Spirit alighted and the Father spoke (Luke 4:1 says He filled Him). Behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the […]

Day Hike or Night Hike?

I always pack a flashlight because sometimes I misjudge how long a hike will take. Once, the sun set six miles from the trailhead. I did a two-hour night hike through trees, barely able to distinguish the path from the forest floor. If the battery had failed I would have had no choice but to […]

Grieving the Spirit

Consider two scenarios involving a person addicted to, say, smoking. In the first, a friend who wants to help the smoker break the addiction gets the person to agree to an unpleasant consequence if they continue to smoke. The consequence is painful and immediate, but lasting, so it outweighs any short term pleasure gained from […]

Ambassador in Chains

Prison is not unusual for God’s people. I follow an unjustly imprisoned, tortured, and cruelly executed prisoner. The Bible has a lot of prisoners and their stories, which makes it very relevant to our present “shut-down” situation. Without taking sides, let’s think about what a godly response looks like. Paul was confined in Rome when […]

True Servants

It’s risky being entertained in someone else’s home when you need to talk. Unless you have considerable clarity, tact, and strength of character, the host will tend to limit or control the meeting. Did you come with important, perhaps delicate, things to discuss? How awkward will it be to say them while the hostess draws […]

Being Like Jesus

Jesus’ Relationships [Jesus’] mother and brothers came to Him, and they were unable to get to Him because of the crowd. And it was reported to Him, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wishing to see You.” But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear […]

Initiative

Initiative is generally considered a good characteristic. We hear the encouragement, “take the initiative”, or the admonition, “use your initiative”. But Jesus seems to have thought about it differently. John records several places where Jesus used the word emautou (literally, “of myself”) in the sense of taking the initiative. The pattern is interesting. In most […]