Category Archives: The Believer’s Identity

Reflections of a Fisher of Men

What plans we had when we were younger! We worked all hours on the lake. We saved every spare denarius hoping to buy our next boat. What dreams! A small fleet; dominating the Galilean fishing business; building nice houses; acquiring land for animals, olives and vineyards; enough servants to semi-retire. It all changed that day […]

Predestination

I’m told there is a sign on a dirt road in the Australian outback, “Choose your rut carefully, you will be in it for the next fifty miles.” We get confused about our choices. Some are inconsequential but we bite nails and lose hair over them. Others matter far more but we shrug, and act […]

Love Defined

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” And [Jesus] said to [the lawyer], “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” […]

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 […]

Is it Time?

Making Israel Great again Straddling two positions is awkward—spiritually too. Jesus’ followers live in two kingdoms—the kingdom of God and that of the world. The world is inescapably close and screams loudly; God’s kingdom comes, slow and gentle, like sprouting corn. Its fullness lies in a misty future. It’s easy to become confused. Six weeks […]

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 […]

Being like Jesus

So, You Want to Be like Jesus, Do You? What would you think if you heard that a person’s close friend was deathly sick but the person did nothing for a day or two? You’d think they were uncaring, right? Unfortunately, that’s what Jesus did when He heard that Lazarus was ill. By the time […]

Rivers of Living Water

“He who believes in me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being (koilias) shall flow rivers of living water.’” But this [Jesus] spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive. (John 7:38-39) Humans are like earthenware urns. The outside is dull, rough pottery with obvious imperfections—nothing special to look […]