Assuming that Joseph was dead (as many Bible scholars believe that he was, given his absence from this and earlier episodes from Jesus' ministry invol... Read more
Assuming that Joseph was dead (as many Bible scholars believe that he was, given his absence from this and earlier episodes from Jesus' ministry involving His family), Jesus was responsible for His mother's welfare as the eldest son. His half-brothers by Joseph had not accepted Him as Messiah and apparently were not present to support their mother as she kept her grieving watch over her dying Son, nor were they fitted to care for her spiritual needs. Thus, Jesus appointed John to take up His human responsibility toward His mother and see to it that she was cared for. Unlike the Pharisees, who used religious tradition as an excuse to avoid using their wealth to care for their aging parents (see Matthew 15:1-9 and associated notes), Jesus took thought for the care of His mother even in the midst of the agony of the Cross. Fully man as well as fully God, there was nothing that He left undone, as man or as God.
This transaction reveals not only Jesus' concern for His mother, who was experiencing the fulfillment of Simeon's prophecy (Luke 2:25-35), but the closeness of His relationship with John. Because He knew John's character and loyalty to Him, Jesus trusted Him completely to fulfill His command, even though John may not have been expecting any such thing. And because John loved Jesus as both Master and Friend, he did as Jesus bade without hesitation, taking on a responsibility that would continue for the rest of Mary's life. According to Church tradition, Mary was part of John's congregation while he was pastor at Ephesus and died there, still under John's care. Read less
Although the Synoptic Gospels all recount that Simon of Cyrene was forced to bear Jesus' cross, there is not necessarily any contradiction with John's... Read more
Although the Synoptic Gospels all recount that Simon of Cyrene was forced to bear Jesus' cross, there is not necessarily any contradiction with John's account that Jesus bore His own cross. The likely sequence of events is that Jesus was bearing His own cross when He began the Via Dolorosa but in His weakened state proved unable to carry it all the way to Golgotha; Simon was pressed into service when Jesus' strength had clearly failed. John's omission of Simon's part in the drama of the Crucifixion was probably intended to emphasize Jesus' place as our Sin-Bearer, a truth symbolized by His carrying of the cross. For more regarding the inscription placed on Jesus' cross, see Matthew 27:37 and associated notes. Read less
See Matthew 27:20-31, Mark 15:6-20, Luke 23:6-25, and associated notes. Pilate's scourging of a man he had already declared innocent was an atrocity ... Read more
See Matthew 27:20-31, Mark 15:6-20, Luke 23:6-25, and associated notes. Pilate's scourging of a man he had already declared innocent was an atrocity in itself, but perhaps he hoped to arouse the crowd's sympathy for him or satisfy the Jewish rulers with a lesser punishment. Then, when they declared their true grievance against Jesus, Pilate became frightened, most likely out of dread of possible divine vengeance, and questioned Jesus again in private. But if he hoped for some clear sign from heaven or display of divine power to make his way easier, he did not get it. Yet Jesus' calm assurance that Pilate was not really the one in charge apparently rattled him to such an extent that only the threat of being denounced to Caesar as being in league with a seditionist ended Pilate's attempts to find a way to release Jesus.
It is a measure of the Jewish rulers' hatred for Jesus that they publicly proclaimed their allegiance to a regime they were well known to despise in order to achieve their end of destroying Him. Their words before both Jewish and Gentile witnesses ended any pretense that Israel was still a theocracy ultimately ruled by God; the rulers had made it plain that their loyalty (such as it was) lay with whomever they perceived would permit them to retain power. Rather than truly seeking the kingdom of God and its promised King, they had chosen the very kingdom of men that would eventually destroy the Jewish nation and their authority with it. Read less
God's message through Jeremiah is one outlining the nation's apostasy. While God remembered their history, they did not keep it in mind. They had not ... Read more
God's message through Jeremiah is one outlining the nation's apostasy. While God remembered their history, they did not keep it in mind. They had not only abandoned their God but never even thought of seeking Him. Even the priests, who had been specifically set apart for His service, completely failed in this; likewise the nation's judges and rulers had pursued their course as if their God did not exist. The false prophets had been still worse; instead of encouraging the nation to turn back to God, they had actively promoted idolatry.
Israel's behavior was something that should have astonished any observer. Many pagan religions have been syncretistic, adding new gods to accommodate cultural or political shifts, but none have simply cast aside the gods they already had, even though their gods were mere idols and had never benefited them in any way. Yet the people of Israel, forgetting the very God who had made them a nation and brought them to the land of promise, had abandoned Him to chase after the religions of their pagan neighbors. Their action in turning to man-made religion is likened to the foolishness of one who abandons a good spring of fresh water to build a cistern. Not only does the water collected in a cistern quickly become stale, but God pointed out that what was built failed to even hold stale water. There was nothing in idolatry that could sustain the nation's life, yet they kept turning to it as though all the events of the Exodus had never occurred. Read less
we ask according to Gods will. [his word] he hears and does it. [gods word will not return void] v14,15 v18 we don't play around w sin or practice ev... Read more
we ask according to Gods will. [his word] he hears and does it. [gods word will not return void] v14,15 v18 we don't play around w sin or practice evil we keep away from it so the enemy cant harm us Read less
Landscape of the Book of Ephesians:
Paul wrote Ephesians while under house arrest as a prisoner in Rome. The other prison epistles are the books of P... Read more
Landscape of the Book of Ephesians:
Paul wrote Ephesians while under house arrest as a prisoner in Rome. The other prison epistles are the books of Philippians, Colossians and Philemon. Some scholars believe Ephesians was a circular letter distributed to several early Christian churches, which may explain why the reference to Ephesus is missing from copies of some manuscripts.
Themes in the Book of Ephesians:
Christ has reconciled the whole of creation to himself and to God the Father.
People of all nations are united to Christ and to one another in the church, through the working of the Trinity. Paul uses several word pictures to describe the church: body, temple, mystery, new man, bride, and soldier.
Christians should lead holy lives that give honor to God. Paul issues specific guidelines for right living.
Key Characters in the Book of Ephesians:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast. (NIV)
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (NIV)
Ephesians 5:22, 28
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord...In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. (NIV)
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (NIV)
Outline of the Book of Ephesians:
•Opening salutation - Ephesians 1:1-2.
•Christ redeems all things - Ephesians 1:3-14.
•Paul gives thanks and prays for the Ephesians - Ephesians 1:15-23.
•Redemption has been accomplished - Ephesians 2:1-3:13.
•Prayer for Ephesians' strength, praise to God - Ephesians 3:14-21.
•Specific instructions for Christian living - Ephesians 4:1-6:10.
•Putting on the Full Armor of God - Ephesians 6:10-20.
•Conclusion and blessing - Ephesians 6:21-24. Read less
Themes in Colossians:
Jesus Christ is pre-eminent over all creation, God's chosen way for people to be redeemed and saved. Believers share in Christ's... Read more
Themes in Colossians:
Jesus Christ is pre-eminent over all creation, God's chosen way for people to be redeemed and saved. Believers share in Christ's death on the cross, his resurrection , and eternal life . As the fulfillment of the Jewish covenant, Christ unites his followers with himself. In keeping with their true identity, then, Christians are to cast aside sinful ways and live in virtue.
Key Characters in Colossians:
Jesus Christ , Paul, Timothy, Onesimus, Aristarchus, Mark, Justus, Epaphras, Luke, Demas, Archippus.
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. (NIV)
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. (NIV)
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (NIV)
Outline of the Book of Colossians:
•Greeting, thanksgiving, and prayer - Colossians 1:1-14.
•Christ's pre-eminence over everything - Colossians 1:15-23.
•Paul's ministry and suffering - Colossians 1:16-29.
•Follow Christ instead of philosophy, asceticism, or legalism - Colossians 2:1-23.
•Behave as a true Christian should - Colossians 3:1-4:6.
•Final greetings and instructions - Colossians 4:7-18. Read less