Sometimes when we come to passages like Matthew’s condensed Christmas story, we don’t come with that childlike curiosity and wonder—looking at the everyday with awe, perceiving the familiar as fascinating. But we should.
When we come to the end of the Old Testament, we have no answer to the question of how all these things will be resolved. The resolution is brought about by means of the greatest plot twist in the history of the universe.
The spotlight is not on Joshua’s moral example or on timeless principles of conduct but on Yahweh’s fulfillment of a historical promise. Even Joshua’s name (“Yahweh Saves!”) points away from himself to the real hero of the story. Joshua is a story of grace.
God designed us to be whole people—body, soul, and spirit. And God cares about the totality of who we are, not just our spiritual side. The health of our bodies matters to him; he knows and cares when we’re sick.
When Jesus preached a sermon, told a parable, or gave a discourse, He always used object lessons that were familiar to His hearers in order to illustrate His point. The archaeology and geography of Bethsaida provides the background for two of His parables.
Struggle in the Christian life is inevitable, lifelong and ultimately beneficial. We encounter God’s grace through our trials in ways that would not happen if the trials had not come in the first place. But how do we see that in our trials?
The law which God gave to Moses at Mount Sinai a few months after bringing the people out of Egypt has been the victim of some very bad press in the past several hundred years. My guess is that there is a good deal of confusion.
Marvel at the power of the risen Jesus today to subject all things to himself. Marvel that one day, at his coming, he will use this power to transform your body into a body like his. Marvel that today your citizenship is in heaven where Christ rules—or if it’s not, put it there today.