RSS

Tag Archives: God

Exorcisms and Healings

23Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. 24So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought to him all the sick, those who were afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he cured them. 25And great crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from beyond the Jordan. (Matthew 4:23-25, NRSV)

Why were people following Jesus or flocking to where he was?

Did they enjoy his teaching?

Or was it because of what he was doing?

Why do you worship Jesus?

Do you expect a simple carefree life and all your worries taken away?

Or do you follow his promises and share his love for all the world?

Why do we follow Jesus?

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Temptation in the Wilderness

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. 3The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 5Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’” 7Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; 9and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’” 11Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him. 12Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. 13He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: 15“Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— 16the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.”17From that time Jesus began to proclaim, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (Matthew 4:1-17, NRSV)

I have a love for this passage of scripture that is found in the misrepresentation of the translation above.

In most of our modern translations the devil asked Jesus, “If you are the son of God…” well that is one translation for what the Greek says but there is another.

The Greek word is ιε. Which does mean if. However it also means something which make much more sense theologically. You see with if it could be construed that the devil is questioning whether Jesus is the Son of God or not. But the devil knows who Jesus is. ιε also means since. I believe the devil is saying, “since you are the son of God…”

Both Jesus and the devil quote scripture and know about what scripture has and does say about God and God’s chosen.

Do we question who Jesus is?

Do we question who we are in Jesus?

Since you are a child of God, go in faith and proclaim God’s love.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

You are my Son

1Why do the nations conspire, and the peoples plot in vain?
2The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and his anointed, saying,
3“Let us burst their bonds asunder, and cast their cords from us.”
4He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord has them in derision.
5Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying,
6“I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.”
7I will tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have begotten you.
8Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.
9You shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
10Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth.
11Serve the Lord with fear, with trembling
(Psalm 2:1-11, NRSV)

You are my child, today I have begotten you.

Gid names us as God’s own. We are God’s children and God has begotten us.

And because God first claimed us we should serve God.

Let us follow our father where God leads and show the world God’s love.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Day of the Lord

See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. 2But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. 3And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts. 4Remember the teaching of my servant Moses, the statutes and ordinances that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel. 5Lo, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lordcomes. 6He will turn the hearts of parents to their children and the hearts of children to their parents, so that I will not come and strike the land with a curse. (Malachi 4:1-6, NRSV)

The day of the Lord is coming. But I wonder how we should feel about this.

The day of the Lord is the judgement. The day we will see the return of Jesus. And all will be judged and ushered into their place for all eternity.

Is this something we should be happy about? Worried about?

If we revere God’s name then we will leap like a calf from the stall.

It is a day of joy. If we follow after and believe in the promises of God then this is joy but if not it might be a day of concern.

So will you leap or be worried?

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

John’s Teaching, part 2

15As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, 16John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” 18So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people. 19But Herod the ruler, who had been rebuked by him because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the evil things that Herod had done, 20added to them all by shutting up John in prison. (Luke 3:15-20, NRSV)

John is not the Messiah, but he is proclaiming the coming of the Messiah.

The Messiah will baptize with fire and the Holy Spirit. And the Messiah will clear the threshing floor and separate what goes to the granary and what is burned away.

We too can be like John, preparing the way and telling others about the Messiah and the relationships they can have, but know in doing so that we might wind up where John did. John here in the reading is in prison because of his speaking out against Herod and Herodias. Sometimes proclaim the good news does not sit well with others. But that did not stop John.

Will it stop you?

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

John’s Teaching, part 1

7John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 9Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” 10And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” 11In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” 12Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” 13He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” 14Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.” (Luke 3:7-14, NRSV)

As I read this text I hear law. Law and very little gospel, but gospel is there.

It seems like we have to do the works all on our own to get it right, but is that really what John is saying?

John is saying you can not rely on being related to anyone or that you can trace your lineage back to Abraham. Everyone can do that actually…

What John tells those who ask what they can do is, treat everyone as you want to be treated. Do not take more than you should, do not extort money from people.

Treat others as you want to be treated. That is not doing anything more than we really should do.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Jesus and John the Baptist

In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, 2“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”3This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’” 4Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.5Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, 6and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 7But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bear fruit worthy of repentance. 9Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 10Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 11“I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” 13Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. 14John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:1-17, NRSV)

“This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”

Most parents I know are always bragging on their kids. I am so overwhelmingly proud of my three girls. I am so amazed every day at what they do. I am glad and honored to be blessed with them. But as much pride I have in them doesn’t even compare to the pride and love that God has for Jesus, or me or my daughters.

You see the version of Jesus’ baptism we have above is God bragging on Jesus, Luke’s version says You are my Son, my beloved. God is speaking directly to Jesus, and I know as a parent I don’t do that enough to my girls. I brag on them and love them, but I forget to tell them.  Bragging on them and telling them they are loved it so important.

So hear it today that you are loved by God. You are God’s beloved and God is pleased with you!

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,