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September 2011

I am the light of the world

Jesus is both the brightness of the Father’s glory (Hebrews 1:3) and the light of the world (John 8:12).  Let’s think about that for a minute. The Father radiates.  His nature is luminous.  His being shines out.  You cannot think of the sun without sunshine and, just so, you cannot think of the Father without […]

He that is without sin…

It is truly a stroke of genius.  One line from Jesus disarms a deadly mob and turns all our perceptions right-side-up.  From the outside it seems like a crowd of righteous Jews are justly using the law of Moses to condemn one unrighteous woman.  Yet through this one sentence, Jesus flips it all around.  Actually […]

Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief

Are you a believer or an unbeliever? The Christian answers: “Yes!” Mark 9:24 is the confession of all weak and failing Christians – which means all of us! They are the words of a father seeking deliverance for his son who is oppressed by a spirit.  He tells Jesus, “And ofttimes it hath cast him […]

Transfigured

If we have been paying attention to Jesus’ teaching in Matthew chapters 16 and 17 we will expect a radical cross-shaped quality to those concepts.  And that’s exactly what the Transfiguration reveals. In Matthew 16, Peter has just declared Jesus to be “the Son of the living God” and Jesus responds by declaring Himself to be […]

What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

To Peter it seemed that “the things of God” should involve glory and fame (see yesterday’s post).  He therefore shunned the way of the cross.  But Jesus insisted – it’s the things of men that are focussed on comfort and honour now. Such a preoccupation is in fact Satanic. On the other hand, “the things […]

Get behind me Satan

When people speak of God, Martin Luther said they can take two paths.  There’s the way of “glory” or the way of “the cross.”  One method builds a picture of God according to what seems reasonable to man.  The other looks to God’s revelation in Christ and Him crucified.  The one is the pathway to […]

The keys of the kingdom

Once you’ve been through the screening process your work may assign you a pass, a swipe card and the keys.  Now you’re in.  Now you’re trusted.  And now you can bring others in too.  You have the keys. Well in Matthew chapter 16, Jesus gives to Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven!  What […]

I am the Bread of Life

Yesterday we saw Jesus in amongst a clamouring, needy mob.  Though He was grieving, though He was hungry, though He wanted space to rest with His friends, yet He serves.  When He sees the crowd – like sheep without a shepherd – He has compassion on them (Mark 6:34). The disciples want to send them […]

Feeding the five thousand

Are you ever overwhelmed by grief?  By crowds?  By needs? Jesus and the disciples were facing all three in Mark chapter 6. They have just learnt of John the Baptist’s beheading (cf Matthew 14:13).  In response, Jesus says to them: “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were […]

Dives and Lazarus

This story is often studied to discover the “what” of judgement.  Yet it seems most in keeping with the context and content to read it as a parable.  And, though we will learn much about the nature of judgement, undoubtedly it was the “who” of judgement that would have shocked Jesus’ hearers: “19 There was […]