Displaying posts tagged with

“grace”

A millstone around your neck

A heavy burden weighing you down.  Inescapable.  And probably self-inflicted.  That’s how we think of a millstone around our necks.  A job, a relationship, an ongoing commitment – these things can often be called “millstones around our neck.” But when Jesus said it, He wasn’t referring to a wearisome inconvenience.  He was speaking of a […]

I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep

When you meet someone at a party what are the first two questions you ask?  Usually it’s: Who are you?  And what do you do? In John 10:11 Jesus answers both questions. Who are you?  I am the Good Shepherd. To the Jews who were listening, this was a very significant title.  The Old Testament […]

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 […]

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 […]

He was lost and is found

We left off from Jesus’ parable with the older son refusing to join the joy. How will the father respond?  A slap for this petulant upstart?  Frog-march him into the party?  That’s not his style.  Instead, in verse 31, he boils down the whole issue to a single word: “Son,” Son!  You might even translate […]

The fatted calf

When the prodigal came home, they killed the fatted calf. From the father, it was the most lavish gesture of reconciliation.  He would publicly welcome, celebrate and eat with his lost son. For the younger son, it was the most incredible token of the father’s forgiveness.  The father from whom he had only taken, now […]

Prodigal Son

The world divides into two camps – sinners and slaves. The sinners love freedom.  The slaves love respect.  The sinners opt out of the system to discover themselves.  The slaves opt in to prove themselves. When sinners are upset they riot or hold protest rock concerts.  When slaves are upset they write stern letters to the Daily […]

Highways and hedges

Personality tests split the world into introverts and extroverts.  The diagnostic is usually something about energy levels – do you energize on your own or with others?  If you re-charge by yourself you’re an introvert.  If you come alive around people, you’re an extrovert. I’m not sure it’s helpful to label people so definitively.  Such […]