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Crucify Him, Crucify Him

In 1963, Stanley Milgram’s experiment asked anonymous participants to deliver increasingly severe electric shocks to subjects in the next room.  Unbeknownst to the participants, the shocks were not real.  But had they been, they may have been fatal.  The great majority of participants delivered the shocks, even though there were screams of great pain from […]

Let this cup pass from me

It was the original poisoned chalice.  Just minutes after pouring wine into a cup of blessing, Jesus prays to His Abba, Father regarding a very different cup: “Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him […]

Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it…

Every Sunday for 2000 years ministers of the gospel have been repeating this phrase. All over the world, Christ’s people gather to eat the bread and drink the wine and they hear these words: And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and […]

The sheep and the goats

The gospel according to Jesus is a little different to the gospel according to me. The gospel according to me tells of a God who is, generally, far off but when he does involve himself it mainly concerns me, my loved ones and the success of Australian sports teams.  Therefore when Christ announces His news […]

Whited sepulchre

Last time we considered the absurd lack of proportion demonstrated by the Pharisees.  They strained at gnats and swallowed camels.  In other words they obsessed over minutiae and ignored the whole point of the Scriptures. But how did it come to this?  How did they end up having such a diabolical problem with perspective? Well […]

Den of thieves

Perhaps this question seems to belong to another age, but it’s very worth asking: Where can sinners take shelter from the wrath of God? It might sound old fashioned and out of touch with today’s world. But if so, perhaps it’s we who are out of touch with reality. The word of God rouses us […]

Many are called but few are chosen

…So the handsome prince married his beautiful bride and they all lived happily ever after.  Do you believe in fairytales?  I say “fairytales” – it’s a bit deeper than that.  It runs in our cultural bloodstream. It courses through our literature, our music, our films, our deepest values in life.  We have this belief that […]

Camel through the eye of a needle

Jesus was always using comic imagery to make His points. If you know the Lord and don’t speak of Him, it’s like using a bucket as a lampshade. If you’re a hypocrite, you’re like a tutting eye doctor blinded by a plank of four by two. If you’re trying to be good but not born […]

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 […]

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 […]