Displaying posts tagged with

“salvation”

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 […]

Safe and sound

Every story has a turning point?  What’s the turning point of the Prodigal Son? Perhaps we think it’s in the pigsty.  There he is, hungry and helpless, and the prodigal hatches a plan… “17 When he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and […]

Lost sheep

Kevin’s mother might complain to her friend: “I’m afraid since his girlfriend left him, Kevin’s been completely direction-less.  A bit of a lost sheep really.” But it’s not just Kevin.  The Bible puts that label on a much broader constituency.  Often the people of God are called “sheep without a shepherd” (e.g. Numbers 27:17; 1 […]

Pearl of great price

Recently a friend emailed me with a question.  He’s not yet a Christian but he’s been attending bible studies for a while.  The previous night they had used Christian-sounding language that he didn’t understand.  He wrote: “They asked me if I had ever ‘given my life to God.’  I was unsure.  What does that mean?  […]

Good Samaritan

It’s one of the most famous stories Jesus ever told.  A beautiful stranger helps a man left for dead when his own people disdain and forsake him.  Those who ignore his sufferings are Levites and Priests – the holiest of the holy.  The stranger is a Samaritan – from that race of hated half-breeds to […]

My name is Legion for we are many

Can people really change? Perhaps we think that, superficially, there can be a make-over.  But what about an abiding shift for good in the core of a person?  Mark chapter 5 gives us such a picture.  In the beginning we meet a man described like this: “A man with an unclean spirit,  3 Who had […]

Physician heal thyself

The chain-smoker warning her son about cigarettes… The  bankrupt lecturing on good business practices… The church riddled with divorce, preaching ‘family values’ to the culture… In all these situations we might use this saying: “Physician heal thyself.”  We expect that those promoting healing powers should be the best advertisements for their cure.  Well what about […]

It is written

After His baptism, Christ is driven by the Spirit into the desert. (Matthew 4:1-11) In His battle with Satan, Christ is like Adam, like Israel and like David. Like Adam, the devil confronts Him with audible temptations to doubt God’s word and eat.  And like Adam the fate of humanity rests on His shoulders. Like […]

Baptism of fire

When the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps went ashore at Gallipoli, it was said to be a baptism of fire for these nations.  Less tragically, a baptism of fire might refer to a stormy first year of marriage or a difficult first match for a football manager.  It is the birthing of something new […]

Prisoners of hope

We have all met people who are prisoners of despair.  What we call depression could well be described in those terms: it is a helpless and hopeless condition with no prospect of release.  They don’t want to collapse in despair but they feel bound to do so.  Perhaps we have been in that waterless pit […]