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Suffer the little children and forbid them not to come unto me

Matthew 19:13-15 What does a true disciple of Jesus look like? Perhaps we imagine soldiers assembled before their commanding officer. –          Or students in the school of their Rabbi. –          Or labourers in gospel service. –          Or worshippers at the feet of their Lord. In Matthew chapter 19, Jesus gives us a hands-on portrait of […]

What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder

Matthew 19:1-12 Two friends of mine were getting married.  They had just made their vows and the minister held their hands aloft to present them, united, to the congregation.  He was about to read these words from Matthew 19 as the prayer book stipulates: “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” […]

I am the Good Shepherd, the Good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep

John 10:1-21 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 […]

Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free

John 8:31-47 We are inveterate liars and helpless slaves. In John chapter 8, that is Jesus’ verdict on the human condition.  It’s a stark assessment.  But who can deny that the shoe fits? Let’s think about our slavery.  Jesus says in John 8:32: “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” Are there any who […]

I am the light of the world

John 8:12-30 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 […]

He that is without sin …

John 8:1-11 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 […]

Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief

Mark 9:14-29 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 […]


Matthew 17:1-13 How do you picture “Majesty”?  “Honour”?  And “Glory”? 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 […]

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

Matthew 16:24-28 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, […]

Get behind me Satan

Matthew 16:21-23 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 […]