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In my Father’s house are many mansions

John 14:1-4; 17:20-26 What lies beyond death? The Hindu might claim reincarnation.  The Muslim seeks a paradise, with Allah conspicuous by his absence.  The atheist asserts there is nothing. What is the Christian hope? In words that are read out at funerals the world over, Jesus says this: “Let not your heart be troubled:  ye […]

Foot washing

John 13:1-38 How are you known by those around you?  What would they describe you? Busy?  Easy-going?   Nice?  Withdrawn?  Driven?  Glum? What about your church?  How is it known in your area? The night before Jesus died He spoke of one mark by which His followers are to be identified in the world.  One word […]

The sheep and the goats

Matthew 25:31-46 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 […]

Well done, good and faithful servant

Matthew 25:14-30 We’ve seen the danger and the opportunity of “talents”.  Whether it’s the monetary unit or the God-given ability, we’re tempted to abuse our talents in one of two ways – self-indulgence or cowardly retreat.  We either show off our talents in self-promoting ostentation or we bury our talents and keep them from the […]


Matthew 25:14-30 Flourishing economies are hard to come by in world history.  Every now and again resources are found, technologies discovered, enemies plundered and wealth increases.  But usually it doesn’t last very long.  This is because, historically, people have only ever known two responses to wealth:  we either hoard it or we display it. We […]

Signs of the times

Mark 13:1-37 When “wars and rumours of wars” hit the headlines, Christians will often proclaim, “This must be the end.”  And often they will point to Mark 13 as proof.   Yet in this chapter Jesus says something quite different: “And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled:  for […]

Wars and rumours of wars

Mark 13:1-37 Whatever dominates the skyline of a city tells you what they worship.  In that ancient city of Babel, they sought a name for themselves so they tried to build a tower to heaven.  In a sense they worshipped themselves.  The ancient cities that Paul visited would have been dominated by massive shrines and […]

I would have gathered thy children as a hen gathereth her chickens

Matthew 23:37-39 Jesus calls the Pharisees a lot of names in Matthew chapter 23.  They are hypocrites – not practicing what they preach.  They are blind guides. They are absurdly imbalanced moralists – ‘straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel’.  They are whited sepulchers, they are serpents, vipers and murderers, the very apex of […]

Whited sepulchre

Matthew 23:25-39 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. How did it come to this?  How did they end up having such a diabolical problem with perspective? […]

Strain at a gnat and swallow a camel

Matthew 23:13-26 “There was an old lady who swallowed a cow, to catch the dog, to catch the cat, to catch the bird, to catch the spider, that wriggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.  She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.  I don’t know why she swallowed the fly – Perhaps she’ll die!”  (Traditional […]