Jesus deemed the pharisees guilty of sin as they were not blind but refused to change their ways. Another argument between Jesus and the pharisees ensued ending up with Jesus revealing another aspect of His identity by comparing himself to a shepherd.
In today’s context, this Psalm reminds me of a telephonic conversation with our friends and relatives. After changing our phone numbers, many would not recognize us, as the number does not appear on their phone-book.
While the Pharisees were focused on their quest to crucify the Messiah, Jesus continued to walk on the path that God had set before Him, touching yet another life on His way to Calvary. As Jesus and His disciples were walking the streets of Jerusalem, they saw a man who had been blind from birth. The disciples could not help but pass judgement and wanted Jesus to weigh in on who is responsible for this man’s condition, his parents or he himself.
Just as the women were hurrying from the tomb filled with mixed emotions of fear and joy, they came face to face with the one they were looking for. Jesus Himself was standing in front of them and they fell at His feet and began to worship Him.
In his farewell speech Samuel recounted all the good that God had done for His people and how they had always reciprocated His grace on them with betrayal at every corner. He warned them not to test the anger of the Lord and reminded them of all the destruction that came upon them when they walked away from God and held on to their precious idols.
Jesus saved the adulterous woman from being stoned and did not condemn her. But now the crowds had picked up the stones once again, this time, to kill Jesus.
The chief priest and the elders started making plans to have Jesus executed. They bound Him and handed him over to the Roman governor Pilate, as executions were under Roman jurisdiction.
Israel’s desire to be like other nations led them to reject God and have a mortal human ascend the throne. Samuel was handed the task of finding Israel a new king, one that would lead them to battles. Among the twelve tribes of Israel, the tribe of Benjamin was one of the smallest with a history of seditious revolt against the other eleven tribes. However, God’s ways are unfathomable to us, as no one would have expected the first king of Israel to come from the tribe of Benjamin.
Jesus came alone to Jerusalem and stood out in the crowd, He did not wait for the consensus to be formed about Him before He spoke out against the leaders. By the power of God, He took a stand against the leaders who had diluted the Gospel and made it a religion. Are we waiting for a consensus in our lives or are willing to stand out for God?
We are certainly all-in when we can see Jesus working miracles in our lives. But our faith gets shaken when we cannot see His works and start doubting even the existence of God. If our faith is based on the works of God in our lives then we will not go far with Him but like a drug addict keep coming back to Him only when we run out of money/blessings. Peter was still immature and did not understand what his response should be when Jesus foretold his denial.
The Israelites put away all their gods and gave their loyalty to Yahweh, but a plot to overthrow their eternal king was soon to enter their minds.
Just like satan blinded the eyes of those disciples who abandoned Jesus that day, he is doing the same even today for the believers who are satisfied with eating the symbolic bread and wine and will never desire to taste the Bread of Life.
The chief priests and the elders were assembling in the palace of the high priest, Caiaphas, and were trying to figure out the best way to dispose of Jesus. They were looking for a way to secretly kill Jesus without riling up His followers. When they were perplexed and could not find a way to dispose of with the Jesus problem, satan presented them with an opportunity that they quickly grabbed on to.
In the Bible we see people like Cain, Jacob and Martha getting diverted by their family members. People who are close to our heart can hurt us more than strangers. We won’t remember the abusive language used against us in yesterday’s traffic jam but we won’t be able to forget a simple statement given against us by our kith. Satan knows how to use the people around us to dishearten us.
The Israelites mourned that the Ark had departed from them but the Glory had long been departed from their midst.
Once again Jesus had riled up the Jewish leaders simply by giving a man the ability to pick up his mat and walk as they started questioning His authority.
For many of us have been given lamps but only few are wise enough to carry the extra oil that is needed to keep our flame alive.
Eli was a Levite from the priestly clan of Israel and was used by God to lead Israel for forty years. But along the way something happened in his life that He had started taking the Lord for granted and not payed heed to His warnings.
During one of Jesus’ trips to Jerusalem, He encounters a man sitting by the poolside at Bethesda waiting for healing when the Healer himself came to him.
As the fig tree can let us know if summer is nigh, similarly the signs of the end of days would let us know that Christ’s coming is near.
Quite ironical that the Jews , through whom the salvation was to come rejected the Messiah but the ‘pagan’ Samaritans were the first to proclaim Jesus as the Savior of the world. Jesus revealed His true identity in this Samaritan town, something that He would not do in the Jewish towns.
After stumping the Pharisees with His question, Jesus proceeded to call them out on all their wrongdoings.
For all the accounts of great wars and conquests recorded in the book of Samuel, it still starts with the story of humble beginnings from a lowly town in the hill country of Ephraim.
The living water represents His Spirit in us who gives us the joy that comes from knowing that our sins are forgiven. The joy in our hearts that gives us a new life, a new beginning with the knowledge that the slate has been wiped clean. That is what Jesus has to offer.
Let us learn from the bitter experience of Paul and his fellowship with the Corinthians that we should not depend on human beings for love and compassion but on God for His grace and mercy.
Everyone knows John 3:16 by heart but the next verse is equally important, for Jesus did not come to condemn us but save us. If he wanted to condemn us for our wrongdoings, He would have brought the day of judgment upon us but rather He came with the sole intention to be an atonement for our sins.
Jesus came with the purpose of introducing or reintroducing God to everyone, those who loved Him and even those who hated Him. The questioning session that the Pharisees and the Sadducees had been using to unmask Jesus before His followers, turned into Jesus revealing the identity as the Messiah.
Depending on our fellow believers will only get us so far and might even lead us away from God. The only way to defeat death is to depend on the heavenly man and follow His path.
Jesus did not answer their demands by giving them a sign immediately but foretold about His own death and resurrection that will be the ultimate sign of His authority given to everyone.
The purpose of group worship is to gather together and praise God. If the purpose was for each one to talk to God personally, that could have been done from the comfort of their homes.
Two days after gathering His disciples, Jesus arrived at a wedding in a place called Cana in the region of Galilee. During the festivities, Jesus’s mother brought a matter of concern to Him saying that the wedding party had run out of wine. Of all the requests brought before Jesus, this would have been the most trivial of the lot.
Jesus came down to extend the invitation of His Father’s banquet to everyone as Israel had rejected and rebelled against God by prostituting themselves to the pagan cultures that surrounded them.
Our society has both wicked and righteous people. Both of them share the same arena to earn their livelihood. The wicked will always be with us in the form of our neighbours, colleagues, friends and relatives who distort us from fulfilling the purpose of God in our lives.
With the growing thirst for Spiritual Gifts among the church at Corinth, Paul points out the greatest gift that they all needed in their lives, something greater than any other gift and without which all other gifts are worthless.
The ministry of Jesus spread through people sharing their personal experiences of their encounter with the Messiah. Even today, in a world filled with countless religions and distractions, the work of God continues through the personal testimonies of people who have experienced Christ in their lives.
The fallout from the temple clearing incident perhaps did not sit well with the chief priests and the elders as surely that would have opened the eyes of the people to the corruption that had infiltrated the walls of the temple.
Being a relatively new church, the Corinthians had lot of queries regarding their order of worship. One of the main concerns was the mystery that surrounded the spiritual gifts given to the members by the Spirit. They saw these gifts as a means to create a hierarchical order between themselves rather than using it for the purpose that God intended.
The conversation between the other John and the Jewish leaders where he denied comparisons to three of the most famous Old Testament figures.
Kings would usually come back from wars to triumphant welcome by their countrymen. These lavish parades would have the valuables plundered in their latest victory along with the procession of the prisoners of the war who were going to be humiliated and tortured by the locals. The kings would always choose a warhorse or a prized camel, to make their grand entrance back to their palace rather than riding on a colt and that too of a donkey.
Our Remembrance of Jesus’s sacrifice should not be only on Sundays when we are standing in the communion line but throughout the week and should be reflected in everything we do.
The Gospel of John does not share any similarities with the other Synoptic Gospels, but this unique account of the life of Christ has a completely different purpose. Written by most probably John, the disciple, during the latter half of the first century to a predominantly Gentile audience of the Greco-Roman city of Ephesus, its…
In this chapter we see three separate instances of people’s selfishness as they tried to prevent others from receiving what they already had.
As the church in Corinth continues to struggle with the rampant sexual immorality, Paul tries to rein in the congregation by taking them back to the very purpose of creation. After dealing with cases of unfaithfulness among the men and women in the church, Paul tries to take a step back and addresses the need for discipline in hopes of bringing back order to the worship in the church.
Like Daniel, we also do not need to know the times of these events describe in this book. What we must understand is that there is a spiritual warfare going on behind the scenes of our problems but realise that God has allowed for it and only He can put a stop to it at the appointed time. Till then we need to stay on the path that God has chosen for us, fully submitting to His will, and when the Day of the Lord arrives, we too will receive our allotted inheritance.
In his letters to the believers in Corinth, Paul not only addresses the failures of the church but also addresses the allegations levelled against him. When immorality is allowed to take the driver seat in a church, it will try its best to bring down the workers of God. If Paul’s ego would have been…
We all can see our state of mind during the trials in our lives and can evaluate how actually close we are to God. Are we like Darius? Sleepless, panicking and not sure what will happen next or are we like Daniel? Who in spite of not knowing the result of standing alone, left the worrying to God and slept peacefully that night.
Corinth being a melting pot of cultural diversity, made it hard for the new believers to separate themselves from the pagan traditions that surrounded them. One such issue that Paul tries to address is eating of meat that was sacrificed to the pagan gods. Since only part of the animal was used for sacrificial purposes,…
Like Daniel, we too start questioning God and start listing down all the good we have supposedly done for Him. We want to prove to God that we are worthy of His Grace and Blessings on us and are is some sense ‘demanding to see the manger’ when things are not working out for us. We must realise that if we try to play that game with our Creator, we will never win, as what He has done for us is immeasurable, while our so-called good deeds, more often than not, are driven by self-preservation.
A rich man came to Jesus and asked “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life ?” Jesus tells the man to keep the commandments to which he promptly replies saying that he has been doing that for a long time and asks Jesus what he still lacked.,,,
The Bible portrays Peter, James, and John as the close associates of Jesus. Out of these three disciples, Peter’s inconsistent spiritual growth is a source of encouragement for all of us, as we are also inconsistent in our spiritual walks but the spiritual journey of Peter started when he was only an illiterate fisherman.
From its very inception, the institution of Marriage was supposed to unite two individuals to serve God as one body. Over the years mankind, especially the forefathers and other leaders have had a hand in corrupting this sacred union. Marriage became a means to bear offspring and not a way for its members to unite in their sole purpose to connect with God. However, Paul’s instructions to the Corinthians on the subject of marriage may seem like a concession rather than the norm.
Daniel was still unknown to the new king of the land Belshazzar, who was the joint ruler of Babylon from 553-539 BC. The events in this chapter are the accounts of his last day in office as he was assassinated seemingly out of the blue, but the writing was always on the wall.
These days all our photos and documents are stored in the cloud. Imagine if that connection was disrupted what a nightmarish scenario that would be. Anytime we are not allowed to commune with God, it would be hell on earth for us. Our soul cannot find rest till the connection to our maker is restored. Imagine our evenings and mornings when we are not able to commune with God, that should be our nightmarish scenario. Let us rejoice that God sent His Son to restore that broken connection and put an end to our nightmare.
Forgiveness is important but what is more important is to forgive from our hearts. We often miss out the second part and dwell on it. We also tend to forget the huge debt that God forgave us by sending His Son. We are forgiven an unimaginable amount by God, yet we do not show even a part of that to our fellow beings.
When we invite Jesus in our hearts, do we not realise that His Spirit starts residing in us? So let us forget about honouring man-made buildings and altars, and start honouring God in the new temple He has built within us.
When our plans for the future are not aligned with that of God’s, we too will face disappointments, heartaches and even grief. If someone like Daniel can misinterpret God’s plan, what chance do we have? But remember that Daniel did not have the Spirit residing in him, guiding all his steps.
It is strange to see a passage in the Bible not authored by one of the Jewish writers but Daniel’s inclusion of this letter that Nebuchadnezzar had seemingly written to the entire world, shows us how God can work in anyone’s life. We must understand that, while our pride and arrogance might give us confidence in our own abilities, our God can instantly humble our pride.
Nehemiah led with his heart rather than listening to the voice of God and always expected God to reward him for the sacrifice he was making in trying to rebuild Jerusalem, both physically and spiritually.
Even the wisest man in the world was fooled by satan and lured away from God. Is there any hope for us?
The first recorded Martyr to die for the Jesus movement.
Our God is a God who will even come down to our fiery pit and save us. But even if He did not save us, will we give Him the glory He deserves?
For Christ to increase, we need to decrease, but leaders sometimes are worried about their followers and disciples perceiving them as imperfect people. They put on a show in front of their congregations, lest someone should think of them as sinners like the rest of us.
As Nebuchadnezzar found out God is the ultimate revealer of mysteries, but are we content in deriving blessings from Him rather than sit with Him and ask Him to reveal His plans. Let us not chase after the things of this world and realise that His Rock is mightier than any statue that this world has to offer.
We have been given the Spirit of God to judge for ourselves what is right and wrong. The Spirit of God within us will make known the plans that God has for us. Let us not get swayed by human leaders and apostles and forget what Jesus wants in our lives.
I remember the days of 8-bit games when having only three lives in a game was the norm. There were no cloud syncs and no chance for any do-overs. We had to play a game from start to finish in one sitting. Nowadays we can restart our campaign from the exact point where we left-off…
Jesus left all His glory and came in a human form to save us from our sins. It is because of our sins that we were driven out from God’s presence and have created a distance between heaven and earth. Jesus came down to bridge that gap and connect us back to our Father.
Paul wrote letters to the church in Corinth in response to various allegations and accusations he heard among the church members.
The events of that Famous Easter day and the confusion and disbelief that followed.
We need to keep our trust on God and not succumb to the pressures of this world and its pagan ways. Otherwise, just like the Israelites, we too will keep returning to our Babel.
Real change can only be brought upon by the transformation of the heart and as we saw throughout the accounts of the post-exile writings, the Israelites only ever changed their words but never their ways. Like Nehemiah, let us not waste time in forcefully correcting the actions of our fellow beings but rather connect them to God who is the only one who can intervene and make real change in their lives.
Sometimes we ask God for signs as proof, but is that wrong? We see a lot of people in the bible asking for signs and God graciously provided them with signs. As long as our intentions are pure, God would be happy to help us if that leads us to understand His will.
Unlike the returning exiles, we must renew our faith in Christ everyday and not wait for such moments to make us realise the need for God in our lives.
Our words reflect the thoughts of our heart and if we do not have God guide our hearts, we will be giving way to the evil one to take over and defile us in the process.
After rebuilding the wall, the exiles realized that they needed structural changes in their lives also.
Our walk with God is similar to that of Peter’s, the winds don’t stop raging on us but when our focus is on God, we are able to walk on all waters.
Like the fictional agency “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”, satan also has his agents placed all over this world and in every part of our lives and he will activate them when he sees us coming closer to God.
The pattern repeats itself again later in the final chapters of the book, where Nehemiah thinks he has won over the enemy only to find the enemy had already infiltrated their camps.
Our lives are not perfect and oftentimes we too mess up like these people, but if we allow God to work in our lives he will transform our mess into something beautiful. And that’s the story of Genesis!
God gives equal chance to the good and the evil doers and allows the evil doers to be among the good. He just wants us to end up in the good bundle at the end.
We have a habit of not leaving anything to chance. We feel the need to plan for our future and have a five year plan for our personal and work lives but seldom for our spiritual lives.
The final chapters of the book of Genesis don’t really give us any insights into the lives of Jacob and his sons in Egypt but if we read carefully they do give us a glimmer of hope for a promise to come.
Nehemiah got off to a rocky start and as he will learn the lesson the hard way, that his efforts of securing the city had no effect on the hearts of the people, as they had already fortified their hearts to keep God out.
Ezra, who was sent to teach the scriptures to the exiles, spent his first stint in Jerusalem, separating families to purify the people rather than letting God deal with His people.
While Egyptians were selling of their lands to ward off starvation, Joseph’s family was making real estate investments in Egypt. For us it may be a flip of the page but for Jacob’s family it took many years for them to realise the dream that God had shown the patriarchs. Most of us give up on God when we are passing through our famines. We forget all his past blessings and promises for our future. .
The Messiah was amongst us and no one wanted to believe in His existence, neither the pharisees nor the teachers of the law and not even Jesus’ own family.
When God guides our paths, all the arrangements are made for us. Ezra did not have to worry about the finances for his trip or the funds for the temple sacrifices and ornaments or even to gather his troops, everything was prepared by God.
The basic principle behind Machine learning is to use past mistakes to figure out the right path. That’s how our mind also works when it comes to the people who have hurt us. We pretend that we are over it, but deep down our minds are still storing their mistakes and our future actions will be based on this data, all this to avoid getting hurt by them in the future.
Fifteen years after the work on the temple had been halted due to numerous oppositions that the exiles faced, God sent his word to the people of Israel. First through the prophet Haggai (Haggai 1) and then two months later through the prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 1), God spoke to the people commanding them to restart the work on the temple.
Jesus humbly calls us to take up His yoke and learn directly from Him to help our souls find rest. He wants us to accept His yoke as a connector between Him and us, so that we don’t need to look to anyone or anything else.
While the returning exiles continued work on the temple, the natives took notice of their new neighbors’ plans and offered help to Zerubbabel and Co.
From selling Joseph out of jealousy to trading prison sentence with Joseph’s younger brother out of loyalty, we see a huge shift in the attitude of Judah.
…something was missing as in the midst of the shouts of joy, there was mixed, the sound of weeping also. No one could distinguish between who were shouting with joy or who were crying, overcome by their sorrow. God’s presence was missing which could only be felt by the older generation, the ones who had witnessed the glory of the previous temple before their land was conquered.
We are placed in this world with the purpose of spreading the Kingdom of God to others and God will help us in every way when we are on this mission. He will never leave us nor forsake us just as He taught His disciples while sending them out into the world. It is up to us if we are ready to depend on Him to carry out His mission.
The intentions of the returning exiles were noble, leaving everything behind to rebuild the city of Jerusalem but as we will see in the following chapters, they did little to rebuild their broken relationship with God.
In trying to hide his identity, Joseph kept delaying God’s plan in the lives of his family members.
The outward show that we put on may prevent us hurt from the people around us but it also prevents us from admitting our weaknesses and coming to God for a solution.
The people chosen to proclaim the good news of the kingdom and His love were busy following traditions and burdening the people with rules and regulations and failed to do their work. We are now the shepherds who have tasted the love of God and should let the others know of that love.
So many of us carry that guilt around, the guilt of our past mistakes. It is not God who burdens us but the deceiver who keeps reminding us of our past shortcomings so that we drown ourselves in sorrow and guilt and forget about our connection with God.
Sometimes when God is convicting us of something our immediate response is to run away from Him rather than take His help in confronting our inner demons.
This earth will only be able to give us robes (Honor) made by human hands but God wants to give us a New Robe. He wants to replace our worn out prison clothes with His heavenly robe and His seal of approval.
When we reconcile with our brethren, we receive a temporary peace, our peace of mind. But what Jesus offers us is much more. It is the ultimate peace in our hearts, knowing that our broken relationship with The Father has been fixed by His death on the cross.
While reading this verse in isolation, some understand this verse as the presence of God is possibly drawn only if two or more people gather in a place. With this misconception, people use this verse to invite God’s presence while they come together. The whole endeavor for coming together in His presence may go in vain as it exposes the lack of knowledge of the word of God in them.
Often times we want humans to remember us. We seek the favor of our fellowmen and women and long for their affection, especially during our present state. But the one who is within us, who is constantly seeking us, who always remembers us and has carved us in the palm of his hands, we treat indifferently or maybe take Him for granted.
Jesus compares the person who hears and follows God’s commands as a wise man who built his house upon the rock. This house has a strong foundation hence is able to withstand all the tremors and tribulations of life.
The swift Trial, Crucifixion and Burial of Jesus.
Thomas was with Jesus for more than three years, he had seen all the miracles that Jesus had performed, how He raised the dead and would have been present for his countless teachings but still Thomas was unable to grasp the supernatural aspect of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
This week we are discussing the back to back healing that Jesus performed in John Chapters 4 & 5. The official’s entire family believed and the invalid man who sat near the pool of Bethesda for 38 years finally got up. Then why was Jesus reluctant in revealing His Glory through miraculous healing?
The conversation between Jesus and the unnamed woman at the well gives us an insight into what God actually wants from us, that we worship Him in the Spirit and in truth. We discuss that and other bold claims Jesus made that baffled the woman and see how we can apply those truths in our lives.
Today, we look at John Chapter 3 and discuss the infamous conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus which gave us the verse that perfectly summarizes God’s love for mankind, the mankind that keeps failing to understand His love.
Nicodemus seems to represent our confused state and much like us, struggles to grasp the true meaning of Jesus’ words.
We continue our series on John and see the first of the many signs that Jesus performed where he used six dirty vessels to bring out new wine and had the same plans for the six ordinary men that were following him at the time of the wedding.
We continue our series on John and see the first three witnesses of Jesus
1. John the Baptist introduces Jesus to his onlookers – (John 1:19-34)
2. Andrew introduces Jesus to his brother Simon – (John 1:35-42)
3. Philip introduces Jesus to his friend Nathaniel – (John 1:43-51)
In this episode we cover the second half (v 19-51) of Chapter 1 of the book of John.
We discuss Jesus’ final hours before Crucifixion, how Judas agreed to betray Jesus and how Jesus gave the Passover festival a new meaning.
We start our Series on the book of John and immediately are bombarded with callbacks from the very first book of the Bible. John takes us back to the creation and calls Jesus by three simple yet distinct names.
The Word (John 1:1), used to create everything, The Light (John1:4), the start of the creation and the Life (John 1:4), what God breathed into Adam’s nostrils.
In this episode we cover the first half (v 1-18) of Chapter 1 of the book of John.
In Jerusalem, Jesus continues to teach and foretells the destruction of the temple in which the Israelites took great pride.
After arriving in Jerusalem, Jesus had to navigate several rounds of tricky interviews by various groups.
Jesus visits Jericho, his final pit-stop, on route to Jerusalem.
Jesus continues his ministry teaching about prayers, pride and wealth.
Love for money is the root cause for all kinds of evil. In the ancient days, man exchanged the goods and services in return for his own needs. In due course of time man invented money to replace the barter system.
The disciples would have noticed Jesus withdrawing to a solitary place to pray several times and eventually one of them asked Jesus to teach them to pray too. Jesus tells them a very short yet a contained prayer.
Jesus wanted the disciples to completely depend on God, who is the ultimate provider and not waste time in letting better food or accommodation decide where they lodged in the city…
Jesus sent out the Twelve after giving them power and authority to drive our demons and cure diseases and to proclaim the kingdom of God. In asking them to take nothing for their Journey Jesus wanted to teach the disciples how to completely depend on God….
This Chapter starts off with Luke mentioning the women disciples about whom we hardly hear from the other writers and ends with Jesus giving two daughters a new life
The Centurion was an officer in the Roman army who was in charge of a hundred soldiers. He would have heard about the miraculous healing that Jesus was doing in the lives of the Jews and wanted to approach Jesus for his dear servant. He did not think that his position of power entitled him a visit from Jesus but thought himself unworthy to even approach Jesus. So he asked the elders of the Jews to carry his message.
After a hard night of fishing, Peter had returned to the shore disheartened, when he saw Jesus approaching. Jesus got into Peter’s boat and started to preach to the people gathered on the beach. Peter wrapped up his fishing gear and joined the others.
The Spirit of God led Jesus through the wilderness where He was tempted for forty days. There are three temptations which are recorded in this chapter and while there might have been more lines of dialogue between Jesus and Satan, these three still teach us a lot of things.
The last book of the Old Testament ends with letting the people of Israel know, that before the coming of our Lord, there will be another prophet like Elijah who will warn the nation to turn from their evil ways….
The inglorious Birth of the Glorious One.
The humble beginnings of the Good News.
When Luke sat down to write his account, the Gospel of Mark and probably even Matthew’s Gospel already existed. Then why did he decide to write another book on the life of Christ?
In the final section of the book of Acts, Luke records the last years of Paul’s ministry. Luke leaves us without closure and we do not know what happens to Paul. Either he was executed or Luke’s narration had led up to the present day and even Luke does not know what will happen next. However, Luke gives an extensive account of the works of the Holy Spirit which was the purpose of writing the book.
Paul’s final Missionary Journey to spread the Jesus movement.
Paul set off in his second missionary Journey across Europe and makes new companions along the way.
The Killing of Stephen and the spread of the Jesus Movement.
The Church gets an admin wing.
The festival of weeks or more commonly know as Pentecost is celebrated 7 weeks after Passover. On this day Jews from all over the globe would come to the Holy city of Jerusalem to be part of the festivities.
We are a couple of months into the new year and by now, for some of us, the resolutions we made are a distant memory. Often times, upon hearing a powerful message or perhaps receiving the answers to our longtime prayers, we make a resolution with God but soon forget about it. At the beginning of the book of Samuel, we find the story of humble beginnings for a small family, living in the hill country of Ephraim and their resolutions with God that changed Israel’s political landscape.
Our christian lives are sometimes influenced by the people around us. There are so many theological schools of thought that we sometimes find it hard to know what we believe.
As Jesus was entering Capernaum, a Centurion approached Him asking for his servant’s healing….
During one of the gatherings where Jesus was teaching, a Lawyer asks Him, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”. Jesus asks the Lawyer that in his opinion what does the law say in regards to obtaining eternal life. To which he promptly answers Love the Lord your God with all your heart and…
About two millennia ago Jesus died on the cross not just for the Jews but for every sinner in the world. At the cross, when enduring such excruciating pain, Jesus prays for forgiveness for the ones who put him there.
In the land of Aram (Syria in Greek) there lived a valiant soldier highly regarded by the king and was the commander of his forces. The lord had brought victory to Aram through this man. His name was Naaman. He had a perfect life, respected in his community and feared amongst his enemies. However with his great wealth he also had an incurable disease – Leprosy, the disease which caused one to be shunned from society and live as an outcast.
On his way to Galilee Jesus passed through the small town of Sychar inhabited by Samaritans. It was mid-day and the journey and the heat took a toll on Him and Jesus sat by the well. Along came this Samaritan woman to draw water from that well.
Jesus says that Judas betraying him is “To fulfill the scripture”, (John 18:1) as foretold by the Psalmist. It is written that as soon as Judas took the bread Satan entered into him. So was Judas chosen beforehand to betray Jesus?
Jesus was in the district of Judea answering the ensnaring questions of the Pharisees when a young man came to see HIm. In the Gospel of Luke this man is described as a rich young ruler (Luke – 18:18). He had great wealth and power yet when he came before Jesus he fell on his knees. (Mark – 10:17). He presented himself with great humbleness and asked Jesus, “Good teacher what must I do to receive eternal life?”
Jesus was amongst the crowd preaching when someone told him that his mother and brothers (and possibly sisters) were standing outside and wanted to speak to Him. I have always wondered why did they not come in? Or why did Jesus not go out to meet them but used them to talk about who all constitute as the family of Christ. But when we read the same incident in Mark we get to know the context of the situation.
John 1: 12 clearly tell us who are the children of Jesus Christ. There are numerous verses which remind us of this fact. On the authority of word we claim ourselves as children of God. If we are children, we are His legal heirs too. If we are the legal heirs, then our prayers need not be a petition or plead but a simple asking or intimation.
We are called to bear witness for Christ Jesus but many believers misunderstand this in their lives and struggle to bear witness. Most of the time we expect miracles to happen in our lives to bear testimony. It is easy to do so when miracles happen but if nothing works out then bearing testimony to Christ Jesus seems difficult.
At once after feeding five thousand men, Jesus asked his disciples to go to the other side. Probably Jesus did not want his disciples to get carried away by the applause of the beneficiaries of the miracle. Jesus decided to spend some quiet time with His Father and went up the mountainside. Shortly before dawn He decided to join his disciples who were sailing. While they saw Jesus walking on the water they took Him for a ghost. But Jesus comforted them by saying “It is I” and asked them not to be afraid. This signifies the level of faith of his disciples.
Jesus was going to Jerusalem via Jericho and huge crowds had gathered all around Him wanting to hear what He had to say. As they entered Jericho, a blind man named Bartimaeus was sitting by the roadside. On hearing the commotion, he asked the people around him as to what was going on, to which he was told that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. We do not know to what extent he knew Jesus…