The Keys Of The Kingdom

Seldom people are encouraged to help others constantly, but many discontinue doing good to others because of not getting a pleasant response. It can happen that the person whom we had helped might end up being our enemy today. Or the people who derived benefits from us to reach a higher level would have forgotten us.

Mighty Men Over God – 2 Samuel 23-24

Mighty warriors were in high demand in Israel’s formative years. Both David and his predecessor Saul prioritised the recruitment of not just able-bodied men in their army but valiant men whose gallant acts would have fueled the urban legends in Israel. The author closes out the book by paying homage to David’s Mighty Thirty and recounts their triumphs on the battlefield and their extraordinary accomplishments. However, David’s over-dependence on his valiant warriors becomes a stumbling block in his journey with God as his foolishness causes the death of multitudes in his country.

Riches: Sign Of Salvation?

Despite the teachings through the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the idea of connecting worldly blessings to spiritual blessings continues. James criticized the shepherds for giving importance to the wealthy group in the synagogues and the churches. Some affluent Corinthian Christians abused the Lord’s Supper by marginalizing poor Christians.

Looking Back at the Life of David – 2 Samuel 22

The book of Samuel is bookended by two completely different people and their respective songs of praise. While their lives served a distinct purpose in furthering the plan of God, their song of praise was similar in its content as the God of Hannah is the same as the God of David. King David had…

A Brutal End to a Long-Standing Feud – 2 Samuel 21

The Author Seems to believe that God was waiting for the blood of Saul’s descendants and for them to be buried before blessing the harvest of the Israelites. God’s grace is often mistaken for the cause of one’s blessing or more often the end of one’s suffering.

Do Not Be Provoked – Psalm 36

While Bible scholars consider Psalm 18 as the Psalm during the old age of the Psalmist, scholars attribute Psalm 36 to the young David. David was introduced as “the servant of God” in these Psalms. Because in both of these Psalms, David stopped listening to the provoking noises and started listening to the soothing voice…

A Revolt Quashed – 2 Samuel 20

On the road from Jordan to Jerusalem, the tribes of Judah and Israel clashed over their respective claims over David as their king. The other tribes had taken offence when their king yet again sided with his own tribe. Among them was Sheba, son of Bikri, who was the most vocal in expressing his disdain…

The Road Back Home – 2 Samuel 19

Now that Absalom had died, the growing consensus among the tribes of Israel was to bring back David to Jerusalem as their king. They recounted the great feats of David and the countless times he had rescued them in battle. They had a rosy memory of his time as king and remembered the days of…

A Bittersweet Victory – 2 Samuel 17:24 – 19:8

After crossing the Jordan, David finds shelter in the town of Mahanaim. This is the same place where Ish-Bosheth, Saul’s remaining heir, found a safe haven from David after the death of his father and brothers on the battlefield. And now David was looking at the same town to provide him refuge against his own…

Vindication In His Righteousness – Psalm 35

This imprecatory Psalms of David motivates people to ask God to take revenge on their enemies. It persuades people to rejoice in the fall of their enemies more than they enjoy their salvation. While choosing an advocate, one should go by their experience because experience makes the advocate understand the client’s case and the opponent’s…

The Noise Drowning The Voice – 2 Samuel 16 & 17

On his road to his exile, David was met with many familiar faces. People he had helped had seen his sudden downfall as their opportunity to do something in return for their king. Ziba, the loyal servant of Saul also came out with supplies for the king and his men. He had a string of…

The Rise Of Absalom – 2 Samuel 15

Only a short time after his return from his exile in Geshur, Absalom had assembled a small army of men for himself. Chariots and men would run ahead of him as he travelled throughout the land. To the onlookers, Absalom seemed to have an impressive security detail provided to him by the king like the…

The Parable of the Ewe Lamb

This Parable was part of Nathan’s message that the Lord had sent for king David. Not only did he covet and forcefully took another man’s wife he even had Bathsheba’s husband killed off on the pretence of war (1 Samuel 11). Uriah was not just any other man, but part of David’s thirty, he was…

The Prodigal Son Returns – 2 Samuel 14

After exacting his revenge on his elder brother Amnon, Absalom went into a self-imposed exile in the neighbouring kingdom of Geshur. Even after the heinous murder of his elder son, David still longed for Absalom, and Joab who was the closest confidant of the king knew about it. He concocted a story which was reminiscent…

Revenge Has No Expiration – 2 Samuel 13

As punishment for his sins of rape and murder, David had already lost a son but soon, the crimes he was guilty of would befall his children. Amnon was David’s eldest son, who was born to him through Ahinoam. He would have been next in line to succeed after his father as the king of…

An Encouragement To The Desperate – Psalm 34

The title of this Psalm suggests that David wrote this Psalm after he pretended to be insane and escaped from the kingdom of Achish (Abimelek). Whenever we face critical situations, we lie instead of facing the truth. God expresses His displeasure about our lies in the book of Isaiah (Isaiah 28:15, 18&19) and speaks about…

The Sword Will Never Depart From David’s House – 2 Samuel 12

The Lord sent Nathan to deliver his rebuke to David as the latter had gone away from the fold of God. God does not send the prophet to David immediately after his grievous sin, but after some time had passed and the child had been born to Bathsheba. David would have least expected this visit…

David Displeased the Lord – 2 Samuel 11

During the Spring time, when the farmers of the land would neither sow nor harvest their crops, the kings would utilise this downtime and go off to wars to invade new territories. This was the war season for Israel and their neighbouring countries, as the conflict with the Ammonites was escalating rapidly. The Israelites had…

Through the Lens of the Creator – Psalm 33

During the period of this Psalm, there was hardly any written script to tell of the wondrous creation of God. Yet the Psalmist tries to capture the creative power of God by seeing all that has been created. The Psalmist unveils the creative hands of God in every visible object and attributes the power of…

A Seat at the Table – 2 Samuel 9 & 10

David’s kindness to the sons of his allies proves almost detrimental to his own ambitions. While the one who was lame, subdued himself to David for a seat at his table but the one who had an army of his own looked at David’s offer of peace with suspicion. The latter’s arrogance resulted in a…

The Victories of King David – 2 Samuel 8

This chapter focuses on David’s victories over the neighbouring territories and subsequent extension of the borders of his kingdom. The author’s intent does not seem to be to record the military conquests of David and his army in chronological order but is to evidence the overarching theme of the entire book that God was with…

House of David – 2 Samuel 7

Chronologically this chapter would have been best suited to read after the next chapter’s events which recounts David’s victory over the neighbouring countries. After David had secured his capital, brought the Ark of God to Jerusalem and built himself a luxurious palace with the choicest wood, he wanted to build a House for God to…

The Chosen People

We feel happy and proud when we understand that we are God’s chosen people. Feeling optimistic about this privilege leads to pride. Pride secludes us from the rest of the world, and we restrict the grace of God within a narrow circle of our fellow believers. The scripture tells us that pride goes before the…

The Missing Piece – 2 Samuel 6

David had garnered the support of all the tribes of Israel, had Michal (his first wife and Saul’s daughter) back in his corner and had even seized the fortified hill city of Jerusalem. The next logical step for him was to retrieve the Ark of God from Kiriath Jearim and secure, both his political and…

The Confession – Psalm 32

Confessing sin is the outcome of trust. If we confess our sins, it implies that we trust God. Trusting a person will give us the confidence to tell them everything. A genuine confession is the first step towards receiving forgiveness from God. Confession replaces our guilt with peace. But people hesitate to confess their sins…

The Fortress of a Socialite – 2 Samuel 5

After the death of Abner and Ish-Bosheth, the elders of the tribes of Israel came to meet David at Hebron to ask him to be the ruler of their land. David was thirty-seven years old at this time and had been serving as the king of Judah for seven years by now. But now the…

A Blood Soaked Transition – 2 Samuel 3&4

As the war between the respective camps of David and Saul waged on, the house of David grew stronger day by day. By this time, David had been married seven times and had an heir through each of his six wives who were currently with him (2 Samuel 3:2-5). On the other side, Saul had…

Love The Lord – Psalm 31

It is unclear as to when David wrote this Psalm because of his amalgamated expressions. David was a fugitive most of his life and even amidst his trouble, he often found peace in the presence of God. Jesus said to Martha, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory…

The Mighty Have Fallen – 2 Samuel 1&2

After defeating the Amalekites, David and his men returned to the city of Ziklag which was burned to the ground. Two days later, while they were plotting their next move and possible place of relocation, a man arrived from Saul’s camp with his clothes torn and dust on his head. It is obvious that this…

From the Courts to the Cross – Mark 15

named,Perhaps the fastest trial in the history of the Roman government, as the unprecedented nature of events left the Jewish rulthe Roman government and the followers of Jesus in utter disbelief. Early in the morning, the entire body of the Sanhedrin gathered and made plans to kill Jesus. They bound Him up and took Him…

A Thorn in our Flesh – 2 Corinthians 12&13

In the final defence of his authority, Paul painfully shares a personal out-of-body experience. He speaks about himself in the third person, lest anyone would think he was boasting about his experiences in Christ. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in…

Super Apostles – 2 Corinthians 10&11

In the last section of his letter to the Corinthians, Paul changes his tone from the theme of the earlier part of the letter, as he seeks to confront the ‘Super Apostles’, who were tarnishing all the good work done by him in the province of Achaia. He withdraws his claim of not indulging in…

A Lacuna We Never Realize

None of us can say that we have received answers to all our prayers and solutions for all our problems. When our difficulties persist, sicknesses linger and people come against us, our faith shatters. We often think as the Psalmist, that I have kept my heart pure in vain and washed my hands in innocence…

Made Rich through Christ’s Poverty – 2 Corinthians 8&9

A passage that is quoted often before the time of giving in our Sunday services, Paul’s challenge to the Corinthian church has been used as a template to inspire and encourage the practice of tithing. However, Paul’s emphasis seems to be on the transformation of the heart and understanding the commitment that the church had…

An Unceasing Prayer

People prefer to watch television for hours together and are reluctant to spend time on prayer. While watching the television, even the thoughts about the inevitable pending jobs do not disrupt us. At the same time, we allow our thoughts to disrupt our prayers. Thoughts like, did we close the windows of our car, switched…

Godly Sorrow – 2 Corinthians 7

After writing the severe letter to the Corinthians that was full of rebuke, Paul was troubled, especially when his companion Titus was held up in the Achaia province. Upon successful reunion with his protege, Paul finally found peace as Titus recounted the kindness that was shown to him by the Corinthians. Hearing reports that the…

Vanity and Idolatry – 2 Corinthians 6

As the Church in Corinth started growing in numbers, the people started to think that they were impervious to the sins of the world around them. They thought that they were immune to the pagan ways of their city, but slowly that fallacy caught up with them as they fell prey to their own vices….

The Voice Of The Lord – Psalm 29

Most of David’s Psalm has three parts. The first part describes his helpless situation, the second talks about his approach to God, and the third is all about praising God because of the answers he received. Praising God comes out of our hearts when we enjoy His presence and protection. Unlike other Psalms, this Psalm…

A New Creation – 2 Corinthians 5

Tents were the earliest form of shelter for the early Israelites. Noah, Abraham and even Moses all lived a nomadic existence and depended on tents to protect them from the harsh weather. Later on, tents became obsolete as Israelites started moving into cities and into houses made of stone. No one desired to live back…

Death & Life – 2 Corinthians 4

Paul heard that his opposers were also tarnishing his name and the credibility of his gospel. Defending the integrity of his message, Paul wrote this section of his letter to the people of Corinth. Unlike the other preachers who peddled the word of God to make a name for themselves or to extract monetary benefit…

A Veil That Covers our Hearts – 2 Corinthians 3

With the rise of false preachers and deceitful messengers, the church in Jerusalem (which was the base for all missionary journeys) started issuing letters of recommendation to all its patrons about the ministers they would send to them. Paul himself would use such letters to introduce his associates when he would send them to a…

God is My Rock – Psalm 28

The Psalmist compared the sturdy character of God with a rock in some Psalms. The Old Testament writers also perceived God as Rock, as they enjoyed His protection all through their journey. People compare the sturdiness of God to a rock, but God compared the unshakable faith of Abraham to a rock (Isaiah 51:1-2). People…

Self Appraisal – Psalm 26

When looking at our appearance in the mirror, we ask ourselves if we look good. If not, we try to make ourselves more presentable by making a few adjustments to our hair or clothes. The scripture reminds us of our negligence in complying with the truth, compared to the promptness of correcting our untidy hair…

The God of All Comfort – 2 Corinthians 1

Regarded by most Bible scholars as the fourth letter that Paul wrote to the Corinthians, it serves as an affirmation to its readers who had heeded to Paul’s harsh rebuke in the preceding letter. Paul also wanted to prepare the hearts of the congregation for his next visit and remind them of the commitment they…

Land Of The Living – Psalm 27

The tone of this Psalm reveals that it was a prayer during a hostile condition. The authors of the Old Testament used the term deliverance to describe how God saved them from the hands of their enemies. After the enemies of Israelites drowned in the Red Sea, Moses and Israelites sang how God became their salvation….

A Tale of Two Kings – 1 Samuel 30 & 31

In the finale of the first part of the book of Samuel, David and Saul are involved in two distinct wars that are running in parallel. While David and his men were trying to retrieve their belongings from the Amalekite raiders, Sauls’s army was taking their last stand against the fearsome Philistine forces at Mount…

A Fact Check

There is a common belief among the believers of Jesus that following Jesus’ teaching is a difficult task. Many people accept difficulties as part of a believer’s life and think that the more they suffer in this world, the greater will their reward be in heaven. Many elders teach others that following or serving Jesus…

The Philistine Forces Assemble – 1 Samuel 27&29

David knew that Saul would not give up chasing him till he had caught and killed him. So he fled to the Philistine territory and took shelter with Achish, the king of Gath. When Saul found out, he gave up searching for David and turned his attention to the growing forces of the Philistine army…

A Partridge in the Mountains – 1 Samuel 26

After a brief moment of respite, Saul resumed his hunt to capture and kill his predecessor David. As David was traversing through the desert of Ziph, the natives were informing Saul about his every move. Saul went down to the desert, with three thousand of his troops and made his camp on the hill of…

Fool, Foil and Follies – 1 Samuel 25

Sandwiched between the two assassination opportunities of Saul that were presented to David, his encounter with Nabal and Abigail shows us a different side of him. Samuel was the one true ally that David had by his side as it was he who had anointed him as the king of Israel. After his death, David…

From Evildoers Come Evil Deeds – 1 Samuel 23 & 24

David and his men were hiding in Judah when word came to them that the Philistines were raiding the threshing floors of Keilah. Even though strategically Keilah was part of Judah, its close proximity to Philistine territory made it a frequent target for looters who would raid the town during the harvest season. When David…

A Not So Holy Mission – 1 Samuel 21 & 22

David was now officially on the run as Saul had placed an open bounty on his head. He went to Nob, a town just a few miles northeast of Jerusalem to meet Ahimelek, the priest. After the destruction of Shiloh, the town of Nob had taken its place as the religious capital of Israel, housing…

A Sworn Friendship – 1 Samuel 20

After evading Saul and his men at Naioth, David returned to Jerusalem to meet Jonathan. He narrated all that he had been through over the last few days and how Saul tried to kill him. While Samuel believed David when he told him the same account, Jonathan found it hard to believe that his father…

The Plot to Kill David – 1 Samuel 18 & 19

The tales of David’s conquest of the giant spread throughout the land, garnering the love and respect of all the people of Israel. Even the soldiers in Saul’s army respected David as he led them in countless battles, and with God by his side, they would always come out victorious. The admiration for David was…

The Stone Is Mightier Than The Sword – 1 Samuel 17

One of the most popular narratives in the Bible, the battle between David and Goliath has made its way into pop culture and is often referred to in sports when an underdog beats the defending champion. But what the world does not realize, something that Goliath and the Philistines learned the hard way, David was…

Time To Move On – 1 Samuel 16

After the fallout with Saul, Samuel had shut himself in his hometown of Ramah and spent his days mourning for the king of Israel. Though their relationship was going through a rocky patch, Samuel had played an important part in Saul’s life and in the transformation of his heart. Saul even started prophesying soon after…

The Parable of the Wise and the Foolish

As Jesus was warning His followers about the times of tribulations that were fast approaching, He encouraged them saying that the Holy Spirit will always be by their side throughout the ordeal. When they would be dragged to the synagogues and courts and be on trial before the authorities, they need not worry about what…

Obedience Over Offerings – 1 Samuel 15

The failure to follow instructions had already put Saul in hot water as God did not respond to him either through the prophet or through the Urim and the Thummim. Saul was also on the outs with Samuel but after some time had passed, Samuel came to Saul with a message from the Lord. This…

The Parable of the Ten Minas

On His final trip to Jerusalem, Jesus visited several towns and villages along the way, teaching and healing those who came to Him. His ministry was gathering steam as more and more people started following Him. Jesus’ popularity drew such large crowds that when they were passing through the ancient city of Jericho, a tiny…

Panic Sent By God – 1 Samuel 14

Now that the relationship between Saul and Samuel had deteriorated beyond repair, he appointed himself a priest from the family line of Eli. Ahijah was the priest who had accompanied Saul’s army in their pursuit of the Philistines and was wearing the ephod that housed the Urim and the Thummim. Saul needed a man of…

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet

The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were questioning Jesus’ authority after he had caused a ruckus in the temple. His condemnation of turning the temple into a marketplace was directed at them as they were the ones who had allowed the sellers in the temple. Thereafter, they desperately looked for opportunities to seize…

The Parable of the Lost Sons

As Jesus was gaining more followers each day, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law sought to use His popularity against Him. They started murmurs about how Jesus was mingling with the wrong crowd and that His followers were nothing but prostitutes and tax collectors, sinners that He should not be associating with. In…

The King of Glory – Psalm 24

We are aware of the truth that the glory belongs to the Lord. Even after knowing this, do we attribute the glory to God or give it to something else that dominates our lives. In the days of David, Kings were the glorious people on the earth, and David was also one of them. Despite…

The Parable of the Unknown Hour

When Jesus prophesied about the day of the lord and the abomination that causes desolation the disciples were curious to know when would these things come to pass. Like students who constantly ask the invigilator for the time remaining during their examination, we too want to know the exact time of our lord’s coming. We…

The Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard

Once a rich man had come to Jesus asking what he must do to “gain” eternal life. We know that we cannot do anything to gain eternal life or even our salvation as it was freely given to us. But the rich man was persistent and Jesus’ standard answer of following the commandments did not…

With Swords and Clubs – Mark 14

After finishing their meal, Jesus and the disciples sang a hymn and left for a place called Gethsemane. Jesus had come to the earth to accomplish the will of the Father and His ministry of more than three years was culminating to this very day. His soul was overwhelmed with sorrow as the hour of…

The Parable of the Vineyard and the Tenants

After Jesus had cleared the temple of the various merchants, He called out the Jewish leaders for turning the house of the Lord into a den of robbers. This did not sit well with the chief priests and the teachers of the law, as they started looking for ways to kill Him. They questioned the…

Our Shepherd – Psalm 23

This is probably one of the few chapters from the Bible that we know by heart. But do we actually know what it means or is it just part of our Sunday school memories? I am not sure that even King David understood it completely as he was simply writing about his life experiences. But unbeknownst to him, God was using David to give us the greatest assurance that we would ever need that He is our Shepherd.

A Teaser Of Crucifixion – Psalm 22

This Psalm portrays the crucifixion of Jesus that occurred centuries after its writing. It is bewildering how David, a Jew by birth, foresaw the Roman practice of killing the criminals by hanging them on a tree. The capital punishment of crucifixion had come to vogue in Rome long after the death of David. Yet this…

The Parable of the Seeds

Both Matthew and Mark have placed the Parable of the Sower right after the arrival of the family of Jesus, who came to one of His gatherings to try and put an end to His mission (Mark 3:21). The Jewish leaders had already made up their minds about Him and now His own family was…

The Parable of the Wineskins

The sequence of events that lead up to Jesus narrating the parable of the Wineskins is found in all three synoptic Gospels. There is some ambiguity when it comes to who originally questioned Jesus but this is one of the rare events that was captured in the same chronological order by all three writers. According…

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

Found only in the Gospel of Matthew, the Parable of the unmerciful servant, was Jesus teaching His disciples on how to deal with each other’s transgressions with patience, and above all being able to forgive each other just like the Father forgave their sins. The disciples were worried about who would be the greatest in…

The Last Supper – Mark 14

The proximity of the Passover festival temporarily halted the plans of the chief priests and the teachers of the law from scheming and how to secretly arrest and kill Jesus. They were afraid that the capture of Jesus during the time when Jerusalem was already flooded with tourists from the surrounding states, would only diminish…

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

The story of the Hare and the Tortise is a beloved childhood memory that taught us the contrasting approaches of two different creatures towards the same end goal. Everyone loves an underdog story and while no one expected the underdog to win, the persistent tortoise beat the arrogant hare in the foot race. Moral stories with two polar opposite characters, usually have the underdog come out in a good light. However, when Jesus started the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, no one could have imagined the underdog to end up as the one being ‘Justified’ by God.

From The Author’s Desk – Psalm 21

The author captures the responses to the prayers that people had lifted up in the previous Psalm for their King. Are we aware of the changes that God made in the lives of the people for whom we prayed? Often, we do not even remember what we prayed and for whom we prayed. Even if…

The Parable of the Audacious Friend

One day, the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. They had heard that John (the baptist) had taught his disciples to pray and perhaps wondered why Jesus had not done the same, not realising that Jesus is the answer to all our prayers. So Jesus taught them a prayer which we now…

The Temple – Mark 13

Having established how the teachers of the law devoured the house of the widows but enjoyed the adoration from the elite (Mark 12:39-40), Jesus presented them with an example of what is God looking for in His people. While in the temple, Jesus was observing the crowds putting money into the collection boxes. The wealthy…

Trusting God – Psalm 20

Do we trust God? When we say we trust God, inadvertently, our priorities override our trust in God. When we face catastrophes or unpredictable situations, we wonder why bad things happen to us. And when diagnosed with some terminal disease, we question God did this happen to us. Asking such questions seems natural but in…

The Parable of the Shrewd Manager

Found only in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus narrated the parable of the lost son (prodigal son) and the parable of the dishonest manager (shrewd manager) one after the other. But while the parable of the prodigal son is well known for its theme, the lesser-known parable of the shrewd or dishonest manager has people…

Evidence Gathering – Mark 12

After Jesus had cleared the temple of the various merchants, He called out the Jewish leaders for turning the house of the Lord into a den of robbers. This did not sit well with the chief priests and the teachers of the law, as they started looking for ways to kill Him. They questioned the…

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Found only in the Gospel of Luke, this Parable on the surface might seem like a tale of brotherly but it has a deeper message behind it.

A Grand Entrance – Mark 11

As Jesus and His disciples approached Jerusalem for their final trip to the hill city, they came to the familiar town of Bethany on the Mount of Olives. This was a regular halt point for the group as it was home to many of Jesus’ close followers. While preparing to head for Jerusalem, Jesus asked…

Seizing the Opportunity – Mark 10

Jesus was teaching in the region of Judea as the Pharisees were looking for an opportunity to trap Jesus. They knew about Jesus’ closeness with John the Baptist, who was killed for speaking out against the extramarital affairs of king Herod. They wanted to use this opportunity to try and get Jesus to speak against…

Excited Not Exhausted – Psalm 18

Often, we are tired of our lives and are drained of all our energy to fight our battles. If metabolism is the chemical reaction in the body’s cells that change food into energy, worshipping God is the spiritual reaction in our soul that changes the word of God into energy. Glorifying God does not mean…

The Transfiguration – Mark 9

Almost a week later, Jesus took Peter, James and John and went up to a high mountain. When they were all alone, His appearance transfigured before their very eyes. His clothes became the brightest shade of white, unattainable by any of our earthly dyes. Definitely nothing close to what the disciples could have imagined as…

A Search Warrant – Psalm 17

Transparency at every step is imposed by many Government Departments especially, with the law-enforcing departments to curb corruption and injustice. Moreover, the adoption of automation in departments dealing with civil welfare has restricted Government officials from showing favour to someone out of turn because of political pressure or bribery. At the same time, people have…

The Survival – Psalm 15

While reading this Psalm, we should go back to the Old Testament times where people were afraid of God, and they did not even pronounce the word Yahweh, but only wrote it down to express His name. When the chief priests entered into the inner room with the blood he offered for himself and for…

The Beginning – John 1

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…

The One After John – John 1

The conversation between the other John and the Jewish leaders where he denied comparisons to three of the most famous Old Testament figures.

The Lamb of God – John 1

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.

Surveillance – Psalm 14

This Psalm focuses on the unceasing surveillance of God on each one of us, whoever we may be or wherever we are. In public places, we often find stickers informing us that we are under surveillance. Surveillance cameras are used to deter people from anti-social elements such as shoplifting or attempting to escape from prison….

The New Wine – John 2

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.

The New Temple – John 2

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 Light – John 3

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.

The Living Water – John 4

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.

The Savior of the World – John 4

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.

The Healer – John 5

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.

The Son of God – John 5

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.

The Bread of Life – John 6

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 Son of David – John 7

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?

The Great I Am – John 8

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 Man They Call Jesus – John 9

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.

The Good Shepherd – John 10

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.

The Resurrection and the Life – John 11

The raising of Lazarus would be a precursor to His own resurrection from the grave on the third day. We have read that He had raised at least two people from the dead but they had not been in the grave for four days. The disciples and the Jews gathered around this tragedy, would soon be the witnesses to Jesus’ big reveal, that He indeed is the Resurrection and the Life.

The Intimate Friend – John 12

The festival of Passover was approaching and the hill city of Jerusalem would soon see an influx of pilgrims to the holy land and its neighbouring towns. Jesus also made the trip to Judea one last time, just six days before His crucifixion. On His way to Jerusalem, He visited His followers in the nearby town of Bethany where He had raised Lazarus back to life.

The King of Israel – John 12

Jesus did not have a large following in Jerusalem but His followers were those who had seen him in their own hometowns and were in the city just for the festivities. It is very easy to get swept by the atmosphere of our surroundings and people started joining in the chants even though many of them would have only known hearsay about Christ and not realized His true purpose.

The Servant King – John 13

Jesus has one last meal with His disciples before His arrest, followed by a lightning-fast trial that would lead Him to the cross the very next day. But His work among His disciples was not done, as He continued to enlighten them with His teachings during what is now known as His Last Supper.

The Betrayed – John 13

In rejecting Jesus as the Messianic King, the Jewish leaders proved that they did not understand the very scriptures they were reading and teaching others. Satan had blinded their eyes in the name of religion and in their efforts to hold on to their traditions, they failed to accept the greatest Gift from God. Jesus wanted to highlight His rejection to prepare the disciples for the persecution that was coming their way.

The Comforter – John 14

In rejecting Jesus as the Messianic King, the Jewish leaders proved that they did not understand the very scriptures they were reading and teaching others. Satan had blinded their eyes in the name of religion and in their efforts to hold on to their traditions, they failed to accept the greatest Gift from God. Jesus wanted to highlight His rejection to prepare the disciples for the persecution that was coming their way.

The Vine – John 15 & 16

After answering the questions and doubts that the disciples had brought forward, Jesus uses the illustration of a vine and its branches to help the disciples understand how they are connected to the Father through Him. Throughout the Old Testament, illustrations involving vine usually denoted the Israelites and their failure to comply with God’s instructions….

The Glorified – John 17

While the other Gospel writers have focused on the events that took place in the Garden, John takes a step back and tells us the events before they reached the Garden. Jesus’ longest recorded prayer came just moments before His capture as He prays for Himself, for His disciples and for everyone who will ever…

The Arrested – John 18

After finishing His prayer, Jesus left with His disciples and crossed the Kidron valley. Here, there was a garden where Jesus would often meet with His disciples. Judas, who knew about this place, brought with him the chief priests and Pharisees, along with a detachment of soldiers to the garden where Jesus and the disciples…

The Sin Bearer – John 19

Pilate made one last attempt to convince the Jews as he found no basis for a charge against Jesus. But the Jewish leaders insisted that Jesus had broken their laws by claiming to be the Son of God. Pilate who did not know what to make of this case was even more afraid now and…

The Messiah – John 20

Often we are reduced to our basic understanding of who Christ is. We are not able to fathom the extent of His power when we experience His wondrous works in our lives. Some even try to rationalise His supernatural intervention using medical sciences, their good fortunes and even their wit that gave them a way out of their problems. Mary and the other women who witnessed the empty tomb would have often heard Jesus talk about this day, but when the day finally arrived they were puzzled.

The Epilogue – John 21

Peter and John were the two disciples who experienced Jesus’ trial up close and were also the first of the disciples to reach the tomb of Jesus only to find it empty. Perhaps this is why we are given a short epilogue at the end of John’s account to tie up the loose ends with…

The Bread and the Yeast – Mark 8

During His time in the gentle region, there was another large gathering which caused Jesus to have compassion over the people. Again due to the remoteness of the place, there was no way to feed everyone who had gathered. Jesus asked His disciples to gather up all the bread and fish that they could find…

The Institution of Marriage

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…

The Defiled Are Welcome – Mark 7

Jesus’ popularity had garnered so many admirers that the pharisees in Jerusalem simply could not ignore Him anymore. The scribes and the teachers of the law were sent to the region to keep a close watch on this new man of God that seemingly had the whole northern country of Galilee buzzing with excitement. They…

Flawless Word – Psalm 12

Can we say that our words are flawless? Flawless not with respect to our grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, or even correct usage but about what is in our hearts. Our mouth speaks what we have in our heart, and that is why Bible says that for a fool, it is better not to open his mouth,…

Restoration

In the Old Testament, we see many occasions of restorations such as restoration of hope, of families, and even of kingdoms. We need hope for restoring the things we have lost, especially hope in God. Once, David had lost his family and the families of his warriors, which resulted in hostility from his supporters. Even…

Prophet Without Honor – Mark 6

Having raised the daughter of a prominent synagogue leader, Jesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth and was given a chance to speak in His own synagogue. Those who had gathered were amazed at His teaching and were beginning to question His origins. Where had He learned everything? Isn’t he the son of the carpenter?…

The Restorer – Mark 5

After the ordeal that the disciples faced in the lake, Jesus brought them to the other side, to a place that they perhaps had never visited ever before in their lives. That day they were about to witness three completely different but equally astonishing miracles in the lives of ordinary people like them. Ordinary by…

Our Lord’s Prayer

When we learn our multiplication tables by heart during our formative years, we would recite them from start to end in order to arrive at the product of two numbers. In due course, we understood the concept of multiplication, and without reciting the entire table, were capable of solving the multiplication problem instantly. We all…

The Sermon on the Boat – Mark 4

After His confrontation with the Pharisees, Jesus once again went to the lakeside to reveal the secrets of heaven. He got into the boat and narrated a string of parables focusing on the word of God. There is even a practical application of His teachings as at the end of this sermon on the boat, Jesus asked His disciples to go out to the sea where they faced storms like they had never faced before and their faith in Jesus is tested.

The Case Against Jesus – Mark 3

When watching a nature documentary we realise that even though big cats like lions and tigers are ferocious killing machines, their hunts are usually covert operations. A tiger uses its skin pigmentation to hides among the tall grasses and patiently waits for its hunt. Watching a pack of deers enter its field of vision, would be a mouth-watering prospect for sure, but it still waits for the deer to be separated from its group. Only when the deer is alone perhaps drinking water with its back turned does the tiger pounces on its prey. For an animal who is starving for the flesh, it still knows how to pick the opportune moment. Similarly, satan who is desperate for our soul knows when to stay silent and when to attack. When we feel disconnected from God, satan takes advantage of our situation and tries to separate us from God. He does not have to do much but uses the compassion of our father to sow seeds of doubt in our minds. The same compassion that has sustained us for all our lives, he seeks to use against us. The Pharisees had Jesus cornered and had home-field advantage. All they had to do was just remain silent till Jesus showed His compassionate heart. Then they would pounce on him with a flurry of accusations that will sow seeds of doubts in the hearts of His followers, leaving Jesus vulnerable and be caught by them.

The God of Sinners – Mark 2

Faith can work wonders and bring us even the unexpected. The men had brought their friend to Jesus to make his life on earth easier but by forgiving his sins, Jesus made his eternity better. Jesus knows the heart and he knew what was in the paralyzed man’s heart. When someone around us gets blessed, we try to equate their past actions and try to justify their path to their blessing not knowing anything about their relationship with God. People would have written off the paralysed man as a sinner but Jesus forgave his sins as He looks at the heart. Do we realise that Jesus knows the ins and outs of our hearts, or is our spirit paralysed to not even feel the presence of the Creator in our lives?

The Good News – Mark 1

Although the other Gospel writers, place the arrest of John the Baptist much later, Mark starts his account of Jesus’s ministry after John had been put in prison. On hearing about the arrest of John, Jesus proclaims to His followers that the time has come. The political leaders of Israel were cognizant of the role that the chief priests, Rabbis and even prophets played in keeping the peace. Throughout the Gospel, we read how the Pharisees wanted to prevent an uprising, the very reason they gave to put Jesus on the cross. But the imprisonment of John, a prominent prophet who had a lot of followers from the Judean countryside meant that the government officials were ready to capture and execute the previously protected group of the Jewish leaders. According to them Jesus also fell into that group and coupled with the fact that He was traveling with anarchists within His disciples, made it easier for them to execute Him. This would still happen a couple of years later but Jesus knowing all this told His disciples beforehand.

The Greatest Hits Gospel – Mark (Prologue)

While the accounts of Luke and Matthew tried to capture the early years of Jesus, Mark jumps starts his version from the start of Jesus’s ministry. Since Mark only knew what he heard in the sermons of Peter, Paul and the other apostles, his account seems like a fast-tracked version of Jesus’s ministry. His Gospel often does not match with the chronology followed by the other writers and focuses only on revealing the identity of Jesus as the Messiah and not so much on the minor details that are included in other accounts. Amidst the impending persecution of the Roman churches, Mark’s theme for the Gospel seems to be that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah who did not come to overturn the Roman government but to restore the bridge between humanity and God, by humble dying on the cross.

Prayer for the Oppressed – Psalm 10

While we pray for our protection and blessings, we often forget to pray for the oppressed in our society. While we are ignorant of other’s sufferings, our suffering appears as a big mountain. We might be thinking that people who do not have any problem can only address the issues found in another’s life. For…

Thank You Lord – Psalm 9

Thanking each other is the best etiquette in our society, and it encourages a person to give their best. It is an act of showing the person who helped us that we have identified or realized their kindness.

The Glory of God – Psalm 8

Nature reveals the wondrous work of God, but unfortunately, we do not have the time to admire His creations. The wise of the earth are known for their inventions and their masterpieces, while the creator of heaven and earth is an unsung hero.

Our Refuge – Psalm 7

Taking refuge in God is a unique experience. In a worldly context, taking refuge is about staying in the refugee camps or a rehabilitation centre. People staying at a rehabilitation centre do not need to carry a shield, but the people at the battlefield need to have a shield.

Ananias and Sapphira – ‘Til Death…

In our day-to-day activities with our local church, do we compete with someone? Without understanding their commitment and relationship with God, do we ever force ourselves and our family members to imitate their attitudes? If we continue to do such things, we may face dire consequences like Ananias and Sapphira.

Do Not Rebuke Me – Psalm 6

We instinctively look for the approval of others but do not like their disapproval or corrections. Criticisms, though intended to be constructive, often discourages us and even pushes us to the extreme of withdrawing from our missions. Till the time we do not realize our mistakes, we won’t be ready for corrections.

Shelter to Shadow – Psalm 91

People live in vanity, and they want to show off things that they do not have and do not want to disclose the things they have. A poor person tries to present himself as a rich person, whereas a rich one does not care for such a presentation. A coward speaks much of his imaginary brave acts, while the brave keep quiet. A self-righteous person behaves like a righteous one, while the righteous do not reveal their spiritual standard. People build up false images and hide behind these lies to make a convent with death.

Listen to my Words – Psalm 5

The opening words of this Psalm highlights the confidence that David has in his relationship with God. To attract the attention of a person who is listening to many, we say “Listen to me.” Children use the technique of crying to attract their parent’s attention. The opening words of this Psalm also resemble the action of an adamant grown-up child persistently irritating his parent by repeatedly asking them to grant permission.

Saul’s Haste – 1 Samuel 13

The Philistines had all their soldiers and chariots, “numerous as the sands of the seashore”, and the Israelites were running scared and running out of places to hide. Somehow Saul managed to muster up his troops who were still quaking in fear. He patiently waited seven days for Samuel to arrive and perform his priestly obligations, but after waiting for so long in fear, he finally gave up on waiting for Samuel and performed the offertory ceremony himself. I’ve often asked myself, why was Samuel late and why does Saul after having waited for seven days couldn’t wait a few more hours for Samuel to arrive?

Answer Me When I Call – Psalm 4

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.

The Son of God! – Matthew 27-28

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.

A King is Crowned – 1 Samuel 11&12

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.

The King of The Jews – Matthew 27

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.

The Hunt for a King – 1 Samuel 9-10

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.

The Faithless Faithfuls – Matthew 26

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.

Israel Rejects God – 1 Samuel 6-8

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.

The Defector – Matthew 26

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.

Deliver me, my God! – Psalm 3

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.