As Jesus reveals to the disciples what will happen to him, he presses the point that both he, and his disciples, will be known through how they handle the cross.
When we look into the night sky we feel a sense of insignificance. We’re just a pale blue dot in a sea of darkness speckled with light. This makes us comfortable so we distract ourselves with pleasure, entertainment, and consumption, but the feeling never leaves. The Bible, on the other hand, does not distract from, but rather embraces our smallness as a means of magnifying the grace of God. The infinite God of the universe bestows upon us his image. He gives us a destiny not of oblivion, bu...
Jesus questions his disciples regarding who the people are saying he is and then, who the disciples say he is.
Let’s do a quick orthodoxy test. What do you think about this statement: “The central doctrine of the gospel is the atonement of Jesus Christ.” Sounds great, right? Well this statement comes from the Church of Latter Day-Saints commonly referred to as the Mormons. They use the same words as Christians but mean entirely different things by those words. Specifically, they deny the deity of Jesus Christ. Our salvation depends upon getting Jesus right. Hebrews demonstrates for us that the early ...
Jesus warns the disciples to not be formed by the teaching of the day, but to follow Him.
As Jesus interacts with a Canaanite women, his merciful response reveals that the kingdom is for all of those who would put their faith in him.
Jesus responds to the Pharisees' question about his disciples by challenging their tradition and exposing their hypocrisy.
Jesus displays his power as he walks on the water in the midst of a storm.
Paul describes how in dying to law he lives to Christ through faithful union with him.
Jesus coming reveals that God is love, shows God is love, and shares the love of God with His people.
In this season of expectations, we are reminded that for those who find their hope in Christ, there is a present and future joy to hold on to.
For those that find themselves in Christ, the offer of Christmas is peace.
Through Old Testament prophecies, we consider the meaning of hope and the tension of present reality and future promise.
As Jesus' ministry and kingship are put in contrast to John the Baptist and Herod, his authority is displayed.
As Jesus uses fishing imagery to explain what the kingdom of heaven is like, he returns to the idea of coming judgement.
As Jesus continues to teach in parables, he uses three illustrations to explain the kingdom of heaven, inviting us to consider the surpassing worth of receiving the gift of being part of this kingdom.
How often do you think about the second coming of Christ? This critical doctrine of our faith either gets sensationalized with respect to current events or passed over for the sake of other more relevant topics like marriage, parenting, or anxiety management. But the second coming of Christ dominated the mind of the Apostle Peter. His focus on the second coming only increases as his death nears. Our lack of attention to the final judgment reveals a distorted vision of our place within histor...
Jesus continues to teach through parables and compares the kingdom of God to a farmer’s field, depicting the reality of a fallen world and pointing forward to the future judgement.
The book of Proverbs warns us against people who “like the glaze covering an earthen vessel” possess “fervent lips with an evil heart (Proverbs 6:23).” Rarely do false teachers get on stage and announce boldly, “Believe this heresy!” The seduction of false teaching comes from the subtle prodding of our sinful desires. False teachers come draped with the pretense of love, compassion, and the fulfillment of our dreams. Behind every narcissistic celebrity lies a drove of zealous fans who feed t...
Jesus teaches the crowds about the Word through the parable of the sower and later explains the meaning of this teaching to his disciples.
In 1981 the movie Clash of the Titans came out which depicted on the big screen the Greek myth of Perseus. It famously featured a claymation Medusa emerging from the shadows with snakes writhing out of her head. We’d probably laugh at the outdated special effects today, but for the time Clash of the Titans captured the imaginations of audiences worldwide because this myth highlighted timeless virtues of courage, hope, and wisdom. Whether or not the events actually occurred didn’t matter. Tha...
Jesus responds to the questions of the Pharisees in a surprising manner by condemning the seeking of signs, reflecting on the spiritual dangers of an empty, orderly life, and inviting all to the Father.
How would you respond if God revealed to you the manner of your death? You’d probably lose a lot of sleep. For most of us death exists as an abstract concept that happens to people “out there”. But for Peter his death loomed large over his life. Listen to Jesus’s words to Peter in the gospel of John, “Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and c...
As Jesus establishes his kingdom through his ministry, he overthrows the dominion of Satan. For those in his kingdom, the reign of Christ in hearts and minds implies a purified way of living, especially with how we speak.
What is a pastor? According to the New Testament he is first and foremost a shepherd. But before we conjure up tranquil visions of rolling green pastures we must understand that the job of a shepherd required hard work. Shepherds were required not only to feed their sheep, but also guide them away from predators. The Kings of the OT were referred to as shepherds entrusted with the care and protection of God’s people. Jesus speaks of himself as a good shepherd. In 1 Peter 5, Peter exhorts the...
Jesus is challenged by the Pharisees regarding the Sabbath.
Christians who talk about the end times attract a lot of eye rolls. We’ve all seen the guy on a street corner with a cardboard sign with red letters that say “the end is near”. But Jesus and the Apostles spend a great deal of their ministry warning people that the “end is at hand”. Jesus preaches with apocalyptic fury calling people to repent in light of coming judgement. He also encourages Christians not to buckle in the face of suffering in light of that same judgement. The Apostle Peter c...
Jesus teaches about how people should respond to God and the path to the Father.
Peter spends a great deal of his first letter exhorting Christians to endure present suffering by setting their minds on future hope by faith. In doing this, Christians follow in the footsteps of Christ who entrusted himself to his Father in the midst of unjust suffering. To follow Christ is to walk the path of suffering then glory. But future hope does not replace present faithfulness. Christians must live distinct from the world as sojourners and exiles as they await their final hope. The ...
John the Baptist, imprisoned and doubting, sends his followers to Jesus who answers by rooting his ministry in Old Testament prophesy.
Understanding First Peter continues with a look at the Apostle's instructions for early Christians in difficult situations. Peter applies the example of Christ's unjust suffering to the spheres of government, slavery, and marriage. These words continue to challenge Christians today with regard to authority, submission, and honorable conduct among non-Christians.
Jesus instructs the disciples, challenging where their allegiances should lie and preparing them for how to go out as one sent by Him.
Understanding 1 Peter continues in this episode as we look at the identity of God's people and why it matters. Peter points to the Old Testament people of God as a framework for the New Testament people of God. From this insight flows a slew of moral implications for Christians in the first and twenty-first century. We also talk about how Christians find comfort in the midst of persecution and trials by fixing their eyes on Christ's own narrative of suffering and glory.
Jesus sends the disciples as sheep among wolves.
Understanding 1 Peter begins with a dive into the profound themes of 1 Peter 1:1-21. In this episode, we unpack the enduring message of hope and faith in the face of trials, emphasizing the call to live holy and obedient lives as strangers in a foreign land. Join us as we navigate the rich terrain of salvation, grace, and the precious inheritance that believers receive through Christ's redemption. As we journey through these verses, we'll also reflect on our innate longing for home in the ne...
We continue learning about the life of Christ in the Gospel of Matthew as Matthew shows how Jesus fulfills the prophecy that God will be a shepherd to his people.
Jesus’s miracles preach a message — that he is Lord of all creation. This message provokes crowds in both the first and the twenty-first century to consider the claims of Jesus on their lives. Each healing demonstrates Jesus’s authority as the Son of David to bring healing, restoration, and resurrection into this present world.
We continue learning about the life of Christ in the Gospel of Matthew as Jesus calls Matthew to follow him and summarizes the purpose of his ministry.
We continue learning about the life of Christ in the Gospel of Matthew as Jesus returns to his hometown, Capernaum, and responds to a desperate act of faithfulness by healing a man from his paralysis while reminding us that he came to save his people from their sins.
Jesus speaks about the cost of following Him and how urgent it is, and He also tells us how fear impacts our faith through the story of Jesus calming the storm.
Jesus heals three different people. Each healing has a different theme, but all the healings show Jesus's authority.
Zechariah 14 features many mysteries that even the brightest Christian minds stumble over. We need to tread with humility as we attempt to interpret these verses. One helpful north star to help us interpret these passages is to see them in light of the New Testament. Jesus sees himself as the center of a New Israel. He takes along twelve disciples which equals the twelve tribes of Israel. He leaves Egypt as a child like Israel’s Exodus, fights temptation in the wilderness for 40 days which e...
The Holy Spirit plays a central role in Zechariah. The Old Testament does not name the third member of the Trinity, but references his activity as the engine that brings about restoration and revival. Old Testament prophecy gives the outline that the New Testament fills in. In Zechariah 12-13:6 we see the Spirit’s activity as a major sign that God will do a new thing in the future that brings about repentance, revival, and restoration. His power will cause those who “pierced” their shepherd ...
Jesus tells us that Christians are marked by good fruit and endurance as they are building their foundation on the solid rock.
The story of the Old Testament is the story of Israel repeating the same history over and over again. God blesses them with prosperity and they take that blessing and use it to chase after other gods. If the OT have one message it’s this: learn from history and repent. Zechariah 10-11 continues that prophetic tradition by contrasting God the good shepherd with the wicked shepherds of Israel’s leaders. All of this comes together in a live-action sign performed by Zechariah to remind Israel of...
This sermon goes through Psalm 125 - God's presence and power and how it gives us a sturdy hope.
Jesus invites us to come to Him at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, and He gives a warning.
Everyone loves a good underdog story. Whether you cheer on the Cinderella team who defies all odds to make it to a championship game or the overlooked player who finally gets a chance to shine we all want to pull for the little guy. Underdog stories testify to the power of grit, determination, and self-belief. In many ways the victory of Israel over their enemies is an underdog story but with one significant difference: the victory comes not from their own power, self-belief, or determinatio...
In Zechariah 1-6, we encountered a series of visions given to the prophet Zechariah about God’s promise to the returned exiles of a New Jerusalem with a New Temple that surpasses the old in glory. In Zechariah 7-8, the mode of revelation shifts from an emphasis on visions to specific words about Israel’s past and future. Despite the difference in mode the message remains the same: Israel must not only return to the land, but to the Lord. They must not only rebuild the Temple, but also their ...
Jesus tells us how we should position ourselves in asking and seeking and knocking, and He tells us the posture we are to have when praying for these things.