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Episode 22 - The Shepherds, part 2

Posted on December 31, 2013

Lowly shepherds are given the "good news" that a baby who was "Christ the Lord" had been born in Bethlehem. Before they could even compose themselves, Luke 2 tells us that a multitude of the "heavenly host" appeared to them in the sky in a valley just outside Bethlehem. But are these angels really choirs that are "sweetly singing o'er the plains"? The answer the Bible gives may surprise you. Find out in this episode!

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Episode 21 - The Shepherds, part 1

Posted on December 24, 2013

God could have announced the birth of Jesus to the elite ruling class in Jerusalem, but He chose to tell the outcasts of Jewish society. A lowly band of shepherds were the first to hear of the birth of "Christ the Lord" in Bethlehem. This episode discusses the political and military implications of the weighty phrase, "Christ the Lord" and links it to the developing story of the Gospels.

An extended supplemental episode on the meaning of "Messiah" / "Christ" can be watched here...

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Biblical Foundations of "Messiah" and "Christ"

Posted on December 24, 2013

In today's culture, "Christ" is often a synonym for "Jesus" or perhaps His last name. "Messiah" is a synonym for "Savior" and often just means "the one who died on the cross for us". While there is some measure of truth to those things, "Christ" and "Messiah" have largely been misunderstood. You may be surprised when you find out what the Bible is really saying when the scriptures use those words!

This video is a supplement to Episode 21 of Opening Up the Gospels. Watch the original episode...

Blog entry

John Piper's "The Innkeeper"

Posted on December 19, 2013

Throughout this Advent season, I've been narrating the circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus in several episodes of Opening Up the Gospels. Last year during Advent, I came across a fictional work that was deeply encouraging to me: a poem called The Innkeeper by Pastor John Piper. Though there is much uncertainty surrounding Mary and Joseph's arrival in Bethlehem, their place of residence, and if there was actually an "innkeeper" as we have typically imagined, I wanted to share Piper's poem again this year in hope that...

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Episode 20 - The Birth of Jesus, part 3

Posted on December 17, 2013

What does the helpless Babe lying in an animal feed trough tell us about what God is like? In the story of Jesus' birth as recorded in Matthew and Luke, we are given a window into His breathtaking meekness and humility. From the circumstances leading up to His birth to that beautiful moment in Bethlehem, God forever declared His love and desire for the creatures He made to be with Him and to see His glory.

Blog entry

Advent and Christmas Resources

Posted on December 11, 2013

Over the past several years I've written, recorded, or published numerous resources to encourage the body of Christ during the winter holidays. As we are progressing through yet another Advent and Christmas season, I wanted to share them with you. I trust they will strengthen your faith and deepen your fellowship with Jesus as you ponder His birth this year.

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Episode 19 - The Birth of Jesus, part 2

Posted on December 10, 2013

So often we approach the little town of Bethlehem and peer at the Babe in that manger and walk away saying "isn't that cute, thank you Jesus for your coming". Yet if we are to be true to Scripture, we have to remember we're not only looking at the first sinless human since Adam in the garden, but we're seeing God in the flesh. This episode discusses the fear of the Lord and the measure of awe and reverence we should have when pondering this scene from the Gospels.

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Episode 18 - The Birth of Jesus, part 1

Posted on December 3, 2013

In the little town of Bethlehem in southern Israel, Jesus, the future King of Israel and the Maker of all things, is born to two young, frightened parents. What was this really like? Though our yearly Christmas pageants and Hollywood have taken creative license on many of the details, the story of Jesus' birth from the Gospels is a remarkable one. This episode examines just a couple of verses from Luke 2.