Over the past several years my friendship with Jesus has grown tremendously by studying His life. The 89 chapters of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John offer far more than surface-level details about our Lord. The more I've sought clarity about Him through the four Gospels, the more I've realized that I've had some wrong assumptions about Him. Because I care about Him, I care about people knowing the truth about Him. So this post is the first of several where I'll talk about some common misconceptions about Jesus' life. I...
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The blogosphere and social media world have recently been filled with news of atrocities taking place all over the Middle East (some of which are just rumors spread by social media). One of the affected cities is Mosul, Iraq where a Muslim group, ISIS, has taken control. Christians have been driven from their homes and forced to renounce Christ at the penalty of death. Syrian Christians have recently also been heavily oppressed by Muslims.
If we were Christians living in the Roman...
Jesus heads north to Galilee after John the Baptist was imprisoned, but first passes through Samaria. Unlike His reception in Jerusalem, Jesus was joyfully received by the Samaritan people. This episode discusses the significance of Jesus' exchange with the woman near Jacob's well.
As Jesus' disciples were baptizing, a dispute arises between John's disciples and a Jew over purification. John the Baptist gives a noble answer to them, calling himself a "friend of the bridegroom". Soon after, the Jewish authorities throw John in prison, sending Jesus and His new disciples north into Galilee. Learn more about the transition in this episode.
At some point after Jesus cleanses the Temple, He meets with Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. In this well-known scene in John 3, Jesus corrects Nicodemus' confidence and hope. Jesus was indeed the Messiah but would not establish His kingdom by an insurrection, and adherence to the Law of Moses qualify anyone to be a part of it. With a historical and biblical background, Jesus' words with Nicodemus take on a meaning that is quite different from the understanding of many today.
The very first, overtly public act of Jesus' ministry was the cleansing of the Temple in Jerusalem. Jesus drove out money changers and those selling animals, indicting the Jewish authorities and asserting His authority over the temple. Learn why this event is so important to the story of the Gospels in this episode.
What was the Temple in Jerusalem like in Jesus' day? It was absolutely magnificent - in fact, it was one of the wonders of the ancient world. Not only was it beautiful, but it was large. The entire complex was roughly the area of 35 football fields! This episode briefly examines the features of the Temple that Jesus knew.
Perhaps only a week after His emergence from the wilderness, Jesus heads to Cana in Galilee with His new disciples for a wedding celebration. When the wine runs out, Jesus creates nearly 150 gallons of wine from water. While it's important to see that this was not a "public" beginning to His ministry, it was at Cana that His disciples began to believe in Him.
Just another day later according to John's gospel, Jesus meets a friend of Philip's named Nathanael. Nathanael enthusiastically confesses his belief in Jesus as the Christ. This episode expounds on the significance of Jesus' words about the heavens opening and "angels ascending and descending on the son of man". What a glorious passage!
Just two days after emerging from the wilderness, Jesus meets a handful of fishermen from Galilee in Bethany beyond the Jordan. Andrew, John, Peter, Philip, and Nathanael would go on to spend more time with Jesus before returning to fish up north. This episode will examine this scene and clarify the chronology of the early chapters of John in relation to the other gospels.