The baptism of Jesus is a very familiar scene to many, but there is so much confusion about it. Why was Jesus baptized and how does it tie into the greater story of the Gospels and the Old Testament? This episode looks at those moments in Bethany beyond the Jordan and connects Jesus' baptism to His identity as God's "son", the promised descendant of David who would rule as king from Jerusalem.
All resources referencing 2 Samuel 7
Luke 2 tells us about an aged Jew, Simeon, who had been eagerly waiting for the fulfillment of all of God's promises to Israel. The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that the child Jesus would be the One who would bring all that the Prophets had promised to pass. But Jesus would be much more - according to Simeon, He would divide Israel and cause the truth about how Israel really felt about God to be exposed.
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...
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...
On a real night over 2000 years ago, Joseph lay his head down to sleep, undoubtedly troubled in his soul as everything in his life had been turned upside down. The one he loved was pregnant, and not by him! But on that night, he received a dream from the Lord in which an angel gave him confidence to take Mary as his wife. The child within her was indeed of the Holy Spirit, and she had not been unfaithful to him as he presumed. This episode discusses Matthew 1, verses 20-25.
After at least 9 months of being mute, Zechariah's son John is born. His tongue is loosed and he prophesies that his child will "go before the Lord to prepare his ways". Mary returns to Nazareth, seemingly after John was born, and walks into perhaps the hardest season of her life thus far. She had returned home after 3 months and was showing her pregnancy. What must this have been like for this "highly favored" young woman? Find out in this episode.
While Herod and the leaders of the Jews are filled with self-importance and jockey for power in Jerusalem, God's eyes are on two expectant mothers in a small house in southern Israel. Mary and Elizabeth, the mother of Jesus and John, were the two most important people on the planet at the time. This episode looks at Mary's visit to Elizabeth from Luke 1.
Once again scripture records the angel Gabriel's appearance, this time to a young girl named Mary from a despised town in northern Israel called Nazareth. Not only did Gabriel tell Mary that she was going to be with child by the Holy Spirit, but that her son would be the king that God had promised to David many years before. What was this like and what was Mary's reaction to Gabriel's words? This episode looks at Luke 1:26-38.
Today, Christians in the Western tradition celebrate "Ascension Day", commemorating the day of Jesus' ascension into the heavens to retake His place on His throne of glory. The church calendar marks 40 days following the day of His resurrection, according to Acts 1:3:
“He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3 ESV)
The magnitude of the ascension is overwhelming. This was not just Jesus' "disappearing act". The place...
There is much talk in the church today about "inheritance". From healing and the ending of injustices to great revival and financial prosperity, what some have haphazardly or intentionally called the "inheritance" of the believer either falls far short or is completely set against the Bible's description of our inheritance. Put simply, we have mistaken our childhood $5/week 'allowance' for an opulent estate and ownership of the family business.
A day is coming when God will dwell among men on the earth again (Revelation 21:3), when there is no more death, sorrow, crying...