Faith is typically associated with one gritting their teeth in blind belief or hoping for something to come to pass when there is no proof or evidence that it will. The Bible's definition of "faith" is far from this. The God of Israel has given ample historical evidence to help us affirm his words as… Read More »
Though trials come to our lives and when wickedness prevails in the world, the hope that the Bible holds out for disciples of Jesus is far from ambiguous. The apocalyptic hope of the first century Jew focused on the coming day of God and the resurrection of the dead, and with a clear picture and… Read More »
Following Jesus is costly. In Luke 14, Jesus says that if we don't count the cost from the beginning, we won't be able to be his disciple. This message is rarely heard in Western Christianity because we've lost the hope and expectation that first century Jews had for the future.
The common modern understanding of the Gospel is that "Jesus died and rose again so we can go to heaven when we die", but Luke writes several times that people proclaimed "the gospel" before Jesus even said that he was going to die and rise again (Luke 3:18, Luke 9:1-6, Luke 20:1). So, what would… Read More »
In Matthew 6, Jesus encourages the Jews to store up "treasures in heaven". Is Jesus telling his hearers that when they get to heaven he will give them a box of Legos or a gold necklace or a white stone if they stop looking at pornography? Jesus' original Jewish hearers would have understood the phrase… Read More »
How should we read the Bible and relate to the words within its pages? Scripture should be read through the eyes and the worldview of the people that God picked and prompted to produce it, and we should recognize that the authors were writing to people that lived at the same time as they did.… Read More »
In Matthew 28:18, Jesus says that "all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me". These words are not often discussed, but when they are, they are seen through the lens of realized eschatology as if Jesus' reign and judgment has begun. However, the apostles offer direct commentary on Jesus' words and… Read More »
In Luke 9:23-26, Jesus says that his disciples must embrace the difficulty and suffering that comes their way as the result of their obedience. A clear vision of the judgment seat and the age to come is the necessary component that Biblical authors give us as the means of perseverance in discipleship.
Jesus of Nazareth was an ethnic descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and his life and words are best understood in the context of the common Jewish apocalyptic view of history in the first century. In this short video, I explain why this often overlooked idea is important for modern Gentile disciples of Jesus.
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