The Power and Wisdom of God are revealed in Christ Crucified, not in great miraculous displays, political or economic might.
Our nature orients us to assume that people will be drawn to Christian faith by miraculous displays, “signs and wonders.” Did not Jesus win the crowds with his healing miracles and exorcisms? In fact, despite his many miracles, most of his contemporaries failed to recognize him. Even after spectacularly calming a horrific storm by a brief verbal command, his closest disciples asked – “Who is this man?”
Continue reading POWER AND WISDOM OF GOD
SYNOPSIS – According to the gospel of Mark, the Son of Man is revealed only in his sufferings and death on a Roman Cross – Mark 15:34-39.
A theme threaded through the gospel of Mark is the inability of men to recognize who Jesus is – The Son of God – until after his crucifixion, and then paradoxically, he is declared to be the “Son of God” by the unlikeliest person – The Roman centurion in charge of his execution. What makes this Messiah unrecognizable is his self-identification with the suffering “Son of Man” – (Mark 15:37-39).
Continue reading SON OF GOD IN MARK
SYNOPSIS: Jesus taught that to be a true member of the kingdom of God necessitates a life of self-sacrificial service to others, not power over them – Mark 10:34-45.
As in Mark 9:31-37, once again after predicting his upcoming suffering and death, the disciples of Jesus jockeyed for rank and power in the coming messianic kingdom. As before, Jesus taught them that to be a true member of the kingdom necessitates a life of self-sacrificial service to others rather than power over them. Continue reading Greatness in the Kingdom of God
SYNOPSIS – The types and “shadows” of the old covenant find their substance in the Son – Hebrews 8:1-5.
The epistle to the Hebrews develops its exhortation for believers to persevere in the faith from its theme of fulfillment – What God has accomplished already in Jesus. His partial word has been superseded by the complete one “spoken” in His “Son.” Most likely, the letter was addressed to a congregation with a significant complement of Jewish believers. It was facing the possibility of persecution; consequently, some members began to withdraw from the assembly and were contemplating a return to the synagogue to avoid trouble – (Hebrews 2:15, 10:32-34, 12:4, 10:24-31, 13:24-25).
Continue reading SHADOW OR SUBSTANCE?