Welcome to the book of Nehemiah! In this book we meet another player in God’s rebuilding and restoration plan. Timelines and everything can get confusing, but the 20th year of King Artaxerxes’ reign is mentioned. That would historically place Nehemiah after Ezra.
God’ restoration plan will now focus on the enclosure to the great city of Jerusalem. Rebuilding the wall is the vision God will place on Nehemiah’s heart. Nehemiah is already overcome with emotion thinking that the home of his ancestors lies in ruin, the walls crumbled and unsuitable for protection.
Continue reading “Nehemiah 1:1-11 – Nehemiah’s Prayer”
Our journey to the cross with Jesus continues, and today we see Jesus teaching in the Temple. The topic in this reading seems to be very timely for us today, too. But we miss the point if we think that Jesus was talking about a specific set of calamities. In every age, there have been false prophets and plenty of natural disasters. Yet Jesus wanted to include this lesson so his followers would know what to expect. Even more, he didn’t want them to be afraid.
Jesus wanted to prepare us so that we would not be led astray. Over the centuries, there have been plenty of examples of people claiming to be the Messiah or making predictions about Jesus’ return. Jesus warns us about that. “Don’t panic,” he says. All of these things will take place as Jesus said, but his words are meant to calm us not elicit fear.
Continue reading “Luke 21:5-38 – What the Future Holds”