Jesus final days were spent teaching in the Temple. There were so many lessons left to share; Jesus had to be wondering how he could fit them all in. These teachable moments were often interrupted by confrontation.
Today we see how the religious leaders were trying to trip up Jesus and interrupt the flow of his teaching. Because they were so offended by his popularity, they had to know who had given Jesus the authority to speak and preach as he had been. What other motives may they have had? We see how brilliantly Jesus turns the inquisition around so the leaders are left speechless. But they didn’t walk away. They stayed and listened.
Continue reading “Luke 20:1-19 – Jesus Teaches Us”
Obadiah speaks to the reasons Edom is facing their judgment. They sinned for their evil behavior against their own relatives. This passage leaves no doubt “why” calamity would fall on Edom. The Edomites brought it on themselves for more than one reason.
There is so much emphasis on “you should not have” in this reading. We often kick ourselves after doing something we realize later was a mistake. Don’t we say, “I should have known better.” The Edomites won’t get a chance to say that since they will all be destroyed. All they have is the advance warning which sets the expectation for what is coming in motion.
Continue reading “Obadiah 10-14 – You Should Not Have…”
We can shake our head at Jonah’s response, but then we should probably look at the mirror. We, too, have had times in our life when we have been angry at God for one reason or another. Have we, like Jonah, ever been angry at God because of God’s mercy and grace?
Jonah seemed appalled that God changed his mind. Was it because now Jonah looked “bad” for delivering a false message? Nobody wants to look stupid, especially when doing work for God. I suppose that’s why a lot of believers keep their mouths shut because they don’t want to say the wrong thing or look unprepared when spreading the gospel. In reality, I’m sure the people of Nineveh were delighted that God had given them a reprieve. They didn’t give the messenger another thought.
Continue reading “Jonah 4:1-11 – Being Angry at God”
We don’t see people today wearing burlap as a sign of cleansing and repentance. But in Jonah’s time, it would have been amazing to see, even the king, listening and responding to the warning from God. What Jonah proclaimed was destruction. He didn’t give them an “unless.” That is, Nineveh will be destroyed unless you repent! But the people showed their respect, and their tears of sorrow melted God’s heart.
It was quite unexpected to see the people of Nineveh believing God’s word. I think of the Israelites who went on and on living their idol worshipping lives despite the efforts of Jeremiah, for example. He told them to repent because their worship of other gods angered the one true God.
Continue reading “Jonah 3:1-10 – Are You Ready?”
Read Luke 13:18-30
The Kingdom of God. Have you ever truly fathomed what this is? Is it heaven? Is it where God reigns? Jesus wants to make it clear to us, but do these parables help? Let’s unpack them a little.
First, we have the mustard seed. If you have never seen a mustard seed, it is tiny. Yet, one seed can produce a tree 30 feet tall. Jesus came quietly into the world, not as people were expecting for their Messiah. His following started small, and according to Pew Research, in 2015, Christians made up 31.2% of the world population or 2.3 billion people. To me, by this example, the Kingdom of God would then be understood as those following Jesus. Continue reading “Luke 13:18-30 – How Can I See the Kingdom?”