Kingdom Transformation

After Jesus instructed Matthew the tax-collector to follow him, Jesus went and ate at Matthew’s home with other tax-collectors. The Pharisees, who observed Jesus’ action, were offended by Jesus’ association with tax-collectors and sinners. The Pharisees lived according to a principle we have today: “Bad company corrupts good character.” However, Jesus hung around tax-collectors andContinue reading “Kingdom Transformation”

Kingdom Potential

Early in his ministry, Jesus revealed himself to be a different type of teacher. He didn’t accept everyone who wished to follow him. The scribe who wished to follow was discouraged because Jesus said he didn’t have a fixed place to live. To the disciple who desired to stay and care for his father untilContinue reading “Kingdom Potential”

Defeating Temptations

Jesus’ 40 days in the desert to be tested by the devil give us a strategy for defeating temptation. First Satan may use our physical needs against us, in order to tempt us to live for ourselves, rather than living in a dependent relationship on our heavenly Father. Jesus refused to use his own powerContinue reading “Defeating Temptations”

Righteous or Self-Righteous

I have learned and am learning that much of God’s truth for us is quite subtle. In Romans chapter 4, Paul makes some statements that are quite easy to gloss over, but when you ponder them, they are quite profound. In Romans 4, Paul uses the case of Abraham to argue the concept of beingContinue reading “Righteous or Self-Righteous”

Understanding God

After Jesus descended from the mountain of transfiguration, he encountered a father, whose son was afflicted by a demon. Jesus dealt with the demon and healed the boy. When the disciples asked Jesus about their inability to cast it out, he said it was their little faith, which raises the question of how was theirContinue reading “Understanding God”

Withholding Judgment

When Jesus healed a demonized blind and mute man, the people wondered if he was the son of David, that is the Messiah, but the Pharisees shut them down saying that he cast out demons by the power of Beelzebub, the chief of demons, that is by Satan. Jesus easily demonstrated the error of theirContinue reading “Withholding Judgment”

Our Inner Life

When Jesus instructed his followers from the mountain, he instructed them on their inner life. Merely religious people tend to practice their religion before others to be admired by them for their righteousness. However, Jesus’ followers cultivate an inner righteousness by following Jesus when no is there to see them, because they understand that trueContinue reading “Our Inner Life”

Kingdom Values

When Jesus observed individuals making contributions to the temple treasury, he made a surprising observation revealing that Jesus doesn’t necessarily take quantity into account, but sacrifice. While many gave more than the poor widow, she sacrificed more, because she gave all she had to live on. This is what pleases Jesus, what we sacrifice inContinue reading “Kingdom Values”

God’s Image Revealed

It intrigues me how Jesus revealed truth in unexpected situations. When some Pharisees and Herodians came to test him about paying taxes to Caesar, they hoped to discredit Jesus before the people or accuse him before the Romans. If Jesus said that they should pay their taxes, he would have been discredited before the people,Continue reading “God’s Image Revealed”

Living and Following Truth

The story of the rich ruler, in Mark 10 identified as a man who ran up to Jesus, reveals the cost of entering the Kingdom of God. His decision to keep his wealth and not follow Jesus, reminds me of what martyred missionary Jim Elliot had said that one is no fool who gives upContinue reading “Living and Following Truth”