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Monthly Archives: December 2010

Why the Silence?

Jesus - No Childhood

from Google Images

Aside from Jesus’ birth accounts and his trip to Jerusalem at age twelve, these are the only records we have of his early childhood and youth. Why? Why didn’t the apostles record anything for us about how he grew up? Wouldn’t this also be of use to us, if we are supposed to follow his example? Well, actually, the accounts of the early years of Jesus are in perfect harmony with similar accounts of people of the Old Testament like Jacob, Joseph, Moses and David. Aside from a few snapshots of their lives as babes or their youth, we have nothing concerning them either! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2010 in Christianity, Jesus, Religion

 

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Three Trips to Jerusalem

Jesus at 12

from Google Imaages

Luke records three trips to Jerusalem made by Mary and Joseph in the second chapter of his Gospel. During the first trip, Jesus was born and presented before the Lord, being the first male child of Mary who opened her womb. While Mary and Joseph were in the Temple performing the duties of the Law, they marveled at the words of prophecy spoken by Simeon and Anna. Jesus’ parents learned about their Son, while they obeyed the commands of the Law. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2010 in Christianity, Gospel, Religion

 

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How Did You Come to Know Jesus?

Jesus tells us in the Scriptures that we have not chosen him, but he has chosen us (John 15:16)! He goes on to say that no one can actually come to him unless the Father draws him (John 6:44), implying that we are unable to come to Jesus on our own. In other words, our coming to know Jesus is really a supernatural event. We may respond, but our response itself is prompted by God (Ephesians 2:4-10) So, how is it that you have come to know Jesus? Have you ever really asked yourself this question? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2010 in Christianity, Christmas, Religion

 

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Silent Night

La vierge aux raisins
Image via Wikipedia

Matthew is quite unlike Luke in his presentation of the birth account of Jesus. In Matthew Jesus’ birth is shrouded in mystery! In his first chapter he presents Jesus ancestry in a manner that both offends the reader and compels him to decide one way or another about Jesus. He is the King in a manger—God become man—the response to the curse of God or he is none of these. Chapter one brings us to Jesus’ birth, and chapter two begins with: “Now when Jesus was born…”, leaving this silent night in which the birth had taken place without a word of explanation. Luke fills in the gap, but Matthew leaves the reader at the gap which turns out to be a kind of gate through which only the believer may pass through.[1] Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2010 in Christianity, Christmas, Religion

 

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Jesus’ Roots!

I remember watching the TV miniseries “Roots” ~ a dramatization of author Alex Haley’s family line beginning with Kunta Kinte’s enslavement to his descendants’ liberation. My family watched each of the eight programs with great interest. I think one’s family history is not only interesting to one’s self, but to many others as well. One’s genealogy seems to personalize history, makes it more real, I think. I believe one or two of the episodes of “Roots” held ratings records for the most watched program for a few years afterward. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2010 in Christianity, Christmas, Religion

 

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God’s Love Letter to You!

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Merry Christmas!

For unto us a Child is born,

Unto us a Son is given:

And the government shall be upon His shoulder:

And His name shall be called

Wonderful,

Counselor,

The Mighty God,

The Everlasting Father,

The Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end,

Upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment

And with justice from henceforth even forever.

The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

(Isaiah 9:6-7 KJV)

YouTube – Jesus’ Loveletter.

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2010 in Christianity, Christmas, Religion

 

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The King Born in a Stable!

It is difficult to imagine a more humble beginning for a king than that of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem in a stable. He was born on the Feast of Trumpets, the 1st day of the seventh month in the Jewish calendar. The shepherds were watching their flocks on the night of his birth, so it could not have been winter as our December 25th dating suggests, because that would have been too cold for the sheep to be in the fields. They would have been corralled for the evening or even placed in a shelter, if it had been winter time. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2010 in Christianity, Christmas, Religion

 

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Immanuel—God with Us!

It has been claimed by some that Matthew’s reference to Isaiah 7:14 in Matthew 1:23 is out of context, that Isaiah’s sign to appear centuries later would mean nothing to King Ahaz during his then present trouble. The kings of Syria and Samaria were allied and had plotted to destroy the Judean monarchy and set up a puppet government friendly to their own interests (2Kings 16:5). But, is this conclusion correct, namely, if a virgin didn’t conceive in the days of Ahaz, how can Matthew’s reference to Isaiah be correct for Jesus? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2010 in Christianity, Christmas, Religion

 

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Fleshing Out the Invisible God!

We are told in John 1:14 that God (John 1:1) became a human being. To say that God became a man implies that he was not a man prior to his becoming one. It also implies a prior existence in some other form, before his becoming man. Basically, this is what Paul tells us in chapter two of his epistle to the Philippians. Jesus was equal with God (the Father), but did not retain equality with him and thus emptied himself (i.e. his divine form) in order to take a human form (Philippians 2:6-7). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2010 in Christianity, Christmas, Religion

 

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Jesus Came to an Unprepaired Nation!

As I consider the fact that the royal visit of the magi to Jerusalem, I have to wonder about how little the Jewish nation was prepared to meet their Messiah. After all, Daniel had predicted the very day he would arrive upon the scene. If the very day of his arrival had been prophesied centuries earlier, why were the Jews so unprepared? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2010 in Christianity, Christmas, Religion

 

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The Shepherds’ Rumor Ends in Tragedy

As the shepherds watched their flocks during the night of Jesus’ birth, an angelic host appeared to them, telling them that the Messiah was born in Bethlehem. These shepherds were rugged men and not held in high esteem socially. Yet, they were chosen by God and invited to witness Jesus’ birth while kings and the privileged of society slept. Indeed, not even the scribes or Pharisees, or any of Jewish religious leaders were consulted or told of what had transpired, unless they heard the rumor that was begun by these chosen shepherds. Yes, this is how they had to have found out, for the shepherds repeated what the angel had told them to all who would listen and all who heard were astonished (Luke 2:17-18). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2010 in Christianity, Christmas, Religion

 

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The World Census of Caesar Augustus

from Google Images

from Google Images

Many believe that Jesus was born in Bethlehem at the time of a world tax levied by Caesar Augustus (Luke 2:1), but this is not so. In fact, it is due to this error that many critics think Luke contradicted Matthew who dated Jesus’ birth before Herod’s death, but Rome’s tax levied in Jerusalem didn’t occur until after the death of Herod. The fact is that Rome never taxed the Jews until Herod’s son, Archelaus, proved to be an unworthy leader of Judea and was exiled to Vienne in Gaul. At this time Quirinius, the Roman governor of Syria, took authority over Judea, Samaria and Idumea and took account of the value of Jews’ property and substance and levied a tax upon them to be sent to Rome. While Herod was alive, he (Herod) taxed the people according to his will and sent a tribute to Rome. Rome did not directly tax Judea until about 6 CE, when Caesar banished Archelaus. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2010 in Christianity, Christmas, Religion

 

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The ‘Virgin Births’ of Other Faiths

People on the discussion boards today keep wanting to inform me that the Virgin Birth of Jesus as expressed in the New Testament is nothing more than a copy of an earlier Greek myth or even myths out of the Hindu, Zoroastrian or Buddhist faiths. What about this? Is what these people say actually so? Well, if anyone wishes to know the truth about these things, it is available to anyone who has an open mind and wishes to know. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2010 in Christianity, Christmas, Religion

 

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The Price of Obedience

Have you ever had to explain yourself to someone who didn’t believe you? Though you were innocent of all accusations leveled at you, no one would believe your explanation. It is not difficult to understand the predicament Mary was in, once she consented to Gabriel’s announcement that she would bring Christ to the world. Can you visualize what Mary’s friends thought when she returned from her three-month stay with Elizabeth? What was her family’s reaction, and what about Joseph? The fact is Mary put everything on the line—her hopes for the future, her reputation—in fact all her relationships were affected by her choice to receive the life of Jesus within her. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2010 in Christianity, Christmas, Religion

 

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Did the Jews Expect the Virgin Birth?

Inspirational Bible Verses
Image by Isolino via Flickr

What do you think? Did the Jews believe when the Messiah would come that he would be Virgin-Born? If not, is the virgin birth a correct interpretation of the Scriptures? Many think that if the Jews couldn’t imagine something to be true, how could they have understood the thing to be true once it occurred? In other words, if they weren’t expecting a Messiah like Jesus, how could they be judged for not receiving him? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2010 in Christianity, Christmas, Religion

 

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