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 »
Category Archives: Christmas
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. Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
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
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)
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 »
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 »
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 »