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Tag Archives: enemies

The Would-be Followers of Jesus

Friends

from Google Images

As Jesus journeyed toward Jerusalem, a certain man volunteered to follow him wherever he went (Luke 9:57). According to Matthew, this certain man (Luke 9:57) was a Jewish scribe / rabbi (Matthew 8:19-20). News of Jesus’ victories at Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles seemed to make Jesus untouchable. Many of the rulers of the synagogues believed on Jesus, but they feared to publicly announce their positions for fear of ostracism and their positions in the synagogue being taken away by the Pharisees and other Jewish authorities (cf. John 12:42-43). Nevertheless, news of Jesus healing a man born blind and a child born a demoniac seemed to turn the tide of public opinion. Even the authorities began to think Jesus was now unstoppable. Therefore, there was no time like the present to stand with him. Who would dare say or do anything against Jesus now? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Jairus’ Heart

jairus-1

from Google Images

One may understand from the reading of the Parable of the Sower, that the people who have a heart for Jesus (their hearts = “the good ground” – Luke 8:8, 15) are people who are also strong in their faith. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case when one considers the meaning in the light of what occurs later in chapter eight of Luke. Who would consider a recently healed demoniac as someone having strong faith? Moreover, consider the woman with an issue of blood for twelve years. It seems her understanding bordered on the occult rather than the Scriptures, and once she was healed, Jesus had to cause her to come forward and admit what had happened to her. Only when she did this was she able to receive a better understanding of what had occurred to her. These are not incidents of great faith, but weak faith. Nevertheless, they do represents the hearts that Jesus calls good ground in the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:8, 15). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Our Adversary

devilContrary to what is normally assumed about the content of 1Peter 5:8, there is nothing in the context of this verse that would point to a spirit being, to whom we often refer as the Devil or Satan. To believe that Peter suddenly and without warning points to such an enemy as this, seems counterproductive and simply doesn’t fit in with how he presents the context of the persecution at hand. Rather the word Peter uses simply means enemy and the same Greek word is used by Jesus in Matthew 5:24 where he says to “agree with your adversary” in hope to settle a matter before it got worse. Peter is speaking of the believers’ human adversaries who are looking for opportunities to cause them trouble. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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Don’t Be Afraid of the Enemy’s Fear

facing-fear

from Google Images

In 1Peter 3:8 Peter tells his readers to be of one mind. However, this is in the context of being of one mind with the believers’ enemies. This suggests a meaning of the believer seeking to understand the motives of those who seek to him harm. With this in mind, we shouldn’t be intimidated with the same fear that directs the thoughts and behavior of those who oppose us (1Peter 3:14b). The question arises, then, what did Peter’s readers’ enemies fear? I believe we are able to answer this question by reading the Scripture that Peter seems to refer to in his epistle. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2016 in Epistles of Peter

 

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Love Your Enemies!

love-1The world’s standard of behavior is to treat others as they have treated you, which seems to be the worldview also taught by the rabbis in the 1st century AD (cf. Matthew 5:38, 43). Almost like a prophetic warning in 1965 America, Jackie DeShannon recorded What the World Needs Now Is Love[1] just as the Viet Nam War was escalating. What the world needed in the 1st century AD (Luke 6:35) and what the world needed in 1965 and what it has always needed is love, and Jesus gave us an example to follow (Romans 5:6-8), not that we need to die as he did, but that we need to have the same attitude Jesus had (cf. Philippians 2:5). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Filled with the Spirit

Spirit Filled

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It was said of John the Baptist that he would be filled with the Holy Spirit from birth (Luke 1:15), and the Scriptures tell us that, after Jesus was baptized and returned from the Jordan, he was full of the Holy Spirit and continually led by the Spirit in the wilderness (Luke 4:1). Does this mean that Jesus wasn’t filled with the Holy Spirit from birth as John had been or that his filling was any different from that of John? I don’t think so, and the Scriptures don’t conclude that Jesus didn’t have the Spirit of God before his baptism, but was anointed with the Spirit at that time. Any difference one might see between the filling of Jesus and John should be defined by the capacity of the vessel to receive the Spirit (cf.1Kings 8:11; John 3:34). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Paul’s First Argument with Peter

from Google Images

from Google Images

Paul tells us in Galatians 2 that, while Peter was staying at Antioch, Paul confronted him over an incident that developed over a visit from men sent by James. It may be that after the death of James, the brother of John, in Acts 12 that Peter fled to Antioch, a place out of the jurisdiction of King Herod Agrippa. While Peter was there he had no problem eating with his gentile brethren. However, everything changed, when the men from James arrived. Presumably, they had been sent to alert the Christian communities among the gentiles (viz. at Antioch and the churches in Galatia) that the predicted famine (cp. Acts 11:27-29) had arrived and Jerusalem’s reserves for the poor were dangerously low. They needed help. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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