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Tag Archives: freedom

Bookends of Meaning in the Parables

Bookends

from Google Images

Jesus once told his disciples to neither give what is holy to dogs (irreligious people) nor to cast their pearls before swine (religious people with closed minds), because neither group would appreciate their offerings. Instead, they might use what was given them to hurt the disciples (Matthew 7:6). The fact is, this is exactly the position Jesus had taken when he began teaching in parables. The word of God wasn’t appreciated by either the Jewish authorities nor by the people. Both groups showed they had no real value for what Jesus’ preached, and on more than one occasion the religious authorities tried to do harm to Jesus, if not kill him (Luke 4:28-29; 6:11; Matthew 12:14-15). Moreover, since the people were easily intimidated by the Jewish authorities, they also refused to confess him (Matthew 12:23-24; cf. John 9:18-22). Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on July 30, 2018 in AD 70 Eschatology

 

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Freedom to Be Gracious

suffering-servant

from Google Images

It is a gracious matter to endure suffering, while acting out of one’s desire to be obedient to God (1Peter 2:19), or to behave in a manner pleasing to him. Often, this suffering comes at the hand of others. When Peter addresses the plight of the servant in 1Peter 2:18-20, application can be made to other walks of life, for example one is able to act out Peter’s argument at one’s place of employment. Yet, it needs to be remembered that the primary application is to the one who has no freedom, like slaves and conquered peoples. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2016 in Epistles of Peter

 

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Peter and the Leper

from Google Images

from Google Images

Hollywood has produced some really weird films, especially horror flicks. I have to wonder if the idea for those walking dead films doesn’t come from the Bible. In Numbers 12:12 Aaron is speaking with Moses just after both he and their sister, Marion, had spoken out against him. She was struck leprous, and Aaron begged Moses not to let her be as one dead, whose flesh appeared to rot on one’s body during the otherwise normal course of life. One who was leprous was unclean (Leviticus 13:3). The condition spreads over one’s body (Leviticus 13:7-8), and, because contact with others is often contagious, quarantine was necessary (Leviticus 13:46). In the days of ancient Israel, it was incurable (cf. 2Kings 5:7). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Fishers of Men

from Google Images

from Google Images

Up until Jesus entered Peter’s boat, Luke shows us how men failed Jesus. They seemed to want to control him and use him for their own ends, like one would a powerful resource. In Nazareth he was met with unbelief, and when Jesus tried to show them the consequences of their unbelief (Luke 4:23-27), they sought to kill him (Luke 4:28-29). The Lord is not a lifeless commodity or spiritless resource we need to control. Just as we enjoy our freedom, so God enjoys his. He doesn’t force us to choose his way, so we shouldn’t seek to compel God to do our will (viz. “naming it and claiming it”). Our simple trust is all he requires. God must be free to give us a negative reply, if our relationship with him is to go anywhere. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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How Close Is Heaven?

Heaven - 2

from Google Images

Many religions believe God is someplace far away and cannot be bothered with people. The Buddhists, for example, believe God created the world but left us to our own desires. In other words, he has no real interest in what we do or think. Many people today believe that, if there is a god, he certainly isn’t interested in us. If he were a moral god and interested in what we do, certainly our world wouldn’t be in such a terrible condition. How could a just god or a moral god permit so much evil in the world in which we live, knowing we are powerless to change it for the better? If god exists, it seems he must be either immoral and doesn’t care about our pitiful condition, or he is incapable to do anything about our destructive behavior. In either case why should we be concerned about what he thinks or desires? – …or so goes the argument! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Untamable God

Untamable God

from Google Images

Some Biblical critics may argue that the proposition that Israel waged war with the Canaanites at the command of God, gives carte blanche permission for all would be religious terrorists to do as they please and claim “God told me to do it!”[1] This was the battle cry of the Crusades, and it is behind the jihad terrorism of our day, including the 9/11 tragedy. Yet, this reasoning cannot be reconciled with the Bible. God’s commands to Israel under Moses and Joshua were unique and never again repeated throughout Israel’s history. Saul didn’t seek to have the Philistines devoted to destruction, and David didn’t seek such a thing in any of his campaigns against the nations surrounding Israel. Neither did any of the kings of Israel or Judah seek to devote any of their enemies to destruction in the wars they took part in later. One cannot reasonably justify war or indiscriminate killing by using the Bible for one’s support. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2016 in apologetics

 

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What about New Testament Slavery?

Slavery in New Testament - 2

from Google Images

The Roman world in the first century AD was completely different from what we find in the Mosaic Law and ancient Judaism. I don’t mean to imply that ANE nations surrounding Israel had no slavery. They did, but the New Testament reaches out to foreign nations—i.e. gentile nations, and is not only concerned with the Jews. Therefore, the social structures of the gentiles are laid bare and God through the preaching / writing of the New Testament begins to confront them, exposing the wrong and pointing to right behavior. Slavery in 1st century Rome is an institution, in fact, it is claimed that 85 to 95% of Rome’s population were slaves![1] Some Biblical critics seem to believe that, because Jesus didn’t equip his disciples with an opposing economic plan that he never said anything explicit against slavery, but they are wrong. From the very first day of his public ministry Jesus pointed out what he had set out to do; namely, “… to proclaim release for captives and …to set free the oppressed, (Luke 4:18 Moffatt; cf. Isaiah 61:1). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2015 in apologetics

 

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