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What Does Jesus Mean by Mammon?

Give Myself

from Google Images

Jesus concluded his parable in Luke 16:9 by telling his disciples to make friends with or by means of unrighteous mammon. Much of what the Lord intends for us to understand in the Parable of the Unjust Steward hangs on the meaning of the word mammon (mammonas – G3126), but we are unable to draw much help from the Greek. The word seems to be derived from G3125 (mamme), meaning grandmother, but the sense the translators give the word points to material wealth. Yet, the unjust steward doesn’t seem to be extorting the rich man’s wealth per se. Rather, he seems to be gaining the confidence of the rich man’s debtors. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on December 3, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Gospel in Jesus’ Prayers

Prayer - 11

from Google Images

Luke records Jesus at prayer eleven times in his Gospel., and if taken together, we would find the Gospel preached to us. Luke’s choice of Jesus’ prayers (and there are other prayers in the other Gospel narratives) lets us see a progression of belief, even a progression to belief, in the Gospel of Jesus. I was quite surprised with what I found here, not that anything is new, but to find these things collected into one place (labeled prayer) was, indeed, surprising. What Jesus puts in prayer is a picture of God reaching out to mankind in such a manner that causes mankind to reach out to him. In other words, Luke has Jesus praying out salvation (the Gospel). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Good Samaritan

from Google Images

In view of the fact that both the priest and the Levite passed by the wounded man without helping him, it seems the reason for their lack of compassion was to remain ritually pure (cf. Numbers 19:11). However, ritual purity was unable to alter the course the priest and the Levite had taken. They were on the road to death,[1] and nothing they could do or not do could prevent their attaining that goal. Jesus’ parable places the lawyer’s question into an illogical framework. Once he has left God (viz. living in Jerusalem, the city of blessing), he was unable to do anything, apart from God, to attain or inherit eternal life. He is cursed and will die no matter what he does or doesn’t do. In other words, mankind, no matter who he may be, is helpless. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Man’s Inability to Love Without God

Apart from God

from Google Images

As Jesus traveled toward Jerusalem (Luke 9:51), he spent time in different towns and villages along the way to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to people living there who might receive him (cf. Luke 9:51-53). At one of those villages a lawyer tested him, trying his understanding of the Scriptures. However, Jesus answer seems to have made the lawyer look foolish. Therefore, the embarrassed rabbi reacted to the Lord’s pointing to the obvious, namely the phylacteries which the lawyer strapped to himself to help him remember his duty to obey the Law. In order to save face, the lawyer tried to get Jesus to answer a question that seems to have been a controversy among the rabbis: “exactly who is my neighbor” (Luke 10:29)? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Why Put Oneself in Harm’s Way?

hope

from Google Images

Jesus told us that, if someone struck us on our right cheek, we should then offer the other (Matthew 5:39). Isn’t that inviting persecution? Not really! It no more invites persecution than saying: “Don’t kill Bill” invites someone to kill Bill. All Jesus meant was, if what we do for him causes some to treat us unjustly, don’t cease from doing the good, simply because some are opposed to what we say and do. Jesus simply meant that we should be ready to receive insults in order to spread the Gospel.[1] As Peter writes to believers in Asia Minor, it seems the persecution being conducted there revolved around malicious slander (1Peter 2:12; 3:10, 16). The unbelieving Jews seemed to be trying to get followers of Jesus into trouble with the gentile authorities (cf. Acts 13:50; 14:2; 17:5-9; 18:12-13). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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Trusting in the Promise of God

from Google Images

from Google Images

What does Peter mean by saying: “through him you believe in God” (1Peter 1:21)? If his intended readers were believing Jews of the Diaspora (1Peter 1:1), didn’t they already believe in God prior to the coming of Christ and their submission to him? I don’t think Peter meant for us to view his statement quite like that. For example, Jesus claimed in John 12:44 and 14:6 that believing in him is the same as believing in God. Moreover, no one (Jew or gentile) is able to come to the Father (God) except through Jesus. I believe this is what is behind Peter’s statement “through him you believe in God” (1Peter 1:21). It was Jesus who fully expressed the God whom no one had seen (John 1:18) or known (Luke 10:22), so Peter is correct in saying the Jews of the Diaspora believe in God through Jesus, because, prior to Jesus’ coming, the Jews had a poor understanding of God who is love. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2016 in Epistles of Peter

 

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The Revelation of the Mystery

from Google Images

from Google Images

As I have said in a previous blogpost, Peter knew Jesus and witnessed what he said and did during his three and a half years of public ministry. Such knowledge, when believed, imparts joy, because the believer is shown how he is able to share in the inheritance of Christ—eternal or unending life. A special blessing is given to those of us who have not seen yet believe and love Jesus (1Peter 1:8; John 20:29) who is preached in the Gospel narratives, the record of the Apostles of Jesus. Our faith in and love for Jesus (1Peter 1:8) is expressed in our willingness to spread the Gospel (1Peter 1:9) to the end that others would be saved (cf. Matthew 28:18-20; Titus 2:14). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2016 in Epistles of Peter

 

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