In Luke 18:9 Jesus began speaking another parable, but this time it seems he was talking to the Pharisees, because the reason for the parable is that “some trusted in themselves and despised others.” The main characters in this parable are a Pharisee and a publican (Luke 18:10). No doubt Jesus chose these two groups, because, not only were they natural enemies, but the one group did trust they were righteous, while the second knew they were not. The one group was readily received into Jewish society, but the other was looked upon with suspicion and hate.
Tag Archives: Worship
While in Jerusalem for the third Passover of his public ministry, Jesus taught his disciples how to approach God in prayer. He told them, rather than look upon God as a distant deity as the gentiles do (and apparently the Jewish authorities did, as well), approach him as our Father, ‘Abba’ or Daddy in the vernacular (Luke 11:2). The next phrase he taught them was to say hollowed be thy name, which is as much a term of worship as it is a request. Read the rest of this entry »
Martha, the sister of Mary and Lazarus, received Jesus into her home (Luke 10:38), which was located in Bethany (John 11:1). The fact that Jesus and his disciples enjoyed at least a meal and shelter in Martha’s home (Luke 10:38), which was less than two miles from Jerusalem (John 11:18), shows that Jesus had finally arrived at his destination, Jerusalem, to celebrate the Passover (cf. Luke 9:51). Read the rest of this entry »
Baal was the Canaanite god of fertility and agriculture. Baal-Peor was this same god who was worshiped in Moab centered at Peor. Numbers 25 records Israel betraying the Covenant in some way that concerned Peor. How should we understand this? Is it possible that worship of Baal-Peor is simply worship of Yahweh under a different name, as at least one critic has claimed? If so, how do we explain the 24000 Israelites who lost their lives through execution or a plague? How should we then interpret the war between Israel and Midian that developed afterward? Read the rest of this entry »
Some time ago my son-in-law and I went to pick up our order of food from a local Chinese restaurant. While we waited for our order, I noticed an idol on display off to the side of the counter where we picked up our dinner. Before the idol was some food. I don’t remember exactly what the food was, but it was a mixture of fruit and vegetables. I caught myself smiling and so turned away, not wanting to offend the people serving us. Perhaps my reaction to the idol was too nonchalant; I don’t know. Nevertheless, I do know that such things were taken very seriously by the God of the Bible. Why? What’s the big deal over what amounts to a ‘happy meal’ set before a hunk of stone (or plaster) that can neither help nor hurt anyone? Read the rest of this entry »
What would it mean to worship or praise God, or anyone else for that matter? The Bible concludes that mankind does worship idols, so, whether or not we think it is proper, worship is not exclusive to God. In fact, we often hear of the term idol used of movie stars and famous musicians, whose admirers flock to auditoriums, stadiums and places that advertise the appearance of their favorite celebrity, and fans (short for ‘fanatic’) look on adoringly hoping to touch or speak with the one they worship so much. Read the rest of this entry »
Even if a persecution did not follow the death of Stephen, the Gospel would have had to break out of the haven at Jerusalem where it was nurtured by the Spirit of God since Pentecost. The Jewish religious authorities, in killing Stephen, had officially rejected Jesus as the Messiah and the Kingdom of God whereby the believer is the bearer of the Shekinah Presence of God and considered thereby to be the Third Temple of God built by the Messiah. Having rejected this, they set up the abomination that eventually made Jerusalem and its Temple a desolation. Read the rest of this entry »