'Jesus' Tagged Posts

'Jesus' Tagged Posts

Daily Devotions

He asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered him, ‘You are the Messiah.’” vs. 29 Mark 8:27-33 There is little doubt that Jesus of Nazareth existed. Only die-hard skeptics continue to say that there never was such a person, that all reports of his existence are only fabrications. Even if we doubt the accuracy of some gospel accounts it seems obvious that he preached and taught in Galilee and Judea at some point in the…

Daily Devotions

When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was.” vss. 54-55 Mark 6:53-56 Once Jesus had been identified as a healer, there was no holding back of the crowds. His plan to take a brief time away with his disciples went by the boards as the word spread about his ministry. Everywhere he went, as soon as…

Daily Devotions

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us.” vss. 7-8a Ephesians 1:3-8a When soldiers die in battle we commonly say that they have shed their blood for the sake of their country, and that they died to maintain our freedom. And of course we set aside days to remember their great sacrifice. Early Christians had a similar regard for the death of Jesus…

Daily Devotions

And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’” vs. 41 Mark 4:39-41 Mark closes his little story with a question that he knew most every devout Jew should be able to answer. Who is it that even the winds and the waves obey? It was in their psalms–they sang about it regularly. It was the Lord who wielded such control over the forces…

Daily Devotions

When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf.” vs. 26 John 15:26-27 According to John, one of the prime tasks of the Holy Spirit was advocacy. Because Jesus had not defended himself at his hearing before Pilate, all sorts of malicious and defamatory things were being said about him by his enemies, the religious leaders. After his death and resurrection…

Daily Devotions

Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day…’” vss. 45-46 Luke 24:44-48 When Matthew and Luke wrote their gospels they weren’t just interested in compiling a narrative of Jesus’ life from beginning to end. They also wanted their readers to know that what had happened in Jesus was a fulfillment of the scriptures. His…

Daily Devotions

But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.” vs. 5 Isaiah 52:13-53:12 When the prophet wrote these words about the Servant, he likely had in mind the nation of Israel, and the horrible suffering that had been endured by his people. They’re powerful words, and likely helped his readers come to terms with the punishment their ancestors had endured–perhaps there had…

Daily Devotions

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” vs. 16 John 3: 14-17 In Psalm 107 the psalmist wrote that because of the Lord’s steadfast love, he sent out his word and healed those who were suffering because of their sins. John picks up that theme in his gospel and identifies Jesus with God’s creative and redemptive word. In both instances…

Daily Devotions

So Moses made a serpent of bronze, and put it upon a pole; and whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and live.” vs. 9 Numbers 21:4-9 Given the general distaste for snakes that exists among humans, it can be surprising to learn that the symbol used to designate medical professionals is a serpent coiled around an upright rod or stake. It’s origin is traced by scholars to the rod of Asclepius, the…

Daily Devotions

For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” vs. 18 1 Corinthians 1:18-21 Paul quickly discovered that both Jews and Gentiles had a tough time wrapping their minds around the cross as the central image in the message he was proclaiming. They simply couldn’t believe that the path to salvation ran through excruciating suffering and death. Messiahs were supposed to triumph over…

Daily Devotions

Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.” vs. 8 Mark 9:7-9 Most people have a variety of spiritual and religious experiences as they search for a unitary expression of faith, one that will stand the test of time and withstand the doubts that stalk them. There are days that our faith is strong, buttressed by internal certainties rising from what we perceive to be divine encounters. On those days there’s a…

Daily Devotions

Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.’” vss. 23-24 Mark 1:23-26 According to Mark the demons knew exactly who Jesus was–they spotted his holiness a mile away and called him out. They not only knew his name but they knew his divine origins, and…