'Jesus' Tagged Posts

'Jesus' Tagged Posts

Daily Devotions

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing.” vss. 1-2a Isaiah 35:1-4 Isaiah lived in a semi-arid land, right on the edge of the Judean desert, and he annually observed the effects of the rainy season. When the winter rains come in January or February, the desert blooms. Areas that appear to be barren much of the year suddenly are…

Daily Devotions

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” vs. 1​​ ​​​​​​​​Isaiah 11:1-4 In some homes, a Jesse tree has appeared in the family room right alongside the Christmas trees. Usually Jesse trees are not impressive in themselves; they’re just large dead branches stuck in some sort of non-descript container. They’re not at all like Christmas trees, but they are meant to be decorated. Each day during Advent some sort…

Daily Devotions

But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” vs. 36 Matthew 24:36-39 When Matthew wrote his gospel, many believed that the end times were near. The armies of Rome had destroyed the temple, and many believers were sure that Jesus would surely soon return. But as Matthew recounts Jesus’ words about the end, he makes it clear that all we can know for sure is that God…

Daily Devotions

Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’” vss. 42-43 Luke 23:39-43 It’s possible to get completely sidetracked by this little exchange between two dying men in Luke’s gospel. Because we wonder about the nature of life beyond death, we look here for clues that can help us construct some sort of timetable for what happens once we draw our last breath.…

Daily Devotions

When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’” vs.33-34a Luke 23:33-38 These words of Jesus are not recorded in the other gospels, but we can be grateful that Luke included them in his. It’s here that we begin to understand more completely the core of Jesus’…

Daily Devotions

He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” vs. 17   Colossians 1:17-20 Early Christians came to believe that the Christ who had been made visible in Jesus of Nazareth was the incarnate Word of God, described in the prologue to John’s gospel. Through the Christ, present in the Beginning, all things had come into existence, and the writer of Colossians adds that, “in him all things hold together.” In other words, Christ is the…

Daily Devotions

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation…” vs. 15 Colossians 1:11-16 There is a solution for those who despair of ever knowing God or of having a sense of God’s presence in daily living. And it’s easier that we might ever suspect. All we need to do is focus on Jesus, the man from Nazareth, and we will be connected to the invisible God through whom the universe came into existence. At least that’s…

Daily Devotions

And he said, ‘Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, “I am he!” and, “The time is near!” Do not go after them.’” vs. 8 Luke 21:5-9 The gospel of Luke was likely written in the midst of what might be called apocalyptic times. Horrendous things were happening! Roman armies had been summoned to put down a Jewish rebellion and had devastated the country from one end to the other. Jerusalem…

Daily Devotions

But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” vss. 27-28 Luke 6:27-31 In the gospel of Matthew, following the beatitudes, Jesus tells his disciples that they are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Luke’s version of the beatitudes is similar, but here Jesus’ instructions to the disciples describe more fully what it means to be…

Daily Devotions

And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” vss. 22-23 Ephesians 1:15-23 From the beginning, the church formed by the followers of Jesus has been understood to be the Body of Christ. We’ve grown accustomed to that designation and have come to take it for granted, but it really is an audacious claim. We…

Daily Devotions

Let the high praises of God be in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands, to execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples…” vss. 6-7 Psalm 149:6-9 In the psalmist’s apocalyptic vision, those heavenly choirs would do more than sing praises to God. It would be their pleasure to take two-edged swords and execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples as God’s chosen instruments of judgment. That kind of language has long had…

Daily Devotions

So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” vs. 36 John 8:34-36 In his treatise, “The Freedom of the Christian,” Martin Luther famously wrote, “A Christian is the most free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is the most dutiful servant of all, subject to everyone.” Those words sum up the paradoxical nature of our life as followers of Jesus, and provide a corrective to those who believe that being free in Christ means…