Statement of Confession: I believe in the Trinity--Father, Son and Holy Spirit; The Three are One in the Father. I believe that Jesus is the Savior to those that accept Him in genuine repentance of their sins through faith as their Lord and Savior. I believe that baptism--immersion, burial--is an outward show to the world of their acceptance of salvation by Jesus for His dying, resurrection and His sitting at the right hand of the Father in heaven. This ministry is FREE.
An Altar of Earth
In Exodus 20:24, Yahweh commands Moses to build an altar of earth or clay. This may refer to blocks of sod or sun-fired mud-brick (Isa 65:3). However, many altars of earth likely included stones, just as many altars of un worked stone also included clay.
The Prologue of HebrewsHebrews 1:2
As might easily be expected in the Prologue, the writer struck notes which will be crucial to the unfolding of his argument in the body of the epistle. He implied that God’s revelation in the Son has a definitive quality which previous revelation lacked. Moreover the sacrifice for sins which such a One makes must necessarily be greater than other kinds of sacrifices. Finally the Son’s greatness makes preoccupation with angelic dignities entirely unnecessary.
Though the Prologue contains no warning—the writer reserved those for later—it carries with it an implicit admonition: This is God’s supremely greatSon; hear Him! (cf. 12:25-27)
Hodges, Zane C. “Hebrews.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 781. Print.
Origins and Audience of theGospel of JohnJohn 1:1
It is also now recognized that the background of much of John’s Gospel is Jewish, and not exclusively Greek. Early traditions place the origin of this gospel in Ephesus, which made it inevitable that scholars should look for an exclusively Hellenistic background, especially in view of the prologue (1:1–18) which explains the incarnation in terms of the word or logos.
Apart from the fact that Hellenism is now known to have been all-pervasive throughout the Roman empire, even in Palestine, it is interesting to note that if the prologue is removed from John there is little in the rest of it that demands a Greek background.
Not only is there an emphasis throughout the gospel on the fulfilment of the Old Testament, but the evangelist states his purpose in a very Jewish form: ‘these things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ [Messiah], the Son of God’ (20:31).
Drane, John William. Introducing the New Testame…
Crosses: left to right, top, Greek; St. Andrew’s; Tau; bottom, Latin; Celtic; Slavic or Russian.
Achtemeier, Paul J., Harper & Row and Society of Biblical Literature. Harper’s Bible dictionary 1985 : 195. Print.
The Father and The SonJohn 1:14
The mention of the Father and the stress on the uniqueness of Jesus reminds the reader of the opening verse of the Prologue.
This discussion has thus come full circle, and in doing so it presents a tightly constructed, complex introductory theological rationale for reading this Gospel. But reading is not to be merely an intellectual exercise. Instead, Jesus’ purpose in coming to the world was to empower people to become children ofGod (1:12).
Likewise the purpose of the incarnate Logos and the purpose of the entire Gospel are one in focus because the Gospel was written to engender believing in this Jesus to the end that readers might experience the transformation of life (20:30–31).
Borchert, Gerald L. John 1–11. Vol. 25A. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996. Print. The New American Commentary.
Language of the Gospel of JohnJohn 1:1
... at many points the Greek shows a close connection with Aramaic sources. The writer often uses Aramaic words—for example, Cephas (1:42), Gabbatha (19:13), or Rabboni (20:16), and then explains them for the benefit of Greek readers. Even the meaning of the word Messiah is given a careful explanation in 1:41. There are also places where the Greek of the gospel follows the rules of Aramaic idiom.
Drane, John William. Introducing the New Testament. Completely rev. and updated. Oxford: Lion Publishing plc, 2000. Print.
Begin at the Beginning (John 1:1-18)John 1:1-18
We perceive and know through our senses: hearing, sight, smell, touch and taste. For John, the basis of perception is the ‘Word’—the mind or ‘essence’ of God.
The ‘Word’ is the conveyor of life and meaning. Without the ‘Word’ nothing is understood, and if it is not understood then it might as well not exist (v. 3). The ‘Word’ illuminates and enlivens creation. Constantly available, it is there for those who will receive it—rather like radio waves or television signals. They are all around us, but we need to switch on our receivers before we can tune in to their message. For those with difficulty in tuning their sets, God has sent an engineer—a TV evangelist by the name of John the Baptist. He will show us how to switch on and select our programme.
The function of an evangelist is to convey good news, to ensure it is understood and to witness to its veracity. This is precisely the role of the writer of this Gospel. …
Tomb of Absalom
In the Valley of the Kedron, in a deep and narrow glen, among other picturesque sepulchral mounds, stands the Tomb (or Pillar) of Absalom.
It is a cube hewn out of the solid rock. Each side measures twenty-two feet. The west front is the best preserved. Over the columns is the Doric frieze, and over this an Egyptian cornice. The total height above the present surface of the ground is fifty-four feet. “The style of architecture shows at once that this can not be the pillar Absalom had reared for himself during his lifetime in the King’s Dale.”
It is difficult to determine the exact date of the monument. The name of Absalom was not attached to it before the twelfth century. The strange mingling of Egyptian and Greek styles would not be inconsistent with the age of the Herods.
The heaps of stone around it bear testimony to the habit of the Jews, who cast stones at the monument as they pass, to show their hatred of the very name of Absalom. A wayward man was Absalom, …
He was Unable to Speak to
According to Tamid 7.2 priests coming out of the holy place were expected to pronounce a customary blessing, such as Num 6:24–26, upon the people. Whether Luke’s readers would have known this is uncertain. Luke 1:62 implies that Zechariah also could not hear.
Stein, Robert H. Luke. Vol. 24. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992. Print. The New American Commentary.
Rev. Lynwood F. Mundy
Happy Birthday Jesus, Immanuel.
Although You [Jesus]is sitting at the right hand of YourFather as a man that was born to become the Savior of the world and die on the cross at Calvary for the sins of all mankind, I want to take this moment to praise God for the man-made festival of Christmas that I can say, "Happy Birthday" in recognition of this incarnate birth. Luke 2:1-20; John 3:16.
I also want to thank You for those readers that hunger for Your Word in country's of democratic freedom that give You thanks and praises for Your Son Jesus.
Then, there are those that believe and serve You in secret because of their atheistic or cultist governments, or pagan ritualistic or spiritual religions that will kill those for their Christian literature, teachings, beliefs and worshiping You through Jesus.
Bless all who worship You this day believing in John 3:16.
In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Laziness and LionsProverbs 26:12–28
When we consider ourselves wise, we’re in danger of losing perspective on the truth and making others feel small. The Proverbs often discuss this problem, remarking, “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (Prov 26:12). This foolishness doesn’t just appear when we elevate ourselves or fail to consider others; it also shows up when we fail to consider our own needs.
When we’re lazy or do less than we can, we’re actually sinning—we’re ignoring what God meant us to be and thus holding back His plan, not just our own productivity. One of the Proverbs says, “A lazy person says ‘A lion is in the road! A lion among the streets!’ … A lazy person buries his hands in the dish; he is too tired to return it to his mouth. A lazy person is wiser in his eyes than seven who answer discreetly” (Prov 26:13, 15–16). The Bible’s condemnation of laziness makes sense for hyperbolic situations like lions showing up o…