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Showing posts from February 22, 2016

The Witness of Two People

The Witness of Two People

Jesus now reverts to the topic of testimony. The shifts back and forth between Jesus as witness and Jesus as judge would appear sudden and awkward if the dispute in chapter 5 had not already prepared readers for the irony of Jesus’ dual role, which in turn reflects Yahweh’s functioning as both witness and judge in the trial scenes of Isa. 40–55. Having stressed his self-authenticating witness, Jesus can now return to the conventions of ordinary Jewish trials—In your law it is written that the witness of two people is true. As he did in 5:31–7, he again accommodates himself to the law’s requirements (cf. Deut. 19:15). But the concession to the opponents’ standard of judgement (‘your law’) is ironic. The law required two witnesses, not including the accused, and an appeal to God is not envisaged as one of these. The force of Jesus’ mention of the law appears to be that if the law demands two human witnesses, then he will supply two divine witnesses—himse…


‎In ancient times, the shofar was used as a signal instrument, while metal trumpets gave signals in postexilic times. Such trumpets were known for some time in the era of the Hebrew Bible. ‎Num 10:2–20;2 Kings 11:14; 12:13; 1 Chron 13:8; 15:24, 15:28; 16:6, 16:42; 2 Chron 5:12–13; 29:26–28; Ezra 3:10; Ps 98:6; Jdth 15:3; Sirach 50:16; 1 Macc 9:12

Subjection of Christ

Subjection of Christ

“Sanctify Christ as Lord” is the best translation of v. 15. Put Him on the throne of your heart. If He controls our lives, then we will always have an answer when people ask about the hope we have in Him (Mark13:11). A surrendered heart and a good conscience will together give peace when people accuse us falsely.

Sinners may accuse us, but God knows the heart; and we fear God, not men (Isa. 8:12–13). Again, Peter reminds them of the sufferings of Christ, that He was falsely accused yet left the matter with His Father.

Wiersbe, Warren W. Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1992. Print.

Abraham Prays for Sodom

Abraham Prays for Sodom
‎After the three angels had rested in Abraham’s hospitable home, they journeyed onward, and Abraham accompanied them a little way. Then the Lord told Abraham of their errand, which was to visit the great and wicked city of Sodom and destroy it in punishment for the sins of its people. ‎Abraham’s kindness and pity were aroused, and while the other two angels went forward, Abraham stood before their Leader and delayed Him, pleading that Sodom should be spared, lest the innocent perish with the guilty. “And the Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.” ‎In an almost whimsical spirit of bargaining, Abraham suggested that there might be only forty-five righteous. Should the city perish for five? When this point was granted to him, he reduced the number to forty, and then step by step he brought it down to ten, always humbling himself and pleading with submission. At this point of the argument “t…

Stained Glass Windows at Reims Cathedral

Stained Glass Windows at Reims Cathedral Stained glass windows at Reims Cathedral depicting the crucifixion where designed by the twentieth-century Russian Jewish artist Marc Chagall in 1974, to replace those destroyed by bombs during World War II
Powell, Mark Allan, ed. “Zurishaddai.” The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated) 2011 : n. pag. Print.

Be Encouraged

Be Encouraged

Paul’s stated purpose was that they might be encouraged in heartand united in love. Confidence and strength of conviction as well as cohesive unity yield a full understanding of the truth. There is no full knowledge apart from moral commitment. Complete understanding(syneseōs, “insight”) results from complete yielding. And this understanding is Christocentric. This insight into God’s ways enables believers to know (epignōsin) Christ fully. Christ, as the true mystery of God, reveals God to man (cf. John 1:18; Heb. 1:2-3). For in Him are hidden (cf. Col. 1:26) all the treasures of wisdom (sophia, cf. 1:9) andknowledge. Knowledge is the apprehension of truth; wisdom is its application to life. Knowledge is prudent judgment and wisdom is prudent action. Both are found in Christ (cf. Rom. 11:33; 1 Cor. 12:8) whose wisdom is foolishness to the world (1 Cor. 1:21-25), but who is the power of God by which a believer receives “righteousness, holiness, and redemption” (1 C…

Citadel of Tiberias

Citadel of Tiberias

The reason for the building at Tiberias by Herod Antipater of his citadel is very clear. It was not too much of a commercial town and the site was dominated by a hill where he could build a castle and yet be near the shore. And the neighboring baths made the place famous throughout the Roman world. The building of the citadel took place but a short time before our Lord began His ministry on the lake. The fact that the city was so new, artificial and unclean partly explains its absence from the records of Christ’s ministry. Our Lord avoided the half-Greek cities, and among the courtiers and officials He would have been less at home than among the common people of the country. In 1837, as we have already said in these notes, there was a great earthquake in Tiberias. There is little to be found of the remains of its former grandeur. Walter Besant says: “This town in the time of Herod was covered with beautiful villas, provided with winter and summer rooms, warmed b…

Connect the Testaments

February 22: The Light of the World
Leviticus 12:1–13:59; John 8:12–30;Song of Solomon 6:11–13

“I am the light of the world! The one who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). While some of Jesus’ “I am” statements confused the Jews, the “following the light” imagery would have been familiar. God had led the Israelites out of Egypt and through the wilderness with a pillar of fire so they could walk at night (Exod 13:21). They couldn’t deflect or misunderstand this claim.
Jesus used this imagery to show the Jews that He offers clarity and meaning in a dark world. He offers life, grace, and spiritual awakening to those who are lost in the darkness. But the Pharisees couldn’t comprehend the light; they misinterpreted Jesus’ claims and fumbled around in the darkness and the details (John 8:19, 22, 25, 27).
When we’ve elevated ourselves in the darkness, it’s hard to humble ourselves in the light.
Even when we have inklings that tell us there is …

Morning and Evening

Morning, February 22      Go To Evening Reading
         “His bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.”          — Genesis 49:24
That strength which God gives to his Josephs is real strength; it is not a boasted valour, a fiction, a thing of which men talk, but which ends in smoke; it is true—divine strength. Why does Joseph stand against temptation? Because God gives him aid. There is nought that we can do without the power of God. All true strength comes from “the mighty God of Jacob.” Notice in what a blessedly familiar way God gives this strength to Joseph—“The arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.” Thus God is represented as putting his hands on Joseph’s hands, placing his arms on Joseph’s arms. Like as a father teaches his children, so the Lord teaches them that fear him. He puts his arms upon them. Marvellous condescension! God Almighty, Eternal, Omnipotent, stoops from his t…

My Utmost for His Highest

February 22nd
The discipline of spiritual tenacity

Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10.

Tenacity is more than endurance, it is endurance combined with the absolute certainty that what we are looking for is going to transpire. Tenacity is more than hanging on, which may be but the weakness of being too afraid to fall off. Tenacity is the supreme effort of a man refusing to believe that his hero is going to be conquered. The greatest fear a disciple has is not that he will be damned, but that Jesus Christ will be worsted, that the things He stood for—love and justice and forgiveness and kindness among men—will not win out in the end; the things He stands for look like will-o’-the-wisps. Then comes the call to spiritual tenacity, not to hang on and do nothing, but to work deliberately on the certainty that God is not going to be worsted.

If our hopes are being disappointed just now, it means that they are being purified. There is nothing noble the human mind has ever hoped for…
February 22

  After ye were illuminated ye endured a great fight of afflictions
Heb. 10:32
Our boldness for God before the world must always be the result of individual dealing with God in secret. Our victories over self, and sin, and the world, are always first fought where no eye sees but God’s.… If we have not these secret conflicts, well may we not have any open ones. The outward absence of conflict betrays the inward sleep of the soul.

F. Whitfield

Hardman, Samuel G., and Dwight Lyman Moody. Thoughts for the Quiet Hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing, 1997. Print.