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The Temptation of Jesus

The Temptation of Jesus

Excerpt


We may be certain that the story was also told for its exemplary features in order to encourage Christians facing temptation and to indicate to them how to recognize and overcome it. They are to note that in each case Jesus replies to temptation with a quotation from Scripture, thereby indicating that the life of the man of God must follow certain clear principles expressive of God’s will which already been revealed in the OT. It has been argued that this reduces the story to the level of a rabbinic Streitgespräch in which Jesus overcomes the devil by a superior knowledge of Scripture (cf. Bultmann, 271–275), but the point is rather that Jesus is obedient to God’s will in Scripture (H. Seesemann, TDNT VI, 23-36, especially 34-36 and n. 68), and not that he wins by superior dialectical skill.


Marshall, I. Howard. The Gospel of Luke: A Commentary on the Greek Text. Exeter: Paternoster Press, 1978. Print. New International Greek Testament Commentary.

Healing on the Sabbath

Healing on the Sabbath

Excerpt


After describing this healing John introduces the dramatic note that this occurred on a sabbath (v. 9), thereby setting the stage for the second scene of this story. The Jews reproach the man for carrying his mat on the sabbath (v. 10). The Old Testament does not prohibit this activity, but the rabbinic interpretation of the command not to work on the sabbath did prohibit it (m. Šabbat 7:2; cf. Carson 1991:244). Since Jesus explicitly commanded the man to carry his mat we have a conflict between interpretations of God’s will. The Jewish opponents believe the man is sinning as he obeys Jesus’ command. A more striking illustration of the conflict between Jesus and these opponents could not be imagined. Indeed, this story becomes a point of reference as the conflict deepens (7:19–24).

Whitacre, Rodney A. John. Vol. 4. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999. Print. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series.

Keep Disciples From the Evil One

Keep Disciples From the Evil One

Excerpt


Jesus’ intercession for the disciples continued with a reminder of (a) their value and (b) their coming danger. They were valuable because they had received the Word of God: I have given them Your Word (cf. “I gave them the words You gave Me,” v. 8). They were in danger because the satanic world system hated them. It hated them because they are not a part of it. As believers share Jesus Christ, “Everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the boasting of what he has and do” (1 John 2:16) loses its attractiveness.


Blum, Edwin A. “John.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 332. Print.

Evil

Evil

Romans 12:9, 17, 21

Excerpt


EVIL (Heb. ra’; Gk. kakos, ponēros, phaulos). Evil has a broader meaning than *sin. The Heb. word comes from a root meaning ‘to spoil’, ‘to break in pieces’: being broken and so made worthless. It is essentially what is unpleasant, disagreeable, offensive. The word binds together the evil deed and its consequences. In the NT kakos and ponēros mean respectively the quality of evil in its essential character, and its hurtful effects or influence. It is used in both physical and moral senses. While these aspects are different, there is frequently a close relationship between them. Much physical evil is due to moral evil: suffering and sin are not necessarily connected in individual cases, but human selfishness and sin explain much of the world’s ills. Though all evil must be punished, not all physical ill is a punishment of wrongdoing (Lk. 13:2, 4; Jn. 9:3; cf. Job). More


Howley, G. C. D. “Evil.” Ed. D. R. W. Wood et al. New Bible dictionary 1996 : 348. Print…

Sinai and Horeb

Sinai and Horeb

Exodus 3:1
Excerpt


The name is probably related to Sin (wilderness of) and may even be an alternate spelling (cf. Ex 16:1; 17:1; Nm 33:11–12). Sin is one name of the ancient moon god that desert dwellers worshiped. The mountain is also called Horeb, mostly in Deuteronomy (see also 1 Kgs 8:9; 19:8; 2Chr 5:10; Ps 106:19; Mal 4:4).


Elwell, Walter A., and Philip Wesley Comfort. Tyndale Bible dictionary 2001 : 1204. Print. Tyndale Reference Library.

Abel’s Faith.

Abel’s Faith.

Excerpt


Abel represents the righteous man referred to in 10:38, whose acceptance before God was based on a superior sacrifice. Like Abel, the readers found acceptance before God on the basis of the better sacrifice of the New Covenant. Their unbelieving brethren, like Cain,found no such divine approbation. Even death does not extinguish the testimony of a man like Abel. More


Hodges, Zane C. “Hebrews.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 807. Print.

Jesus’ Birth and Early Years

Jesus’ Birth and Early Years

Excerpt


‎If there is one consistent theme that runs through all the stories of Jesus’ birth, it is the repeated claim that ordinary people had more insight than religious experts when it came to understanding the significance of it all. The coming of the one who was later claimed to be the expected Messiah was recognized not predominantly by the great and the good but by those who, to a greater or lesser extent, were on the fringes of the cultured society of their day. The first chapter of Luke’s Gospel paints a vivid picture of the little-known priest Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth praying expectantly for God to deliver their people, and being rewarded for their faithfulness by the announcement of the birth of their own son, later to be known as John the Baptist (Luke 1:5–28, 57–80). … More


Drane, John William. Introducing the New Testament. Completely rev. and updated. Oxford: Lion Publishing plc, 2000. Print.

Be Ready for Action

Be Ready for Action

1 Peter 1:13

Excerpt


Have your minds ready for action is literally “gird up the loins of your mind.” To “gird the loin” was an appropriate metaphor for people in the Middle East at that time. These people normally wore long gowns, and when someone prepared for any strenuous activity, he “girded” his robe, that is, he tied his robe securely (by using a belt, for example), to make sure that his robe would not be in the way. The metaphor, therefore, came to mean “be ready for action.” The area of readiness in this verse is the mind, and the full meaning of the metaphor is, therefore, to prepare oneself mentally...


Arichea, Daniel C., and Eugene Albert Nida. A Handbook on the First Letter from Peter. New York: United Bible Societies, 1980. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

Connect the Testaments

May 5: Believing in the Impossible
Judges 8:1–9:21; Philippians 2:12–18; Psalm 67:1–7

Too often, we’re cynical about circumstances. When people come to us for advice, we want to list all the reasons why they shouldn’t take a certain course of action. We want to dissuade them. But what if we had a little faith instead?
In Judges, we find someone who is surprisingly idealistic. When the men of Ephraim oppose Gideon, he says, “What have I done now in comparison to you? Are not the gleanings of Ephraim better than the grape harvest of Abiezer? God has given into your hand the commanders of Midian, Oreb, and Zeeb. What have I been able to do in comparison with you?” (Judg 8:2–3).
Gideon cleverly couches his request in the middle of compliments; he places positives on either side of it. He wins back their favor: “And their anger against him subsided when he said that” (Judg 8:3).
Gideon’s motives were flawed, theologically or interpersonally, but his actions do teach us something fascinating…

Morning and Evening

Morning, May 5      Go To Evening Reading
“I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
— 2 Corinthians 6:16
What a sweet title: “My people!” What a cheering revelation: “Their God!” How much of meaning is couched in those two words, “My people!” Here is speciality. The whole world is God’s; the heaven, even the heaven of heavens is the Lord’s, and he reigneth among the children of men; but of those whom he hath chosen, whom he hath purchased to himself, he saith what he saith not of others—“My people.” In this word there is the idea of proprietorship. In a special manner the “Lord’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.” All the nations upon earth are his; the whole world is in his power; yet are his people, his chosen, more especially his possession; for he has done more for them than others; he has bought them with his blood; he has brought them nigh to himself; he has set his great heart upon them; he has loved them with an everlasting love, a love which…

My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year

Discernment is God’s call to intercession, never to fault finding.







May 4th

Vicarious intercession



Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. Hebrews 10:19.

Beware of imagining that intercession means bringing our personal sympathies into the presence of God and demanding that He does what we ask. Our approach to God is due entirely to the vicarious identification of our Lord with sin. We have “boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.”
Spiritual stubbornness is the most effectual hindrance to intercession, because it is based on sympathy with that in ourselves and in others that we do not think needs atoning for. We have the notion that there are certain right and virtuous things in us which do not need to be based on the Atonement, and just in the domain of ‘stodge’ that is produced by this idea we cannot intercede. We do not identify ourselves with God’s interests in others, we get petulant with God; we are always ready wit…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

May 5

  We glory in tribulations
Rom. 5:3
Have you ever thought that some day you will never have anything to try you or anybody to vex you again?

A. B. Simpson

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