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Showing posts from August 11, 2017

The Role of Women in John’s Gospel

The Role of Women in John’s GospelExcerpt ‎There are many interpretations of John’s careful attention to individual women in his Gospel. Since the 1960s many people have argued that John depicts women as independent disciples and apostolic witnesses—prototypes of women in John’s own Christian community and models for women in Christian ministry today. John’s stories could be viewed as a reflection of Jesus’ endeavor to reform first-century patriarchy. ‎Another line of interpretation emphasizes the symbolic value of John’s female characters. The Samaritan woman, for example, is thought to represent Samaritans (just as Nicodemus represents Pharisees), while Mary and Martha speak for first-century Christians whose family members have died. The mother of Jesus symbolizes the earliest Christian community, and Mary Magdalene represents Christians whose faith is based not on what they have seen, but on what they have heard. Many interpreters, most of them Roman Catholic, contend that the women…

Symbolism of Blindness

Symbolism of BlindnessExcerpt Some of Jesus’ healings of the blind may function as symbolic characterizations of the revelation and recognition of Jesus’ profound identity. That may be the case in the healing of the blind man at Bethsaida in Mark 8:22-26. The painstaking, step-by-step manner in which Jesus performs this healing characterizes the way he is trying to bring his disciples to understand and ‘see’ his profound identity. This healing serves as a symbolic anticipation and transition to the confession of Jesus as ‘the Christ’ in Mark 8:29. Similarly, Bartimaeus, healed of his blindness, represents the insightful disciple who follows Jesus to Jerusalem, the place of his suffering and death (Mark 10:46-52). The healing of the man born blind in John 9characterizes the spiritual ‘blindness’ of the Jews and indicates how Jesus is the ‘light of the world.’ The concept of blindness was particularly appropriate for metaphorical use; it often characterized spiritual ‘blindness’ or lack o…

Enemies of the Cross

Enemies of the CrossExcerpt These verses give the reasons for the exhortations in verse 17:many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Believers should be able to determine truth from error (cf. 1 John4:6). Paul was so concerned about the Philippians’ spiritual welfare that he warned them often and wept as he did so. As enemies of God these false teachers were destined for destruction. Those Paul warned against were perhaps profligates in incipient Gnosticism who trusted in their own attainments and not in the sufficiency of Christ alone. All who do so are not children of God, so they await destruction. This word (apōleia) does not mean annihilation but rather ruination by separation from the presence of God in eternal judgment. Three further descriptions of these false teachers follow. First, their god is their stomach. They had in mind only their own physical desires and unrestrained gluttony (cf. Rom. 16:18). Second, their glory is in their shame. Instead of giving glory to God these …

Connect the Testaments

August 11: Proclaiming the Light Isaiah 23:1–24:23; Luke 8:16–56; Job 5:17–27 Many of us wait for precisely the right moment to tell others about Christ’s work in us. Yet every moment is the right moment to speak up for Christ. Every moment is the right time to fully express what Christ is doing in us and through us. Jesus affirms this sense of immediacy when He remarks, “And no one, after lighting a lamp, covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand, so that those who come in can see the light” (Luke 8:16). This line becomes even more profound when we consider what happens a short time later. After Jesus heals a demon-possessed man, He says to him, “Return to your home and tell all that God has done for you” (Luke 8:39). The man doesn’t wait for a better time. Instead, “he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole town all that Jesus had done for him” (Luke 8:39). We may consider our encounter with Christ less significant than a man healed from demon-possessio…

Morning and Evening

Morning, August 11Go To Evening Reading
“Oh that I were as in months past.” —Job 29:2
Numbers of Christians can view the past with pleasure, but regard the present with dissatisfaction; they look back upon the days which they have passed in communing with the Lord as being the sweetest and the best they have ever known, but as to the present, it is clad in a sable garb of gloom and dreariness. Once they lived near to Jesus, but now they feel that they have wandered from him, and they say, “O that I were as in months past!” They complain that they have lost their evidences, or that they have not present peace of mind, or that they have no enjoyment in the means of grace, or that conscience is not so tender, or that they have not so much zeal for God’s glory. The causes of this mournful state of things are manifold. It may arise through a comparative neglect of prayer, for a neglected closet is the beginning of all spiritual decline. Or it may be the result of idolatry. The heart has been …

My Utmost for His Highest

August 11th This experience must come And he saw him no more.2 Kings 2:12. It is not wrong to depend upon Elijah as long as God gives him to you, but remember the time will come when he will have to go; when he stands no more to you as your guide and leader, because God does not intend he should. You say—‘I cannot go on without Elijah.’ God says you must. Alone at your Jordan. v. 14. Jordan is the type of separation where there is no fellowship with anyone else, and where no one can take the responsibility for you. You have to put to the test now what you learned when you were with your Elijah. You have been to Jordan over and over again with Elijah, but now you are up against it alone. It is no use saying you cannot go; this experience has come, and you must go. If you want to know whether God is the God you have faith to believe Him to be, then go through your Jordan alone. Alone at your Jericho. v. 15. Jericho is the place where you have seen your Elijah do great things. When you come t…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

August 11 They that wait upon the Lord shall change their strength Isa. 40:31 (R.V.) Lord, what a change within us one short hour Spent in Thy presence will prevail to make! What heavy burdens from our bosoms take! What parched grounds refresh as with a shower! We kneel—and all around us seems to lower. We rise and all the distant and the near Stand forth in sunny outline, brave and clear. We kneel—how weak: we rise—how full of power. Why, therefore, should we do ourselves this wrong Or others—that we are not always strong; That we are ever overborne with care; That we should ever weak or heartless be, Anxious or troubled, while with us is prayer, And joy and strength and courage are with Thee? Archbishop Trench

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