In the present circumstances with which the whole globe wrestles, Christian leaders have utterly failed to issue the clarion call that the world (and the church) needs to hear. We have pointed to the mystery of suffering, and the practicality of caring for those who are suffering. Some have bemoaned political drift to the right, others political…

Read More

In the Bible reading plan we are using, the last days of each month are designated as “free days.” January 26-31 then are intended to allow you to catch up on reading you may have missed or to study passages more in depth that intrigued you during the first 25 days of the month. With…

Read More

Genesis 50, Psalm 23, Matthew 10:1-20, Acts 15:1-21 Matthew 10:1-20: Famously, Jesus now calls the twelve to him (10:1), and then sends the twelve out from him (10:5). The apostles, therefore, are both uniquely called to Christ and uniquely sent out by Christ—“sending” being the root meaning of “apostle” etymologically. They are given a particular…

Read More

Genesis 49, Psalm 22:12-31, Matthew 9:27-38, Acts 14 Matthew 9:27-38:  Jesus continues his ministry of going about healing and saving—while at the same time aware that the culmination of this ministry is at the cross, a culmination that was not yet widely understood (if at all), and so he is careful to ensure that his…

Read More

Genesis 48, Psalm 22:1-11, Matthew 9:14-26, Acts 13:26-52 Matthew 9:14-26:  First a question from the disciples of John about fasting. Jesus’ disciples are not fasting: why? (9:14). Jesus’ answer is that they are not fasting yet. He is with them, but one day they will fast (9:15). This leads him to a make a more profound…

Read More

Genesis 46-47, Psalm 21, Matthew 9:1-13,  Acts 13:1-25 Matthew 9:1-13: Sin is a word that is rarely used in contemporary culture. We do not “sin”; we make “mistakes”—“my bad,” “whoops.” And when it is something more heinous that we have done, we are rare, if at all, to use terms such as evil, sin, wickedness. Yet when…

Read More

Genesis 44-45, Psalm 20, Matthew 8:23-34, Acts 12 Matthew 8:23-34:  Jesus is typically presented as “meek and mild,” a sort of easy-going fellow, hail-fellow-well-met type, who will go with the flow, kiss babies like a good politician, and generally fit in with other people. Christians, those who follow Jesus, are likewise often viewed as being…

Read More

Genesis 42-43, Psalm 19, Matthew 8:14-22, Acts 11:19-30  Matthew 8:14-22: We see now the beauty and the sacrifice of following Jesus. First, we meet Jesus among a family—Peter’s family. Jesus is not distant from the earthly realities of life, he does not sneer or act superior towards the needs of family, child, nursery, and mother-in-law. He was welcome…

Read More

Genesis 41, Psalm 18:25-50, Matthew 8:1-13, Acts 11:1-18 Matthew 8:1-13: Having taught so powerfully, Jesus “now comes down from the mountain” (8:1) and puts his teaching into practice—in powerful and amazing ways. First a leper is healed, at a word from Jesus, and “immediately.” No lengthy course of treatment. No weird magical incantation. God incarnate,…

Read More

Genesis 39-40, Psalm 18:1-24, Matthew 7:15-29, Acts 10:24-48   Matthew 7:15-29:  Having explained his main teaching throughout this Sermon on the Mount, Jesus now moves towards the closing of the Sermon. And as he does so he strikes a note of warning, or “beware.” Given all that he has said about what makes a real…

Read More