The Barren Gives Birth

Easter III: Lk. 1:5-7 Introduction We saw last week that Luke wrote this account in order to show how the gospel of Jesus makes sense. This “sense” is not based on pure human reason, but is like the good sense of a great story, full of mystery and tension culminating in deep, surprising joy and…

Discipline that Saves

Men’s Breakfast Study: Proverbs 3:11-12 Introduction In the first speech (Prov. 3:1-10), the father extols the virtues and value of remembering and obeying the law of God given by the parents. Here, however, the father warns the son that this wisdom and obedience does not come automatically, but it comes God’s fatherly correction and instruction….

What Are Men For? (Part 2)

Introduction Last week we grounded true masculinity in the story of the covenant, seen particularly in the first and last Adams. Men are people particularly created and called to take responsibility, to take the lead in serving and guarding the gifts entrusted to them. This is because the glory of men is their strength (Prov….

Laughter, Holy War, and Israel’s True King

Luke describes Zacharias and Elizabeth echoing several OT stories. First, they are obviously an Abraham and Sarah. They walk in the commandments and ordinances of the Lord “blameless” (1:6, cf. Gen. 17:1). And Elizabeth, like Sarah, is barren. This means John the Baptizer is an Isaac, and perhaps Zacharias’ speechlessness underlines this. Zacharias cannot talk,…

Naomi in Egypt

When Naomi describes her situation as “bitter” (Ruth 1:13, 20) she is like Israel in bondage, a slave in a foreign land (Ex. 1:14). But if the bitter herbs of Passover are meant to recall that bitter service (12:8), then there is a kind of bitterness of heart before the Lord which is the prelude…