The Threat of Grace

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany: Jer. 1:1-10, 1 Cor. 13:1-13, Lk. 4:21-30 Introduction Epiphany is the season that celebrates God’s glory bursting out into this world through Jesus. This began at His birth, but it went public at His baptism, in His miracles, and through His preaching and teaching the Scriptures. In many ways, we can…

The Glory of God’s Word

Third Sunday after Epiphany: Neh. 8:1-12 Introduction Bible reading has always been a hard topic. It has always been a topic that tends to guilt and sorrow. This is because we know that we are sinners, and the perfect law of liberty is a mirror that shows us who we really are (Js. 1:22-25). This…

Clothed With Love

First Sunday in Christmas 2015: 1 Sam. 2:18-20, 26, Col. 3:12-17, Lk. 2:41-52 Introduction When Jesus was born, He was wrapped in swaddling cloths. These indicate that even though He was God, He was an ordinary baby, and that He was cared for and loved. The lessons today are all about clothing, family, and calling….

Screaming Goat Scandals

One of the important lessons that Christians must learn in the face of sin and failure is honest confession and repentance. This means naming sins biblically. Confession literally means to “agree with God.” This must be done simply, straightforwardly, and cheerfully. At the same time, one of the other lessons that must be remembered is…

What Is A Christian Marriage?

What is a Christian marriage? Is a Christian marriage one where the man and woman both attend a Christian church, are members, or were baptized once? Is it where the individuals in the family try to be good and kind and follow the teachings of Jesus? Many marriages and families participate in churches and perhaps…

Unexpected Grace

Luke XXVIII: Luke 7:18-35 Introduction This story is all about expectations. John needs reassurance that his expectations about Jesus are correct. Jesus asks the people about their expectations concerning John. And finally, Jesus explains why the expectations of the Pharisees are wrong. And the questions looming behind these expectations are about who Jesus is and…

Authority & Compassion

Luke XXVII: Lk. 7:1-17 Introduction While Luke has finished teaching on leadership and discipleship in His Kingdom, He isn’t done demonstrating what it looks like. In these two episodes, Luke illustrates what the Lordship of Jesus does in a rich and powerful centurion and a weak and defenseless widow. The Powerful Centurion A centurion was…

Eyes, Trees, and Houses

Luke XXVI: Luke 6:39-49 Introduction Jesus concludes His charge to those who would lead His people and (by implication) those who would follow Him (and them), with three exhortations. Seeing Clearly First, a leader must be someone who sees clearly. A blind leader will produce blind followers (Lk. 6:39-40). In order for a leader to…

Tactics of Grace

Luke XXV: Lk. 6:27-38 Introduction When you follow Jesus, you are committing your life to the One who became impoverished for us, hungry for us, sorrowful for us, rejected and excluded for us. This is why when we experience those same things, we can rejoice and be glad. The reason we receive those situations in…

The Happiness of Jesus

Luke XXIV: Luke 6:20-26 Introduction Setting aside some of the intriguing questions about whether this is the same sermon as the Sermon on the Mount in Mathew 5-6, we can at least acknowledge that it is a very similar one. Nevertheless, Luke has very clearly presented this sermon as delivered to the “disciples” in the…