The Twelves

Luke XXXIII: Lk. 9:1-17 Introduction The Kingdom of God is the Kingdom of the Risen King of Israel. In this Kingdom, God fills empty hands with plenty to share; He makes the weak His means of power. The New Twelve Notice that Luke has organized this section with a high concentration of “twelves” (8:42, 8:43,…

A Tale of Two Storms

Luke XXXI: Lk. 8:22-39 Introduction Luke has presented the advent of Jesus as the arrival of God’s Word. People respond to that word in various ways, but fundamentally they either believe and obey and are set free or they don’t and they aren’t (e.g. Mary, Zechariah, the shepherds, Pharisees, the centurion, the sinful woman). Despite…

Twelve Foundation Stones

Luke XXIII: Luke 6:12-19 Introduction Here, Jesus chooses twelve ordinary men to become the foundation of the new Israel, the Christian Church, in order to work His powerful grace through them. Prayer When Jesus chose the twelve disciples, He prayed all night (Lk. 6:12). Like Moses, Jesus goes up a mountain to choose twelve new…

The Lord Be With You

One of the ancient greetings of God’s people is “The Lord be with you//And with your spirit” or “The Peace of the Lord be with you//And with your spirit.” Variations of this greeting show up a number of times in the Bible (2 Thess. 3:16, 2 Tim. 4:22, cf. Rom. 16:23, Rev. 22:21, 1 Chron….

White is for War

In the book of Revelation white robes are the garb of warriors. Jesus tells the Church in Sardis that if they stay pure, their garments will be white, and he who overcomes will be clothed in white. When the fifth seal is opened, John sees the souls of those who have been slain for the…

Builders Like Him

In the beginning God built the heavens and the earth. And you well know, God did not make it all at once, but rather He intentionally built the universe in six days, six discrete phases. He created light and separated it from the darkness. And looked at it and smiled and said it was good….

Shaking the World

Minor Prophets XV: Haggai Outline The Longest Introduction Ever Around 600 B.C. the first Jews began going into captivity in Babylon. Jeremiah had announced that God was with Babylon now, and any who surrendered would be spared (Jer. 27). Jehoiachin King of Judah surrendered under one siege and went into captivity, and Daniel and Ezekiel…

All Things New

In Revelation 21, Jesus says “Behold, I make all things new.” And this comes on the tail end of John seeing a new heavens and a new earth and a new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven. It looks like Jesus is making all things new, and then He confirms our suspicions. This is a…

God Provides the Lion and the Lamb

In Revelation 5, John weeps because there is no one worthy to open the scroll and loose its seals. But one of the elders calms him and says, “Do not weep. Behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals”…

Our Jesus Holds the Keys: Good Friday 2014

Note: The audio recording for this message is available here. One of the most unusual elements of the Christian gospel is the fact that we celebrate the death of our leader. For most movements, for most religions, for most kingdoms or empires, the death of the leader is a moment of instability, chaos, disillusionment. But…