Tag: Jesus

Jesus and the Last Supper: more than just a meal

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As part of Holy Week, Maundy Thursday is recognized this evening. It was the night in which Jesus ate the Last Supper with his disciples. The time in which Jesus died corresponded with the Jewish holiday of Passover. And the Last Supper was the first night of Passover. An annual dinner for Passover is held, called a Seder, which is the Hebrew word for “order.” In 3,500 years, rabbinical tradition and teaching helped to form the ceremony of the Seder.

Some of these pieces were traced back to the original Passover. Others came in Jewish history from rabbinical traditions. Continue reading “Jesus and the Last Supper: more than just a meal”

Sunday to Friday: Save us! To Crucify!

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Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons – Ben Stassen

Jesus enters Jerusalem riding on a donkey. It’s a festive scene. Passover week, one of the most significant holidays in the Jewish calendar. Jesus has been preaching throughout the region of Galilee. He has built up quite the following: teaching on the kingdom of heaven and performing miracles.

And here he enters the holy city, the crowds shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9). Palm branches had become a Jewish symbol of victory and the crowds bring these branches out as they chant. The processional they created was somewhat makeshift, but it had kingly overtones. They’re treating him like someone who was returning to Jerusalem after having conquered an enemy. Ironically, he was coming into Jerusalem to conquer sin. Continue reading “Sunday to Friday: Save us! To Crucify!”

Murders, mobs, dictators and the gospel

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(originally posted March 7, 2016)

In the gospel of Matthew, when Jesus was before the ruling Jewish council, he made a reference to his divine status. To the ruling council, this was taken as blasphemy. Within Rome, they didn’t have the authority to execute Jesus for his action, so they took him to Pontius Pilate, who was the governor of Judea

Pilate questions Jesus: “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed. (Matthew 27:11-14). Continue reading “Murders, mobs, dictators and the gospel”

Wisdom is as wisdom does 

There are two ways to go. The way of the wise and the way of the fool. This is based off of the wisdom tradition of the Old Testament. Which often talks about these two roads.   

In James 3:13, he asks a rhetorical question, “Who is wise in understanding among you?”

Who’s wise?

James has much to say about wisdom. 

There’s a difference between wisdom and knowledge. Knowledge is knowing facts. Wisdom is living out a life that is applying what God has revealed.  

Knowledge is knowing that you have brownie mix in the pantry. Wisdom is making brownies.     Continue reading “Wisdom is as wisdom does “

Blessed are the persecuted? 

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

-Matthew 5:10

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus begins the sermon with a section called The Beatitudes, 8 statements, most of which seem counterintuitive at first glance. But these are much deeper than pithy statements. They point us to the ethics of Jesus. 

The final beatitude is in Matthew 5:10, while verses 11 and 12 elaborate on it. 

Blessed are the persecuted.  Continue reading “Blessed are the persecuted? “

Not man’s gospel 


In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he says “For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel” (Galatians 1:11). 

That is one of the most fundamental misunderstandings that 21st century American society has with Christianity. 

It is not man’s gospel.  Continue reading “Not man’s gospel “

Why does Jesus say “the poor in spirit” are blessed?

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus begins the sermon with a section called The Beatitudes, 8 statements, most of which seem counterintuitive at first glance. But these are much deeper than pithy statements. They point us to the ethics of Jesus. 

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Continue reading “Why does Jesus say “the poor in spirit” are blessed?”