• New Testament

    Jesus Barabbas or Jesus the Messiah?

    One detail of the Easter story that is sometimes missing is the contrast and comparison of the two men named Jesus. Yes, you read that right! At the end of Jesus’s trial, Pilate selects two men named Jesus as candidates for selection by the Jewish crowd. Jesus the Messiah and Jesus Barabbas are put forward side by side. The dilemma is obvious. To which Jesus will the nation of Israel affirm their loyalty? Read More

  • Hermeneutics,  New Testament,  Old Testament

    Why Does Jesus say, “I am the Good Shepherd”?

    “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). Most Christians are familiar with the picture of Jesus as the good shepherd. Typically, the meaning of the good shepherd comparison focuses on Jesus’ care for Christians. I have heard multiple sermons on what it means for Jesus to be the shepherd. In particular, I remember a sermon where the question was asked, “What is a shepherd?” The proposed points in the sermon went something like: Read More

  • New Testament,  Theology

    What Makes Jesus Happy?

    Happiness is often thought of as the chief goal in life. Thus, many people assume that, as a perfect human, Jesus must have been a very happy individual. However, I don’t see Jesus being happy very often in Scripture. In fact, I can only identify two times in the gospels where Jesus is described as happy. One of those times is in John 11:15 where Jesus is happy that he was not there to save Lazarus, so that the disciples would see God’s power displayed through Jesus. The other time Jesus is happy is described in Luke 10:21, Read More

  • Christian Living

    The High Cost of Following Jesus

    Many people buy into the lie that Jesus wants you to believe in Him so that He can fix your life. Many people think following Jesus is the key to a prosperous life. I have heard preachers say that if someone wants to be a better athlete, a better doctor, a better musician, then come to Jesus! The truth is, Jesus never promised that following him would make your life better. In fact, He constantly warned that following Him may make your life worse! Read More

  • New Testament

    The Illegal Trial of Jesus

    One of the things that has always fascinated me is the rule of law and how trials operate to either convict or acquit the accused. Jewish law in particular had specific guidelines for how trials should be conducted. Violation of these guidelines was to be viewed as an illegal practice and a miscarriage of justice. But that didn’t stop the Jewish leadership from conducting an illegal trial against the Son of God. Read More

  • Hermeneutics,  New Testament,  Old Testament,  Scripture

    Does Your Theology Start with Jesus? I Hope Not.

    Jesus is to be recognized as sovereign Lord in the church. But, is it justified to start with Jesus when it comes to forming theology? Many Christians affirm just that. For example, I was once listening to a podcast and the subject was raised about how we formulate our theology. One speaker said something like, “We must get our theology from the life and person of Jesus who is God incarnate. If your theology does not match with who he is, then go back to him and start over.” Read More

  • Hermeneutics,  Scripture

    Red-Letter Christians

    There is an official website called www.redletterchristians.org, with the stated purpose as follows: The goal of Red Letter Christians is simple: To take Jesus seriously by endeavoring to live out His radical, counter-cultural teachings as set forth in Scripture, and especially embracing the lifestyle prescribed in the Sermon on the Mount. I think I understand the intent of this group. However, the premise is mistaken and it leads to the ultimate question: Should we treat the words of Jesus differently than the rest of Scripture?