Jesus Heals a Man Blind from Birth: why is there suffering?
Traditional Jewish thought said suffering was due to sin. There are various answers as to why we suffer which are usually insufficient. Does God care that we suffer? What, if any, is God’s role? What is Jesus’ role in our suffering?
Got Living Water? Have an encounter with Jesus like the woman at the well
The woman at the well left a changed person–she found Living Water. How do we get Living Water so we can be the person Jesus see us as and not who we think we are?
Nicodemus comes at night to ask Jesus about being born from above
“Night” in the Gospel of John signals the condition of those who want to believe but have difficulty believing. Jesus said that “whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” Being born again does not depend on our faltering faith but on the grace of God so that we are born from above. It is a gift that we have to receive.
Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness tells us about our freedom
God allows his creatures freedom to chose His way or ours. In how he faces his temptations in the wilderness, Jesus does not use his power to do what human nature would want, but sets an example of faith and trust in God. Our temptations should not be seen as an obstacle, but a means to strengthen our faith to choose life and not death.
The Transfiguration: a glimpse of the Kingdom after the Resurrection
Matthew relates the Transfiguration of Jesus on the high mountain between the Sermon on the Mount and the Mount of Golgotha. Peter, James, and John were given a gift to see Jesus with the glory accorded him. But first Jesus must go through the suffering and humiliation of the cross before the glory. Only by comprehending the gore of the crucifixion can we really understand Jesus’ glory.
Jesus shows us what following the law really looks like: read the instructions and listen to the Spirit
God gave us his law so we would know how to follow his ways. We tend to put our own meaning into them. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives us not just the law, but the intent behind the laws–to show us how to live as God meant for us to live. We are God’s workmanship created to love and serve God and love and serve others.
Be Salt: Live in such a way that people who know you come to know your God
For the people in our lives that do not know God: are we telling them about Jesus? The Christian life is not just about living and walking the walk, but we are to also talk the talk. Make a difference day by day: be salt and light to those around you.
Being Blessed: Happiness is not the Christian’s goal, but the blessing of God
The secret to being blessed is to let go of what we think we want and to accept where God has planted us and to trust Him fully that he has a plan for our life. Then we choose to do our part to fulfill it under the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Certain qualities of life such as comfort, peace, integrity, and real fulfillment are assured to those who are willing to listen to God and follow…
Turning point: Leaving all to follow Jesus to fish for people
To leave family and job to follow Jesus seems counter-intuitive behavior. The Great Commission, Jesus’ last command, calls every follower of Jesus to go teach and make disciples by our life-style and words. 70% of Americans are not involved with church. But our task is not to fill up church pews, but to fill up heaven with souls who have accepted the Good News.
Amazing Grace: Paul and John Newton
The same grace that saved Paul and John Newton saves us and not only gives us a right relation to God, but also makes us part of something larger than ourselves–the body of Christ–to do the work of Christ in the world. Spiritual work must be done by spiritual means, empowered by the Holy Spirit by God’s grace–unmerited favor.
The Baptism of Jesus by John: Even though he was without sin, he identified with our humanity
And like that baptism marked the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, so baptism marks our new beginning. Baptism is not the finish line, but baptism, after receiving the Holy Spirit’s power, marks the launching of our ministry to do God’s work by His Spirit.
Jesus is the Light that has come to chase away the darkness around us and in us
The Wise Men followed a star to the place where the Christ Child was. Jesus came to give light so that we do not have to stumble in the darkness without hope. He gives us light and hope.