In March 4 AD Herod fell ill and went to his palace in Jericho. He had ordered the execution of influential Jews in Jerusalem in the event of his death. He did not want people to be rejoicing at his death and this plan seemed to assure that there would be families in mourning. Upon his death his sister, Salome, countermanded the order. His eldest son Archelaus inherited the major part of his kingdom of Judea, Samaria and Idumea. However, his cruel reign only lasted to 6 AD. He massacred 3,000 men of nobility in Jerusalem. Caesar Augustus, fearing a mass revolt, exiled him to Gaul.Read More
There are “Magi” (singular “Magus”). Herodotus provides some history about them. They were originally a Median tribe that became part of the Persian Empire. The Medes had tried to overthrow the Persians but failed.Read More
This book was clearly aimed at Jewish readers. The title shows that Jesus was a descendant of King David and Abraham. This was essential to show to Jews that Jesus was the heir of David's throne and of the covenant promises.Read More
Chapter 11 of the book of Hebrews has great application and this application speaks to Fathers. Using the the heroes of faith mentioned in the passage, the word Father in an anagram form produces some characteristics of the Fatherhood of God. We ought to study and live by these characteristics as fathers, and become more like Him.Read More
The disciples were suppose to be Jesus' servants. Yet none of them had thought about rendering this service to him, yet alone to each other and apparently not even for themselves. (Indeed, they were apparently arguing among themselves as to who was the greatest! - Luke 22:24).Read More
We observed that this chapter depicts Jesus last public speaking encounter. John seems to be capturing Jesus' words, not just in regard to the crowd immediately before him, but of all his ministry encounters with the Jewish nation. Generally they had rejected his words, signs, teaching and himself as the Messiah.Read More
In verses 35-36 Jesus is indicating that his light has been shown by his words and actions on earth. We are to make the most of his light for our lives. If we neglect it and lose our way, we will stubble about in the darkness. It is a familiar theme throughout his ministry (Cf. John 11:9-10). But these people had rejected Jesus' light. It was fitting therefore that Jesus departed and was hid from them.Read More
Jesus came to the home of Martha, Mary & Lazarus at Bethany.
Bethany was one of the authorized towns that numerous Passover pilgrims could stay at.
We were struck by the loving welcome given to Jesus by this family.
Martha served, Lazarus gave table fellowship and Mary anointed Jesus' feet with very expensive perfume.
The thief and later betrayer, Judas Iscariot, did not give a loving response.
Jesus defended Mary as the anointing was a fitting gesture for his burial.
Jesus made the point that we always will have the poor but not his physical presence.
This is an extra inspiration for us to help the poor .
The raising of Lazarus forced the Pharisees & Chief Priests into action.
They feared Jesus would gain such a following that the Romans would brutally intercede.
But they feared really for their own comfortable lifestyle, power and position.
Unwittingly the chief priest prophesies Jesus's death would be for the benefit of all God's people.
he sisters message was simply "Lord, he whom you love is ill".
Their expectation was that Jesus would immediately come to his aid.
But Jesus delayed leaving the Jordan for two days.
Jesus would bring Glory to God by raising Lazarus from the dead.
Jesus was challenged by the Jews to declare who he was. Jesus replied that he had already stated this, but they did not recognize his voice because they were not his sheep (v.26), a terrible eternal indictment of them. Then Jesus makes the following declarations about himself and his Father:Read More
Jesus has the power to lay down his life for the sheep.
He also has power to take it up again from the tomb.
He laid down his life willingly for our sake.
His resurrection proves all he claimed was true.
Because Jesus rose, so will we also.
What a brave soul the blind man was to stand up to the corrupt Pharisees, knowing that he would in all likeliness, be “cast out”. That is he was excommunicated from the synagogue and society. Yet his eyes were opened both physically and spiritually, unlike the Pharisees, who chose to remain blind to Jesus and his teaching. Moreover, although uneducated and untrained, he was alert to the basics of true religion and this infuriated the Pharisees. He is a great example for us to follow. He opens our eyes that we can all testify to the truth of Jesus in our own words.Read More
Jesus stated v.56 that "Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day".
Some see this in Gen. 12:3; 15:8-21; 22:1-19.
But really it is enough that Jesus states this.
The Jews dispute that Jesus is greater than Abraham.
Then Jesus declares "before Abraham was I AM".
The Jews attempted to stone Jesus but he hid himself and went out of the Temple.
Jesus explains he is also the light of life. Jesus is the very light of God come among men; and Jesus is the light, which gives people life. A flower can never blossom when it never sees the sunlight. So our lives can never flower with the grace and beauty they ought to have until they are irradiated with the light of the presence of Jesus ChristRead More
The people knew that the authorities intended to kill Jesus. Earlier they declared him to be demon-possessed for expressing such thoughts! The Messiah was identifying himself as Saviour, yet the people refused to be saved. The opposition attempted to arrest Jesus. But their plans failed as his time had not yet come. The religious leaders were breaking the very laws they professed to upholdRead More
Jesus was attacked by the religious leaders for healing on the Sabbath. Then he was attacked for claiming to be the Son of God. Jesus explained his relationship with his Father. Jesus declared that he would judge the dead whom he would raise.But his (and our) work meanwhile is also to Wake the Dead (the spiritually dead).Read More
This is a well known miracle and the only one recorded in all four gospels. So our familiarity with it can tempt us to treat it rather glibly and miss out the extra detail that John provides.
Indeed, if we examine every verse and ask questions, the whole passage lights up like never before.
Bible Study - John 5.16-30 The Authority of the So
This passage is most profound, and it is a privilege to study and discuss.Read More
One of my favourite stories in the old testament is the one about Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego - and it's all because of one short little phrase.Read More