These three occasions, when a voice spoke to Jesus from the sky, mark stages in the Gospel story when Jesus understood and accepted the destination of his ministry. He wasn’t was born knowing the full script for his life. He was born as a normal, human baby lying helpless in a cattle trough – then he learned his destiny by stages.
Years ago, I was taught that the Transfiguration was the fulfilment of Jesus' promise that some disciples would see him "coming into his kingdom". I felt dissatisfied with that explanation - but now I see the point.
Setbacks, tragedies, and worries were raining down, and I was devastated. So, what did I do? I turned to Job. The courage of Job’s faith inspires me afresh each time I return to his story.
“Deliver us from evil” (a phrase from ‘the Lord’s Prayer’) doesn’t mean “make us nicer people”. Rather, it asks God to protect us from a force that can trap or imprison us (otherwise why would we need deliverance?) Yes. Evil is a force, and it’s not just the Bible that sees it that way. Science fiction often treats evil as a force – for instance, in the Star Wars films. In the Bible passage that introduces the Lord’s Prayer the original Greek speaks of the evil and some English versions translate it as the evil one – in other words, the Devil. But does anyone still believe in the Devil, demons, or evil spirits?
I’m writing this during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic when the whole world is anxious and many Christians are talking about ‘spiritual warfare’. All prayer is good, but not all types of prayer are right for everyone. This unseen virus offers a metaphor for the forces to be fought in spiritual warfare. But we must be selective.
Ahab is seen as one of Israel’s worst kings. He was a liar, a cheat, and a bully, but the incident vineyard of Naboth's is the only recorded example of corruption that could get him impeached today. It is an object lesson in how temptation works.
Encouragement and hints to aid familiarisation with the WHOLE Bible - plus a link to download a FREE personal Bible Reading Record.
People assume that heroes don’t feel fear. They are wrong. Brave people feel the fear but act in spite of it. Those who have no sense of fear are not brave, but naive. People of faith experience doubt, but act in faith. It’s not the way we feel that counts, but the decisions we make. Doubt takes you down to the depths, where you discover your foundations and find that they are strong
The story of Achan can be uncomfortable reading. His condemntation was harsh, but was it just?
Stop reading?Evolution or Genesis – do we have to make a choice? Some people are sensitive to any questioning of the literal accuracy of the Bible’s creation story. Others are anxious to crush any thought of God under the hammer of evolutionary theory. If either of those statements describes you, perhaps you should stop reading … Continue reading Adam and evolution