Holy Trinity: John 3:1-17

So naive is Nicodemus.  In the concealed obscurity of night, he visits Jesus.  Though seeking to remain undetected, he offers Him the highest praise, “Rabbi, you must be a teacher come from God.  For no one can perform the signs you do unless God is with him” (John 3:2).  Swept away by His miracles, such […]

John: Lesson 8: Jesus Feeds a Crowd to … (John 6:1 – 24)

In John 2, Jesus went to Jerusalem for Passover (John 2:24, 4:43-44).  Now we find almost a year has elapsed and Jesus is back in Galilee with another Passover soon approaching.  This shows us John leaves out a lot, including the more important points we need (John 20:31).    Jesus Feeds a Crowd  Read John […]

Unnoticed Connections in Scripture, Lesson 5: Numbers Continued

In this lesson, we continue exploring the significance of numbers in the Bible.  For we find specific numbers coming up over and again throughout Scripture.  For example, God commanded His people to celebrate seven festivals in the Old Covenant—four during spring and three in the autumn.  These three fall festivals all took place in the […]

Acts 2:1-21: The Real Power of Pentecost

At last, power!  A fitting display of vigor and vitality for the saving Word to sally forth into the world!  No more modesty of the Christ-child sleeping among the animals in a manure-filled stable.  Absent is the shame and humiliation of Christ’s execution by Roman overlords.  The hidden splendor of Easter Sunday morning when God […]

John: Lesson 7: Jesus Goes to “Court” (John 5:30-47)

After Jesus heals a paralyzed man on the Sabbath, others begin to oppose Him publicly.  Jesus refutes the charges of violating the Sabbath based on His identity as the faithful Son who only does what He receives from the Father.  “The Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the […]

John: Lesson 6: Opposition to Jesus becomes Public (John 5:1-29)

Up until now, Jesus has mostly been working with individuals, but in this section of the Gospel, His ministry begins to engage with larger groups, both followers and dissenters.  In John 5, Jesus begins by healing a paralyzed man on the Sabbath (5:1-9).  This event becomes a spark to ignite the public opposition against Him […]

Acts 1:12-26: The Office is Greater than the Man

Most of us don’t realize how much North Africans influenced our Christian thinking.  For instance, they became the first to worship in Latin.  So, much of western Christian thought came from them, as we in the West later adopted the Latin language. In the first three centuries, a higher percentage of Christians lived in the […]

Unnoticed Connections in Scripture: Lesson 4: Numbers

Counting in Hebrew The Hebrew language didn’t use numbers.  Instead, letters took on the task of denoting numerical values.  Like Roman numerals, each letter denotes a value (“I” = one; “V” = five; “X” = 10, and so on). To write a number, one combined different letters.  A development, which took place within the languages […]

Acts 1:6-11: Christ’s Ascension Doesn’t Mean He’s Now Trapped in Heaven

This was our pastor’s sermon for the pastoral circuit meeting (winkel)  on Tuesday, May 9, 2018.   The book of Acts tells us of the first Christians as they brought Jesus to others in their words and deeds.  The Scripture pictures for us the earliest Church, unfolding who the Church is and what she does, […]

John: Lesson 5: Jesus Points the People to His Word (John 4:27-4:54)

Recap and Intro Like Nicodemus, the woman did not get the “greater” sign (living water).  She did, however, recognize Jesus came from God by the “lesser” signs He gave her: Her lifestyle of multiple marriages and living with men outside of marriage.  The disciples now return from the village, who went there to buy food. […]