John 8:12-16: I Am the Light of the World

Intro In John 7-9, Jesus is celebrating the annual Festival of Tabernacles.  For eight days each year, the Jews traveled to Jerusalem for this ritual, living in temporary shelters to remind them of their time in the wilderness.  In their exodus, with the Red Sea at their backs, a water shortage waited for the Israelites […]

Matthew 15:22-28: Being a Blessed Dog

To the Northern coast, Christ goes, traveling into the region of Tyre and Sidon.  Far from home, He is walking on Canaanite soil with His disciples.  Many centuries earlier, God told Joshua to purge the land of these people when they recaptured their country.  With this shared history, the Israelites hated the Canaanites, calling them […]

Genesis 3:1-21: The Dark Poetry of the Fall

The story of our plummet into sin is simple enough but also full of intricacies.  These verses in Scripture are both complex and nuanced.  Every word in the first three chapters of Genesis is correct, but they do not come to us as a textbook of history, but as poetry.  So, we should be wise […]

John 15:1-8: I Am the Vine

Apart from me, you can do nothing, Jesus decrees, scorching every elegance of language away (John 15:5).  Attend to His words, for He doesn’t say someone is disabled but bereft of all ability.  What might glint and glimmer from us, is only “wood, grass, or stubble,” nothing eternal (1 Corinthians 3:12).  “All things are from […]

Matthew 16:13-23: Who Do You Say I Am?

After people demanded proof of His divinity, Jesus questions His disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”  Earlier, the Pharisees clamored, challenging Him to give them a sign from heaven.  Do not find this as strange, for lack of faith always wants to sense and experience something, not take God at His […]

Exodus 3:1-15: “I AM”

The Supreme Architect of the universe isn’t remote or indifferent toward us.  No, He wants us to live in Him and love Him—this is the story of the Bible.  Go back to creation, and you will find a loving God, yearning for Adam and Eve to commune with Him.  After the fall, God did not […]

Jonah 1:1-17: The God Hidden within Creation

“The Word of the Lord,” coming from God Himself, changes what a person receives, from the normal into the supernatural.  No longer are words only sound waves.  For when something from eternal realms comes to another, they transform the event.  The Almighty is speaking in His Word, which means He is also acting and doing.  […]

Amos 9:11-15: The Real Celebration

The shout goes out, “The party’s over!”  The last call for alcohol is now past, and the barkeep is locking the door.  Perhaps, the fat lady is concluding her song.  Soon, the closing curtain descends, covering the stage.  Well, people are leaving, and you must wake up in a few hours for work.  So, one […]

Luke 2:41-52: Where is Jesus?

A fascinating account!  The only reliable report of Jesus from the time He returned from Egypt until almost three decades later, when He began His public ministry.  To Jerusalem, His family travels for the Passover—the annual commemoration of Israel’s liberation from death and Egyptian bondage by the blood of a lamb (Exodus 12).  Through this, […]

Luke 2:33-40: A Sword Will Pierce Your Soul, O Mary

A maiden mother brings God, pulsing with blood and moving with muscle, into this world.  From her womb, the Lord formed for Himself a human frame.  More than any other in all human history, God united to her in a way like no other.  So, if anyone deserved preferential treatment from God, Mary should be […]