Palm Sunday: Psalm 119:19-29: “Open to Me the gates of righteousness”

Long before the beginnings of print, before television infiltrated our lives, people gathered in their communities and told stories.  These entertained and educated, and passed down a culture’s history and tradition.  The power of the story shaped the way people thought and helped mold and maintain a cohesive community.  Picture the Israelites.  Though scholars wrote […]

Good Friday: John 12:32-33: When the I Am is Lifted Up

The nails pierce, thorns stab, and blood feeds the ground.  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin, its poison, is the Law.  For what God commands from us requires perfection, but promises life to all who do what He demands.  For those who can’t, one finds only death since God’s Law […]

Maundy Thursday: John 6:47-56: I Am the Bread of Life

The first Passover, such a horrific and gruesome sight, unlike any in Egypt, whether before or after.  At twilight, an enslaved people slaughter thousands of lambs, eat of their flesh, and brush their blood on the doorposts of their houses.  Those lambs died, so the firstborn sons of Israel may live.  From this somber Passover, […]

John 14:1-7: I Am the Way, Truth, and Life

The atmosphere is solemn and sober.  A Teacher’s words trouble and grieve His students (John 14:1, 27; 16:6, 20-22).  The air thickens with uncertainty and foreboding, as tensions rise.  By the day, their opponents turn more vicious; at night, darkening their future with dire prospects.  A series of traumatic experiences will soon engulf and suffocate […]

John 10:7-10: I Am the Door

The Pharisees seethe in anger.  On a Sabbath, Jesus heals a man, who suffered the misfortune of being born blind.  To them, He is an unstoppable juggernaut, acting like He owns the place, curing illness on the designated day for rest, confronting them on their hypocrisy and failings.  The more they oppose this rabbi who […]

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 […]