Luke 19:41-48: The Thresher, the Threshing Floor, and the Temple

A threshing floor is a violent place, of division and separation.  A farmer takes the cultivated harvest and casts the grain stalks on to a compacted floor.  Sinewy muscles stretch and strain, beating and separating the seed’s outer bran from the starchy inside.  Now, if wealthier, an ox will trudge through this crushing task, not […]

Church History, Lesson 6: Christianity becomes Illegal

The Great Fire of Rome, 64 AD Backdrop The Roman Empire enabled Christianity to spread without the effort needed in earlier centuries.  The Empire’s unifying infrastructure aided the Gospel’s expansion of the Gospel: well-laid roads made travel easier, most people spoke Greek, and a mighty army kept the peace.  An Empire runs on unity and […]

1st Maccabees, Lesson 2: Events Leading Up to the Maccabean Revolt

Historical Backdrop: 1:1-9 Read 1 Maccabees 1:1-9 These verses give the background, as a review to the reader, for the events that will follow.  This book was written for Jews, and so it should not surprise us when it uses Old-Testament terminology.  For instance, “Kittim” points back to the capital of Cyprus (Genesis 10:4 and […]

Sermon: Luke 19:41-44

“Familiarity breeds contempt,” so the saying goes.  It means that we can be so familiar with something that we begin to consider it of little value.  This can even happen in our faith-life, where God becomes routine for us, and we begin to consider Him of little value.  Of course, the problem is not with […]