1 Corinthians 1:18-25: The Foolishness of the Cross

In all your days, did someone come to you and make this case?  “Tell me, if God is almighty, can He create a stone too heavy for Him to carry?”  Hmm, such a smug, rebellious question!  At last, the creature gives the Creator His comeuppance, outwitting Him in our cleverness.  So we think.  No, this […]

Genesis 50:15-21: God Working Through All for the Good

How hard to forgive someone who hurts you!  A co-worker takes credit for your work, and now you are the lazy one.  A bully intimidates you, for not all bullies die away after grade school.  Your sister talks your aging mother into giving her a family heirloom, which she promised to you a decade before.  […]

2 Corinthians 12:1-10: Power Made Perfect in Weakness

The Apostle Paul, firm in faith, with enduring character, and bold in tenacity against his many obstacles.  In 2 Corinthians, chapter 11, he reveals what many of them are.  Time in jail, countless beatings, and many brushes with death, which became the wrecked rubble of his past.  The list goes on, for he endured being […]

2 Corinthians, Lesson 20: Conclusion

Having announced his planned visit to Corinth for a third visit, Paul decision to go there remains firm.   Paul Remains Ready Read 2 Corinthians 13:1 “by the evidence”: Paul retained Deuteronomy’s “by the mouth” (in both the Masoretic Text and Septuagint). Paul will connect the idea of what comes out of the mouth (speech) […]

2 Corinthians, Lesson 19: Paul’s Planned Third Visit

Having shown how he exalted in his weakness, so Christ may be exalted all the more, Paul now concludes his boasting in is weakness. Conclusion of Paul Boasting in His Weakness Read 2 Corinthians 12:11-12 Paul asserts he is not inferior to whom?   Why?   Excursus: “Signs and Wonders”: From Exodus to Corinth “Signs […]

The Theology of Suffering

Today’s lesson comes from a request to explore how to understand suffering in our lives. How are we to view suffering and, then, based on such a view, handle the suffering that comes our way?   The Theology of Glory versus the Theology of the Cross Before we look into suffering, we need to look […]

1 Corinthians 1:21-25: The “Foolishness” of the Cross

Paul’s words have an edge to them in today’s epistle reading.  He calls preaching Jesus Christ and Him crucified as “a stumbling block” and “foolishness.”   Yet, if you’ve been a Christian a while, the cross of Christ just seems logical.  For, over time, it’s easy to become comfortable with the whole saga of Jesus’ […]

Jesus’ Glory Hidden in His Powerful Word: Luke 23:32-43

We have finally followed Jesus up to the hill called Golgotha, the place of the skull.  At the beginning of Lent, Jesus called us to follow Him there, not so we could help Him, but that He would show us His true glory hidden in the cross.   But, oh, how deep is the humiliation […]

Jesus’ Glory Hidden in His Stumbling and Falling: Mark 15:17-21

Is it not astonishing?  It is just as Jesus said it would be.  The soldiers mock Him.  They beat and scourge Him.  And to make sure Jesus’ humiliation is complete, they bow down to Him in mock worship.   The angels, who love Jesus and have worshipped Him since their creation, do not intervene.  The […]

Hidden in the Savior’s Rejection by the World: Luke 18:33-19:1

What a contrast we have between Jesus and Pilate?  On one side is Jesus.  He testifies that He is a king, but that His kingdom is not of this world.  He testifies that all who are on the side of truth listen to Him: they hear and follow His Word, believe in Him, trust Him, […]