Luke 11:1-13 (AD 29) Jesus’ blueprint for prayer is as well-known as it is ignored. Not that we don’t ever recite it – in fact some people think recitation of the exact words is extremely important. What tends to get ignored is that the first priority in our prayer life should be a desire, spilling … More Day 71: The priority of God’s glory
Luke 10:25-42 (AD 29) The “expert in the law” (v.25) in this story doesn’t have many fans. Typically we give him the big eye roll and tut-tut. ‘Test Jesus, would you? Good luck with THAT…pfff…religious leaders eh…’. But he doesn’t get nearly enough credit for the way he answers Jesus’ question. When Jesus asked, “What … More Day 70: Unpopular view: the expert in the law was a smart dude
John 10:1-21 (AD 29) “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.” (v.1) Notice that the Pharisees acted like they wanted to be in the sheep pen – that is, to be among … More Day 68: Wolves in shepherds clothing
John 9 (AD 29) The Pharisees hereby continue their head-scratching propensity to ignore the enormous significance of what’s in front of their faces and focus instead on whether their godless bonus rules are being kept: Jesus healed a blind man who was then taken to the Pharisees. Then – to paraphrase the following conversations in … More Day 67: Don’t wanna believe, not gonna believe
John 8:12-59 (AD 29) Today’s passage is a uniquely argument-filled section. Jesus was facing down not just the religious leaders but groups of Jews who were attacking him with bad theology. Remind yourself first that Jesus, whilst God, was also a man capable of feeling hurt and being saddened. Note also the viciousness of the … More Day 66: Arguing with the children of Satan
John 7:2, 11-52 (autumn, AD 29) When someone can’t see the wood for the trees, they are so involved in their immediate experience that they can’t grasp the bigger picture. That’s a very polite way of describing how a lot of people reacted to Jesus. They witnessed or heard about an incident, and took it … More Day 65: Can’t see the wood for the trees
Luke 9:51-62 (autumn, AD 29) Ever had the urge to do something useful, moved in the direction of doing that useful thing and had second thoughts when you got close? Often we can become excited by the anticipated end point, only to be discouraged when we catch sight of how long, winding and uneven is … More Day 64: Set your fa…wait, where was I?
Luke 9:51 (autumn, AD29) “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.“ Older translations refer to him “set[ting] his face”. The Greek words ‘prosōpon stērizō’ literally mean, ‘his face set to turn resolutely in a certain direction’. Why did he have to set out ‘resolutely’. Why … More Day 63: Set your face
John 7:2-10 (autumn, AD 29) Jesus’ brothers didn’t get it. Simon, Jude, Joseph and James must have known he was an exceptionally good person, but he also seemed like an attention-seeker with a bad agent. There they were in the under-populated, under-recognised north, with a trip to the big city begging, and Jesus didn’t seem … More Day 62: Did Jesus need an agent?
Matthew 18 (AD 29) We’d like to think that we wouldn’t ask boneheaded self-serving questions like the disciples did. But let’s be honest – we absolutely would. “Who…is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” is a classic of its type: a cross between mindless trivia and self-absorbed ambition. Jesus’ illustration of needing to go … More Day 61: Soft love, tough love