Bible Note #19 — Palm Sunday, Mark 11:1-11

I am always torn by this story—by the inherent social tension in the story.  This passage and the accounts in the other Synoptic Gospels (Matthew/Mark/Luke) see this event as taking place on the first day of the same week in which Jesus would be crucified.  And I see no good reason to argue with that … Continue reading

BIBLE NOTE #18–Matthew14:22-33: Adventures in Water-walking with Jesus

ADVENTURES IN WATER-WALKING WITH JESUS   I love this passage – Matthew 14:22-32. But I’m still not sure I understand what Peter had in mind (v.28). It all happened one dark, windy night out in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. It’s typically called a “sea,” but really it’s a large, freshwater lake. Still, … Continue reading

Bible Note #17 — Matthew 6:25-34 — God’s Orientation Toward Us

Some of the great truths of Scripture are not so much great doctrinal concepts as they are simple relational realities concerning God’s orientation toward us.  What Calvin says of the Lord’s Supper can, I’m convinced, be applied to this whole category of truth.  “I rather experience than understand it.” [Inst. IV. xvii. 32]  Grasping these … Continue reading

Bible Note #16 — By the River Jabbok

The tinkling of sheep bells was the last sound audible to him fading away up the path and over th hill on the other side of the small river.  The crunch of foot and hoof on the sandy gravel of the path had been lost to him fist, washed away by the splash and rush … Continue reading

Bible Note #15 — Exodus 34:29-35

Exodus 34:29-35 There is, in this passage, an interesting small but important detail that I have never really noticed before.  It lies behind the widely recognized, though certainly bizarre, fact that Moses’ face acquired an intense radiance as a result of close time spent in the physical presence of God.  The people were quite terrified … Continue reading

Bible Note #14 — Luke 1:13: Of Prayer, Patience, and a Sovereign God

Luke 1:11-13 The archangel Gabriel says something strange to Zechariah here — something I’ve never really recognized as strange until I just read this passage again for the two-hundred-eighty-third time.  Gabriel tells Zechariah that his prayer has been heard and, as a result, Elizabeth is going to have a child.  I say this is strange, … Continue reading

Bible Note #13 — 1 Peter 1:23-25

“For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.  For, ‘All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.’ (Isaiah 40:6-8)” 1 … Continue reading

Bible Note #12 — Exodus 25:1-9

In this passage (Exodus 25:1-9), God calls on Moses to receive an offering from the people for the purpose of building and furnishing the tabernacle.  He emphasizes that the offering is to be strictly voluntary — “from everyone whose heart stirs him to give.” (v. 2; HCSB) What follows then is a list of the … Continue reading

Bible Note #11 — Exodus 3: The Call of Moses

God routinely goes out of his way to incorporate human partnership in the accomplishing of his purposes in the world.  The fact is so plain that it is regularly overlooked by most of us as we read Bible stories about God’s dealing with human beings. Here in Exodus 3 in the story of God’s calling … Continue reading

Bible Note #10 — 1 John 1:5-10 — Light & Darkness, Truth & Deception

1 John 1:5-10 “Light” and “darkness” are paralleled by “truth” and “lying or deception” in this passage.  The truth as a concept here is multi-layered  It is in some places the truth about God.  In other places it is truth about ourselves. Ironically, we ourselves are often both the deceived and the deceiver at the … Continue reading