John the Baptist set himself apart from the normal lifestyle of his world to do what God had called him to do. He did not drink alcohol or cut his hair. He lived in one of the harshest desert environments in the world, dressing primitively and eating simply. Yet people flocked into the desert to see this unusual man and hear his powerful message. When they arrived, they saw a man dressed like Elijah, the premier prophet of Israel hundreds of years earlier. His speech was harsh, clear, and penetrating.
Paul (or Saul, as he was also known) was a zealot, a staunch defender of the Jewish faith. He was especially zealous about exposing and punishing offshoots of Judaism that threatened to obscure its message.
He targeted the disciple of a rabbi named Jesus of Nazareth who were attempting to keep his message alive even after the rabbi himself had been crucified. They spread stories about seeing him risen form the dead. They claimed he was the Son of God and the way to everlasting life.
One of three major Jewish feasts, also derived from the Greek word meaning “fifty.” Pentecost occurs in the month of Sivan (May/June), 50 days after Passover, and celebrates the end of the grain harvest. The Pentecost that followed Jesus’ death and resurrection was the occasion on which the Holy Spirit was given to believers in Jerusalem.
Token or sign. While the word “symbol” does not appear in the Bible, both the OT and NT are rich in symbolism and symbolic language.
Symbols, whether objects, gestures, or rituals, covey meaning to the rational, emotional, and intuitive dimensions of human beings. The universal and supreme symbol of Christian faith is the cross, an instrument of execution. For Christians this hideous object comes to be a sign of God’s love human beings,.
The Jordan River played an important role in a number of memorable events from both the Old Testament and the New Testament. It is known for being a fertile valley and an important landmark. The first mention of the Jordan occurs in the story of Abram and Lot, where Lot chose for himself “all the plan of Jordan” (Gen 13:11 KJV). The next time we come upon it, Jacob is wrestling with his adversary at the ford of the Jabbok, one of the major tributaries of the Jordan. Elsewhere the Jordan is crossed and is used as a place of baptism and provision. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (JORDAN RIVER)→