Mary had a front-row seat for an unbelievable life full of amazing stories: the angel Gabriel showing up out of the blue to tell her that she, a virgin, was pregnant (Luke 1:26-38)-and not just expecting, but expecting the Son of God; the baby’s birth in an animal shed far from home (Luke 2:1-7); the odd parade of well-wishers saying beautiful and occasionally frightening things (Matt 2:1-12; Luke 2:8-38); the mad dash to Egypt to escape Herod’s wrath (Matt 2:13-14).Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (MARY “THE MOTHER AND FIRST DISCIPLE OF JESUS”)
All three of the synoptic Gospels give an account of Jesus’ selection of His disciples. But only Luke reveals that He spent an entire night in prayer before making His choice (Luke 6:12-16). These were the men who would continue His ministry after Her death, resurrection, and ascension. So He sought God’s will in this decision through fervent prayer. Continue reading THE SELECTION OF THE TWELVE
Conservative churches that discourage or ban use of alcoholic beverages are bewildered at the production of wine as Jesus’ first miracle. Such churches have sometimes insisted that the wine in John 2 was nonalcoholic, despite the wedding guests’ unusual delight and appreciation of it. Surely, Jesus did make very good wine, yet not hint of alcoholic abuse clouds this account. Continue reading DOES JESUS’ MIRACLE AT CANA ENCOURAGE THE USE OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES?