LUKE 11:1-4 This model prayer for Jesus’ disciples is similar to the one in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 6:9-13), but much shorter. Apparently, the disciples were motivated to learn to pray by both Jesus’ example and that of John the Baptist and his disciples. It was unusual for Jews to refer to God as Father. Such an address would seem too personal and familiar. Even though Luke emphasized the offer of the kingdom of God (4:43) and the nearness of the kingdom inContinue reading UNDERSTANDING LUKE 11:1-4
The Jewish people who returned to their homeland after their period of exile in Babylonia and Persia restored their worship rituals. These included the celebration of each new moon, which marked the beginning of a new month in their calendar. Offerings and sacrifices were made to atone for their sins committed during the previous month. The new moon celebration is also referred to in Numbers 10:10Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (NEW MOON SACRIFICES)
Expression found in both the OT and the NT. “Son of man” is used in these ways; (1) as a poetic synonym for “man” or “human,” as in Psa 8:4 and 80:17; (2) in Ezekiel as the title by which God regularly addresses the prophet (2:1,3; 3:1, 3); and (3) in Dan. 7 as the identity of the glorious person whom the prophet sees coming with the clouds of heaven to approach the Ancient of Days. “The Son of Man” is a designation of Christ found frequently in the NT. It was Jesus’ favorite designation of Himself to imply both His messianic mission and His full humanity.Continue reading DEFINITON OF THE DAY (SON OF MAN)
This verse is also part of Jesus’ parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. He contrasted the self-righteous attitude of a proud Pharisee with the humble and penitent attitude of a tax collector.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (GRIEF OVER SIN)
2 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.Continue reading SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (MATTHEW 2:1-15)
The Bible is a historical book as well as a spiritual one. As such, it contains many important historical leaders and describes their impact on the nation of Israel. These people are not often used as symbols in the Bibles, but their influence on the history of God’s people carries symbolic importance because of the particular interactions they had. The Jews look back on these leaders as people who operated under the sovereign will of God either to help them as an instrument of mercy or to test and punish them as an executor of his just wrath.Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (XERXES THE GREAT “and Other Significant Rulers”)
The physical act of circumcision was a sign of the covenant between of God and Israel in which he had chosen them and promised to be their God for all generations (Gen 17:10-11; Acts 7:8). In this act, the foreskin of a male child’s penis was removed (Lev 12:3). More rarely, circumcision was performed on adults. When God made his covenant promises to Abraham, he insisted that they be sealed with the physical reminder that the Israelites were a people set apart. Those who failed to comply with this condition were excluded from covenant community (Gen 17:14; Exod 12:48). Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CIRCUMSCISION)
Ishmael was a Jewish zealot who rebelled against the rule of Babylonia in the chaotic period after Judah fell to the Babylonian army. These ten men agreed to give Ishmael some food supplies that they had hidden in their fields if he would spare their lives. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (BURIED FOOD)
Objects of unknown shape and material used to determine the divine will. Often in the ancient Near East people, especially priests, made difficult and significant decisions by casting lots on the ground or drawing them from a receptacle. Several times Scripture mentions the practice. We do not know exactly what the lots look like. Nor do we know how they were interpreted. We do know that people of the OT and NT believe God (or gods in the case of non-Israelites or non-Christians) influenced the fall or outcome of the lots (Prov 16:33). Thus, casting lots was a way of determining God’s will. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (LOTS)
Surely this was one of the most brutal massacres of the Bible, if not in raw numbers, in terms of its victims. Only the most corrupted form of evil could lead a state to summarily execute innocent children. Why did the people not resist? Continue reading WHY DID THE PEOPLE OF BETHLEHEM NOT PROTECT THEIR BOYS FROM HEROD’S SOILDERS?