We sometimes think of the Old Testament as a book in which God makes repeated appearances of many kinds. But when we put a time line next to the account, we quickly realize that God’s manifest presence was far more rare and purposeful than we realized. The last time God made a direct appearance in Genesis he visited Jacob in a dream (46:1-7) and assured him his family would become “a great nation” while in Egypt (v. 3). Over four hundred years would pass before God would make another recorded appearance. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (MOUNT SINAI)
The Pharisees were criticizing Jesus because He welcomed tax collectors and other sinners to hear His teachings. To the Pharisees, these were “unclean” people who passed on their sin and corruption to everyone who associated with them. In response to this criticism, Jesus told three parables about several lost items that were eventually recovered-a sheep, a coin, and a son (Luke 15:1-32). Continue reading RECOVERY OF THE LOST (THE PRODIGAL SON)
Sheep appear more often than any other animal in the pages of the Bible, mentioned over seven hundred times. They often represent people, and in a special case, one particular person (discussed below). Sheep are gentle and social creatures that function best in a flock, but their individual tendencies lead them to wander. That combination requires an attentive shepherd to guide and tend a large flock. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (LAMB/SHEEP)
Doors allow access to or prevent us from entering a room or home. Gates are usually more imposing and important. They guard the access to large spaces: cities, estates, and the way to eternal life. In Bible times, most cities of any size were surrounded by walls, so gates were a constant feature in people’s’ lives. No wonder, then, that the role of gates became symbolic of other values and ideas. Continue reading BIBLE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS (GATE)
Flocks of goats were part of everyday life throughout Bible times. Hardier than sheep, goats provided milk, cheese, water skins, meat, and hair from which rough fabric was made for tents and other durable items. When God gave Moses the detailed instructions for creating the tabernacle that would be God’s tent in the wilderness, he specified an outer layer of goat hair that protected the fine linen covering the inner space called the Holy of Holies, where God’s presence would be evident (Exod 2:6). The goat was
Continue reading SINGS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (GOAT)
Jesus tells people who he is, using seven dramatic one-liners-each pointing to God. Every statement begins with “I am.” That’s God’s name.
Continue reading JESUS, THE GREAT “I AM”