When discussing the most devoted followers of Jesus’ the New Testament writers say far less about three of the apostles-Barholomew; James, son of Alphaeus; and Thaddaeus (likely the nickname for Judas, the son of James)-than they say about Mary Magdalene.
She was from Magdala, a small town in Galilee in northern Israel, And since Mary was such a popular name in the New Testament, people took to calling this particular Mary by her hometown.
Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (MARY MAGDALENE “CLINGING TO CHIRST”)
The Bible doesn’t reveal how Sarah (Sarai) reached when she learned that Abram wanted her to be his wife (see Gen 11:29). We’re also not told how she handled the fact that she was barren (see 11:30), though we could probably imagine how devastating this realization was.
Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (SARAH)
Miriam’s greatest claim to fame wasn’t that she was the daughter of Amram and Jochebed (Num 26:59). It was that she was the sister of Moses.
Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (MIRIAM “ACCEPTING ONE’S PLACE IN GOD’S PLAN”)
John wasn’t always known as “the disciple Jesus loved,” Jesus called him and his brother the “Son of Thunder” (Mark 3:17), likely because of their fiery tempers. Fits of temper occasionally landed John in trouble, such as the time he wanted to call down a fiery judgment from heaven on a Samaritan village that refused to welcome Jesus (Luke 9:51-56).
Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (JOHN “THE DISCIPLE JESUS LOVED”)
Joanna is mentioned by name only twice in the New Testament. Both occurrences are in the Gospel of Luke.
Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (JOANNA “GRATEFUL AND GENEROUS”)
Someone once remarked that growing old isn’t a battle but a massacre.
Sadly, in most cases this is all too true. If we live long enough, we are forced to grieve a lone, painful series of losses. As we age, we say farewell-usually to our careers, often to our health, sometimes to our memories, always to the independent lives we once knew. And the older we get, the more often we will have to stand in funeral homes and cemeteries and say goodbye to beloved family members and dear friends.
Continue reading WOMAN OF THE BIBLE (ANNA “FAITHFUL TO THE VERY END”)
From a historical perspective, it seems that Daniel came of age at exactly the wrong time in Israel. He was born just in time to see his once-great nation fall to the Babylonians. As punishment for their centuries unfaithfulness and disobedience. God allowed his people to be defeated by their enemies. Daniel, along with other young, strong, and capable people in Israel, was carried away into captivity in Babylon.
Continue reading MAN OF THE BIBLE (DANIEL “UNSHAKABLE FAITH”)
If everything good in your life were suddenly taken away, what would you do? That question lies at the heart of Job’s story in the Old Testament book bearing his name.
Job was a righteous man-someone so above reproach that God held him up to Satan as a model servant. Satan was unimpressed. “Of course Job is faithful to you,” he countered. “He has wealth, family, and excellent health. Take away those things and let’s see how faithful he is.”
Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (JOB “WHEN YOU WORLD FALLS APART”)
In the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel, we meet a woman named Hannah. She was married in a man named Elkanah, of the tribe of Ephraim. They lived in the hill country, in a little town with a big name-Ramathaim-zophim.
Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (HANNAH “THE MOM WHO LET GO”)
If we could interview Michal-the daughter of Saul and first wife of David-what might she say about her crazy, complicated life?
We could have to ask about her experience of being “a royal.” the youngest of King Saul’s five children (read 1 Sam 14:49). No doubt the could regulate us with jaw-dropping stories of wealth and privilege.
Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (MICHAL “A CRAZY, COMPLICATED LIFE”)