“Just As Wicked As Before”

It was all right to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons, still storms, preach righteousness, and announce the kingdom; but where was the judgment? Had the corruptions and cruelties of Caesar been abruptly shut down? Had the hypocritical temple leaders been banished? Had the disgusting corruptions of Herod Antipas been confronted? Why was he, John the Baptist, languishing in the stifling heat of the prison at Machaerus fortress for challenging the morals of Herod, while Jesus the alleged Messiah did nothing about this injustice? Continue reading ““Just As Wicked As Before””

“God of My Expectations?”

Each of the Gospels shows that after a few months of initial enthusiasm for Jesus and His ministry, opposition began to grow so that at last Jesus was rejected by both the leaders and the people and was crucified. This was a complex period historically, and a variety of factors were at work. In Luke the opposition begins with Jesus’ first teaching in Nazareth, his home town (Lk.4.16–30). Matthew records objections to Jesus’ healing of the paralytic and later two blind men (Mt.9.3, 34). Each of the Gospels unites in saying that much of the opposition came from the Pharisees and others who objected to Jesus’ disregard of their tight rules for observing the Sabbath (Mt.12.1-14; Mk.2.23-3:6; Lk.6.1-11; Jn.5.1-16). Continue reading ““God of My Expectations?””

“Courage, Professing, & Rewards”

Followers of Christ are not to fear the powerful people of this world. The soul matters more than the body and the rulers of this world can take only our lives. If we are going to be afraid of anyone, it should be God, who alone will determine our final destinies. Jesus said it like this: “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Mt.10.28). Continue reading ““Courage, Professing, & Rewards””

“The Problem of Evil”

If God is good, why does He allow suffering? And if He is all-powerful, why does He not put an end to sinful actions and natural catastrophes? If God is all-good and if He created only good things, then where did evil come from? How can evil come from what is perfectly good? Thinking Christians face these troubling questions. And many opponents of Christianity also challenge believers with these queries. Continue reading ““The Problem of Evil””

“Expecting Opposition and Not Being Afraid”

The first thing these verses say Matthew 10.17-42 is that we can expect opposition. As far as the disciples were concerned, they could expect that in time they would be “hand[ed] … over to the local councils and flogged … in their synagogues.” This is what happened to Peter and other apostles in Acts 5.40 and to Paul on five separate occasions. As far as we are concerned, we can expect to be hated even by members of our own families, and to be severely persecuted even to the point of being put to death. Continue reading ““Expecting Opposition and Not Being Afraid””