“Jesus and the Hosts of Hell”

It must have been in sober silence on a calm sea here in verse 28 and following of Matthew 8 that this subdued bunch of men returned to their oars and resumed rowing their small craft across the lake to the land of the Gadarenes. This was the western border of an area known as the Decapolis (a Greek word meaning “ten cities”), and most of its inhabitants were Gentile. The people Jesus and the disciples met in the region were obviously Gentiles, because they kept pigs, and no Jew would have kept such unclean and greatly detested animals. Continue reading ““Jesus and the Hosts of Hell””

“Faith Growing Stronger”

“And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, Save us, Lord we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” Continue reading ““Faith Growing Stronger””

“Jesus Calms the Storm”

Not many people are amazed anymore – by anything. It wasn’t always this way. In the Middle Ages people were amazed by power, wealth, and pageantry. In the early days of the Industrial Revolution and well into our own lifetimes, people were amazed by science and its achievements. People marveled at discoveries that prolong life, the speed with which cars and airplanes travel, the ease of telephone communication. For a time we were amazed at space travel. We were amazed by computers. But not much amazes us anymore. The accelerating flow of inventions and their rapid dissemination throughout the world have numbed us and made even the most amazing things seem commonplace. Continue reading ““Jesus Calms the Storm””

“The Priorities of True Discipleship”

As soon as we talk about good in every situation or personal sacrifice in a specific situation, we tend to relax, assuming that we are off the hook and that the disturbing radical nature of true Christian discipleship does not affect us – this is a false conclusion. It is true that Jesus may never ask us to break with our families for His sake or sell all we have and give to the poor in order to follow Him. Indeed, in the great majority of cases, this is not required at all. But we must be willing to obey in these or any other areas if Jesus asks it, and we must actually do it, if He does. This is to say, we must get our priorities straight. Following Jesus must be the most important thing in our lives – even more important than our lives. We must not do anything to subtract from that high commitment. We must do everything to strengthen it. Continue reading ““The Priorities of True Discipleship””

“The Cost Discipleship”

It is not unusual to hear Christians talk about Jesus as Lord and that this title should be acknowledged by His followers. But many otherwise well-intentioned but erring Christians believe it is possible to have Jesus as Savior without having Him as Lord and even go so far as to maintain that “lordship salvation,” as they call it, is a false Gospel. There is only one Lord Jesus Christ and anyone who believes in a Savior who is not the Lord does not believe in the true Christ. We call for commitment to the true Lord Jesus Christ and challenge the presumption of those who claim to be Christians while at the same time disregard or disobey Christ’s commands. Continue reading ““The Cost Discipleship””