Testimony: by John

john-the-baptistJohn’s testimony to Jesus will lead others to faith, but it is also offered as evidence in a trial. John’s interrogators in this passage are not curious passersby, but are a delegation sent by official Judaism (vv. 19, 22). The expression “the Jews” (hoi Ioudaioi, v. 19) occurs repeatedly in the Fourth Gospel and has a wide range of meanings. Its most common usage, as in v.19, is as a synonym for the Jewish religious establishment, which is the source of most of the opposition to Jesus’ ministry in John. Here it likely refers to representative from Jerusalem leadership who quite naturally are going to make inquiries about what may well be a new religious movement – especially if there are messianic claims. There was a history of such movements and claims leading to religious disappointment and political ruin. Once John the Baptist acquired a following, the questions were sure to come. The first one was simple and straight forward. Continue reading

Journey: taken up

Journey to Jerusalem51 When the days for his being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, 52 and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, 53 but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.

Jesus now makes the decisive turn toward Jerusalem and the accomplishment of his exodus (v. 31 – a reference to the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus that will take place in Jerusalem, the city of destiny). The theme of the final journey is already in Mark (Mark 10:1, 32), but Luke has developed it to show Jesus’ commitment to the Father’s plan (9:62; 13:33). Luke keeps the reader alert to the journey theme (13:22; 17:11) and uses it to begin to assemble materials from Jesus on the nature of Christian discipleship. Continue reading

The Testimony of John

john-the-baptistJohn’s testimony to Jesus will lead others to faith, but it is also offered as evidence in a trial. John’s interrogators in this passage are not curious passersby, but are a delegation sent by official Judaism (vv. 19, 22). The expression “the Jews” (hoi Ioudaioi, v. 19) occurs repeatedly in the Fourth Gospel and has a wide range of meanings. Its most common usage, as in v.19, is as a synonym for the Jewish religious establishment, which is the source of most of the opposition to Jesus’ ministry in John. Here it likely refers to representative from Jerusalem leadership who quite naturally are going to make inquiries about what may well be a new religious movement – especially if there are messianic claims. There was a history of such movements and claims leading to religious disappointment and political ruin. Once John the Baptist acquired a following, the questions were sure to come. The first one was simple and straight forward. Continue reading

A Still Small Voice

Elijah-still-small-voiceI have always liked a passage from 1 Kings 19. The prophet Elijah is on the run from the wrath of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel who mean to take his life. The prophet has taken refuge in a cave in Judean wilderness, feels as though he has failed in his mission, is isolated and alone, while all the forces array against him. He calls out to God.

It is a passage that we all can connect with in some measure. Some have been through the caldron of life; others are simply caught up in the whirlwind of everyday life. But in all times and places, we are a people whose mission is to find the voice of God in our lives. So, take a moment and consider this: when and where are you intentional about seeking the voice of God in your life? Continue reading

What is Found in Lost

LostnFoundA routine anchors us in life, but sometimes the problem is that it anchors us in life. Keeps us from those wide swaths of life where things are unpredictable. Where things get lost. Once in a while we need to get lost.

Elijah the prophet is lost. Alone, isolated, without friends or support. King Ahab and Queen Jezebel have the army out trying to hunt down Elijah – and they mean to do him harm, to take his life. Elijah is lost and on the edge of gone – and he encounters God. Continue reading