And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 18:3 (KJV)
Converted – With this simple word comes an entire theology about the conversion of unbelievers into Christianity. Every time someone accepts Yeshua as their Savior we rejoice thinking that Christianity has grown by one more number. And because of this many actively pursue the unbelievers by preaching in the streets, passing out flyers, and even traveling to far off places with the hopes that they might convert others. If we get them to just believe in Yeshua, then alls well and our Greek understanding of conversion, a cognitive process, is fulfilled. Continue reading “Convert or Repent?”
When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.
John 19:13 (KJV)
Gabbatha – Ready for some confusion? This is a Chaldean word with Aramaic origin, not translated into Greek, but left in its Hebrew pronunciation, and it ultimately means pavement. It’s only mentioned once in the New Testament, and its Hebrew equivalent is found only once in 2 Kings 16:17. Now remember it’s really not a Hebrew word, so there is no exact equivalent, but the meaning of the word in the Hebrew context can be found in 2 Kings. Continue reading “Pavement of Stones”
Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
Romans 12:20 (KJV)
Heap coals of fire upon his head – Why is this the metaphor we’re made to associate with being kind to our enemies? Sounds rather drastic, doesn’t it? Did people actually heap coals on people’s heads? If so, how could it possibly be related to doing kindness to an enemy? This phrase produces so many questions, but most of us probably just read past it without digging much further. Continue reading “Coals of Fire”
And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;
Romans 2:18 (KJV)
Knowest his will – Who knows the will of God? Who knows His plan for our lives? We’re always searching for some explanation of what’s to come, but maybe we should be looking to the past? Who knows the will of God? Well Paul tells the Romans that they (the Jews) do – they know His will. Continue reading “The Will of God”
And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
Blameless – No one likes to read these words, and most won’t acknowledge what they clearly state. Zacharias and Elisabeth, the parents of John the Baptist, were walking without sin during this time in their lives. How is this possible? Aren’t we taught that we sin everyday? This description of John’s parents reveals a path we know is ideal, but many of us have accepted an ‘outside’ theology that it’s impossible. Continue reading “Walking Without Sin”
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Matthew 23:23 (KJV)
Judgment – How can judgment be one of the weightier matters of the law when Yeshua specifically directed 16 chapters prior in Matthew 7 for us not to judge. But yet here He claims that judgment is one of the most important matters in all of the law. Obviously He is paraphrasing the many men of God that came before Him. Many of which were David (Psalm 101:1), Isaiah (56:1), Jeremiah (22:3), Hosea (12:6)… and the list continues. Continue reading “Weightier Matters”
They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
Matthew 25:3-4 (KJV)
Oil – There’s been much debate over exactly what the oil represents in this parable. I know I’ve had many conversations on this topic myself. Is it the Holy Spirit? Is it our faith? What is the oil? Continue reading “What is the oil?”
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Matthew 5:17 (KJV)
Destroy/Fulfill – How many times have we heard that because Yeshua fulfilled the law, we don’t have to? Somehow we’ve come to believe that since Yeshua fulfilled the law, it has no purpose for us, or rather that it’s been destroyed. But this is all because we lack the basic cultural understanding of this idiom. Continue reading “Destroying an Idiom”
Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
Luke 24:25 (KJV)
O Fools – April 1st was a day to recognize the foolish, to play jokes, and act silly, so I thought it fitting to touch on whom Yeshua considers foolish in this world. The word here in Greek is anoētos which doesn’t quite line up with our idea of silliness or playfully foolish. It’s much more severe. Continue reading “Defining a Fool”
And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
Matthew 4:19 (KJV)
Follow me – The words used by Yeshua to select his disciples seem so simple, don’t they? Just follow Him. He’s heading to the kingdom, so I’ll head that way too. But while focusing our attention on the end goal, some of us might forget about what’s happening here and now – our daily walk. Upon accepting the invitation of “follow me”, the disciple was to conform his life to become like the Rabbi in every way. Continue reading “Imitation is the Highest Form of Flattery”