John was puzzled by Jesus’ ministry. If Jesus was truly the Messiah, and if he came to bring release to the captives, Lk 4:18, then why was he, John, languishing in jail? More importantly, if Jesus was the Messiah, why wasn’t he going about his ministry as John had expected, Lk 3:16-17?
Doubt and uncertainty seem to be leading characteristics for many spiritual leaders, as with Moses, Num 11:10-15; Elijah, 1 Kin 19; Jeremiah, 20:7-9,14-18. …
It’s a horrible thought to try to imagine life without someone you dearly love.
The disciples were having to get used to the prospect of life without Jesus.
They are sharing one last meal with him. He must leave them, they can expect to be treated with terrible hostility after his departure; but they’ve got to carry on without him and witness on his behalf before a hostile world. …
Picture a sumo wrestler…an aging rock star…a mad professor…a spiritual person. What did you see? Mother Teresa? A Buddhist monk? The Archbishop of Canterbury? Yourself?
Here is a description of a Christian disciple.
It all begins, not with a set of instructions, but with a pronouncement of blessing. There are people who might be considered unfortunate, pitiable even. But they live under God’s favour. They are the luckiest people in the world.
Matthew 21:1-16 (Mk 11:1-10; Lk 19:29-38; Jn 12:12-15)
Grand entrances. Wedding. Royalty.
Verse 10 – “Who is this?” Note:-
(a) the deliberate ‘staging’ of the entrance. He is in sovereign control, (and yet uses human means).
(b) the nature of the entrance. Similar to ancient ‘victory parades’. Solomon, 1 King 1:33. 2 Kings 9:13 – ‘They took their cloaks and spread them under him on the bare steps. Then they blew the trumpet and shouted, “Jehu is king!”
Everybody has an outside and an inside; a public exterior and a private interior. On the outside are all the things that other people can see and hear: the actions you perform and the words you say. On the inside is that collection of thoughts, feelings, motives, and attitudes that we call ‘the heart’. Yes: each person has an outward appearance, and an inner reality. But to what extent is that outer self that we present to others a true representation what we really are, deep inside? …