The Women of Easter Sabbath

Sabbath

“It was the preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.  Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid.  Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes.  And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment” (Lk 23.54-56). Luke loved the underdog, especially if the underdog was a woman.  Between Luke-Acts, he used γυνή 60 times […]

Fancy It Forward:

God Declared Forgiveness Before He Declared War

Zacharias was an old man (Lk 1.7).  A really old man (Lk 1.18).  His wife was also, shall he say, “advanced in years.”  (That’s a good lesson for godly husbands.  We may get old but our wives only “advance in years.”) Having a child at their age was biologically impossible.  We could excuse Zacharias for being skeptical.  But, God didn’t.  Gabriel muted him for nine-plus months (Lk 1.20). Zacharias had […]

Fancy It Forward:

Incense Rising: The Aroma of Israel’s Fertility

Zacharias

“But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John.  You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.  For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be […]

Fancy It Forward:

A Tale of Two Betrayers

Matthew weaves a subtle thread through his crucifixion account.  While all the Gospel writers detail Judas’ betrayal of Jesus, only Matthew records what happened to Judas afterward (Mt 27.3-5; cf. Acts 1.18f.).  He does so in such a way to compare and contrast Judas with Peter: two deniers of Jesus.  And in contrasting these two betrayers, Matthew magnifies the sovereignty and grace of Jesus to secure his own even despite their failings. Satan […]

Fancy It Forward:

Grace for the Greedy

With rock star status Jesus was flanked by thousands (literally, “the myriads”) as he meandered through the Palestinian countryside (Lk 12.1).  Folks stumbled over each other for a glimpse, nugget or even piece of Jesus.  It never got to his head. Not one to waste an audience, Jesus introduced his disciples to Greed 101.  Luke just told us Jesus was Public Enemy #1 to the self-righteous religious snots (11.53-54).  It […]

Fancy It Forward:

Did Jesus Disobey His Parents?

Luke records the only adolescent account we have about Jesus between his birth and public ministry (Lk 2.41-51). Joseph and Mary were faithful Jews (cf. Lk 2.21-24, 39) who loved Torah and “went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover” (Lk 2.41). The year Jesus turned twelve was no different, at least for Joseph and Mary. Jewish tradition dictated a boy became personally responsible to Torah when […]

Fancy It Forward:

Lunch With a Pharisee

“Woe to you!  For you build the tombs of the prophets, and it was your fathers who killed them” (Lk 11.48). Jesus had lunch with a Pharisee one day (Lk 11.37).  Not only did Jesus not wash his hands before the meal, he proceeded to take his host to the cosmic woodshed.  Between bites of legumes Jesus exposed the wrank hypocrisy of the Pharisees. A Mosaic lawyer took issue with […]

Fancy It Forward:

God’s Kingdom is Christ

What exactly is the “kingdom of God”?  It was the substance of Jesus’ earthly ministry (Lk 4.43).  It was a staple of Messianic expectations.  What Jesus taught about God’s kingdom, however, was much different than what most thought to be true of that kingdom. When we think of “kingdom” we think king with a capitol, army, law, borders, flags, subjects and authority.  When Jesus preached about God’s kingdom, he did […]

Fancy It Forward:

Hearing is Seeing is Believing

“So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him” (Lk 8.18). Most of us have seen the 3-D that hides a picture within a picture.  To see the embedded image you stand three feet away, close one eye and squint.  Some see the hidden picture right away […]

Fancy It Forward:

Forsaken, Yet Entrusting

The gospel of Jesus Christ is remarkably good news.  It is indeed “living water” (Jn 4.14) because it never ceases to flow in or satisfy the Christian soul.  The Christian needs only one Well and that Well is infinitely supplied.  The gospel is a living truth in that it does things in and for those who believe.  It changes those who welcome it.  It does so because Jesus is living.  […]

Fancy It Forward: