The Father Honors the Son – John 5:19-30

Is Jesus the Only Way?, Thoughts
Even with the Jews seeking to kill Him because of His claim of equality with God (John 5:18), Jesus continues to add fuel to the fire.  Starting in John 5:19, Jesus begins a discourse where He shows in what sense He claims equality with God. 19 Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. (God, the Father, initiates; the Son follows.) 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; (The unity of the Father and Son is based on love.) and the Father will show Him greater works…
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Jesus Identifies Himself as God’s Equal – John 5:14-18

Is Jesus the Only Way?, Thoughts
Continuing the story in John 5:14, Afterward Jesus found him (the man whom He had healed by the pool) in the temple and said to him, "Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you." 15 The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. (Now that the healer - the one whose command contradicted the Sabbath rules - has been identified, the focus of the Jews turns to Jesus.) 16 For this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath. (We are left without much explanation of how the Jewish leaders went from questioning the man who was healed to now persecuting Jesus in such a short span of time, but the…
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Jesus Heals a Lame Man on the Sabbath – John 5:1-13

Is Jesus the Only Way?, Thoughts
Starting in John chapter 5, the apostle records a series of confrontations between Jesus and the Jewish religious leaders centered around the shocking claims of Jesus.  His claim to be the Son of God, His claim to be an equal of God, and His claim to be the only Way to eternal life flies in the face of the Messianic expectations of both the religious leaders and the common folk of Jesus' day.  It is during these confrontations that we learn many things about Jesus Christ, His nature and His work. As we cover John chapters 5 through 7 over the next several weeks, we will follow a verse-by-verse format where the biblical text is included in red letters in the post (not to be confused with the typical red letters…
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Is Jesus the Only Way?

Is Jesus the Only Way?, Thoughts
As you may recall, we started this series of posts with an empathetic ear to those calling for a more open, welcoming, and accepting church body.  I personally think a wider welcome in our churches is a good thing, but there is one point where the road narrows dramatically.  The road to salvation is very narrow, passing through the death and resurrection of one man, Jesus Christ. The reason this is so important is because we have a generation coming up that has been raised on salad bar religion.  They have been taught to pick and choose their truth from a variety of religious traditions.  And in this setting, the idea that Jesus is the only way comes across as too narrow, too intolerant, and too divisive.  While criticism about…
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The Canon of the New Testament

Apologetics, Thoughts
I am a natural born skeptic.  When they say I should drink two glasses of water before breakfast, I wonder who they are.  When they say I should change my oil every 3000 miles, I wonder if they are engine experts or shills for the oil companies.  When they say I need eight hours of sleep a night, I wonder how they know that about me specifically.  I subscribe to the theory that my body will wake up when it has had enough sleep.  Is that too simple-minded?  Maybe I should ask they. So what happens to my skepticism when they tell me that the 27 books of the Bible that make up my New Testament are God-inspired?  In short, it disappears. And my skepticism disappears for two reasons.  First, the manuscript evidence supporting…
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Everybody Has an Opinion

Church Life, Thoughts
Ah yes, the beauty of diverse opinions in the body of Christ.  It seems everyone, these days, is an expert on what is wrong with the church, or more specifically in my milieu, the American church.  I have joined the chorus myself with several entries in this blog about my concerns.  Sometimes it is hard to separate legitimate concerns where we play the proper role of the prophet calling the church back to its purpose, and personal preferences where we are calling the church to be more to our liking.  Of course, I consider myself totally in the prophet category.  How about you? A recent rash of articles and responses in this regard highlights millenials leaving the church and what is behind their dissatisfaction.  And as usual, everyone has an opinion. …
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A New Approach to Bible Publishing

Thoughts
Around 140 A.D. a church bishop named Marcion published a canon of Scripture that left out the Old Testament as well as any reference to it in the gospels and the letters of Paul.  It appears he was motivated by his inability to reconcile the character of the God of the Old Testament with God the Father as revealed by Jesus Christ.  His final product was a severely edited gospel of Luke (no Matthew, Mark, or John) and ten abridged letters of Paul.  He was excommunicated from the church as a heretic. While Marcion was clearly over the line in his rejection of the Old Testament and much of what we have come to accept in the New, his angst is still with us today as evidenced by the recent series of…
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