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Showing posts from September, 2015

Portraits of Christ: Mark’s Gospel - Behold the Man

Imagine that you are a Gentile, such as a Roman or Greek, and put yourself into a first-century pagan mindset. What would you think if you heard of a man who went around healing people? You would probably think that he was a god. What if you heard of a man driving out evil spirits and granting divine forgiveness of people’s sins? You would think he was some kind of god. If you heard of a man raising someone from the dead, you would surely think of him as a god. What if you heard of a man miraculously feeding a crowd, and controlling the weather by commanding a storm to stop? You would think he was a god.

Now put that all together - one man doing all those things. He is not just a god -- not just a weather god, a nature deity, or a divine prophet. It soon becomes apparent that he is a divine being with power over all those things. He has power over nature, over matter, over health and disease, over life, over death. He is not just a god, but something more than that. By the time he ove…

Portraits of Christ: Luke’s Gospel, part 3

What does it mean to you that Jesus was a man? We hear a lot about him being God (and later blog posts in this series will address that), but we don’t hear as much about his human side. Luke emphasizes this aspect of Jesus, and it’s important for understanding how we relate to him.  
He grew up in the small farm village of Nazareth, which means that he lived doing hard work and manual labor for the first thirty years of his life before he became an itinerant rabbi (a travelling teacher and preacher). He may have been a carpenter, though that’s not clear. The word translated ‘carpenter’ in the original Greek New Testament (tektōn) could refer to a carpenter, builder, stonemason, craftsman, or other occupation. He nonetheless would have worked like others around him - not an easy life. And growing up in a farm village, he would have been acquainted with farm work, too. He was in a low socioeconomic class, like the majority of people in Palestine in his day, and would have had a difficult…