Leaving everything behind

There is a lovely tension to explore in Luke 5:27-29, as Jesus meets the tax collector whose name was Levi. After that He went out and noticed a tax collector named Levi sitting in the tax booth, and He said to him, “Follow Me.” And he left everything behind, and got up and began to follow Him. Earlier in the sameContinue reading “Leaving everything behind”

His Hands Oustretched

One story I frequently return to when times are tough is the defeat of the Amalekites in Exodus 17. Amalek comes to challenge Israel, and as Joshua fights them with the men of Israel, Moses stands above, on the hill of Rephidim. So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed,Continue reading “His Hands Oustretched”

God’s Weaker Vessel, the Woman with Tender Eyes

One of the delights of the Bible is the abundance of its irony. I’ve talked about this before, when considering the principle of proportion, where God positions various contrasting elements within the redemptive story next to one another, highlighting His own attributes and through them, the subversive power of the Gospel. And among the Bible’sContinue reading “God’s Weaker Vessel, the Woman with Tender Eyes”

Truth, truth and lies

Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the Truth. Everyone who is of the Truth hears My voice.” John 18:37 I heard these words in yesterday morning’s sermon, andContinue reading “Truth, truth and lies”

A Star from Jacob: Balaam and the Magi

Their ancestor Balaam had foretold that a star would come forth from Jacob (Numbers 24:17), saying, I see him but not now. I behold him, but not near. Numbers 24:17a And since that time, the magi had watched the heavens. In Balaam’s time, it was Balak the King of Moab who trembled at the sightContinue reading “A Star from Jacob: Balaam and the Magi”

The Daughters of Job: An Inheritance Among Our Brothers

This morning, I finished reading the book of Job. I had already planned to begin rereading it from tomorrow as the richness of this book’s symbolic use of the natural world is utterly breathtaking. I don’t feel ready to leave it yet! But it is instead the book’s end – Job’s daughters specifically – whichContinue reading “The Daughters of Job: An Inheritance Among Our Brothers”

Elisha’s She-Bears: The Power of Mothers and Judgement in the House of God

Can you lead forth a contellation in its season,And guide the Bear with her sons? Job 38:32 As someone keenly interested in the role of the natural world in redemptive history, I am transfixed by the Bible’s few references to bears. With the bear, we meet the fury of wicked rulers, God’s jealousy for theContinue reading “Elisha’s She-Bears: The Power of Mothers and Judgement in the House of God”

The Donkey and the Colt

I’ve started creating short video meditations on Biblical themes, and I now have a YouTube channel. My first video focused on the theme of sparrows, and now here is one on donkeys. Having studied donkeys closely, I have a new appreciation for them. And how interesting that donkeys carry a cross on their back. WhenContinue reading “The Donkey and the Colt”

Adam and His Adversary: Israel’s crossing of the Jordan

After Adam’s headlining appearance in Genesis, his name is hardly mentioned for the rest of the Hebrew Bible. We find him mostly in genealogies and very occasionally in the books of the prophets (see Hosea 6:7). Still, Adam returns in other ways, many times after Genesis, in stories recounting his (and our) fall from glory.Continue reading “Adam and His Adversary: Israel’s crossing of the Jordan”

Desperate Words as Wind

Those who have suffered, those who have come alongside suffering, those of us who receive the compassionate love of Christ through suffering, we feel the cruelty of Job’s companions acutely. I’ve written already about these faux friends, who really are the worst. Here’s how my favourite Bible companion puts it: They express orthodox religious belief,Continue reading “Desperate Words as Wind”