The Only Good Samaritan

Readings: Isaiah 53:1-12; Luke 10:25-37 An expert in Mosaic law tries to test Jesus, wanting to justify himself. He knows the law and articulates it in perfect orthodoxy, yet cannot grasp that deeper Truth which only the Spirit can inscribe on any human heart. Speaking in parable, Jesus’s multi-layered answer turns this lawyer’s question onContinue reading “The Only Good Samaritan”

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”

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”

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”

Valley of the Cluster

Thus says the Lord,“As the new wine is found in the cluster,And one says, ‘Do not destroy it, for there is benefit in it,’So I will act on behalf of My servantsIn order not to destroy all of them.Isaiah 65:8 I am so fascinated by the fruits of the Bible, especially grapes. It was the Nazirites that first drewContinue reading “Valley of the Cluster”

Esther found favour

When we meet Esther, who comes to mind but Rachel, mother of Israel, likewise “beautiful of form and face” (Gen. 29:17)! This is no mere coincidence, not just a common manner of talking at that time. Through Rachel and Esther, the Divine Author is pulling on the female narratival line that carries us from theContinue reading “Esther found favour”

The Cupbearer’s Memory

In Hebrew Bible times, the cupbearer to the king was an office of extraordinary responsibility and prestige. A cupbearer served wine to the king, but his job was much more as it involved tasting the wine before the king drank, for quality but also in case of poison. An office of oppositions. There are twoContinue reading “The Cupbearer’s Memory”

Until the Stars Appeared

In the book of Nehemiah, God’s people rebuild Jerusalem, City of God, after their exile to Babylon and then to Persia. But their enemies are watching in anger and will not leave them alone for long. Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem, regional governors under the king of Persia, are among the troublemakers. They mock the JewsContinue reading “Until the Stars Appeared”

The Dream of Pilate’s Wife

19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, “Have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him.” 20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to put Jesus to death.Matthew 27:19-20 Pontius Pilate was the fifthContinue reading “The Dream of Pilate’s Wife”

Faces in the Bible: The Assassination of Ben-hadad

Being in self-isolation has got me thinking about faces. And as I like to do, I will begin a short series studying faces in the Bible with an enigmatic story, about Elisha and Hazael in 2 Kings 8:7-15. Why this one? Because this short story not only involves faces but takes us right back toContinue reading “Faces in the Bible: The Assassination of Ben-hadad”