Posts Tagged With: John the Baptist

It’s So Sad-You-See (as in the Sadducess). It really is.

As you are about to hear in this new PODCAST, a new day dawned upon these first committed Christ-followers.

If that metaphor of a new day seemingly overstates the case, then at least we can say that a dark cloud now-shadowed the sun for these first committed Christ-followers. Not quite on the level of our eclipse; but portentous just the same. An ominous bellwether that signaled for these early believers a change in the temperature of Holy City.

For the first eight-12 weeks following Crucifixion and Resurrection, these early believers were able to bask in the glow of their newfound faith unmolested.

Not any more.

Persecution was about to break out for first time in the now-2000 year history of Church. Relatively mild at first. No one died. No one was beaten. It was limited to Peter and John.

But as you will hear, it did involve intimidation, incarceration, and threats of greater reprisals if the apostles refused to cease and desist as far as their preaching in Jesus’ name was concerned.

Refuse they did.

This was a harbinger of things to come. A dark cloud heralding a storm. A storm that continues to rage unabated to our day. Not here in America so much. But certainly in many parts of our troubled world, where committed Christ-followers today attend gatherings at great risk of life-threatening peril to themselves and their families.

As is becoming increasing clear in our ongoing study of Peter in HD, we stand in awe at the strength and resilience of these very first believers—our ancestors in faith, to whom we owe so much, and who have SO MUCH to teach us. As they will do here in this week’s study.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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Setting the Record Straight Re: Baptism

It is an elegantly simple, straightforward, non-controversial statement (at least in original language).

Yet, as you will hear in this PODCAST, one that has led to nearly 2000 years of confusion. Confusion over things like:
What is the proper mode of baptism? (Sprinkling? Immersing?) Should babies be baptized?

Is baptism a sacrament? An ordinance? What’s the difference between the two? And what does it matter?

Must someone be baptized in order to be saved? And if you have not been baptized, are you then not going to Heaven?

My, oh my. How adept we humans are at taking something so supremely simple, and making it so insufferably complicated.

My friends, we have a lot to talk about.

Specifically: We need to talk about:

1. What did Peter actually say?

2. What did Peter not say?

3. What is the Scriptural significance of baptism?

4. Where exactly did Peter say this? IOW, is this story even plausible? Where in the Jerusalem of Jesus’ day do you find enough water to baptize three thousand people?

5. What are implications of Peter’s words for us today?

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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A Surprise Visit from a Dear Old Friend (A First-Person Rendition)

John the Baptist baptizing Jesus from the the Mormon ChannelWhile I am away speaking at a Middle School Camp on the East Coast, I have left you in wonderfully capable hands. Those of our old and dear friend, John the Baptizer.

John the Baptizer is, by his own admission, a walking contradiction. As you will hear in this PODCAST, he had a remarkable beginning, and yet a dismal crash and burn.

In a word, his faith in Jesus COLLAPSED, completely.

His is quite the story to tell. But as you will hear me say, it is John’s story to tell, not mine.

So, if you can employ a little sanctified imagination, I will do my best to be true to John’s story, and respectful of John’s memory, as I sort of try to “become” (if I can put it that way) John the Baptizer.

Please remember that depending upon your connection speed and web browser, it may take up to 60 seconds for the podcast to begin to play.

God bless you as you listen.

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A Man Sent From God (A Throwback Thursday Podcast)

001-john-baptistHis eyes blazed with the fire of conviction.

His voice thundered as he peered out from behind his uncut hair and unkempt beard.

He wore a camel’s-hair garment bound with a leather belt.

He ate a strangely strict diet of honey and grasshoppers, of all things.

Yet when he spoke, the people trembled. Why?

Who was this strange specter that haunted the barren sands of the Judean desert? Where did he come from?
What was it about him that caused Jesus to pay him the highest of all possible compliments:

Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptizer? (Matthew 11:11)

You are about to meet one of the most remarkable people ever to walk across the biblical stage in this epic drama we call “Jesus in HD.”

PLEASE REMEMBER: With some browsers, it may take up to 60 seconds before the podcast will begin to play.

God bless you as you listen.

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A Jesus Who “Gets It”; A Jesus Who “Gets” You!

a-lonely-place-to-prayThis may sound strange to you, as you will hear on this PODCAST.

But if I kicked a bottle and a genie popped out, offering to grant me but one wish, any idea what I’d wish for? I’d wish for the ability to point my finger at anyone, anywhere, at any time, and become that person for 10 minutes.

On the surface of things, an odd request, I know. But if you think about it, for me it makes perfect sense.

When people share with me their stories, invariably I feel an acute longing to become that person — for 10 minutes — so that I can truly understand what it’s really like to be them.

Just imagine if we each possessed that power. If we did, and become that person for just 10 minutes, we would completely understand. We would understand why they do the things they do; why they say the things they say; why they make the choices that they make; why they act the way they act. All would become so crystal clear.

And in knowing the whys behind people’s words, actions, and attitudes, just think of how revolutionizing such knowledge would be. We would be so much more understanding, so much more forgiving, so much more compassionate, so much more loving.

We would “get it.” And others would “get” us.

I mean, if you could just be me for 10 minutes, you would finally understand why I am certifiably neurotic.

Well, Jesus didn’t have a bottle; He didn’t need one. Jesus never met a genie; there are no magical genies to meet. Jesus wasn’t granted one wish. Wishes were irrelevant to Him. But Jesus did exactly what I would wish I could do. And He did so for much, much longer than 10 minutes.

As a baby, laying in a manger, in beautiful downtown Bethlehem, Jesus became one of us.

Jesus experienced every human emotion, felt every human need, faced every human temptation, and lived every possible kind of human suffering.

He understands exactly what it is like to be you, and what it is like to be me.

This picture of an understanding Jesus is painted ever so clearly in this story. After hearing it, you will never view Jesus the same way again:

A Jesus who “gets it.”

A Jesus who “gets” you.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy.

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