Posts Tagged With: Judaism

More Than Just a Food-Fight. So.Much.More

It was a matter of life and death. Literally.

Make no mistake about this: As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, these “rumblings of discontent,” as Luke characterized them, represented anything but some small-time, garden variety, trivial church-squabble.

What happened here in Acts 6 exposed a clash of cultures that tore asunder the awe-inspiring oneness heretofore enjoyed by the Jerusalem Christian Community.

You might remember what we observed as recently as at the end of Acts 4.

Verse 32, “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.”

Not any more!

Now, sadly, at the beginning of Acts 6, that blessed unity coupled with their selfless generosity Was.No.More.

Something had changed.

Their fellowship fractured. Their unity dissolved into disunity. A rift developed that literally rent the fragile fabric of unity completely in half.

Again, at the risk of sounding redundant, I must stress two vitally important points before I immerse you in the nitty-gritty of what exactly was going on here.

FIRST: We make a grave error of interpretation and application of Acts 6 if we view this not-so-exemplary episode as just the first of the kinds of common conflicts that characterize so many church squabbles and skirmishes today.

This was not some intramural argument about what style of music we should have in our worship services, or the color of carpet we should install in the new Fellowship Hall. You know—the kinds of stuff over which churches so frequently split these days.

Again, this was literally a matter of life and death. The lives of the most vulnerable of these first committed Christ-followers were in jeopardy, not because of external persecution.

SECOND: Please understand that this church fight exposed an internal underlying clash of cultures that was far more serious than we might realize.

On the surface of things, a casual reader might merely relegate this Acts 6 kerfuffle to growing pains—too many people added to the church in too short a time. Rapid growth that resulted in a first-of-its-kind food-fight within hallowed halls of that first century church. Because conflict certainly does involve growth and food. But dig a little deeper and we’ll discover that growth and food were merely symptoms of a potentially deadly disease that threatened to rot the soul of this newly-founded church.

Now listen carefully: Believe it or not, this conflict involved the exact same clash of cultures that we as committed Christ-followers are attempting to navigate even today.

It is Today as it was Then.

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.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Scandal in the Making

348With this PODCAST, we break the seal on the last year of Jesus’ life here on earth.

And admittedly, His last year begins on a rather ominous note.

Immediately following this story, Jesus will leave the country. That is no exaggeration. For the first time in His storied 3½ year ministry, Jesus now has to get out of Dodge, fast!

As we have seen in past podcasts, Jesus was run out of His adopted hometown of Capernaum. He was then run out of Nazareth, His boyhood hometown. On top of that, Herod Antipas was hunting Jesus in order to kill Him (this in the wake of Herod’s senseless execution of John the Baptizer). 

And NOW we read this in Mark 7:24:

Then Jesus left Galilee and went North to the region of Tyre (in modern-day Lebanon).

Yes, indeed. Jesus was literally run out of Galilee and run out of the country. Something significant happened in this story, here in Mark 7, that forced Jesus to go North and out of the country, rather than South to the familiar environs of His beloved Jerusalem. 

What in the world happened?

What did Jesus do?

Or more accurately, what did Jesus fail to do?

A failure that caused a cataclysmic religious scandal. A scandal so serious that Jesus fled to the North. Which, by the way, is the exact same word that Matthew used in his telling of this story: “scandal.”

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 as you listen.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No Wonder They Hated Him, and We LOVE Him

the_promiseOK. So I’ve got to tell you that I find this entire series of events that we will be discussing in this PODCAST

 

All of which I will remind you took place in less than 36 hours…

This entire series of events that took place in just one day in the life of Jesus… I find to be remarkably REFRESHING, while at the same time to followers of Jesus’ faith utterly unsettling…

Absolutely REVOLUTIONARY to me, while at the same time to the leading rabbis of Jesus’ day disgustingly revolting…

Undeniably IRRESISTIBLE to me, while at the same time to the Torah-teachers of Jesus’ day scorchingly scandalous.

So unsettling, revolting, and scandalous that they hated Him for it. Yet so refreshing, revolutionary, and irresistible that we love Him for it!

It’s been quite a ride, really, this journey that we’re on together. Two years ago, we began our ongoing study of Jesus in High Definition. The stated purpose of which is to rediscover afresh who Jesus really is, and what Jesus is really like.

Much to my surprise and our delight, the biblical picture of Jesus that is continuously emerging EVERY SINGLE WEEK is that of a GENTLE Jesus.

A gentle Jesus who did some of the most delightfully surprising things.

A gentle Jesus who said some of the most surprisingly delightful things.

A gentle Jesus who is every sense of the word irresistible.

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.

Please, please, please share a link to this podcast with your family and friends.

God bless you as you listen.

And THANK YOU, from my heart to yours, for making this journey with me.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#Oh.My.Word

prostituteWe could give this PODCAST a variety of titles.

The Ballad of the Broken and Battered Woman.

The Indignation of the Idolatrously “Holy” Man.

I prefer the title, Oh.My.Word, for reasons that you will soon hear.

We have come to a tipping point in the life and ministry of Jesus. After this encounter with a broken woman and a “holy” man, things will never again be the same for Jesus.

The full fury of the religious leaders will come to full flower as a result of this one meal that Jesus shared with this one man and one woman.

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 as you listen.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.