Posts Tagged With: meaning

“YOU are the Salt of the Earth.”

I cannot think of a more beautiful tribute to committed Christ-followers everywhere—including YOU—than Jesus’ words here in the Sermon on the Mount: “You are the salt of the earth.”

As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, Jesus, ever the master of the metaphor, came up with a doozie with this one.

“You are the salt of the earth.”

I am excited about this for a couple of compelling reasons:

1. The rich and rewarding meaning of this metaphor, which we will get to in a moment.

2. “You are the salt of the earth” provides us with a wonderfully enriching teachable moment, one where I get to take you behind the scenes, as it were, and demonstrate for you in real time how we arrive at the proper interpretation of a passage—this passage in Matthew 5—and from there how to make an appropriate application of a passage—any passage—to our lives today.

So you’re getting a two-for-the-price-of-one in this podcast — What the passage means, and how we arrive at its meaning.

Because truth be told, one of the reasons the Church in America is, IMHO, sadly diminishing its influence in our world today is precisely because of a misunderstanding and misapplication of this beautiful verse, “You are the salt of the earth.”

So we have a lot going on here in this Jesus in HD Encore Podcast—an encore because I am currently leading a Study Tour in Israel, returning to Peter in HD next week.

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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Eleven Words That Forever Changed the World

mangerIt’s only eleven words in the Complete Jewish Bible.

Eleven words that trumpet THE event after which the world would never be the same again. 

Eleven words that appear to come careening out of nowhere, enigmatically exploding on the page in Matthew 1:18:

Here is how the birth of Yeshua the Messiah took place.

Think of it. When a lofty band of angels announced to a lowly brood of shepherds that Jesus was born, the impossible, the unimaginable happened.

Perhaps the clearest explanation of exactly what happened and why it happened was summarized by the Apostle Paul in the lovely little letter he wrote to his beloved congregation of committed Christ-followers in Philippi.

It’s such a marvelous and magnificent passage. So frequently read, yet so often misunderstood because of its rather unfamiliar phraseology. So I humbly offer to you my expanded paraphrase of Philippians 2:5-11, sort of as The New Testament in High Definition:

Jesus was God.

Yet, He chose to relinquish all of the privileges that were His as God.

If you can imagine it, Jesus voluntarily gave up everything when He became one of us – born as a baby, just as human as you and me. He did this so that He could humbly serve us by meeting our deepest needs – the forgiveness of our sins and the salvation of our souls.

In obedience to God the Father, Jesus even humbled Himself to the lowest point possible: He actually allowed Himself to be executed as if He was a common criminal. See Him there – Almighty God in an all-human body, bloodied and beaten – Jesus hanging from that rugged Roman cross, with the crowds sneering and spitting and laughing at Him.

Ah, but He didn’t stay on that cross, did He?

God the Father reached all the way down to Earth and lifted His Son all the way up to Heaven. He picked Jesus up from the lowest place and raised Him to the highest place, the place of supreme honor.

He gave Jesus a name that is so powerful, so preeminent that at the mere mention of His name – say it with me, “Jesus” – every person, and even every angel, will bow his or her knees before Him and offer to Him the worship that He alone deserves. This includes each of the holy angels in Heaven, every depraved demon in Hell, and each and every precious person who has ever walked this planet.

To the glorious honor of God the Father, everyone will loudly and clearly proclaim this one undeniable and unchangeable fact: Jesus Christ IS the Master of the Universe AND the Lord of our lives.

Such is the “reason for this season.”

From my heart to yours, Merry Christmas! And in the immortal words of A Christmas Carol’s Tiny Tim,

God bless us, every one!

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