Tag: son of god

Jesus enters Jerusalem as King

Jesus enters Jerusalem as King

Luke 19:28-40

This is it, there is no denying it now. We are much into the traditional Easter story instead of the Christmas one now. This is where things get less pretty, and more intense, full on and emotional…

Christmas is an exciting, fun time for myself and many others, full of great food, presents, laughter, joy and love. It’s easy to get distracted and forget the reason we are even celebrating is because a baby was born. Not just any baby though, the Son of God!

This passage in Luke 19 reminds us that not only should we be remembering and celebrating the moment Jesus was born, but also the moments after that in which He went into Jerusalem, got arrested and died on a cross, knowing that it was required in order that we might be able to live with Him in eternity.

Death and pain are not things we like to think about at this time of year, but this one was special. He didn’t stay dead, He rose from the dead later on, proving who He was and what He was born to do.

As Jesus enters Jerusalem, His followers shouted out, praising Him for what He had done, and even laying down their coats and leaves to make a path for Him (and the donkey He was on) to ride across. If you know the Easter story, you will know that these cries of Hosanna soon changed to be boos of hate.

It can be easy to love Jesus when things are going well and we are surrounded by happy people and good things but when things in life are challenging, Christmas is over and we go back into the ‘real’ world, are we still celebrating Jesus the King? Do we continue to worship Him when He is no longer a baby? Do we lift our voices or hands and give thanks to Him when the cross feels far too heavy for us and life isn’t all tinsel and bells and glitter?

I wonder how many of the people present on this day in Jerusalem, who seemed committed to worshipping and praising Jesus, continued supporting and loving Him when the crowds had to choose between Him and a murderer? How many of them still saw Him as their Lord and Saviour when He died on the cross? How and why would our God allow His Son to die a death like that? Surely it can’t really be Him!?

When Christmas is done, are you still going to be there beside Jesus when life is rough? Or are you only there for the good parts, the celebration? It’s a challenge for us all to make sure we don’t get life get in the way of recognising Jesus in everything and not giving up on Him when things don’t pan out the way we want.

Who’s who?

Who’s who?

Luke 7:18-35

This passage is not short nor simple. There are alot of topics covered in a short period of time, and it can be hard to make sense of what is going on. Other than when he baptises Jesus, this is the only passage dedicated to John. We are told in the first chapter of the book that he was born to start the work Jesus would complete but now, John is unsure if Jesus really is the Lord, and sends people out to find out the truth (in Matthew’s book, we find out this is because he was in prison and couldn’t go alone).

  1. What do you think has happened to make John start doubting Jesus’ authority, position and power?
  2. When John’s disciples have left, Jesus flips the question they asked him on its head, asking those around Him who they think John is. Why do you think He did this?
  3. The passage finishes one with one line –”But wisdom is proved to be right by what it does.” What does this mean and what does it have to do with the previous conversations?
The Family Tree

The Family Tree

Luke 3:23-38

Genealogies, family trees, names, names and more names. I have always struggled with the parts of the bible where a chapter is just a list of names and doesn’t seem to contain any life application for us today. This one, however, is different. That is not to say that other genealogies in the bible do not contain anything useful (because they do when you dig deeper), but this one is special because it shows us how many seemingly unimportant people, were used by God and eventually became part of the family of His son, Jesus.

One of the most interesting observations I noticed whilst reading this passage was in the last line of the family tree, the very first person in Jesus’ ancestry, Adam. We just know him as Adam, but in this text, he is described as ‘son of God’. When we hear the words, Son of God, we think of Jesus, but physically, we can assume that Adam is more God than Jesus, although as we don’t know where the other half of His DNA came from, this can only be an assumption!

I guess Adam had to be included in this, being the first human, he got a free pass into this family tree but Luke/ God didn’t have to include it here. I love watching ancestry programmes such as ‘Who do you think you are?’ in which celebrities trace back along their family tree and discover members of the family they never existed! Sometimes, these people are royalty, sometimes, simple bakers or weavers, but occasionally, there will be one family member who is a criminal, and the celebrities show shame when they realise they are related to this person. I don’t think there are many people that millions people can fairly blame for making their lives difficult, but Adam is certainly one of them. He and Eve caused us to be separated from God, they brought age expectancy down, caused us pain when child bearing and made it impossible for us to ever see the garden as beautiful as they did! Yet, despite all this, Adam is not only included in the Jesus’ family tree in the book of Luke, but he is referred to as the son of God – no shame or resentment at all!

It would be reasonable to allow one ‘tainted’ character in the family history, but God uses more than just a tempted man to lead up to the birth of Jesus. We don’t know for sure why, but there are two genealogies for Jesus – one in Luke and the other in Matthew. It is Matthew’s version which includes some other questionable individuals. Rahab was a prostitute, David was an adulterer, and there were many others caught up in some dodgy situations, but God still used them to bring about the birth of His Son. He could have chosen anyone. Perhaps a royal family who could give Jesus the upbringing He deserves as King of Kings, but instead He was placed in the care of a humble, hard working, regular family. Why? We will never know exactly why these people were chosen to be participants in this event, but one thing we do know is no one is beyond God’s use, and that means even we can be used by God in incredible ways. If He wants us to, we will do things bigger than we could ever hope or imagine.

What a comfort it is that no one is beyond’s plans and purpose. God is not done with you yet, no matter what you have done or how old you are. He has great things lined up for you. Are you willing to jump in, no matter what that entails?

The Reason for the Season

The Reason for the Season

We know the Christmas story so well as a result of the Christmas films and Nativity plays we watch but there is so much we don’t know. Despite it being one of the most important stories we have, only two of the 4 gospel writers include Jesus’ birth in their books, Luke and Matthew. As we can see here, even then, neither of them go into a lot of detail about the birth itself:

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.’Luke 2:1-7

’18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.’Matthew 1:18-25

Behind all the magic of the Christmas story is a historical event that really happened to a young couple, shamed by society for an unbelievable virgin pregnancy, who travelled for miles by donkey whilst heavily pregnant, slept in a stable and gave birth to the Son of God there with the threat of a jealous King trying to kill their special baby boy. Whilst we get caught up in the beautiful, fun, incredible aspects of the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph balanced that with all the real, difficult parts of this time in their lives. It is likely Luke didn’t bother including these details because the people of the time would have understood the background context, or maybe because those details distract from the point of the story. That is, the birth of Jesus, God in human form, born to a young girl who lived a normal life with her fiance, a humble carpenter, who took her to Bethlehem, as was required, to be counted in the census, where Mary gives birth and puts her baby in a manger.

This is the reason for the story so why add any frills? Anything beyond these facts is unnecessary distraction to it. Jesus is the reason for the season and let us always remember that. We can enjoy all the decorations, food, presents and other festivities that come in December but let us make sure never to forget what, or rather, who, it’s all about – Jesus.