Christians need breadth as well as depth as we read the Bible. As we enter a new year, why not resolve to start the habit of reading right through the Bible - not just once this year, but as part of a routine that will feed and sustain you for the rest of your life. Here are 3 tools to help you do so, and a copy of the Bible reading plan I use personally.
As we look at the visit of the Magi in Matthew 2, the obvious lead human characters in the story are Herod, the Magi, and Jesus himself. These are the lead protagonists and antagonists.
Whilst the Jewish priests are more flat, functionary characters, we mustn't miss the contrast Matthew deliberately paints between them and the Magi.
Michael Green comments:
I most recently preached on Matthew 14:24-33 (the story of Jesus walking on the water) in January 2018. There is a debate with this story as to whether Peter's request to join Jesus on the water reflected his great faith and is something we should emulate (we too need to "get out of the boat"), or whether Peter was being foolish and reckless.
On Social Media
"Of making many books there is no end" (Ecclesiastes 12:12)
If that was true when Ecclesiastes was written, how much more true is it in the days of social media. Surely the writer of Ecclesiastes would comment: "Of the writing of opinions on social media, there is no end"!
All of our church services are currently online-only, due to Covid-19.
This morning, rather than preaching on a single passage, I did a topical sermon, unpacking a biblical theology of hand washing.
I often hear it said that Luke got his history wrong in Luke 2:1-6. He refers to "the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria". It is said that there was no such census; it never took place.
This is a serious charge to levy against a gospel writer who is historically impeccable when he records any fact for which we have independent records, and who says (Luke 1:1-4) that he worked hard to check everything out with primary eye witnesses.
Much ink has been spilled on this. However, the commentary on Luke by Darrell Bock is thorough and contains a helpful excursus examining this question at length. For my own future reference, and for the benefit of others, here's a summary of his argument.