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.
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.
I sometimes note illustrations here that may be useful for me to find later, and that may be useful for others as well.
Here's the teaching of Christ:
Give up everything to follow Christ
This is a familiar part of what Jesus taught: It costs to follow him.
Last Sunday, at our all-age service, we looked at the visit of the Magi, as recorded in Matthew 2:1-11.
(I know, 6 weeks early. There's a reason, but never mind).
Luke's resurrection account comes in Luke 24:1-12. In common with Mark, Jesus himself does not make an appearance in the account of the empty tomb.
Instead, we encounter the experiences of various other people. Significantly, as you read Luke's account, there is an emphasis on the words spoken by a number of individuals. Language of speaking, of words, of sayings dominates the account.
Children's Bibles are great. They retell key stories from the Bible in a way that children can readily follow. Each one has its own editorial policy, aiming for a particular reading age and style, with consistent illustrations.
But they're a minefield. When you try to summarise to remove extraneous details, it's easy accidentally to remove the most important thing. Like Jesus forgiving the sins of the paralysed man in Matthew 9:1-8.
When you have extra details that need a little explanation, it's easy to do so in a way that removes the most important tensions of the narrative. Like this example ...: