David's entry into Jerusalem / Jesus' entry

Mon, 03/03/2008 - 15:12 -- James Oakley

This is a “just noticed this parallel” post.

I’ve just noticed that Luke 19:37-39 reminds me of 2 Samuel 6:16.

As he was drawing near- already on the way down the Mount of Olives- the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” (Luke 19:37-39)

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Luke 21, Ephesians 2 and the equality of men and women

Sat, 05/01/2008 - 12:08 -- James Oakley

I was asked one very specific question after my last sermon on Luke 21.

I developed one implication that the temple was to come to an end, which is the implication developed in Ephesians 2. The era of Jewish national privilege has closed, so that in the new creation none of us will have a second class spot – specifically, no Gentiles will be penalised for being Gentile.

After the service I was asked why, if this is the case, I still hold that there will be a distinction in the roles taken by men and women in church life.


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Did Matthew know how to read the Old Testament?

Mon, 17/12/2007 - 10:44 -- James Oakley

Doing some work on the birth narrative in Matthew at the moment, and enjoying the recently published commentary on Matthew by R T France.

He has a brilliant (if long) paragraph arguing that Matthew was not a poor Old Testament handler at all, but knew exactly what he was doing. So brilliant, it’s worth quoting in full (from page 45)

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Greater works than these

Thu, 13/12/2007 - 10:07 -- James Oakley

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)

If, like me, you’ve ever read that verse and puzzled slightly over what those “greater works” are, then it’s time to visit Doug Wilson’s blog over at Blog and Mablog.

Yesterday he posted an entry entitled Greater Works which sheds a lot of light on that verse.

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Today. With me. In paradise

Tue, 11/12/2007 - 17:08 -- James Oakley

“I tell you the truth, today you wll be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

So said Jesus, on the cross, to “the other criminal”. A saying that has been precious to me for some time, not least because of the implications for the way in which God saves by grace not works. The model sinner, whose saving faith could not be accompanied by any good works. Such a verse makes very clear that God does not save us because of our works (as instrumental cause), but by faith. James 2 makes clear that genuine faith will be accompanied by good works, but Luke 23 makes clear that such good works are the outworking of faith in space and time not an essential component of it.

But I want to reflect on this verse from another angle today. What we can learn from this verse about what awaits the believer after they die.

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The Jerusalem conflict section of Luke

Fri, 28/09/2007 - 11:23 -- James Oakley

In Luke 20:1-21:4 we have a section characterised by

  • Geographical location of Jerusalem
  • Conflict stories between Jesus and the religious hierarchy.

The section is framed by:

  • Jesus arrival in Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday (19:28-48). The crowds’ cheering has not even died down before he weeps in public over what will happen to the city. The explanation given here for Jerusalem’s fate is her failure to recognise that God has come to visit. He then prophetically enacts this by driving out those who are misusing the temple.
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