First Glance: Galatians 4:1-20

“Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ himself.” (Galatians 4:14b) Who do we see in the face of the stranger? Paul was traveling and preaching the gospel when he fell ill. We are not sure exactly what the illness was. Some suggest it was epilepsy,…

First Glance: Galatians 3:19-29

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) Our unity as Christians is both incredibly fragile and inestimably stable. On the one hand, as I write this, my denomination is debating in the midst of fierce disunity…

First Glance: Galatians 3:1-18

“You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes, Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.” (Galatians 3:1) Let those who want to fulfill the ministry of the gospel in the right way learn not only to speak and proclaim but also to penetrate into consciences, so that people may see Christ crucified…

First Glance: Galatians 2:15-21

“We who are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 2:15-16a) A couple of months ago, Olga and I traded in my 2004 Volkswagon Jetta for a 2010 Honda Odyssey. It was a big move…

First Glance: Galatians 2:1-16

…they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised. For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles. (Galatians 2:7-8) Have you ever wished you had…

First Glance:Genesis 1-3

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers, he will crush your head and you will strike his heel. (Genesis 3:15) We live in a time of enmity. In this first proclamation of the gospel in Genesis 3, this first promise that God would bring redemption through the…

First Glance: John 21

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” (John 21:15) The story of Jesus’ breakfast on the beach with the disciples is one of restoration. Peter, who…

First Glance: John 19:30

“When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head, and gave up his spirit.” (John 19:30) Jesus bows his head, perhaps in mortal weakness, perhaps in silent submission, or perhaps as a nod of approval. Then, John tells us, Jesus ‘gave up his spirit.’ The phrase “gave…

First Glance: John 19:26-27

When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” After that time, the disciple took her into his home. (John 19:26-27) Today, most churches in the United States are known for supporting “family…

First Glance:Luke 23:46

Jesus called out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. (Luke 23:46) Not every gospels account records the same last words as being on the lips of Jesus. What do we make of this? Matthew: Jesus cried out again in a…