First Glance: Mark 15:33-34

At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. At three in the afternoon, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, eloi, lama sabachthani,” (which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) (Mark 15:33-34) There are many different ways to approach a biblical text in order to…

First Glance: Matthew 22:1-14

“For many are invited, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14) This is an interesting end to the parable of the wedding banquet. The parable begins with a joyous invitation to the wedding banquet of the King. Then suddenly, shockingly, unbelievably, the guests decline the invitation. They have better things to do: more work to do,…

First Glance: Mark 15:16-16:8

But go tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you. (Mark 16:7) It wasn’t until last night, sitting around a table studying this passage with fellow disciples of Jesus, that I noticed the angel’s phrase in this verse. ‘Go tell…

First Glance: Ruth 2

“As it turned out, she was working in a field belong to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek” (Ruth 2:3b) God’s activity is subtle in the book of Ruth. Excellent timing here, faithful people there. Yet all the while, God continually works fullness and redemption for Ruth and Naomi. There is no more…

First Glance: Luke 2:8-20

And there were shepherd living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. (Luke 2:8-9) The angel appeared to the shepherds at work. These young children (most likely) were not…

Review: Christ the Meaning of History

Growing up, I was surrounded by the Left Behind series and the popular Christian assumption of dispensationalism. It was never officially taught to me, but between the books and movies that were popular in my area, it was simply assumed. Going to college and majoring in religion, I suddenly became ‘enlightened’ and cast off my…

Forgive and Forget

Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.” (Mt. 18:21-22) Forgive and Forget Forgiveness can be difficult in the best of circumstances. Even…

First Glance: 2 John

Many deceivers who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. (2 John 7) Growing up, I had always been taught to envision the Antichrist as a proper noun. It was capitalized for a reason. A large, scary,…

First Glance: Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. (Ps 23) Before meeting my wife, I knew nothing about farming. I’d never ridden or driven a tractor, picked stones, baled hay, or ‘done chores.’ I didn’t feel deprived, by any means, but once I experienced some of…

First Glance: Acts 9:1-22

But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” (Acts 9:15-16) Jesus never said it would be easy to follow him. He said…