The Baptism of Jesus: Our Apprentice in Discipleship

September 4, 2009

The baptism of Jesus is the first Christian baptism. Jesus identifies with sinners as he undergoes a ritual designed for sinners. He publicly declares his faith in God and joins the story of God’s people in the anticipation of restoration. He anticipates and foreshadows his own death and resurrection in a ritual through which future believers […]

Soteriology: Union with Christ (SBD 13)

June 16, 2009

[Note: I am attempting to keep these SBD installments under 2000 words each, but that is–of course–quite inadequate for the topics covered. Consequently, these contributions are more programmatic than they are explanatory or defenses of the positions stated. You may access the whole series at my Serial page.] The Father elects, redeems and saves in […]

Jesus, the Unlikely Apprentice VIII

March 17, 2009

Enlisting Other Apprentices After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.” And leaving everything, he rose and followed him. Luke 5:27-28 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up […]

Jesus, the Unlikely Apprentice VII

March 11, 2009

Shaped by Gathering That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”  Hebrews 2:11b-12 (quoting Psalm 22:22) Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread […]

Jesus, the Unlikely Apprentice IV

February 18, 2009

Living in Community While Jesus apprenticed in his humanity as he was discipled by his Father, he did not live in isolation from others. Quite the contrary, he travelled throughout Palestine with his twelve apostles and a group of supportive women (Luke 8:1-3). Jesus mentored them, taught them, and prayed with them (Mark 4:34; Luke […]

Reading the Gospel of Mark

February 8, 2009

The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God (1:1). Mark’s first words, in a Roman political and cultural context, are startling.  “Gospel” was the term used to describe the joyous announcement of imperial news, that is, the Roman Emperor has secured peace, prosperity and security for the known world. “Son of […]

Jesus, the Unlikely Apprentice II

February 3, 2009

Shaped in Solitude Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from [being baptized in] the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil for forty days.    Luke 4:1-2a Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went to an isolated place to pray.    Mark […]

Jesus, the Unlikely Apprentice I

January 29, 2009

Discipled in Family Text: Luke 2:41-52 Jesus was an apprentice. Like F(f)ather, like son. He apprenticed with his heavenly Father. He learned obedience by the things which he suffered (Hebrews 5:8-9). He taught and did only what he heard his Father teach and what he saw his Father do (John 5:19). He was the Father’s […]

Reverse the Curse V – The Ministry of Jesus (Luke)

September 2, 2008

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19). “Today this scripture is […]

Zacchaeus—Epitome of Luke’s Story

January 23, 2007

The journey to Jerusalem in Luke’s Gospel begins in 9:51 and it ends in 19:11. The last story Luke tells on that journey is the Zacchaeus episode (Luke 19:10). Its placement at the end of the journey gives Luke the occasion to summarize the ministry of Jesus in the person of Zacchaeus. • Jesus takes […]