Lenten Reflection: Luke 4:5-8

February 27, 2013

The Slanderer (Diabolos) knows his target well. He has some understanding of the mission to which Jesus has been called. He knows why Jesus is here. The key terms are kingdoms, authority and glory. The Slanderer offers Jesus what he seeks; he offers Jesus a similar vision but a different mission. The price? A new […]


Lenten Reflection: Luke 4:3-4

February 26, 2013

God tests Jesus in the wilderness and Satan tempts him to satisfy his desires by inappropriate means. One need is hunger. It would seem that satisfying hunger should not be characterized as inappropriate. Food is a created good to be enjoyed. The Slanderer (Diabolos) suggests that Jesus should create his own food. If he really […]


Lenten Reflection: Luke 4:2

February 25, 2013

Led by the Spirit Jesus follows Israel into the wilderness for a period of testing and humbling. It is time to prepare for ministry. Confronted by the Diabolos (Devil) Jesus is tested/tempted three times. God tests Jesus, but the Diabolos tempts him. While God tests the Son’s obedience, the Devil preys on Jesus’s desires and needs. The Diabolos […]


Lenten Reflection: Luke 4:1-2

February 22, 2013

Only Luke says that Jesus “returned” to the wilderness. Returned? That is something about which I would like to know more. Perhaps Jesus went into the wilderness to contemplate his future, to reflect on his decision to be baptized, or to decide whether to embrace the mission into which God had called him. The wilderness, […]


Lenten Reflection: Luke 3:21-22

February 21, 2013

In obedience to the Father, Jesus went down into the water to pray. Jesus followed sinners into the water as they repented and confessed their sins. Jesus identified with sinners by sharing this water ritual with them. He underwent a ritual designed for sinners! In response the Father anointed the Messiah with the Holy Spirit, […]


Hungering for a New Day (Lenten Reflections on Psalm 118)

March 24, 2010

Text: Psalm 118 (see this post also) The resounding refrain of this Psalm—the climactic confession of Israel—is worth repeating…over and over and over, “His steadfast love endures forever.” Psalm 118 beings and ends with this confession. It invites Israel and all those who fear Yahweh to praise the enduring love of God. It rings true throughout […]


Hungering for Power (Lenten Reflections)

March 17, 2010

Text: Philippians 3:4-14 That can’t be a commendable hunger, can it? To hunger for power. It depends on what kind of power we are talking about. To hunger for Caesar’s power (or wealth or status) is ungodly, but to hunger for the power to become like Jesus is something different. This is not a hunger […]


Hungering For the Joy: Lenten Reflections on Joshua 5

March 9, 2010

Text: Joshua 5:19-12 [This is part of a small group series for the Woodmont Hills Church in Nashville, TN, which is prepared in conjunction with Dean Barham's homilies that are based on the Lectionary texts for Lent.] A new generation had emerged during the wilderness trek. Their parents had refused to enter to the promise […]


Hear the Invitation (Lenten Reflections on Isaiah 55)

March 2, 2010

Text: Isaiah 55 Come, listen, look and seek. Those are the main imperatives of Isaiah’s invitation. The message of Isaiah since chapter 40 has been deliverance. Just as God liberated Israel from Egyptian slavery, so now God is acting to deliver Israel from Babylonian exile. God’s chosen servant has suffered the punishment of the exile (Isaiah […]


Hungering for the Future (Lenten Reflections on Genesis 15)

February 23, 2010

Text: Genesis 15:1-18 [For an amplified narration of Genesis 15 read my previous post.] Abraham waited for a child. And then his descendants waited 400 years in slavery for the land. Waiting is part of every believer’s journey. The Psalms overflow with the language (e.g., Psalm 25). “Wait for Yahweh,” the Psalmist writes (Psalm 27:14). […]