Friends: Due to the Coronavirus I am not allowed to meet face-to-face with my Kirkland cohort (many are lifers) for the next few weeks. I’m providing a couple of videos for them to watch. And you might like what I’ve done! The second video is about 15 minutes long. Let me know what you think! Dr. D.
Tag Archives: Jesus
This was an encouraging book to read. Short. Passionate. Devotional in a good sense. Need your love for the Lord stirred up? Want to grow in your appreciation of the Person of the Lord Jesus? Then this book is for you! Here are a couple of quotes that jumped out at me:
We need “the eyes of [our] hearts” (Eph. 1:18) opened to see the Lord!
“We are all starved for the glory of God, not self. No one goes to the Grand Canyon to increase self-esteem.” (15).
A prayer: “Wean us from our obsession with trivial things.” (17).
A prayer: “Remove the lopsided and distorted images of your Son that weaken our worship and lame our obedience. . . . So deliver us from small dreams and timid ventures and halting plans.” (33).
Some of you know that I have been working on my next book, Unlike Jesus, which is a study of becoming a friend of sinners (from Mt. 11). Piper comments on this text: “Truth came dressed in camel skins and eating locusts and living in the wilderness and calling kings adulterers and doing no miracles and dying for a dancing girl. And this was not acceptable. So truth came sociably and went to feasts and made fine wine and let a harlot wash his feet. But this too was not acceptable.” (61).
A prayer: “Fight for us, O God, that we not drift numb and blind and foolish into vain and empty excitements. Life is too short, too precious, too painful to waste on worldly bubbles that burst, Heaven is too great, hell is too horrible, eternity is too long that we should putter around on the porch of eternity. . . . We fear our bent to trifling.” (72).
“It follows, starkly, that horrific calamities in this world, no matter how painful, are not the greatest tragedy. Far greater is the failure to escape hell through repentance and faith.” (97).
“Break our addiction to this world.” (116).
“. . . the Spirit persuades ‘by and with the Scriptures.’ He does not skirt the Scriptures and substitute private revelations about the Scriptures.” (121).
“Christ is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” (122)
Some of you know that I will be speaking at Emmaus Bible College’s “Christian Ministry Seminars” on February 6-7. My theme, “Anti-Intellectualism Isn’t Spirituality,” has encouraged me to look into the Lord Jesus’ use of His mind in loving the Lord. I know. I know. The conference is already past by the time you read this. But I believe it would be profitable to think about Jesus’ model of using one’s mind to love God.
There are some that argue that Jesus was an anti-intellectual, that He taught against the use of one’s mind. In a Patheos blog entitled “Anti-Intellectualism and the Bible” Neil Carter writes, “At the very least, to whatever extent Christianity is based on the Bible, it cannot be a consistently intellectual faith because the Bible is a fundamentally anti-intellectual book.” He says further, “Jesus was no fan of intellectualism, either. He boasted that his message could only be received by the simple-minded because God chose to hide the most important things from the wise and learned (Matt. 11:25). He would often point to a child and say that you must become like one of them in order to really ‘get’ what he was offering.” Referring to the unbeliever Bertrand Russell, Carter says, “There is not one word in the gospels in praise of intelligence. On the contrary, at times Jesus seemed positively against it.”
But, wait! What do we do with the following passages?
When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?” (Mt. 17:25)
“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? (Mt. 18:12)
[ The Parable of the Two Sons ] “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ (Mt. 21:28)
“What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?” “The son of David,” they replied. (Mt. 22:42)
Contrary to Carter (and Russell), Jesus encourages the use of one’s mind to draw certain conclusions. (to be continued)
“Jesus Christ is to me the outstanding personality of all time, all history, both as Son of God and as Son of Man. Everything he ever said or did has value for us today and that is something you can say of no other man, dead or alive. There is no easy middle ground to stroll upon. You either accept Jesus or reject him.” — Sholem Asch (1880-1957)
Jesus had a system of BELIEFS. By “beliefs,” we do not mean opinions or thoughts or suggestions. “Beliefs” for Jesus meant declarations of reality. As God the Son, Jesus had no need for people to tell Him what to think. As the Creator of the universe, He not only knew what was true but declared truth every time He spoke.
The first critical issue we noticed was His BELIEF about Himself. How did He view Himself? He saw Himself as One on mission, as One who came not to be served, but to serve, and to give Himself as a ransom for sinners (Mk. 10:45).
The second critical issue about which Jesus expressed a very strong belief concerns the world. He says much about the world in His high priestly prayer in John 17. There we learn —
- He shared the Father’s glory “before the world began” (v. 5).
- He revealed the Father to those the Father gave Him “out of the world” (v. 6).
- He specifically prays for these believers and is “not praying for the world” (v. 9).
- He will “remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world . . .” (v. 11).
- He is saying these things “while [He is] still in the world” (v. 13).
- The world hates His followers, for “they are not of the world any more than I am of the world” (v. 14).
- His prayer is specifically not that the Father take “them out of the world but . . . protect them from the evil one” (v. 15).
- A second time He says “they are not of the world, even as I am not of it” (v. 16).
- As the Father sent the Son into the world, “I have sent them into the world” (v. 18).
- The oneness of believers will help the world “believe that you sent me” (v. 21).
- The unity of believers will lead to the world knowing that the Father sent the Son and has loved the followers of Jesus even as He loved Jesus (v. 23).
- Jesus wants His disciples to see the glory the Father gave the Son “because you loved me before the creation of the world” (v. 24).
- The world does not know the Father, Jesus knows the Father and His followers know that the Father sent Him (v. 25).
Fifteen times Jesus uses the word “world.” We learn that He shared the Father’s glory before the world began (v. 5) and that He was loved by the Father before the creation of the world (v. 24). He has come into the world and is leaving the world (vv. 4-5). He is not of the world, nor are His disciples (vv. 14, 16). The disciples are those whom the Father gave the Son out of the world (v. 6) and are sent into the world (v. 18). Jesus doesn’t pray that His followers would be taken out of the world, but that they would be kept from the evil one (v. 15). Jesus doesn’t pray for the world, (for the world doesn’t know the Father, v. 25), but for His followers (v. 9). How the followers of Jesus relate to one another will help the world believe the Father sent the Son (v. 21). Their unity will lead the world to know the Father sent the Son and loves those who follow His Son (v. 23).
The term “cosmos” (“world”) can mean three things: (1) the physical planet; (2) the people of the planet; (3) the pagan system opposed to God and the things of God. An interesting study would be to ask: What specific meaning does the word “world” have in each of the fifteen uses of that word here in John 17?
- How do you relate to the world as a follower of Jesus?
- How can you be “in the world” but not have the world “in” you?
In this series we will be examining the BELIEFS of the Lord Jesus. By “beliefs” we do not mean His opinions, His perspectives, or His thoughts about this or that. The term “belief” can mean those concepts, but the word can also refer to one’s firm conviction based on evidence. The beliefs of Jesus, the Son of God, were declarations of reality, incontrovertible, not open to debate (although many challenged His beliefs at every point).
The first critical issue we must discuss is His BELIEF about Himself. How did He view Himself? If He were to take a “selfie,” what would He see?
Several Scriptures give us strong clues as to His perception, belief, declaration of His own identity! The text that immediately comes to my mind is Mark 10:45 which says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
This incredible declaration by the Lord Jesus indicates that He knew the purpose for which He came. As the Second Person of the Trinity He “came” into the world He created. Why does He say He did not come to be served? The immediate context of this statement shows the request of James and John to sit at Christ’s right hand in His glory (v. 37). Jesus questions whether they realize the cost they will incur in being His fully committed followers (v. 38), then tells them that those places of honor aren’t His to give out. The other disciples become indignant with James and John (probably because they were going to ask Jesus the same favor), and Jesus tells them that the one who would be great must be the servant of all. Then the Lord Jesus says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
The key to greatness in the Kingdom of God is servanthood. But Jesus goes on to say, “. . . and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus’ self-identity involved coming to “give His life as a ransom for many.” He came to die. He came to be the ransom price to buy us out of our sins.
1. How might you show your servanthood today as you live for Jesus?
2. Don’t you imagine that a kidnapped person for whom the ransom has just been paid would be overjoyed, relieved, elated that he or she was now free? Do you feel any of those emotions with your salvation?