Month: November 2018

Pastor's Blog

Undeniable

There’s an important observation to be made about Jesus’ critics from Matthew 12:22-24:

“Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, ‘Can this be the Son of David?’ But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, ‘It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.’”

As you read through the gospels, it’s apparent that, unlike so many religious fakes today, Jesus was doing his miracles right out in the open. He didn’t rent a private venue and sell tickets to his supporters; He routinely performed miracles right in the plain sight of the public—which included His critics.

And those miracles were so legitimate that not even the worst of those critics could deny that they had actually taken place. The Pharisees didn’t even try to say, “He’s not really casting out demons. It’s just a show.” It was obvious even to those who hated Him that He had this power, and so their only alternative to actually believing in Him was to cook up the weak excuse that His power came from Satan.

John 11:45-48 is another passage that demonstrates this dynamic: “Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, ‘What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.’”

There’s a lot of hucksters around today who claim to perform miracles. It’s easy to be skeptical of so many of these claims, and that fact alone puts them in a different category than Jesus. His miracles were so public, so verifiable, so legitimate, that nobody tried denying them. And that says a lot.

Pastor's Blog

Stamp Thine Image in Its Place

There’s a familiar Christmas carol which has a fourth verse we don’t often sing. “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” concludes with these incredible words:

Come, Desire of nations, come! Fix in us Thy humble home:
Rise, the woman’s conquering Seed, bruise in us the serpent’s head;
Adam’s likeness now efface, stamp Thine image in its place:
Second Adam from above, reinstate us in Thy love.

I trust those last two lines strike you as especially meaningful after Tim’s sermon on Sunday. They are a direct echo of 1 Corinthians 15:45, 47 & 49: “Thus it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being’; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit… The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven… Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.”

This Sunday, we’ll be considering how Christ is the serpent-crushing offspring of Eve. As we prepare our hearts to hear that word, let’s ponder and pray that second line from this verse: “Rise, the woman’s conquering Seed [Offspring], bruise [crush] in us the serpent’s head.”

I’m looking forward to Sunday, and trusting you are as well!

Pastor's Blog

Hail to the Lord’s Anointed!

This upcoming Sunday, our journey through the storyline of the Bible will finally bring us to Jesus. We’re going to be singing a new song in our service this week (and over the coming weeks) to celebrate how Jesus is the culmination of all that we’ve seen in the Scriptures so far. It’s called “Hail to the Lord’s Anointed.” You can listen to the song in the video below, and can also read the lyrics here.

This song’s melody and arrangement are new, but the words are from a hymn over one hundred years old, which was itself an adaptation of Psalm 72. As we learned in the sermon about the Davidic Covenant, Psalm 72 is full of references that clearly connect the Son of David to the promised one spoken of in Genesis 3:15 and 22:17-18. As this page explains, “Psalm 72 is a prayer for blessing upon God’s anointed king, probably intended for use in a liturgy for coronation. Later Jewish traditions and the early church saw in it a description of Messiah’s righteous reign.”

“Hail to the Lord’s Anointed” is masterfully written, and makes clear who the words of Psalm 72 are really about: Jesus Christ, David’s greater Son (Matthew 1:1). Can’t wait to sing it with you on Sunday!