The Walking on Water Story

This story puzzles me. Maybe you have some ideas.

John 6:
“1 Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee…
3 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. 4 The Jewish Passover Festival was near.”

In the previous chapter he WAS in Jerusalem at one of the Jewish festivals! Why did Jesus and the disciples walk 100km to the northern side of the Sea of Galilee when the Passover was near? They should have stayed in or near Jerusalem. (more…)

The Greatest of These is Love – 1Cor 13

In my experience Christians often ask about the interpretation of 1Cor. 13:

1 If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9 For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10 but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

They often focus way too much on the spiritual gifts and miss Paul’s point that speaking in tongues is considered a childish thing that should vanish with adulthood. Doesn’t that mean that those who are so fond of speaking in tongues got stuck in childhood and never want to grow up? (more…)

Religion in Jerusalem – before Abraham was called?

Many Christians are curious about this mysterious figure called Melchizedek. What was the religion in Jerusalem before Abraham was called? How could he be the high Priest of the Most High when the office of the High Priest was only defined in the Law? Somehow this doesn’t fit into the picture, at least, of traditional theology.

Gen 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. (more…)

The Gospel and Jesus Christ

In the previous post we have seen that the gospel (that is “good news”) is identified, for example, by Mark:

Mark 1:15
and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

The message, that “the Kingdom of God is near”, therefore, is THE GOSPEL or GOOD NEWS – and everything else is commentary.

Of course, you will find people that claim that there is more than one gospel, such as

1. the gospel of the Kingdom
2. the gospel of Christ

Their claim, however, cannot stand because you can clearly see from the verses quoted in the initial post that the gospel of the Kingdom IS the gospel of God, which was preached by John the Baptist, Jesus, the disciples and the apostles and also Paul, and it is also called the gospel of Christ. There is no other gospel. It is about God bringing about the Kingdom preceded by His judgment upon the world, from which judgment sinners had to be saved from, hence the urgency of the message. (more…)

Is Sickness Caused by Demons or Sin?

This will be a controversial subject, but I think it is vital to deal with it as it has the potential to free up Christians from dangerous misconceptions and practices.

The first passage that may give us important information, this time concerning how the gospels were compiled is this:

Luke 1:1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things which have been accomplished among us, 2 just as they were delivered to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, 3 it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent The-oph’ilus, 4 that you may know the truth concerning the things of which you have been informed. (more…)