“Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?” (Luke 8:25). Having just witnessed Jesus rebuke the wind and the waves, the disciples posed this question among themselves. They knew that controlling the forces of nature and calming the raging seas are activities that only God himself could do (see Psalm 107:28-29). But […]

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“A sower went out to sow his seed”—so begins one of the most familiar parables of Jesus, a profound teaching found in all three Synoptic gospels (Matt. 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20; Luke 8:4-15). Jesus frequently would illustrate kingdom truths and spiritual realities with images, stories, and experiences from everyday life that would relate to his hearers.  Yet the purpose […]

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The story of the wise and foolish builders, found at the conclusion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain, is a familiar one to most. Having taught on living the life of the kingdom and what it means to be an authentic disciple, Jesus warns those who would presume to call him ‘Lord’ yet fail to do what […]

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As Jesus continues preaching to the crowds about kingdom living, he now moves into one of the most difficult, yet most distinctly Christian, teachings in his sermon: love for enemies. Jesus here commands his disciples that they must not only love them, but do good to them, pray for them, and even lend to them expecting […]

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The Sabbath was the seventh day of the Jewish week and was set apart by religious observances and cessation from work. The scribes and Pharisees, however, had turned the observance of the Sabbath from a delight into a heavy burden. Jesus had already proven to the scribes and Pharisees that he had divine authority to […]

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