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Yeshua in Context >> Preachable Points

Bethlehem Star, Video

When the very Jewish gospel of Matthew tells us the story of Messiah's birth, you can bet it will be filled with Jewish themes. In fact, there are little known Jewish themes in the Matthew 2 story of the magi from the east and the star that reveals the place of Messiah's birth. What was the star of Bethlehem? What is the Jewish background of the star and the magi? ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Background to Gospels , Birth of Messiah , Detailed Commentary , Intertextuality in the Gospels , Preachable Points , Video

Bethlehem Shepherds, Video

This week's Yeshua in Context Video is timely, as many are starting to think about the birth narratives of Yeshua in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2 at this time of year. For the next few weeks, I will explore facets of the birth narratives. Next week: Bethlehem's Star. Who were the shepherds of Bethlehem? Why do they figure so prominently in Luke's birth narrative? What do we learn about Yeshua and his context? ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Background to Gospels , Detailed Commentary , Geography , Luke's Gospel , Messiah , Preachable Points , Video

Yeshua On Repentance

When he came to his senses he said, "How many of my father's hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger!" -Luke 15:17 Yeshua dined with sinners. Those of us who eat bread with him today are infinitely thankful for this. It is not, contra E.P. Sanders, that Yeshua offered the kingdom without repentance or light without trial. Those who dined with Yeshua did not think this is what he was offering. One said, "Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I give to the poor" (Luke 19:8). Yeshua is at once inviting and imposing, welcoming and formidable. You may be to him the hundredth sheep, the one rejoiced over that was lost, or a whitewashed tomb. You may hear from him, "your faith has made you ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Applying the Gospels , Discipleship - Formation , Forgiveness of Sins , Judaism Today & Yeshua , Preachable Points , Teaching of Yeshua

Yeshua the Galilean

Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? -Acts 2:7 The miracle of that special Shavuot (Pentecost) at the Temple was something very human: the appearance of the Spirit of God in individual theophanies on the disciples. Many onlookers seem to have missed the tongues of fire that Luke says rested on the disciples. What they noticed was the strange speech. Humble Israelites were speaking languages from far away lands. And it occurred to the onlookers as more than strange that these powerfully endued speakers were Galilean. It was the Judeans, not the Galileans, who emphasized scribal education. If anyone might be expected to have such learning of languages, and possibly if anyone were to be chosen as a prophet, most would expect this to happen to Judeans and not Galileans. What is ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Background to Gospels , Beginners , Galilee , General , Preachable Points , Temple and Torah

Explaining the Paraclete Passages

The Paraclete. The Counselor. The Advocate. The Comforter. "If I do not go away," said Yeshua, "the Counselor will not come to you." Who is the Paraclete? You think it's as easy as saying, "The Spirit." Not so fast. There is more to it. Raymond Brown, in Appendix V in Volume II of his exceptional commentary (The Gospel According to John (XII-XXI), The Anchor Yale Bible, original edition 1970) discusses the five Paraclete passages in the larger context of the fourth gospel and the themes of Yeshua going away (being lifted up -- on a cross, from the tomb, to the throne). The Paraclete theme in John has bearing on our view of the Spirit, the Presence of Yeshua (as Brown says it, "the presence of the absent Jesus"), and ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Applying the Gospels , Ascension of Yeshua , Community in Yeshua , Discipleship - Formation , Preachable Points

Discipleship and Message

At the Messianic Jewish Musings blog today I wrote a post about "The Way to Have a Message." It is an outgrowth of this week's discussion at Messianic Jewish Musings about representing Yeshua-faith to the Jewish community. I thought it appropriate to repost the blog here on Yeshua in Context because it deals with practical matters of discipleship. Studying the gospels and the life of Yeshua should not be merely about history or theory. As John 7:17 indicates, Yeshua expected that doing his kingdom teaching was the way to know it is true. After the jump you will find the full text of "The Way to Have a Message." ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Applying the Gospels , Community in Yeshua , Discipleship - Formation , Kingdom Present , Preachable Points , Teaching of Yeshua

The Beloved Disciple in Relation to Peter

*Note: At the bottom you will find a printable PDF, a Sermon Series Starter page from this blog post. In the Gospel of John, how do Peter and the Beloved Disciple compare and contrast? There is a definite theme running through the fourth gospel about this. In some verses it becomes rather obvious. For example, at the Last Supper table, you have to notice that Peter is not as close to Yeshua and has to whisper to the Beloved Disciple to get information about what Yeshua is saying. What is the relationship between these two disciples? What does their relationship say about discipleship and the different personalities of disciples? Do they represent two contrasting, though both legitimate, ways of being a disciple? ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Disciples & Named Characters , Discipleship - Formation , Eyewitnesses , Preachable Points

Kingdom Winners (Podcast Notes)

I sometimes type up some notes or a script for the Yeshua in Context podcast. Last week's podcast on "Penitent Disciples" generated a lot of email. I should have typed up notes. In today's podcast, my topic is still within the same general range of subject matter: practical application of Yeshua's teaching. I will start by referencing the same books I mentioned last podcast (which many emailed to ask more about), one a Jewish book on ethical responsibility and the other a Christian book on the practical implications of Yeshua's kingdom teaching. I also have a blog series on my main blog called "Life of Loving Deeds" which builds on these same themes and draws from Jewish and Christian sources. REFERENCE: Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, To Heal a Fractured World: The Ethics of ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Applying the Gospels , Discipleship - Formation , Kingdom Present , Podcasts , Preachable Points , Teaching of Yeshua

Also Messiah of the High & Mighty

He is the Lord of the poor and lowly and also the down and out. There is no doubt that this is a theme of Yeshua's life and especially in Luke. Aside from the obvious one ("blessed are the poor," Luke 6:20), there are plenty of others. I rather like this one: "Heal the sick in it and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you'" (Luke 10:9). But a comment in Markus Bockmuehl's This Jesus: Martyr, Lord, Messiah caused me to go searching. He says, "One should resist the cliche that Jesus kept company only with the poor" (83). So I went searching to find among those who knew and loved him, those whom he knew and loved, some who were high and mighty. ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Disciples & Named Characters , Eyewitnesses , Preachable Points

Preachable Points: Identity Stories

Looking for short series of teaching or sermon series outlines? That's what Preachable Points will be. How does a four-week series on the meaning, authority, and identity of Yeshua sound? It could be a real faith-builder. Here are some ideas and a few links to fill in the content of the messages. ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Identity of Yeshua , Preachable Points