Matthew 28: The Last Words of Jesus

Last words are important. Jesus is exceptional in the fact that he shared last words on the cross and before ascending to heaven. In the last chapter of Matthew, we find Christ’s parting words are: 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. [Read More…]

Matthew 27: Why Jesus Died

The death of Jesus is graphic. Even Mel Gibson’s rendition of the cross (barely R-rated) does not do it justice. An innocent man was nailed through the wrists and ankles to crossbeams of wood and left in the sun to die. To confirm the death, a Roman spear was thrust into his heart. There is [Read More…]

Matthew 26: God’s Plan (and Ours)

God and evil have always served as an intriguing discussion. Whether philosophers or everyday parents struggling with the trials of life, there is the ongoing question of how can a good God allow (or create) evil? Volumes have been written, but Matthew 26 offers some interesting insights. Here, Jesus is betrayed by Judas, arrested by [Read More…]

Matthew 24: Is Jesus Coming Back in 2011? Maybe

“…the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (Mt. 24:44). It’s interesting I would be working on this chapter around the same time I found out about a new religious leader who is claiming the end of the world will be May 21, 2011. You can Google it [Read More…]

Matthew 23: How to Be (Truly) Great

“The greatest among you will be your servant.” -Matthew 23:11 Jesus turns his attention toward one major problem and its solution in Matthew 23. The problem is hypocrisy. The religious leaders of his time taught purity, yet lived in luxury. They communicated Scripture, yet sought to kill Jesus and in doing so break Scripture. We [Read More…]

Matthew 22: Jesus on Taxes

The religious leaders of Jesus’ time sought a way to trick him. What better way than to involve taxes, right? If Jesus taught taxes should not be paid to Caesar, they had an opportunity to have him arrested. But what did Jesus say? “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” [Read More…]

Matthew 21: Matthew Is a Music Fan

Matthew is a music fan. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little. However, in Matthew 21 he directly cites the Old Testament at least six times. Three of those times were from the Psalms, an ancient book of music (and the largest book of the Jewish Scriptures). So Matthew likes music. More specifically, Jesus likes the [Read More…]

Matthew 20: The Value of Servanthood

“…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant…” -Matthew 20:26 Jesus repeatedly reminds his followers in Matthew of the need to live as a servant. Why does Matthew focus on this? First, he likely had lived a very selfish lifestyle before following Jesus. He was a tax collector consumed with making money [Read More…]

Matthew 18: Who Is the Greatest?

“Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” -Matthew 18:4 Jesus measures greatness by humility. We are only truly great when we truly live a life of service to others. We are called to meet the needs of others; not only living to meet our own [Read More…]

Matthew 17: Old Meets New

Matthew 17 stands as an amazing connection point between the Old Testament and the New. There, Jesus is on a mountain with Peter, James, and John. Then a cloud shows up and Jesus is with Moses and Elijah. The Father talks from the cloud (Spirit?) invoking imagery of the Trinity as well. It’s quite a [Read More…]