It’s the Great Commission, not the “Great Obligation”

This may be hard to believe, but there was a time when most churches did not think the Great Commission applied to them. Two hundred years ago, it was common for people to read this command at the end of the gospels as one already fulfilled. In the minds of most, the command to go…

Discipleship is Being on Mission and Taking Others With You

Jesus was the master discipler. Such a statement is so self-evident it is almost silly to make it. Nevertheless, it serves as a reminder that our source of direction concerning discipleship is none other than the master himself. Take for instance, Mark's detailing of his interaction with the disciples. In chapter 8 of Mark's gospel,…

From the Archives: The Audacity of Christmas

The following is an excerpt from a previous post. Have you ever noticed that Luke’s telling of Jesus’ birth gets all the face time during Christmas? We always quote the Luke narrative in Christmas pageants and television specials. Why is that? Perhaps its because Matthew’s version gets a little gory. Hundreds of babies are slaughtered in an attempt…

When life seems unfair, but really it is not.

The parable of the day laborers has always been difficult for me to comprehend. Perhaps I make it too hard. More precisely, perhaps I do not like what it teaches. In chapter 20 of his gospel account, Matthew retells a parable that Jesus told. In this parable a landowner goes out to find day laborers…