Monthly Archives: December 2017

2nd Week of Advent (10-16 Dec)

2nd Week of Advent (10-16 Dec)

 Fully Human (Son of Man)

Sunday – 

Scripture Reading: Luke 1:30-33

When the angel tells Mary, “you will conceive in your womb and bear a son…” we find that Jesus being born of Mary is fully human and one who will save people from their sins.  This week we will focusing on the “Son of Man” scriptures and discover how as a man he saves us from our sin and brings us into God’s kingdom.

Pastor’s Pondering:  What does it mean to you that Jesus was fully human as the Son of Mary, Son of Man?

Monday – Lord of the Sabbath

Scripture Reading: Luke 6:1-5

As we look to the scripture that Jesus calls himself, Son of Man, it is over a teaching of the Sabbath.  Here, Jesus entitles the son of man as Lord of the Sabbath.  As the issue of what is lawful to do on the Sabbath is in question, Luke records Jesus saying it this way.  In Mark’s account of it (Mark 2:23-28) he adds “the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.”  The main point is the Sabbath was made for our good – a day of rest with God and we are to be free to observe it as Jesus the Christ leads for our lives and our good.

Pastor’s Pondering:  What does this say to you how you should observe the Sabbath?

Tuesday – Who do you say that I Am?

Scripture Reading: Luke 9:18-22

After praying with only the disciples around Him, Jesus asks them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”  This is to get them to think about who Jesus is not just by what the crowds say but more importantly about “Who do you say that I am?”  Peter answers correctly, “You are the Messiah.”  This is the one who is going to bring God’s people into God’s Kingdom as God’s family.  Jesus then warns them about what lies ahead for the Messiah, “The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”  We must understand, believe this, and not be afraid to talk about Jesus in our lives – the Son of Man as the Messiah and what it took to be our Messiah.

Pastor’s Pondering:  What does it mean to believe what we say and say what we believe concerning Jesus as the Son of Man, the Messiah?

 

Wednesday – They were afraid to ask Him…

Scripture Reading: Luke 9:43-45

Though the crowds were amazed at what Jesus was doing, the disciples got a reality check from Jesus when He said to them, “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands.”  Jesus was preparing them to know what is in store for him as the Messiah.  They didn’t understand, whether it was kept from them or they didn’t really want to understand, as it was different than what they thought was the future for Jesus as the Messiah.  Still, they were afraid to ask Jesus for clarification.

Pastor’s Pondering:   How have you encountered a hard teaching as a Christian that you may not want to accept?

Thursday – Son of Man/Son of God

Scripture Reading: Luke 22:66-71

When Jesus appears before the council, they ask him if he is the Messiah.  Jesus replies by pointing at their own hearts, “If I tell you, you will not believe; and if I question you, you will not answer.”  Then he describes the vision of “the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the power of God.”  When they reply with, “Are you, then, the Son of God?” which is the punishable statement, Jesus responds with, “You say that I am.”  They said it, not him, but they will convict him of it.  But, as the Messiah, both parts are true – Son of Man, Son of God.

Pastor’s Pondering:  What do our convictions say about who we believe Jesus to be in our lives?

 

Friday – The Descended Son of Man

Scripture Reading: John 3:13

As we switch to the gospel of John, we find the Son of Man title used by Jesus in the infamous Nic at Night from which we get John 3:16.  When Jesus describes himself to Nicodemus as the Son of Man, it is to highlight that the reason he can talk about “heavenly things” is that he is the only one who descended from heaven.  Jesus is the eye-witness account not just of heaven but of God’s ways and salvation.  Jesus is the only one who can truly reveal to us God because he is the one descended as the Son of Man.

Pastor’s Pondering:  How does this teaching give Jesus the authority to tell us about God and the reason for us to listen?

 

Saturday – God sent His Son…

Scripture Reading: John 3:14-18

The rest of the story of the Son of Man, is to describe how this son will save the world by bringing to it everlasting life in God.  God’s plan in Christ, is to give to us not condemnation (that we deserve) but to give us life in Christ.  God sent his son who was fully a man, to suffer and to die so that in his resurrection, we could be resurrected to new life in the light of God which is God’s love.

Pastor’s Pondering:  What does it mean to you that Jesus was fully human in all that he did in his life, death, and resurrection for us?

1st week of Advent (3 – 9 Dec) – Fullness of Time

1st week of Advent (3 – 9 Dec) – Fullness of Time

(Prophesies of Messiah)

Sunday – Angel to Mary

Scripture Reading: Luke 1:26-38

When the angel Gabriel is sent by God to Mary it is because it was time for the Messiah to come.  When the angel tells her “The Lord is with you,” it is going to take on a whole new meaning.  God is requesting of her to give birth to the one who “…will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His ancestor David.  He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”  These are all traits of the coming Messiah.  As we look this week to the prophesies given of the Messiah in the Old Testament, this is all according to God’s plan from the very beginning of time.  In the Fullness of Time, Mary was willing to give birth to a baby as was prophesied throughout the ages.  Pastor’s Pondering:  How would you respond if you were Mary and what might this mean that Mary was uniquely qualified as the right person at the right time to do the right thing according to God’s Word for God’s people?      

Monday – From the Beginning

Scripture Reading: Genesis 3:15

As we turn to the beginning of life, we find that after the serpent had tempted Adam and Eve to separate themselves from God by eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that God casts judgement on the serpent, “He will strike your head and you will strike his heels.”  Though Satan will strike at us in our lives there will come someone who will strike down Satan from his head.  This is not just a literal view of the fighting between humankind and snakes but more a figurative view of the spiritual battle that will be fought by us and won by Christ for us.

Pastor’s Pondering:  How does this tell of the struggles we have with good and evil and the victory that we can have through Jesus Christ?    

Tuesday – Born to a Virgin

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 7:14

As we look to Isaiah, the prophet, it is in his words that we find that the Messiah would come from a woman who is a virgin.  This foretells that a young woman who is not married and thus has had no sexual relations with a man will bear a son and she will name him Immanuel, which means God is with us.  It is this verse that the angel quotes Joseph in Matthew 1:23 to assure him (and us) that this is all of God’s doing and plan for in the fullness of time.

Pastor’s Pondering:  How does this prophesy given hundreds of years before the angel appears to Joseph assure us of this being according to God’s plan in the fullness of time?

Wednesday – For a Child has been born…

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 9:6,7

When Isaiah describes the coming Messiah as a child…a son… who is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace.”  How do all four titles fit Jesus?  I consider that the Holy Trinity can help us understand.  Jesus calls the Holy Spirit, a Mighty Counselor, calls God “Abba” Father and He is the Prince of Peace.  The three together as Jesus reveals to us is the Mightiness of God that we get to know, know God’s love through, and love God back.  All because in the fullness of time, a babe was born.

Pastor’s Pondering:  How does this prophesy given hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus assure us of this being according to God’s plan in the fullness of time?

 

Thursday – Coming Messiah

Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 23:1-6

“The Lord is our righteousness” is the last phrase used in this prophesy of the coming Messiah.  This prophesy points to the fact that the Messiah who will “execute justice and righteousness in the land” somehow will gather the scattered sheep, not only reign as Lord over them but also instill God’s righteousness in them.  His righteousness will be their righteousness!  This we find in Jesus that in the fullness of time only Jesus is the one who fulfills the prophesy of the coming Messiah and God’s righteousness.

Pastor’s Pondering:  How does this prophesy given hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus assure us of this being according to God’s plan in the fullness of time?

Friday – But, you, Bethlehem…

Scripture Reading: Micah 5:2-5

Why Bethlehem?  Notice that in this passage, the Messiah who will gather God’s people, feed God’s flock in the strength of the Lord, great to the ends of the earth, and will be one of Peace will be born in Bethlehem, one of the smallest clans in Israel.  What are the odds of this one person coming from this one clan in all of Israel?  Only in the fullness of time could this come true in this place with the birth of Jesus.

Pastor’s Pondering:  How does this prophesy given hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus assure us of this being according to God’s plan in the fullness of time?

 

Saturday – I am sending my messenger…

Scripture Reading: Malachi 3:1-5

Even though this prophesy is more about John the Baptist as it is about Jesus notice the significance of this.  This is a prophesy of two people coming in the fullness of time – one to prepare the way of the Lord and one who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  The likelihood of one person coming at the right time and place is slim but when you add in another one who will be key to the fulfillment of prophesy makes it even less likely to occur unless it is in the fullness of time according to the plan of God and we can say, “the rest is His Story.”

Pastor’s Pondering:  How does this prophesy given hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus assure us of this being according to God’s plan in the fullness of time?