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Chenal This Week

Posted 5 days 10 hours ago
Throughout history, people who hold positions of great power (and those under them) have been caught up in the comparison game. How does your nation, your ruler, and your god[s] stack up against those around?
 
Posted 1 week 5 days ago
The church the Hebrews writer addresses is struggling. The road is hard. Opposition is building. They feel beat up and battered. They're thinking about giving up and going back to their old life and their old faith. So the Hebrews writer decides to give them a pep talk, and to spur the church on, he taps into the image of the race that would have been so familiar to the readers.
 
It's here that the church is encouraged to zero in on Jesus, who is called the pioneer and perfecter of faith. That's a pretty impressive image right there.
 
Posted 2 weeks 5 days ago
The iPhone recently celebrated the 10-year anniversary of its debut. When Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone, it took the world by storm. But as revolutionary as it proved to be, how many people do you know who still use an original iPhone (and as a paper weight does not count)?
 
Posted 3 weeks 5 days ago
When God commissions Moses to be his mouthpiece, Moses is reticent. What if I go to my fellow Hebrews and they ask, "What is his name?" Asking about the name is asking for God's credentials. Does this God have the power to accomplish what he is promising?
 
Posted 1 month 3 days ago
Luke 17:7-10 has one of the lesser-known parables. Jesus describes a servant doing work outside-plowing a field or tending sheep. Then he poses a hypothetical question. When the servant comes in, would one expect the master to invite the servant to kick back, relax, dine in leisure and act as if half a days work was all that's required, or would the master expect the servant to do a full day's work? When you put it that way, the answer is obvious, and the servant's attitude should reflect as much. "I have only done my duty."
 
Posted 1 month 1 week ago
When Jesus twice identifies himself as the good shepherd in John 10, that image serves several functions. First, he's mining a metaphor of the shepherd and sheep with which the audience is very familiar. Second, he's using imagery associated with a role that God repeatedly plays in the OT (Psalm 23, Ezekiel 34; Isaiah 40 just to name a few). Third, he's contrasting himself with the various leaders of his day. The use of shepherd as an image of leadership was widespread at the time, both inside and outside Judaism. But Jesus is not like those other leaders.
 
Posted 1 month 2 weeks ago
When Jesus declares, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser." "I am the vine, and you are the branches" (John15:1, 5), he's offering more than a horticultural illustration his agrarian society could connect with (although it does serve that function). Jesus is tapping into an image that, for his Jewish audience, is a part of their history, identity, and theology.
           
Posted 1 month 3 weeks ago
"I am the bread of life." This is an idea so nice, Jesus decides to say it twice in John 6, but a little context would be helpful. One, John tells us it's nearly Passover, establishing more than the time of year. He's connecting the dots between this story and the story of the Exodus. Two, while Jesus is on the side of a mountain, a large crowd gathers, drawn by stories of the signs he's performed.
 
Posted 2 months 1 week ago
Jesus utters 7 different phrases from the cross. Some of them are iconic. "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing." "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" "Into your hands I commend my Spirit."
 
Posted 2 months 2 weeks ago
I believe that one of the most beautiful prayers from the life of Christ comes in John 17. For the sake of this, we will focus on the end but it is important to note that Jesus prays for himself and then the disciples. Jesus then begins to pray for all believers. He says, "I pray also for those who will believe in me through their (the disciples') message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.