We explore the idea of what it means to be a Christian.
Christ is the Greek word for "the anointed one" and is generally applied to a king.
Jesus is the Christ - the King. We then are "little kings" - little Christs - that are maturing in our faith to become "like" the King.
How can we conceptualize this for our walk in the world today?
In this video, we will explore the idea of becoming or being like a king.
Meister Eckhart was a 13th-century mystic.
He was known for using the Christmas story as a metaphor for our own spiritual journey.
Join us as we explore his teaching and how it can be metaphorically applied to our lives.
Soul and Psyche - Wayne G. Rollins
From Infinity to Man- Eduard Shyfrin
The Complete Mystical Works of Meister Eckhart - Maurice O'C Walshe
Luke's narrative of the birth of Jesus as the Christ - or the King - is set explicitly against the Roman Empire's Imperial Cult.
The reigning emperor at the time was Caesar Augustus.
Join us in this lesson as we see how the story of Jesus and Caesar Augustus intersect.
The New Testament writers are forcing us to ask the question, 'Who do you call Lord'?
Priene Calendar Inscription: An inscription was found in an ancient city called Priene, which is located in modern-day Turkey. The calendar inscription mentions that Caesar Augustus's birth was considered the "good news" for all humanity. You can read the full inscription here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calendar_Inscription_of_Priene
Omrit: Omrit is located in Israel and was one of the (3) sites that Herod the Great built a temple to Caesar Augustus - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omrit
Over the past two thousand years, we have told and re-told the Christmas story so many times that details have crept in where they should not be.
In the next few videos, we'll take a closer look at the biblical narrative to see what is actually being said. People are usually surprised at what has been added over the years.
The website www.earlychristianwritings.com is a tremendous resource for documents that existed within the early years of Christianity.
In the video, I specifically mention a document called the Infancy Gospel of James. Here is a direct link: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/infancyjames-roberts.html
A second resource mentioned is the book Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes, by Kenneth Bailey.
Parables are used when trying to communicate something unknown or difficult. The use of a parable allows the listener to enter into the drama themselves and evaluate how they might behave or with whom they identify.
The parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector is a masterful piece of storytelling as it causes all of us to react in a particular manner. Using this parable, Jesus challenges us all to examine our capacity to judge those around us.
The parable's setting is specific to a first-century Jewish audience who could have easily placed themselves into the drama.
It is set at the sacrifice (tamid) that occurred daily at 3 PM at the temple in Jerusalem. This sacrifice was significant in the faith of all Jews, whether in Israel or throughout the diaspora.
The daily afternoon sacrifice also becomes a key theme throughout Luke's Gospel and the Book of Acts.
Join me as we explore the many details of this incredible parable and how it still speaks to the deepest part of our humanity today.
To help you with your studies, please see the lesson plan below:
Listen on Apple Podcasts
This video is the second in a two-part series covering the Rich Man and Lazarus, found in Luke 16:19-31.
If you haven't seen part one, I recommend watching that first as it lays the foundation for today's lesson. Part one can be found here.
In this second video, we look at the Biblical and cultural references that point to the corrupt priesthood that Jesus includes in the story.
Join me for the second half of this remarkable parable.
To help you with your studies, see the lesson plan and parable notes below:
Listen on SoundCloud
Throughout the Gospels, Jesus repeatedly conveys a warning to those who find themselves in power but wield that power incorrectly.
The message of those ‘in power’ vs. those ‘out of power’ is particularly focused in Luke’s gospel. More than Matthew, Mark, and John - Luke emphasizes that those in power must take responsibility to act on behalf of the poor and disaffected.
Into this motif comes the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31).
The parable is a masterpiece of storytelling. Jesus uses a framework that would be familiar to his listeners in his first-century Israeli culture (see here or here – are the examples cited most by scholars).
The familiar folklore surrounds two common themes:
1. The theme of a “role reversal” or a reversal of fortunes – Rich v. Poor.
2. The living receiving a message from beyond the grave as a warning.
Jesus then adapts these common themes to his message and imbues it with references from the Old Testament and cultural thinking from first-century Judaism.
These combine to create a pointed warning for those in charge - “repent,” or you will lose your inheritance.
Join me for this two-part series as we explore this parable.
To help you with your studies, see the lesson plan below:
Listen on SoundCloud
The first century was a volatile time for the nation of Israel. Rome was hated. Religious institutions had been corrupted. The ordinary people suffered injustices of many kinds.
Jesus came on the scene c.a. 30 AD with a message of forgiveness. Jesus' message is that the path forward to peace is through forgiveness, not violence or hatred of one another (think Zealots).
Jesus' message was that "a house divided cannot stand" (Matt. 12:25). One must be able to forgive their brother/sister for any upset that has been caused.
Even more than forgiving your fellow Israelite, you must also choose to forgive your enemy and those who persecute you.
This was a hard message to accept. In fact, they rejected it.
"The Burnt House" museum in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem.
This house was burned by the Roman army in 70 AD.
Over the next forty years, the violence towards and hatred of one another increased in Israel.
In 66 AD. Rome put it's boot down, and a war began. By 70 AD, Jerusalem was under siege. Eventually, under the command of Titus, the Roman army destroyed both God's Temple and the city of Jerusalem.
As the Rabbi's reflected back on this period and how God's house could be destroyed a second time, the answer they arrived at was "baseless hatred."
"Baseless hatred" - they hated each other for no reason.
Join us in this lesson as we compare Jesus' message of forgiveness with the idea of "Baseless Hatred."
One can' help but recognize the similarities to the times in which we live today.
To help you with your studies see the lesson plan below:
Listen on SoundCloud
This is the second of two videos looking at the Parable of the Wicked Tenants (Mark 12:1-12).
In this video we will look at Psalm 118:22-24 - "the stone the builders rejected" - and look at how Jesus claims to be the "stone."
Additionally, we will look at a Rabbininc saying that will help us understand a comment that is added in Matthew (Matt. 21:44) and Luke (Luke 20:18).
If Jesus is the stone - then woe to the one on whom it falls.
Stones from the Temple Mount thrown down by the Romans in 70 AD.
For more photos of the area known as Robinson's Arch at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, click here - Jerusalem Robinson's Arch
To help you with your studies - see the lesson plan below:
Listen on SoundCloud
Brad Young, Jesus the Jewish Theologian - has an extended discussion of this parable and the connections to Jewish thought.
The parable of the Wicked Tenants (Mark 12:1-12) is a masterful weaving together of Old Testament passages.
Jesus directs this message towards the religious leaders - the priests and the teachers of the law.
With Psalm 2 as a backdrop, Jesus integrates Isaiah 5 and Psalm 118 in a way that conveys two things:
1. Jesus' identity as the Messiah (the Christ).
2. the actions of the religious leaders in opposing him.
By the reaction of the religious leaders, they knew the parable concerned them.
The confrontation in Mark 12 takes place here at the temple mount in Jerusalem.
A Faith Lesson from this parable is that religious leaders everywhere should be wary of themselves turning into the "tenant farmers" and restricting the fruit of the kingdom through their own actions.
Let us all - especially those in leadership - take this message to heart.
Parable of the Wicked Tenants Lesson Plan
Listen on SoundCloud
The first book is by Kenneth E. Bailey. If you want to understand more about Jesus and the Eastern Culture as well as a number of his parables, this book is a must-read.
Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels
The second book is by Brad Young and explores many of Jesus' parables through a Rabbinic perspective: The Parables: Jewish Tradition and Christian Interpretation
See also: Jesus the Jewish Theologian by Brad Young
The final book is best if you're further down the road in your studies. The book is a compilation of Rabbinic Parables, but the authors do not spend time going through Jesus' parables.
They Also Taught in Parables: Rabbinic Parables from the First Centuries of the Christian Era by McArthur and Johnston.
Scott Broberg - I have a Masters of Divinity (MDiv) from Bethel Seminary - San Diego - Biblical Studies with and emphasis on the Old Testament.
- Ladder of Jacob
- Our Rabbi Jesus
- That the World May Know
- Early Jewish Writings
- Early Christian Writings
- Abarim Publications
- Hebrew 4 Christians
- Holy Land Photos
- Biblical Archaeology Society
- Ancient Hebrew Research Center
- First Fruits of Zion
- Jerusalem Perspective
- Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
- Flavius Josephus.org
- Bible Archaeology Report
- Hebrew Streams
- Biblical Resources