The relationship between John the Baptist and Jesus goes much deeper than mere blood. They were cousins, but we only hear of them interacting in the womb, at Jesus’ baptism, and then shortly before John’s beheading. We can assume that, as cousins, they spent time together growing up and then later, as young men, probably passionately debated scriptures, with Jesus (the younger by a few months) likely besting his older cousin at every turn. At Jesus’ baptism at the River Jordan, John is obviously in awe of his younger cousin and openly considers himself to be so low as to not even to be worthy to put Jesus’ sandals on his feet. When John tells Jesus that he should be the one getting baptized, Jesus gently chides him to go ahead with the baptism in order to fulfill scripture. We catch there a glimpse of the younger cousin again schooling his older cousin.
Jesus calls John the greatest of those born of women, but then also calls him lowest in the kingdom (that is, born of the Spirit). What did Jesus mean by that? It almost sounds like an insult, just as John sending his disciples to Jesus to ask if he were actually “the one” sounds like an insult. Did the cousins have a falling-out that is not recorded in scripture? (more…)
Death is a funny old thing.
We all have to face it sooner or later, but most people spend their lives either pretending death doesn’t exist or doing everything in their power to prevent it.
Born-agains, on the other hand, actually look forward to death the way Jesus looked forward to death because death means an end to our labours and a release from our pain-prone body and the anti-Christ world that hates us. (more…)
Have you lost your way?
Christianity has lost its way, just as assuredly as the Jews in Jesus’ day had lost their way.
Most Christians use Old Testament measures to gauge prosperity – wealth, health, and longevity – even though Jesus was poor, famished, and died young.
Most Christians also point to the importance of having strong family ties, even though Jesus told us that our worst enemies will be those under our own roof, and that your real family are those who do the will of God, whether they’re related to you by blood or marriage or not.
There’s a profound disconnect between what is being sold to us as Christianity and what Jesus demonstrated as Christianity.
These disconnects are temptations, and we need to see them as such. (more…)
I think the question should rather be: “How can I NOT know if I’m born again?” When a soul undergoes spiritual rebirth (healing, is made whole), it’s such a revolution that there is zero doubt what has taken place. It affects every part of your being, and the impression it makes on you is so primal and so deeply entrenched that you’re more certain of your rebirth than you are of your name and date of birth. (more…)