Jesus and the Guts of Compassion

In my Bible reading yesterday morning, I came across one of my favorite passages in the Scriptures, Matthew 9:35-39. As Matthew recounts this story, he sets the context by telling his readers what Jesus was doing: (1) going everywhere he could (“all the towns and villages”), (2) teaching where they were already gathered (the synagogue), (3) . . . → Read More: Jesus and the Guts of Compassion

Perfection in the Sermon on the Mount: Attainable or Not?

This passage in Matthew 5:48, and others like it (cf. 1 Pet. 1:15-16), has always confused me:

“You shall be perfect (τέλειοι), as your heavenly father is perfect (τέλειός).”

If we understand perfection as something that’s unattainable this side of heaven, and if we see God as qualitatively and categorically different from us in holiness and perfection, then . . . → Read More: Perfection in the Sermon on the Mount: Attainable or Not?

The Kingdom of Heaven is Near, and Stays Near

I was reading through Matthew 3:1-9 today, and came across a familiar phrase in verse 2:

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near” (Μετανοεῖτε· ἤγγικεν γὰρ ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.)

Interestingly, the verb translated “has come near” (ἤγγικεν) is in the perfect tense, giving the sense that the kingdom has already drawn near, and also persists . . . → Read More: The Kingdom of Heaven is Near, and Stays Near

Translating 2 Cor 5:17 – “he is a new creation” or “there is a new creation”?

I got floored with a new insight in preparing for a sermon on 2 Corinthians 5:11-17 last Sunday. In verse 17, the translations I’ve always read said something like this: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” (see the 1984 NIV, ESV, NASB, HCSB, and others). However, when doing some study on this . . . → Read More: Translating 2 Cor 5:17 – “he is a new creation” or “there is a new creation”?