Many today revel in a perverse victim mentality, perking up their ears and focusing their eyes any time there is a possibility they can claim to have been offended and deserving of pity and apology.
Forget the defense industry–this is the offense industry and it is booming. Moreover, faith in Christ is often occasion for deep offense as well. The saints are offended, sometimes legitimately, sometimes gleefully, and sometimes necessarily, when their convictions or pride are wounded. The Lord warned us about giving offense, but clearly there are times when that risk is necessary and his own ministry is proof enough. Continue reading » Woe to Offenses
In all of the Gospel accounts, the writers record the events surrounding Jesus’ betrayal. While recounting those events, each writer tells about one man whose ear was cut off during the incident. The Gospel of John tells us that Peter wielded the sword and identified the man whose ear was cut off as Malchus, a servant of the high priest (Jn. 18:10).
Malchus was a part of an angry and illegal mob which came for the express purpose of facilitating the murder of Jesus. The plot to seize Jesus and frame Him on false charges was a plan which had been in the leaders’ minds for a long time. As the servant of the high priest, Malchus certainly had prior knowledge and participation in the scheme. What he saw and heard on that night was, no doubt, beyond his expectation. Continue reading » In the Steps of the Savior: Malchus – Recipient of Compassion Amidst Treachery
The rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem by the remnant who returned from Babylonian exile is a wonderful success story. The remnant, under the direction of Nehemiah (cupbearer to King Artexerxes), accomplished the task despite great obstacles and opposition. The reasons for their success serve to teach us some very important lessons. In this article, we wish to make application regarding that success to the current needs facing the people of God in our time. The compassion of Nehemiah. Nehemiah had received word of the sorry state of those Israelites who had escaped captivity, and remained in Jerusalem. Of them it was said, “The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire” (Nehemiah 1:3). Nehemiah heard of their distress: “So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven” (1:4). Continue reading » Editorial: Lessons for Us from Nehemiah