“But the centurion and the ones with him guarding Jesus, after seeing the earthquake and the things that happened, were greatly afraid, saying “truly this man was the son of God” (Mt. 27:54).
The words of the soldiers and their centurion here constitute one of four fascinating proclamations of Jesus’ special status and/or worship of him by Gentiles in Matthew’s Gospel (the others being Mt. 2:11; 8:5-13; 15:21-28). These pericopae are important thematic elements in Matthew’s subtle theme of the acceptance of the Gentiles into the people of Yahweh. Interestingly they are typically affixed to accounts of the Jewish leadership’s rejection of Jesus. The same is true of our passage. The evangelist makes clear in 27:39-43 the final derision of Jesus by the Jerusalem leadership. Continue reading “The Crucified God: Theophany and the Cross of Christ”→
It is not normally debated that the gentile mission was important, even foundational, to the apostle Paul. However, there is room for discussion as to what end Paul understood his missionary efforts. What was, and is, the final goal (the telos, if you will) of the gospel in Paul’s thought? Paul comes close to an explicit statement in Romans 1:5 Continue reading “Paul and the Fullness of the Nations”→
One of the go to arguments that I often hear from Christians of the egalitarian/feminist stripe is that any notion of gender roles is a result of the fall and is a man-made construct. Particularly, they will point back to Genesis 1 and how God made both the man and the woman in the Imago Dei. Continue reading “Does the Image of God Negate Gender Roles?”→
Since January I’ve been working my way through the Greek text of Revelation and breaking down the syntax in order further my understanding of both New Testament Greek and of the book of Revelation itself. Currently, I’m in chapter 3 and working toward finishing this section the letters to the seven churches in Asia Minor. Continue reading “To The One Who Conquers”→
Years ago, I had a discussion with a pastor friend of mine on the topic of why we pray. Since I’m Reformed in my thought and I don’t think that our prayers change God’s mind, my Wesleyan pastor friend asked me the common question as to what the point of prayer would then be. Continue reading “What Does Prayer Accomplish?”→
The epistle known as First John is largely concerned with Truth. For John, truth is not merely correct knowledge, or historical facts (though see 1 Jn. 1:1-3) but more importantly, Truth is a person: Jesus Christ. And this little letter is full of Truth-oriented exhortations. Among these are very quotable passages, such as 1 John 4:4, which is the focus of this present discussion. Continue reading “Greater than what, exactly?”→