A Bounty of Hope

A Bounty of Hope

  And his disciples answered him, “Where will anyone be able to find enough bread here in this desolate place to satisfy these people?” (Mark 8:4)

The miracles were becoming renowned. Yeshua of Nazareth, a name which has been transliterated through the centuries to the name Jesus, had quickly gained a large following through the villages and countryside of rural Israel. Avoiding the major commerce centers, and Greco-Roman settlements, Jesus wove his way among the common people, teaching, healing and astounding them. Trailed at most times by curious Pharisees and often hounded by emissaries from the Sanhedrin who viewed him as an upstart, he and his disciples found themselves in a “desolate place” among a throng of 4,000 strong. They were hungry. The provision was scarce.

    And he was asking them, “How many loaves do you have?” and they said, “Seven.” And he directed the people to sit down on the ground; and taking the seven loaves, he gave thanks and broke them, and started giving them to his disciples to serve to them, and they served them to the people. They also had a few small fish; and after he had blessed them, he ordered these to be served as well. And they ate and were satisfied; and they picked up seven large baskets full of what was left over of the broken pieces. (Mk.8:5-8)

How does this miracle of Jesus fit into his ministry of proclaiming the kingdom of heaven? Let’s consider the Lord’s Prayer…

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World Vision and Hamas

According to the allegations, funds designated for civilian projects, more than a million dollars a year, were ‘given in cash’ to Hamas combat units. Shin Bet claims that money raised to support children allegedly injured by conflict with Israel was diverted to Hamas families by “fraudulently listing their children as wounded.”

Source: World Vision and Hamas

Who is the Free Woman in Galatians 4?

Who is the Free Woman in Galatians 4?

Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free, she is our mother.

                                                                        – Galatians 4:25-26

No other book of the Bible feeds the narrative of Replacement Theology quite like Galatians. It is the Holy Grail of the paradigm of Law vs. Grace.

Galatians chapter 4 represents the conclusion of Paul’s thematic argument against the Judaizers who sought to change his gospel in the minds of his followers. The first thing we need understand, then, is who the Judaizers were, and what they were doing. It is commonly believed that they were busy telling Paul’s Gentile converts to Christianity that they needed to continue to obey the law of Moses. They didn’t realize that these Jesus-following Gentiles were free from the law! And Paul was really mad!  However, we learn through a careful study of the context of the epistle that the real issue was formal conversion to Judaism, not obedience to God’s commandments.

A Judaizer is not someone who tells you that you should obey the law. It is someone who believes that you must be legally Jewish to be saved.

In Gal.4:21, Paul issues a challenge to those who are converting, saying, “Tell me, you who want to be under the law, do you not listen to the law?” He then gives his famous allegory of the slave woman and the free woman. Those born of the slave woman are “of the flesh”, while those born of the free woman are born of “promise”.

First, we must understand that when Paul uses the phrase “under the law”, he is not talking about someone who is forsaking grace, as though grace is opposed to law. No, he is referring to a person who is taking on legal Jewish identity through conversion.  Continue reading