My family often jokes about our "first-world problems": The ice maker on one of our two refrigerators is jammed, the local fiberoptic internet is unusually slow today, or the kids are lamenting that there's "nothing to eat" in our pantry with dozens of food choices readily available. We American-born Christians certainly understand excess because we … Continue reading First-World Excess and the story of Jesus feeding the 5000
One of the things often overlooked in many people’s understanding of Scripture is the difference between Christ and Jesus. Christ is not Jesus’ last name, as if His name could’ve just as easily been Jesus Smith, or Jesus Johnson. (If we're actually looking for His last name, it was likely ben Yosef.) The word Christ … Continue reading How is Jesus, God with us?
The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-36) is among the most well-known stories ever told, even for those unfamiliar with the Bible. For the contemporary reader, the parable is also one of the easiest to misunderstand. Today, the term Samaritan is synonymous with offering assistance to strangers. In the Jewish world in which Jesus taught, … Continue reading The Good Samaritan: A Syrian Perspective