Posts with the category “isaac-mcphee”

Jonah, the Worm, and the East Wind
by Ben Sansburn on July 28th, 2022
In our last blog we looked at God's gracious provision of a shelter for Jonah in the book's final chapter. In this article we will see God very quickly reverse the comfort of the plant by "appointing" a worm and and east wind. Like the plant, these images evoke significance than the objects themselves. They are tied to a thread in the biblical story that says something significant about God's plan for Israel and for his people as a whole.   Read More
Jonah and the Shelter of Yahweh
by Ben Sansburn on July 28th, 2022
As we read the story of Jonah – and particularly the fourth and final chapter of Jonah – we might find ourselves actively rooting against God’s prophet. He is rebellious, defiant, narcissistic, and blind to anyone outside of his national bubble.  Read More
The God Who Relents
by Ben Sansburn on July 22nd, 2022
How do we feel about a God who “relents”? Do we respond like Jonah, cursing God for His excessive mercy toward the undeserving? Or do we balk at the very suggestion that God might possibly “change His mind” and renege on His promises?   Read More
Vomited Out of the Fish
by Ben Sansburn on July 22nd, 2022
In our last blog post we looked at what Jonah’s experience in the fish would have meant to the original audience reading his story. The ancient Israelites reading Jonah’s story would have experience great hope that though they had been swallowed up by the nations, they weren’t doomed to die there. In this post we’ll look at the end of Jonah’s experience - being ‘vomited out’ on dry land.   Read More
Jonah and the Story of Israel
by Ben Sansburn on July 14th, 2022
In the midst of Jonah’s larger-than-life elements, we might easily miss something: this story follows a common biblical plot line. Jonah is more than just a ‘fish story.’ It’s a story of sin, death, and resurrection.  Read More
Seeing Jesus in Jonah
by Ben Sansburn on July 7th, 2022
The Bible leaves no doubt that there are deep connections between the story of Jonah and the story of Jesus, but it is easy to get caught up by Jonah’s story and not recognize them. Twice Jesus explicitly points to the Jews of His day back to the story of Jonah (Matt. 12:39-42; 16:4), indicating that this story of a wayward, disobedient prophet was, somehow, also the story of Him – the perfect, divine God-man.  Read More
Jonah: An Extreme Story Told Twice
by Ben Sansburn on July 5th, 2022
To think of Jonah as little more than a simple morality story – or, worse still, as a straightforward retelling of an historical event – is to risk missing some of the most important points of the book.  Read More
The Healing of the Nations
by Lead Editor on January 10th, 2020
The Gospel of Matthew is filled with stories of Jesus’ miracles, each of which is intended to teach us something important about both His identity and His purpose (which are really one in the same thing) – but these little details are often easy to miss or overlook in favor of the miracle itself.  Read More
One Who Had Authority
by Lead Editor on December 12th, 2019
As the Sermon on the Mount closes at the end of Matthew 7, Jesus concludes His most well-known discourse with one of His more famous illustrations – the wise and foolish builders. One builds his house upon a rock, one upon the sand. One house stands firm, the other is destroyed.   Read More
The Lamp of the Body
by Lead Editor on December 12th, 2019
Jesus, in other words, is calling us to a “singular” vision in order to be filled with the Kingdom’s light. He is calling us to focus our sights, to look only at one thing – and, thankfully, that one thing is perfectly summarized at the close of this chapter: “But seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all these things will be added to you”.   Read More
True Reward
by Lead Editor on November 26th, 2019
Why do we practice our religion? Is it to look holy and righteous before men, or is it because we genuinely desire God? We are constantly building up a storehouse of treasures, either on earth (that is, treasures that will die along with you), or in heaven, where the treasure is eternal.   Read More
You Must Be Perfect
by Lead Editor on November 18th, 2019
“You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” – Matt. 5:48 Is there a more daunting command in all of Scripture than this?   Read More
Jesus and the Law
by Lead Editor on November 11th, 2019
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets,” declared Jesus as He stood atop a hill and preached. The image is reminiscent of Moses first delivering the Law to the people of israel.  Read More
A Kingdom of Blessing
by Lead Editor on November 6th, 2019
What does it mean to be blessed? That is one of several important questions we should be asking when we read the opening section of Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount”. These nine blessings (“beatitudes”) are among the most famous of Jesus’ sayings, and there is something satisfyingly simple about them. But have we really understood them?   Read More
A Light In The Darkness
by Lead Editor on November 5th, 2019
The arrival of Messiah meant the salvation of Israel. That is something that's made clear in the prophecies of the Old Testament, and especially those written in the years preceding Israel's exile.  Read More
The True Son
by Lead Editor on October 10th, 2019
As Matthew proclaims the truths about Jesus’ life and ministry to his readers, he goes out of his way to hold Jesus up as a sort of “New Israel”.  Read More
Leaving Jerusalem
by Lead Editor on October 2nd, 2019
John the Baptist is one of the great – and perhaps one of the most mysterious – characters of the New Testament. We see him only in glimpses in the four Gospels; preaching in the wilderness outside of Jerusalem, dressed in strange clothes, baptizing the people of Israel (including Jesus, as we will address in the next post), and eventually suffering imprisonment and execution under King Herod.  Read More
Jesus and the Old Testament
by Lead Editor on September 24th, 2019
I want to walk through these eleven verses in Matthew 2:13-23 and point to three specific ways (though there are several others even in this short section) that Matthew uses the Old Testament to make his point.  Read More
The Magi: From East to West
by Lead Editor on September 23rd, 2019
The story of the “wise men” in the book of Matthew is certainly among the most famous and iconic of all Christmas stories. There is one important question about this story that only rarely gets asked: Why is this story here in the first place?  Read More
A Rag-Tag History
by Lead Editor on September 16th, 2019
If we are at all familiar with the stories in the Old Testament, we will see many familiar names when we read through the first chapter of Matthew. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and Solomon, to name a few. Because we know those stories, it’s easy to forget what Matthew is trying to tell us.  Read More
Finding Jesus in History - Matthew's Genealogy
by Lead Editor on September 14th, 2019
Was Jesus a real person, or a work of fiction? And if Jesus was real, then how reliable are the gospels that were written of him?  Read More
The Gospel of Matthew - Looking Forward
by Lead Editor on September 9th, 2019
No sooner has Matthew affixed the story of Jesus firmly into Jewish history and shown Him as the fulfillment of Jewish prophecy (beginning in 1:23), than the gospel goes out of its way to step out of its Jewish-centric focus and introduce gentiles into the mix.  Read More
The Gospel of Matthew - Looking Backward
by Ben Sansburn on September 5th, 2019
Matthew’s Gospel is unique in that it seems to be continually looking backward at the same time it is looking forward.  Read More