Son of Man in Daniel

What does ‘son of man’ mean in Daniel 7? Does this help us understand why Jesus used ‘son of man’ to describe himself?

Open Daniel 7.

Daniel 7:13–14 (ESV)
13 “I saw in the night visions,
and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.
14 And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.

Was Jesus alluding to this text when he called himself Son of Man more than 80 times? Was Jesus claiming to be the promised Messiah who would restore God’s reign?

There is a connection, but it isn’t quite that simple. If you make a messianic leap without first understanding the richness of the Old Testament texts, the story falls apart. Ask: Continue reading “Son of Man in Daniel”

The decision moment with Jesus (Matthew 8:18-22)

There’s a disconnect between the way Jesus called people to discipleship and the way we do it.

Open Matthew 8:18-22.

Jesus had great sensitivity to people. Especially hurting people. But some of the language he used for gospel invitations would make you cringe.

Like, “teach people to obey my commands” (Matthew 28:19). People don’t like being commanded; they like to make their own decisions. Surely we’d be more successful if we just asked them to invite Jesus into their hearts, for a personal makeover.

There was this scribe who came up to Jesus and said, “Teacher, I’ll follow you wherever you go” (8:19). How good is that? Scribes didn’t do that. They knew the Old Testament intimately, but they often weren’t keen on Jesus. So here’s a guy making a well-informed commitment to follow Jesus, wherever it takes him. Most pastors would be over the moon to have this guy’s response.

But Jesus pushes back. Effectively, he says, “You don’t realize what you’re committing yourself to. I don’t think you’ve got what it takes. Go away and reconsider” (compare 8:20). Ouch. Not great technique?

It gets worse. Continue reading “The decision moment with Jesus (Matthew 8:18-22)”

Jesus the healer (Matthew 8:14-17)

What kind of ruler rectifies evil by curing his people?

Open Matthew 8:14-17.

We’ve seen how factions of the church respond differently to the healing stories in the Gospels, and we raised the question of whether the gospel of the kingdom can bring us together. Let’s read this through the kingdom lens: Continue reading “Jesus the healer (Matthew 8:14-17)”

What does the way you read reveal about you?

Ever wondered why you see the Bible one way, and others see it a different way?

Open Matthew 8:14-17.

Are you aware of the assumptions you bring to the text when you read? In this post, we’ll ask you to consider the presuppositions you bring, and how other people may read the same text differently, approaching it with different assumptions.

Consider this example:

Matthew 8:14–17 (NIV)
14 When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. 16 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.” 

You may find it challenging to consider other perspectives, but stick with us: the benefits are improved self-awareness, and improved communication with others. Continue reading “What does the way you read reveal about you?”

Jesus’ kingdom hope (Matthew 8:10-13)

Why do the Gospels depict Jesus as the saviour for non-Jewish people?

Open Matthew 8:10-13.

Some of Jesus’ kingdom pictures sound odd to us. He spoke of people from the east and the west coming to take their places with Israel’s long-dead patriarchs (8:11). Some readers imagine they’re all dead and gone to heaven, but that doesn’t do justice the way Israel’s kingdom story worked or to the role of the patriarchs in that story. Continue reading “Jesus’ kingdom hope (Matthew 8:10-13)”