An only child often gets a bad rap—Stereotyped as entitled and self-important, people who grow up without siblings aren’t always looked upon favorably—especially by those of us with at least a sibling or two. So often we think of Jesus as an only child, but all of the evangelists who wrote the gospels make some mention of Jesus’ brothers and sisters. In Mark, a crowd asks of Jesus, “Is not
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As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him. Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why
Jesus calls upon twelve individuals to become His apostles—Among the twelve are James and his brother John, sons of Zebedee to whom he gave the nickname Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder” (Mark 3:17). You don’t get a nickname like “Sons of Thunder” for no reason. But that is how Jesus’ disciples, James and John, were known. They were rough-tough fisherman—amazing and colorful characters. They never backed away from a
Do you love to go fishing? The possibility of catching the big one can cause your adrenaline to pump at high rates. I know that I love to fish—It is always a wonderful time whether we catch anything or not. But, in our Bibles, we read Jesus’ thoughts on fishing in Mark 1:17. The verse states “Come follow me, Jesus said, and I will make you fishers of men.” Simon
Everything we know about Mary Magdalene is contained in a dozen references to her in the four Gospels of the Holy Scriptures. So, who was Mary Magdalene? Mary Magdalene is one of the most important women mentioned in all the Bible. She is also one of the most slandered individuals in scripture—People have been making up stories about her for over two thousand years. Much of this widespread disparagement of
Zealous, brutal, and loyal to his religious heritage—This was how the book of Acts introduced the man known as Saul of Tarsus, the same man who quietly cheered and witnessed the stoning death of Stephen, Christianity's first martyr. Few Bible stories are as intriguing as Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus. Through the power of Jesus Christ, a man who had been a hate-filled villain became a love-filled hero. By surrendering
1st John chapter 4 contains one of the most startling claims in all of Scripture. But it is one that we have heard so often that its boldness may have been lost on us. The name of God was so reverent the Jews could not even speak it—And God’s image so precious that it was not to be depicted with graven images. When God is spoken of throughout the pages of
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor
This week at Sedona UMC, we will study one of the Lord's parables—But what is a parable anyway? The best definition I've ever heard is simply this: "A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning." I really like that definition; the Bible gives us about 40 to 50 of these short stories with deep meaning for us. This week’s parable of the “Tenants in the Vineyard will help