Posts by Fayetteville Church of Christ

Posts by Fayetteville Church of Christ

Basic Facts from Luke (Part 4)

Pay close attention to Jesus’ words in Luke 16:16 – “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.” His statement effectively “time stamps” the beginning point of new testament teaching. Since about 1970, a few preachers have loudly contended that the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – along with the first chapter of Acts – ought to be considered part of the…

Basic Facts from Luke (Part 3)

The interviews in Luke 9:57-63 should be very instructive for Christians because they illustrate ways many people respond to the gospel. One man volunteers to follow the Lord “wherever you go” until he learns “the price of discipleship is higher than he expected (vs. 63 seems to imply that he did not make good his offer). Likewise, the man Jesus calls in verse 59 (and the second “volunteer” in vs. 61) is ready to be a disciple, but only after…

Basic Facts from Luke (Part 2)

One of the unique details Luke presents about Jesus is his record of the relationship between Elizabeth (the mother of John the baptizer) and Mary (Jesus’ mother), in chapter one. According to verse 56, Mary stayed with Zechariah and Elizabeth for about three months (evidently, the last trimester of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, and presumably the first months of Mary’s own pregnancy). Note in verse 41 that when the baby John heard the voice of Mary, he “leaped” inside Elizabeth’s womb. This…

Basic Facts from Luke

In our new testaments, the third account of Jesus’ life is also the only record addressed to a specific audience, in this case an individual. Theophilus–whose name means “lover of God” –is also the “addressee” of the book of Acts, which is Luke’s sequel to the life of Jesus. Some commentators assert that “Theophilus” is merely a metaphor for all Christians. Theophilus was a fairly common name in the Gentile world of the first century, however, so there is no…

Basic Facts About Mark (Part 3)

In Matthew 10:34-35, Jesus said He would “…set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law….” Jesus did NOT say He came to cause family strife; what He was illustrating is that His message can cause conflict even in families because some people accept it while others reject it. Later, He would say those willing to forsake home and even family for His sake and the gospel’s will be “compensated” a hundred times over for…

Basic Facts About Mark (Part 2)

Mark 7 concludes with the words of Gentiles and half-breed Jews living in an area east of the Jordan River, across from Samaria (called the Decapolis). Their assessment of His mighty works? “He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak” (ESV). The Decapolis was initially a province of ten cities built by Alexander the Great and modeled on Athens. They were originally populated with retired Greek soldiers and their families, and were…

Basic Facts About Mark

The shortest of the four records of the life of Jesus, the book of Mark was evidently written for a mainly Roman audience. It presents Jesus as a grown man, focusing primarily on the things He did and said, with considerable emphasis on the miracles He performed. Mark’s account moves rapidly, as would befit a Roman military report. Brother Johnny Ramsey used to say that we should “obey now what you know now.” This is a quaint way of stating…

Basic Facts About Matthew (Part 5)

The parable of the two sons in Matthew 21:28-31 teaches a crucially important lesson about the nature of repentance. The very idea of “repenting” offends many folks today; every imaginable form of sin and perversion is practiced and defended openly. Much of Christendom embraces the idea that “sin” is not really connected to morality, and for most people repenting simply means offering a truculent “sorry” when they are caught in a sin. Jesus’ words, however, show clearly that there is…

Basic Facts About Matthew (Part 4)

The transfiguration of Jesus in Matthew 17 was surely one of the most extraordinary events any of the apostles would ever experience. It appears that this event occurred somewhere on the slopes of Mt. Hermon, one of the highest points in Palestine. Jesus and the disciples had previously been in the region of Caesarea Philippi, at the foot of the mountain, according to chapter 16:13. Only three apostles were with Jesus on this occasion (Peter, James and John), and He…

Basic Facts About Matthew (Part 3)

“Caution: Engage mind before engaging mouth” might be words of warning every person should review, before speaking in any situation. Jesus declares in Matthew 12:34 that our words reveal our inner man, and then goes on to emphasize that one’s actions are consistent with his thoughts (vs. 35, which echoes the basic point of Proverbs 23:7). Our Lord follows this with a warning, that each of us will have to account to God for every idle word we speak (vs.…

Basic Facts About Matthew (Part 2)

We can draw several useful lessons from Matthew 4, where we find the record of a face-to-face confrontation between Jesus and the devil. Notice that Satan picked a time when Jesus would understandably be weakened and (in theory) more susceptible to temptations; verse 2 tells us that Jesus had just completed a forty-day fast. The first of Satan’s trials attempted to exploit His natural hunger, but His response was rooted in God’s word –“Man shall not live by bread alone,…

Basic Facts About Matthew

The book of Matthew introduces the reader to Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ, the long-awaited fulfillment of old testament prophecies. Matthew (also known in Mark 2:14 and Luke 5:27 as Levi) was a “publican” or tax-gatherer by trade (Matthew 10:3) –he worked for the Roman government, and was therefore despised by many of his countrymen as a traitor to Judah (much like Zacchaeus, Luke 19). Matthew’s record contains some of the most familiar of Jesus’ teachings (the Sermon on…