When I work with couples in premarital counseling, there is a point at which we discuss leaving and cleaving, based on the creation account. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). I stress the importance of establishing themselves as a separate family, apart from their families of origin. One question I ask is where they plan to spend their holidays, recognizing that both families will likely want them to spend the holidays with the respective sides. The point is to encourage newly married couples to make these decisions independently and as a team.
The Wise Men had to make a similar decision, although they arrived in Bethlehem some time after Jesus’ birth. We don’t know if these men were married. Because they were educated, they likely traveled with an entourage, which could have included spouses. Either way, they decided the trip was worth it.
I am dating myself to share that I was five years old when the movie Star Wars came out. Mind you, this was 1977. At this point, there was only Star Wars without the context of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, let alone the prequels or the sequels. We called the movie Star Wars, not Episode IV. If you were alive then, you recall the impact the movie had on the public. It was a phenomenon for both adults and children, men and women, boys and girls. Perhaps the reason for the movie’s great success was its ability to capture the imagination of even those not enchanted by science-fiction. Star Wars was also an exercise in patience. We knew the next movie wouldn’t arrive until 1980. We simply had to wait.
There is a danger to adopting an attitude toward the end of the world that falls at one extreme or the other. One person may be so unconcerned about the return of Jesus Christ, allowing the days, months, and years of life to pass with barely a thought about sin, judgment, condemnation, and hell. Such a person is a fulfillment of the seed that is scattered among thorns, as Jesus explains in the parable of the sower (see Matthew 13). On the other hand, another person could be so consumed with the end of the world that he or she pursues questions the Bible does not answer regarding Judgment Day.
Luke 18:1–8 is a parable that the Lord uses to encourage His disciples to pray persistently.
When I teach on the Seventh Commandment, “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15), I challenge students to come up with examples of stealing beyond theft, armed robbery, burglary, and the like. I am pleased when they can come up with less obvious examples like tax evasion, falsifying time cards, being late, or breaking a promise.
Anxiety can get the best of us, but even amidst our struggles, God promises to provide for all our needs. Read what Pastor Phil Rigdon has to say about the anxiety found in Luke 12:22–34.
Discover salvation and sin in the parable of the Good Samaritan with Pastor Phil Rigdon’s insight.
Explore Christ’s great confession, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58), to the Pharisees and the highlights of John’s Greek with Rev. Phil Rigdon.
Exploring the original Greek of Revelation 21, Pastor Rigdon shows us Christ’s words on the new heaven and the new earth promised to us in the last days.
The resurrection of our Lord, despite the initial disbelief of the disciples, was no surprise. Rather, it was a promise repeated throughout the Old Testament and Christ’s own ministry. Best of all, this is just one of God’s many promises for you!