Brian Phillips May 10, 2019

Rain poured from the densely clouded sky for what seemed like the fortieth straight day. It had already been the rainiest season in recorded history and there appeared to be little break in sight. The clouds darkened everything, making it feel much earlier than it was.

I rose, mumbling my complaints at the weather, and dressed to exercise in hopes it would make me feel a bit better. The kids were just stirring, following my bad example of griping at rain, while my wife tried her best to motivate them to complete chores.

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Wesley Walker Apr 22, 2019

“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.” —Ephesians 4:15 (RSV)

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Brian Phillips May 30, 2017

Peter Leithart’s survey of the Gospels, The Four, models what it means to read Scripture iconically – that is, paying attention to the images, connections, and echoes found throughout. In his chapter on St. John’s gospel, Leithart mentions, almost in passing, that one could view the book as a walk through the tabernacle. And upon close inspection, it seems clear that this is yet one more beautiful thread John weaves throughout his writing.

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Brian Phillips May 2, 2017

Like Matthew, John begins his gospel at the beginning. Matthew’s gospel opens with the genealogy or the “genesis” of Jesus Christ and John opens with an even more direct reference to Genesis – “In the beginning…” John then adds that the Word was the Creator. The Word “was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made” (1:1-5).

Christ is the New Creation, the One in whom all things are made new. Verse 4 echoes this – “In him was life, and the life was the light of men.”

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Brian Phillips Apr 25, 2017

In John 20, Mary Magdalene goes to Jesus’ tomb twice. The first time, she goes to anoint the body of Jesus (Mark 16:1), only to find the stone rolled back. Assuming that the enemies of Jesus had moved the body as one last insult, Mary ran to find the disciples, bringing Peter and John back with her.

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Brian Phillips Apr 10, 2017

Yesterday, the Church celebrated Palm Sunday, the commemoration of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, and the beginning of Holy Week – the final days of Christ on earth before His crucifixion. The event is recorded in all four Gospels – Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-10, Luke 19:29-38, and John 12:12-15 – and the event shares connections and echoes with several other passages as well.

Here is the Triumphal Entry as recorded in Matthew’s Gospel:

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Brian Phillips Jun 8, 2016

It is a recurring historical truth that succession is difficult.  Monarchs with no heir typically bequeath civil war. 

Before deciding they wanted a king “like all the nations” – even though that meant rejecting God as king, and rejecting all of the serious warnings from Samuel (1st Samuel 8) – God directly appointed Israel’s leaders. 

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Brian Phillips Apr 20, 2016

Recently, in the children’s catechism class at church, we reviewed the story of the Flood, Noah, and the ark.  And, in the course of reviewing that story with them, I reread Genesis 6-9 and, in doing so, noticed something that should have been clear before.  Hear Genesis 9:12-16:

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Brian Phillips Oct 5, 2015

Only the Gospel of John records Jesus’ meeting with the woman at the well. Only John records Jesus’ declaration of Himself as “the living water.” Only John tells of the miracle at Cana – the turning of water into wine, an echo of baptism and the communion feast. Only John mentions Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus, in which He says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” And John’s is the only Gospel to record this detail of Christ’s crucifixion.

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Brian Phillips Oct 2, 2015

In Matthew 5:6, Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”  In the previous Beatitudes, Jesus spoke of those who are “poor in spirit” (verse 3), those who “mourn” (verse 4), and those who are “meek” (verse 5), those who are "hungry and thirsty" (verse 6); none of which carry the appearance of righteousness or strength.  Those who are blessed by God are those who are needy and know it.  

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