Tag Archives: Jesus

Things that Go Bump in the Night

“From goulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night
Good Lord, deliver us!”
Scottish prayer recorded in The Cornish and West Country Litany, 1926


Nightmare by Paul Bielaczyc. Charcoal, 2005.


There was my dentist—a normally genteel man—in the back of a military cargo plane decked in an olive-drab Level A HAZMAT suit, gesturing me into his examination chair with long, gleaming, barbaric surgical instruments. I had a hard time making out what he was saying behind his face shield, but it sounded like, “Buckle up.” I’m pretty sure he was grinning.

I’m not one much for dreaming, nor am I particularly anxious, but it’s amazing what the anticipation of a minor dental procedure did to loose my subconscious this week.

Fear is powerful, and the Bible has a lot to say about it. The words fear, afraidanxious, and anxiety appear 541 times in the ESV.

  • The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; (Proverbs 1:7)
  • Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. (Proverbs 3:7)
  • Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.” (Matthew 6:25)
  • He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” (Mark 4:40)
  • And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 8:26)

Need an anti-anxiety prescription?  Here you go: fear in the right channel is prescribed—throughout Proverbs and the rest of the Bible. The apostle Paul instructs believers in Philippians 2 to, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  We’re not supposed to be free from fear. We’re supposed to live with fear in the right context—reverence and respect for the awesome power of our Creator. That’s what Dick Woodward’s 4 Spiritual Secrets are all about.

Ready for some good news? According to Jesus, fear has an anecdote: faith.

Fear is powerful. My loving mother, who hung that Scottish prayer just outside my bedroom door, was paralyzed by fear her entire life. So many times I wished I could have helped her think through her fear. But that’s not the way it works. Overcoming fear is not a matter of our intellect or will—it’s a matter of the heart. And no one gets out alive. Apart from the grace of God and a little faith we don’t stand a chance.

Here’s a link to Whom Shall I Fear? by Chris Tomlin that gets to the heart of the matter.


HT: Paul Bielaczyc (Nightmare used with the kind permission of the artist.)

Son of Man as Israel?

Elizabeth, Queen of England.   She represented the aspirations, hopes and dreams of her nation.

Elizabeth, Queen of England. She represented the aspirations, hopes and dreams of her nation.  What insight does this give us in knowing  how the Son of Man represents Israel?

Jesus’ self-designated title of Son of Man is a mystery to many. What does Son of Man “represent”?

One of my favorite movies is Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett. What strikes me about the Virgin Queen was that she truly personified England as the up and coming European empire in the 16th century. As she matured over her long forty-four year reign, England grew along with her to become a decisive world power. Elizabeth never simply spoke nor acted on her own. She represented England as a nation.  She was not just a queen.  She was England.

To “represent” some entity has an interesting etymology. It is derived from a Latin phrase meaning “to present”, or “to symbolize, to be the embodiment of”.

Earlier on Veracity, we explored how Jesus as God’s “Son” lives out the same type of life that the nation of Israel was originally supposed to do as God’s “son” in the Old Testament. Israel was disobedient, but Jesus obediently fulfills what God intended Israel to do. Jesus somehow embodies all of what the nation of Israel is meant to be.  How do we clarify what it means to say that Jesus represented Israel?
Continue reading

Who Is Jesus?

Michelangelo's Pietà

Pietà by Michelangelo, 1499

Who is Jesus?  Wow, talk about a profoundly important question!

There are a lot more people who “believe in Jesus” than there are those who know what Jesus actually claimed about himself.  Many think he was a great moral teacher, a prophet, or a wise Rabbi.  Some think a legend, a myth, or a contrivance.  Still others that he was one of many gods, or one of many roads to God.  That Jesus straightforwardly and clearly attacked these notions is of little consequence to those who will not invest the time to read the Gospels and weigh the evidence for his claims.

Jesus had to fulfill hundreds of Old Testament prophecies written centuries before he appeared on earth, and live within the Mosaic law of the Torah.  He had to submit to the cruelest punishment mankind could dish out, and to top it all off he had to rise from the dead.  No small feat.  When you think about it, he had to color between some extremely tight lines.  Lee Strobel calls this framework the “unmistakable fingerprint of the Christ.”  Only Jesus was man enough for the job—that was the whole point. Continue reading

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