First Responders

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. (Matthew 2:11, NIV) Matthew 2 shows the first responses to the arrival of Jesus on earth. The three responses in this chapter are instructive, because they’re the same ones we see today. The initial response was …

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Dustling Deity

For he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. (Psalm 103:14, NIV) In a world in which most religions and philosophies elevate the ethereal over the physical, our Lord gave physicality its ultimate “dignifier”: He enrobed Himself in it. Indeed, the Incarnation and Jesus’s death followed by resurrection and ascension—these all …

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Immanuel: God with Us

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23, NASB) As you begin your reading for today, I encourage you to first read Matthew 1:1–17. Matthew’s Gospel begins with the genealogy of Joseph, which gives evidence of …

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Small Talk

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14b, NIV) Jesus stood at the doorway of Joseph’s workshop. He was six years old, covered in dust and full of questions. As usual. “Abba?” “Yes?” “What does it mean?” “What does what mean?” Joseph had learned that the …

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On Our Side

“If it had not been the LORD who was on our side,” Let Israel now say—Our help is in the name of the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:1, 8, NKJV) A few months after my father suffered a horrific car accident in 1949, friends presented him a wonderful get-well-gift. My dad, Barclay Allen, was …

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The God-Man

The gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans …

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Behold the Lamb

“Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29, NIV) There is a Kodak moment with first-time pilgrims in Israel. On the journey north from Tel Aviv to Tiberius, fresh off a long international flight, bleary-eyed tourists press their noses against the bus window for a glimpse of the …

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