Tag Archives: I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Sunday Devotional: ‘This is my chosen Son; listen to him’

Luke 9:28B-36

Jesus took Peter, John, and James
and went up the mountain to pray.
While he was praying his face changed in appearance
and his clothing became dazzling white.
And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah,
who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus
that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem.
Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep,
but becoming fully awake,
they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.
As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus,
“Master, it is good that we are here;
let us make three tents,
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
But he did not know what he was saying.
While he was still speaking,
a cloud came and cast a shadow over them,
and they became frightened when they entered the cloud.
Then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”
After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone.
They fell silent and did not at that time
tell anyone what they had seen.

Modern Christology, the systematic study (“ology”) of Jesus Christ, is a product of the Enlightenment, distinguished from the pre-modern variety in its purpose and intent. Instead of studying Christ as the object of religious devotion or faith, modern Christology means to study Jesus as a figure in history, i.e., Jesus the man instead of Jesus the Christ.

Modern Christology’s historical reconstructions of Jesus have regularly been put forward as challenges to faith. In a speech in 1996, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said, “The identification of only one historical person, Jesus of Nazareth, with . . . the living God, is now relegated as a relapse into myth. Jesus is consciously relativized as one religious leader among others.” The result is an erosion of faith even among the clergy. As examples:

  • A survey in 2002 found that a third of the clergy in the Church of England doubted or outright disbelieved in the physical resurrection of Christ. No doubt the percentage is much higher today, 17 years later.
  • At the 2017 Christmas midnight Mass, Fr. Fredo Olivero of the Church of San Rocco di Torino in the Archdiocese of Turin, Italy, substituted the syrupy Italian pop-religious tune “Dolce sentire” for the Creed, explaining, “Do you know why I do not say the Creed? Because I do not believe it. . . . After many years I understood that it was something I did not understand and that I could not accept. So let’s sing something else that says the essential things of life.” (Source: George Weigel in First Things)
  • Not to be outdone, Fr. Paolo Farinella of Genoa, Italy, announced in the leftist Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, that Christmas is just “a fairy tale from the nativity scene with lullabies and bagpipes, the exclusive support of a capitalist and consumerist economy”. (First Things)

Having studied some of the writings of modern Christologists, what I find curious is that, in their search for the historical Jesus, these theologians and scholars pay scant attention to an important concept in law which is critical to the testimony and determination of truth.

That concept is “percipient witness.”

According to Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary, a percipient witness is “A witness who testifies about things he or she actually perceived. For example, an eyewitness.”

The apostles and disciples were the percipient witnesses of the historical Jesus. Their accounts are contained in the four canonical Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. And it is their behaviors, lives, and deaths that provide the most compelling testimony of not just Jesus the man, but Jesus the Christ. The above passage from Luke 9 is exactly that — an account by sane, percipient witnesses of having seen Jesus with two long-dead men, Moses and Elijah, and hearing a voice from the cloud saying, “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”

The Milky Way as seen from New Zealand

The world we live in, Earth, is part of a solar system, at the center of which is a star called the Sun. Our solar system is part of a galaxy called the Milky Way.

Astronomers say there are about 1 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Deep-field images from the Hubble Space Telescope suggest there are about 2 trillion galaxies in the observable universe, or about 10 times more galaxies than previously thought.  Christopher Conselice, a professor of astrophysics at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, said there are about 100 million stars in the average galaxy. (Space.com)

1 million = 1,000,000.
100 million = 100,000,000.
1 trillion = 1,000,000 millions or 1,000,000,000,000.
2 trillions × 100 millions = 20,000,000 millions or 20 trillions.

That means there are about 20 trillion stars in the Universe. Put another way, there are 5 to 10 times more stars than there are grains of sand on all the beaches of planet Earth. (Universe Today)

Then there is something even more mind-boggling: The above calculations are about the observable Universe. According to the theory of cosmic inflation, the size of the entire Universe is at least 3×1023 times the radius of the observable Universe.

So when the Creator of this unimaginably vast Universe says “This is my chosen Son; listen to him”, we’d be crazy not to listen.

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: He will never abandon us

Mark 7:31-37

Again Jesus left the district of Tyre
and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee,
into the district of the Decapolis.
And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment
and begged him to lay his hand on him.
He took him off by himself away from the crowd.
He put his finger into the man’s ears
and, spitting, touched his tongue;
then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,
“Ephphatha!”— that is, “Be opened!” —
And immediately the man’s ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed,
and he spoke plainly.
He ordered them not to tell anyone.
But the more he ordered them not to,
the more they proclaimed it.
They were exceedingly astonished and they said,
“He has done all things well.
He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

He made the deaf hear and the mute speak.

He multiplied a few loaves and fishes to feed thousands.

He walked on water and calmed the roiling sea.

He cast out demons and resurrected the dead.

And He promised He would not leave us as orphans, that He will be with us always, until the end of time. (John 14:18; Matthew 18:20)

So when we sometimes feel despairing and abandoned by God, know this:

Our God is good and all-powerful and He loves us, in spite of ourselves.

He never disappoints. He never betrays our trust.

He loves us so much He willingly died for us.

And He will never, ever abandon us.

May the courage, peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: Prophet Zechariah foretold the coming of Jesus Christ

Zechariah 9:9-10

Thus says the LORD:
Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion,
shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king shall come to you;
a just savior is he,
meek, and riding on an ass,
on a colt, the foal of an ass.
He shall banish the chariot from Ephraim,
and the horse from Jerusalem;
the warrior’s bow shall be banished,
and he shall proclaim peace to the nations.
His dominion shall be from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.

“a just savior is he, meek, and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass.”
That sentence, proclaimed by the prophet Zechariah, is only one of many foretellings of the coming of Jesus Christ in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament.
Below are some more foretellings:

Isaiah 7:14

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Numbers 24:17

there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

Micah 5:2

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Jeremiah 23:5

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

Zechariah 9:9

behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

Zechariah 11:12

So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.

Psalm 22:1, 16, 18

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

they pierced my hands and my feet.

They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

Psalm 16:10

For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

All of which raises the question of why most Jews, then and now, refuse to believe that Jesus is Messiah.
Among the reasons why they don’t, according to the article “Why Don’t Jews Believe In Jesus?,” are:

  • The Jewish Messiah must be descended on his father’s side from King David, but Jesus was not because Christians say he was the product of a virgin birth and therefore had no father. (Hmm, does that mean Jesus is not Jewish?)
  • Jews don’t believe in miracles: “Even if the individual claiming personal revelation performs miracles [as Jesus did], there is still no verification that he is a genuine prophet. Miracles do not prove anything. All they show—assuming they are genuine—is that he has certain powers. It has nothing to do with his claim of prophecy. Judaism, unique among all of the world’s major religions, does not rely on ‘claims of miracles’ as the basis for its religion. In fact, the Bible says that God sometimes grants the power of ‘miracles’ to charlatans….”

Now you see why the Talmud, the collection of the sayings and writings of rabbis regarded as superior even to the Torah, calls Jesus a “bastard,” “fool” and “charlatan,” His mother Mary a “whore,” and Christians “idolators” and less than human. (See Rev. I. B. Pranaitis, The Talmud Unmasked: The Secret Rabbinical Teachings Concerning Christians; first published in St. Petersburg in 1892.; and “Truth About the Talmud“.)
In his 1991 essay in First Things, “When Jews Are Christians,” David Novak, a Jew, explains that there are three types of Jewish converts to Christianity:

  1. Fake converts: “Secret Jews” who converted to Christianity not out of a genuine belief, but for self-interested opportunistic reasons — to escape persecution (as during the Inquisition), or for social and/or economic gain.
  2. Genuine converts: Jews who sincerely believe Christianity is the true faith, and no longer think of themselves as Jews.
  3. Jewish Christians, aka Messianic Jews: Novak identifies this group as a new kind of Jewish converts to Christianity — Jewish converts to Christianity who claim still to be Jews and still to be practicing Judaism, insisting that they are practicing the true Judaism. Perversely, the State of Israel rejects these Jewish Christians or Messianic Jews as Jews. In 1989, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled against two Jewish Christians, Jerry and Shirley Beresford, who petitioned for Israeli citizenship as Jews under the Law of Return, which guarantees immediate Israeli citizenship to every Jew. The Court rejected their petition on the grounds that the Law of Return specifically precludes any Jew who has affiliated with another, non-Jewish, religious community, never mind the fact that the Law of Return is applied to Jewish atheists although atheism, arguably, is a form of religion.

Novak takes a different position than the Israeli Supreme Court. Claiming to speak for “normative Judaism,” Novak maintains Jewish Christians are still Jews because:

“Jewish status is defined by the divine election of Israel and his descendants. One does not become a Jew by one’s own volition. Even in the case of converts to Judaism . . . A gentile’s choice to become a Jew is a necessary but not sufficient condition of conversion . . . the convert’s choice is not sufficient to make him or her a Jew: it only makes one a candidate for conversion. The actual conversion itself is the act of an authoritative Jewish Tribunal who . . . Like God . . . is under no compulsion to elect, which is to say convert, anyone. Since Jews are elected by God, there is absolutely nothing any Jew can do to remove himself or herself from the Covenant.”

All of that only works if the Jews of today are actually biological descendants of the ancient Hebrews with whom God had made His covenant. The problem is there is compelling DNA evidence that Ashkenazi Jews, who comprise 90% of the world’s (and U.S.) Jews, are descendants of the Khazars, an amalgam of Turkic clans that settled the Caucasus in the early centuries CE and converted to Judaism in the 8th century. See:

Revelation 2:9

“I know the blasphemy of them
which say they are Jews, and are not,
but are the synagogue of Satan.”


May the love and peace of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,
~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: The Chosen People

1 Peter 2:9

You are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people of his own,
so that you may announce the praises” of him
who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

So many Christians give their uncritical, absolute support to Jews, no matter their acts and character, in the peculiar and mistaken belief that Jews are still God’s chosen people. In so doing, these Christians not only ignore Jesus’ own words at the Last Supper, they render moot and purposeless our Lord’s sacrifice of Himself for humanity:

Luke 22:14-15, 19-20

When the hour came,
he took his place at the table,
and the apostles with him.
He said to them, “I have eagerly desired
to eat this Passover with you before I suffer….”
Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks,
he broke it and gave it to them, saying,
“This is my body, which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
And he did the same with the cup after supper saying,
“This cup that is poured out for you
is the new covenant in my Blood.”


As St. Paul, in his letter to the Hebrews 9:15, makes clear about Jesus’ mission:

He is mediator of a new covenant.

And:

Hebrews 8:13

In speaking of a new covenant,
He makes the first one obsolete.
And what is becoming obsolete and growing old
is ready to vanish away.

Indeed, 1 Peter 2:4-5 is explicit on who “the chosen race” are with whom Jesus has made a new covenant — they are those who believe in and follow Him:

Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings
but chosen and precious in the sight of God,
and, like living stones,
let yourselves be built into a spiritual house
to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Finally and definitively, Christ Himself is unambiguous about the identity of those with whom He has made a new covenant:

John 14:5-6, 9

Thomas said to him,
“Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him,
I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me….
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”

The new chosen people with whom God has made a new covenant is different from the old chosen people whose covenant is obsolete — dated, bygone, dead and gone.
The new chosen people are not a race or a particular ethnicity, but comprise people from all races who are not so much chosen as choose. Nor are the new chosen people special or superior; the “chosen people” is not a narcissistic, self-glorifying label. In Christ’s own words, they are “whoever believes in me,” “do the works that I do,” who love Him by keeping His commandments (John 14:12, 15), and who “deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,
~Eowyn

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