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The Radical Inclusivity of the Genealogy of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel

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The opening of the New Testament is often overlooked.

It begins with a long list of names in traditional format – so and so beget so and so etc. Leading from Abraham to Jesus (Matthew 1:1-17).

Nowadays, reading a list of names is far from interesting. The only time we usually hear this list is around Christmas time, as we explore the birth narratives of Matthew and Luke.

However, as soon as we start to peel beneath the surface of this list of names, we see a rich tapestry being revealed, full of beauty, wonder, and intrigue.

Let’s delve into this beautiful tapestry and find some of the glorious patterns inside.
The Inclusion of Women Genealogies were extremely important within Judaism. We see them found elsewhere within the Tanakh (Genesis 5), as well as in external sources (Jubilees 4:1-33). They helped make a claim for the person that they were leading to (in this case Jesus), a bit like a fanfare.
Genealogies were traced through the male line, and include lists of each male.

How…

Rejection, Inbound Marketing, Geofencing and Why There Almost Certainly Is a God – What I learnt This Month.

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I have decided to start a new section for my blog – What I have learnt this month. It is a great place for me to reflect upon the things that I have learnt but I hope that it will also be useful to you in finding interesting resources to help you grow.
I will be covering pretty much anything I use to learn such as books, podcasts, videos, articles and courses.

So what have I learnt in the month of November 2017? Rejection Proof – Book I Read This Month Most of us have an inbuilt fear of rejection.
It stops us fulfilling our dreams.
It inhibits our ability to act.
It thwarts our goals and desires and paralyses us.
We worry about humiliation and how the rejection will affect our confidence.
This was also the case for Jia Jiang (who wrote this book). He desired to be an entrepreneur, but due to fear of rejection he never made the leap and continued working for someone else.
After researching fear of rejection he came across “rejection therapy” and decided to embark on his own version…

How Body Prayer and Biology Enhance Our Prayer Life

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What is Body Prayer? I recently spent some time at a monastery.
At the monastery, they had a labyrinth that I walked through.
A labyrinth, unlike a maze, has no false turns. It is a continuous single path that leads to a centre (as pictured below).
It is said that you enter a maze to lose yourself and a labyrinth to find yourself.
At the time of walking the labyrinth, I was at a great crossroads in my life.
As I walked I prayed about the direction of my life. Was I heading in the right direction?
Walking and praying I began to move further away from the centre of the labyrinth.

I began to wonder if I had gone wrong somewhere or started in the wrong place.

I stuck to my course and eventually reached the centre of the labyrinth.
I felt a great sense of peace, that even though I was not where I expected to be at this point in my life, I was on a good course and one that God was using.
This is body prayer.
Body prayer is where we incorporate our body in our prayer.
Prayer becomes not ju…

3 Reasons Jesus Stopped at a Sacred Well in John’s Gospel

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Jesus didn’t have to stop at a sacred well on his way from Jerusalem to Galilee.
He could have taken a different route.
He could have gone with his disciples into town to buy food.
Why did Jesus stop at a sacred well in Samaria?
Over the past few blogs, we have been looking at Jesus’s reactions to several Jewish institutions in John’s Gospel: A wedding, the Temple, and a rabbi. We have looked at how each of these institutions points towards Jesus as their true fulfillment.*
The wedding representing the ushering in of the Kingdom ofGod, through Jesus.
The Temple representing Jesus as the ultimate touch-point between heaven and earth.
The rabbi representing Jesus as the ultimate teacher– but much more than a teacher – a bringer of a new life.
In this post, we are going to look at a sacred well and how Jesus uses this imagery to reveal something about Himself. The story in Brief Jesus and His disciples are heading from Jerusalem to Galilee. They head through Samaria (according to Josephus, t…

5 Things That Help Us Understand The Phrase ‘Born Again’ In John 3

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What does it mean to be born again?

For many, the term has come to mean adherence to a particular geographical and political movement.

For many others the term is just as confusing as it was for Nicodemus 2000 years ago.

My last 2 posts have covered Jesus’ reaction to 2 integral Jewish institutions in Johns Gospel: A wedding, and the Temple. We looked at how Jesus took those institutions and showed that He is the reality to which these institutions point*.

The water into wine representing the coming Kingdom of God – through Jesus.

The clearing of the Temple representing Jesus as the true touchpoint between heaven and earth.

In this post, we look at Jesus’ reaction to another Jewish Institution: The Rabbi. And how this helps us understand the term ‘born again’. The Story In Brief The story in question takes place at night, when Nicodemus, a religious leader approaches Jesus.

Nicodemus starts with assertions about who he believes Jesus is: a teacher from God. Jesus replies with the c…

WISDOM - 30 Things I Learned At 30

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Today I turn 31.

My 30's have been a great source of joy to me.

30 is also the time that I began journaling again, to ensure that I captured all that I have learnt.

The following are 30 of those things that I have learnt whilst I was 30.
1. Knowing your values is integral to maintaining momentum  I first heard this on a Robcast episode with Susan David about Emotional Agility. Later, whilst reading "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl I came across this great quote that confirmed it again: “as long as man has a why he can endure any how”.
2. The sweetest sound to a person is their name Anybody who has read Dale Carnegie's classic "How to Win Friends & Influence People" will know this. I have always been terrible at names. And even if I was sure I knew someone's name I would often not say it in case I got it wrong. Now I redouble my efforts to learn names and always try and say people's name even if I am not 100% sure. Peoples names a…

DISRUPT - Why Jesus Kicked Everyone Out Of The Temple

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Why did Jesus kick everyone out of the temple?

Last week I introduced a series of 8 stories. The stories are found in Johns Gospel and centre around different Jewish establishments*. In these stories Jesus shows that he is the fulfilment of these establishments. We first looked at the wedding in Cana in John 2 where Jesus turns water into wine. This week I want to turn our attention to look at the clearing of the temple in John 2.
The StoryAt this part of the narrative, Jesus has turned the water into wine at Cana and then gone down to Jerusalem. John tells us that it is the Jewish festival of Passover. Within the Temple, animals are being sold as sacrifices and money changers are exchanging money. Jesus enters the Temple, makes a whip from chords, and drives the animals out of the Temple. He overturns the money changers tables scattering their coins everywhere. Jesus then tells the people to stop turning His Father’s house into a market.

Understandably, the leaders are annoyed and so as…