Wednesday, 27 May 2009

An idea from Matthew 17:24-27

After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, "Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?"

"Yes, he does," he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. "What do you think, Simon?" he asked. "From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes-from their own sons or from others?"

"From others," Peter answered. "Then the sons are exempt," Jesus said to him.

"But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours."
~Matthew 17:24-27

This is not any type of theology from this passage just an interesting thought...

From Exodus 20:11-16 is shown the idea that an annual half-shekel tax is to be given to the Tabernacle.  At the time of Jesus there was an annual half-shekel tax payable to the Temple by every free male over the age of 20.

Since there is no ground for disassociating Peter from the other disciples in the matter of the tax (and that Peter and Jesus were the only ones paid for here...) it's hard not to entertain the idea that Peter was possibly the only one of Jesus' disciples over 20.

What do you think?


---reference--- 
Ellison, H L, 1979, “Matthew”, New International Bible Commentary, Bruce, F F (ed.), Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1121-1155

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Gonna have to try this one...

Dilbert.com

Biblical Case for Spooning

Ecclesiastes 4:11 "Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?"

Jesus and Ethics

“From the time of the first Greek philosophers, ethics has had but one meaning: it is the reflective study of what is good or bad in that part of human conduct for which man has some personal responsibility” (Keck, 1996, 7). In this general view of ethics, the world considers that the case for morality rests on a natural law “which was the same for all persons, whether they knew Christ or not” (Spohn, 1999, 2). Yet Keck (1996, 10) highlights that a believer's ethics differ from the common view in that they have their foundation in a specific ‘event’, “namely the event of Jesus (including his resurrection and exaltation to God’s right hand), and the community that resulted.”

One might then ask; to what extent does the life and ministry of Jesus give Christian believers an example of ethics and morality? The answer is both simple and complex. The Gospels are not a recorded ethical guideline taught by Jesus. They do not specifically outline any kind of ethical system of moral values – Jesus himself does not set out to teach on ethics specifically. However, through Jesus’ announcement of the coming kingdom, through his teaching on kingdom living, outlining his understanding and expectation of the higher righteousness of God’s law and also his life example of these teachings, believers find they can formulate their own ethical system based on the beliefs and actions of their Lord.

When coupling the model of Jesus’ life to the belief that once reborn into Christ’s salvation his followers remain in him, one sees that Jesus becomes the central focal point for all ethics and morality – in that anything outside of Christ is not of God, and anything done apart from him in darkness is regarded as sin.

Once this conclusion is reached, the answer to the extent of Jesus’ example in terms of ethics and morality is that all ethics for Christian believers can be found in Christ.

---references---
Keck, L. E. 1996, "Rethinking ‘New Testament Ethics’", JBL 115:3-16
Spohn, W C, 1999, Go And Do Likewise – Jesus and Ethics, Continuum, New York

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Weekly Photography Assignment

Haven't had a chance to do any photography for ages.  But this weeks theme is 'Ghetto Lighting' - which is where you find your own sources of lighting the photo, no professional screens, no camera flashes and no natural light. It was easy to quickly set up a shot and feel part of the group at Digital Photography School again...

So here's my Greek New Testament (The book of Acts) lit by a single LED torch... I love the rainbow effect around the edge of the lit area!

dps_assignment_ghetto3

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Frustration with Insurance

Doesn't matter how helpful people claim to be... things with insurance companies are NEVER easy.

You'll remember that a few weeks back my iPod was stolen from my car in my backyard... I'm very grateful that Ben's (housemate) home content insurance covers this theft. The initial lodging of my claim was pretty easy, asking for proof of purchase and stuff.  But since then, I've been continuing to be asked again and again for more information and it almost seems like they're stalling to see if I'll just get sick of it all and drop the claim.

Very frustrating! 

Monday, 4 May 2009

Late Nights

They seem to be much more frequent now I'm a student, but more frequent again now that I'm living here with two other guys.  These times late at night all is quiet, and I can get some good notes for my assignments down without any distraction.

Just glad that now because I'm already in Brisbane I can sleep in a bit and still get to college on time (I do not miss Ipswich Rd one bit!!!)

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Jesus and Prayer

Continuing some points from the assignment I wrote last week.

------------------------------------------------------
No one in history could have been more certain of their call than Jesus.  Jesus was well aware of the purpose for his entire life and ministry, including the journey to the cross.  In total confidence Christ understood his calling and he “steadfastly pursued his task” (Kruse, C, 1983, 1)

Yet in Gethsemane Jesus prays with great anguish, his body cringing at the pain and suffering to come as he cries out to God.  He is adamant, however, that God’s will be done and after wrestling in prayer three times, his resolve is firmed in God’s plan and his soul strengthened through his dependence on his Father.  Then while his accusers and betrayer walk up the hill, Jesus stood, “with his sleepy disciples, [waiting] in perfect composure for all that was to follow” (Matt 26:36-46) (White, J, 1977, 147).

If one so confident was still dependant on prayer for guidance and strength, how much more do we, in our ministries, need to be dependent on God for the same reasons?

Solitude
“Solitude… draws us into the very place from which so much of our efforts are designed to help us escape – being truly alone with God without agenda” (Blanchard, Hodges, 2005, 155). Jesus’ habit of solitude is well recorded. Before beginning his ministry he spent 40 days in the desert (Matt 4:1-11), before choosing the twelve he spent an entire night alone (Luke 6:12-13), after hearing of John the Baptist’s death Jesus withdrew by himself in a boat (Matthew 14:13) and there are numerous accounts of him going alone into the hills either before or after being with large crowds. 

“It was out of a leader’s wilderness preparation that Jesus was so effective in his public life of service” (Shawchuck, Heuser, 1993, 41).  Jesus gives us the divine model of prayer in ministry. He shows us that it is only through spending time away from the busyness our ministries create, and relishing specific time alone with our God, can we then return our work in any sort of effective manner.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Finally Set Up

I moved my desk into my new place today - it's great knowing I don't have to write anymore assignments lying on the floor!

And it's the completion of my moving in phase, now I feel like I'm really settled in!


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