Daily Archives: May 30, 2019

May 30 Ask for These!

Scripture Reading: Psalm 5:1–12

Key Verses: Psalm 5:1–2

Give ear to my words, O Lord,

Consider my meditation.

Give heed to the voice of my cry,

My King and my God,

For to You I will pray.

As we continue to learn about prayer, there are three important elements that we should incorporate into our intercession. We all should ask that we and other believers

  • may increase in the knowledge of God. By knowing more about Jesus and drawing closer to Him, we will catch a greater vision of God, and as a result, will love Him. This passage is essentially a prayer to help us obey His Word, because those who love Him keep His commandments (John 14:15).
  • may be strengthened and sustained with the power of God. The church is weakened any time we attempt to do something in our own strength. Our most successful efforts come not by power or might, but by God’s Holy Spirit (Zechariah 4:6). His peace and presence are required if we are to live victoriously, regardless of circumstances.
  • may give thanks of His salvation. We have qualified as saints of God because—and only because—He has qualified us. He chose us. He sent His Son to die for us. He gave us the gift of faith. He forgave us. He redeemed us. He reconciled us. He justified us. He is sanctifying us. And He will glorify us. Our part is to thankfully obey Him and live for Him every single day.

Lord, I pray that I will increase in knowledge and be strengthened and sustained by Your power … I thank You for my salvation.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 157). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

May 30 Defend Against Deception

Scripture Reading: Jude 1–4

Key Verse: John 14:6

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Heresy always contains enough truth to be attractive. However, Satan, the author of heresy, never offers us the complete truth. He always offers counterfeits. Any teaching that leads people away from God and causes them to question the validity of the Scriptures is deadly.

The false teachers of Peter’s day taught that Jesus was a good man, an acclaimed teacher, and a prophet from God. They even imitated His teaching but stopped seriously short of professing His deity.

Today’s false teachers have much more than a foot in the doorway to our churches, educational institutions, and businesses. They are allowed to openly profess their beliefs as truth. They teach belief in a god, but not the God of the Bible. They teach that we can become godlike if we will practice self-discipline and search within ourselves to find truth.

Nothing could be more steeped in deception. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6 nasb).

The best defense to the enemy’s deception is personal knowledge of God and His truth. Set your heart on knowing the true God, and He will expose the false teaching of those around you.

Father, I come to You through the way, Jesus Christ. Help me guard against the deception of the enemy. Expose all that is false. Reveal to me the truth of Your Word. I set my heart to know You.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 157). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

May 30 Glorifying God

Scripture reading: Psalm 63:1–8

Key verse: Romans 8:28

We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Glorifying God seems to be such a titanic goal that it can frighten us into inaction: “My life is a mess. I am so erratic. How can I ever glorify God?”

Lao-tzu once said, “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” Glorifying God is an eternal process that begins on earth and continues in heaven. Our heavenly existence will be forever focused on exalting God. Realizing that, we can take the initiative to begin glorifying Him one day, one act, one thought at a time.

Each day is God’s gift. You have multitudes of opportunities to honor God through your conduct and conversation. Thus, glorifying God means seeking to maximize each occasion with a deliberate step of obedience. When you falter, which will be often, you confess your disobedience, thank Him for His complete forgiveness, and move on with the task.

What could be more pleasing to your heavenly Father than to daily glorify Him? Establish that lofty aim as your supreme objective, and then live each day in humble dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit and obedience to His revealed truth.

Dear Lord, help me to glorify You today one act and one thought at a time. If I falter, forgive me, and help me to move on with the task.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 157). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Why the Opinion of the World Matters | The Master’s Seminary

 “And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” ~ 1 Timothy 3:7

The matter of a man’s testimony before the watching world is a frequently neglected topic. While churches give credence to the opinion of their members regarding a candidate’s qualifications for leadership, the opinions of unbelievers are often dismissed as irrelevant, biased, and ignorant. After all, unbelievers are blind to the truth and despise the things of the Lord (cf. 1 Cor 2:14).

How could they possibly give a helpful assessment of a believer’s character?

Some Christians—in an extreme reaction to the oft- (and wrongly-) quoted statement attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, “Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words”—also (wrongly) react by placing the emphasis entirely on what Christians profess, thereby implying that in the end, the consistent display of honorable behavior has little to do with evangelism.

Yet Paul states otherwise (1 Tim 3:7). According to the apostle Paul, the opinion of unbelievers matters—so much so that their assessment of a man, if negative, may even derail his aspirations for eldership in the church.

The Meaning of a “Good Reputation”

It’s Definition

The phrase “a good reputation” literally means “a good witness.” The word “witness” refers to a “confirmation or attestation” of something based particularly “on the basis of personal knowledge.” What is under consideration here is not what the man himself testifies to. Rather, Paul states the man “has” (he possesses, owns) such a witness.

In other words, a candidate ready for leadership in the church is one who already enjoys a good witness.

In this case, what is to be confirmed or testified to is the man’s character. Based on first-hand, personal knowledge, a statement of approval is required concerning the irreproachability of a man’s life—that he practices from Monday to Saturday that which he preaches on Sunday.

The source of this assessment is to come “from those outside the church”—or more literally, “from those outside.” Those who are “outside” are those who are not members of “the household of God, which is the church of the living God” (1 Tim 3:15).

As commentators Lea and Griffin state, “The mention of the leader’s name should not cause derision among the opponents of the gospel. The behavior of the leader should provide an example of integrity and commitment to the gospel he professes.”

What is remarkable is the weight Paul assigns to the opinion of unbelievers in the assessment of a leader’s character. While it is easy to discount the judgments of unbelievers as biased or warped, Paul gives a defining role to such judgments. In fact, even on the basis of an unbeliever’s reproach a man can be disqualified from leadership in the church. As Donald Guthrie states,

It is not that outsiders are arbiters of the church’s choice of its officers, but that no minister will achieve success who has not first gained the confidence of his fellows.

Strauch also writes,

The unsaved watch and are very astute. They observe what a Christian is like at work and in the community, and will be the first to see if there is a dichotomy between profession and practice. Their opinion of a Christian leader’s character cannot be dismissed, for it affects the entire church’s witness.

It’s Basis

As with the previous qualities, Paul explicitly states the rational basis for his requirement: “so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil” (1 Tim 3:7b).

For Paul, a bad testimony of a man’s life made by the watching world results in two costly consequences for him:

First, it leads to a fall into reproach. The word for “reproach” is a strong word referring to an extreme disgrace. It is the exact opposite of the word “above reproach” found at the beginning of this list (1 Tim 3:2a).

Who observes this extreme disgrace?

Most likely, the assessment comes from those same “outsiders” who were observing the professing believer’s conduct. When unbelievers observe that a believer does not practice what he professes, they cast disparagement on the man, the church he attends, and the message he believes. But such a negative assessment is intensified when it is made against a believer in leadership.

As Strauch writes, “A Christian leader with an unfavorable testimony in the local community will ‘fall into reproach’ in a far more destructive way than those he leads.”

Second, a bad testimony leads to a fall into the snare of the devil. The word “snare” is sometimes used to refer to “a device used to catch animals,” or—as in this case—to refer to “that which causes one to be suddenly endangered or expectantly brought under control of a hostile force.”

What is this “hostile force”? It is actually a who. Paul identifies it: “the devil.” The word Paul uses for “devil” is one which emphasizes Satan’s adversarial, slanderous nature. He ever lives to insult and revile the people of God, particularly when they stumble.

Saturday Courses for the Master of Divinity Program

For those in the workplace who desire theological training, The Master’s Seminary now offers flexible options for men with a full-time schedule.

Paul describes the devil as a hunter who discreetly sets his trap to catch the elder without warning. How does he succeed? He catches his prey by bringing to the attention of the world the hypocrisy of the church leader.

The devil’s methods to discredit believers in general and Christian leaders in particular cannot be underestimated. He has had thousands of years to study the hearts of men and refine the weapons he uses—which commonly include pride (see 1 Tim 3:6), wealth and success (see 1 Tim 6:9), women, and ambition.

He lays his traps with skill, and every Christian—especially those aspiring to positions of leadership within the church—must be aware of his schemes.

Cultivating a Good Testimony

Paul’s words emphasize the need to consider the influence your life has on the unbelievers who observe your lifestyle. These unbelievers may be as close as unsaved family members, but they also include neighbors, coworkers, fellow students and teachers, and even the government. The kind of influence you have on them is not a moot point, but one which either establishes or denies your readiness for leadership and influence in the church.

A good testimony can be cultivated by applying these principles:

Obey the law

The government is one category of “outsiders” who observes the quality of people’s lives and is charged with making assessments on their innocence or guilt. Anything from obeying city by-laws to paying taxes are opportunities for Christians either to demonstrate their “good testimony” or to provide an opportunity for unbelievers to cast reproach on the name of Christ (Rom 13:2-4; 1 Pet 2:14).

Word hard at your work

Christians should understand the dignity and purpose of work better than anyone. Though sin carried the curse into the domain of work, work itself is not a consequence of sin. From the very beginning man was created to work, and such work was never intended to be selfish in nature. Work is exercising dominion over creation to make the world a better place as a reflection of the skill and power of God, and for the good of human beings and creation itself. As J. I. Packer states,

All work . . . is oriented to the welfare of other people—directly or indirectly. The answer to the question [of how Christians can view their daily work as ministry] is to be conscious of your work as service to people.

As such, Christians should be very conscious of their testimony in the workplace—particularly with respect to the quality of their labors. Unless unable to work because of physical handicaps, Christians should always provide a net surplus to society and never live in perpetual dependence (1 Tim 5:8; Col. 3:23; 1 Thess. 4:11-12; 1 Tim 6:1).

Live visibly

The more hostile the culture becomes to the gospel, the more Christians consider retreating into isolation. But isolation is no way to fulfill one’s obligation to be a light to the world (Matt. 5:14-16; Phil. 2:14-15).

Be a worldly saint

In other words, be a true saint who does not withdraw from but rather engages in the world for the purpose of evangelism. Search for ways to be active in the affairs of unbelievers. The example of Christ is particularly profound on this point (Matt. 9:10-13; 1 Tim 1:15a).

Note also the instruction of the apostle Paul. While we are to avoid a “sinning brother” until he repents, we are not to avoid the “unbelieving sinner” (1 Cor. 5:9-13).

Love the church

The unusual love believers have for each other is intended not only for the benefit of the Christian community, but for the benefit of the watching world. By observing this love in genuine display, unbelievers will be attracted to it (John 13:34-35).

Be ready to speak

This is where the statement—“Preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary use words”—falls sadly short. As important as good works are to evangelization, words are essential (Rom. 10:14-17; 1 Pet. 3:15-16).

Love the lost

Many Christians do not care about their testimony in the world because they lack true compassion for the lost. If we truly loved the lost, we would be deeply concerned about the influence each of our actions has on unbelievers (1 Tim. 1:15a; 1 Tim. 2:1-4).

Wage wise warfare

Christians must be alert to the spiritual battle taking place over their testimony before the watching world. The devil is setting unseen traps—all with the goal of destroying Christians’ witness. Such a reality calls for alert and diligent warfare against these schemes (Eph. 6:11-12; 1 Pet. 5:8-10).

It Matters

Thus, the church should not too readily dismiss the opinion of the world when approving a man for leadership. The world is astute, and it observes a man where his character is tried most – in his daily life outside the walls of the church.

Brad Klassen joined the seminary faculty in 2013. He serves as an associate professor of Bible exposition.

Source: Why the Opinion of the World Matters

Feds Announce Apprehension of 1,000+ Migrants in Largest-Ever Bust of Its Kind — National Review

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) apprehended a group of more than 1,000 migrants traveling together through the U.S.–Mexico border on Wednesday.

via Feds Announce Apprehension of 1,000+ Migrants in Largest-Ever Bust of Its Kind — National Review

When Will The FBI Place Informants In Bernie Sanders’ 2020 Campaign? | ZeroHedge News

If the 2016 US election taught us anything, it’s that the FBI feels it’s necessary to send people to spy on the campaigns of candidates who might have ties to Russia. We’ve also learned that the agency’s bar for launching a massive counterintelligence investigation is incredibly low – spending what President Trump says was $40 million to probe flimsy rumors that Russia has ‘dirt’ on another candidate.

Which brings us to Bernie Sanders – who honeymooned in the USSR and campaigned for the Marxist party during the Reagan era. And while that may have put him in great company with former Obama intel chiefs James Comey and John Brennan, there’s just no way to know if Sanders is a 77-year-old manchurian Red Dawn candidate, ready to strike at the heart of Democracy.

Adding to the possibility of Putin Puppetry was special counsel Robert Mueller’s conclusion that 13 Russian ‘trolls’ he indicted were instructed “to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump.” In other words – when Bernie was a contender, Russia wanted him to win.

Meanwhile, Bernie and his wife Jane were placed under FBI investigation for bank fraud in 2017 related to a $10 million loan Jane took out for her very ill-fated Burlington College fiasco, though we’re unsure if their home, office and hotel room were raided like Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s. Politico reported that prosecutors were also investigating allegations that Sen. Sanders’ office inappropriately urged the bank to approve the loan.

And while a top Sanders adviser told CNN in November that the Vermont US Attorney’s Office notified Jane that charges would not be filed, how do we know for sure that Russians weren’t involved?

Which begs the question – when is the FBI going to investigate, raid, and send informants into the Sanders campaignHe might after all be a Kremlin agent, right?

(h/t Andrew Wilkow)

Source: When Will The FBI Place Informants In Bernie Sanders’ 2020 Campaign?

Francis Chan Denounces Apologetics, Says Church Unity More Important Than Truth — Christian Research Network

“Although Chan said that he would put together a team to help him research those he promotes in the future, he has largely dug in his heels on the topic and insists that unity is more important than Biblical truth.”

(JD Hall  – Pulpit & Pen)  It should be evident to anyone paying attention that, like many charismatics, the Holy Spirit is not at work in Francis Chan. If He were, Chan would have more discernment, which is a gift of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 5:141 Corinthians 12:10). But instead of exercising any discernment, Chan has chosen to partner himself with the most notorious false teachers on the planet and promote them as brothers in Christ.

The latest news from Chan reveals that he is a man that is very likely one who should be ‘marked and avoided’ as a false teacher (Romans 16:17).

Following on the heels of his partnership, endorsement, and promotion of men like the famous parlor-tricksters and faux-miracle carnival barkers, Benny Hinn and Todd White at The Send Conference, Chan claimed to have not previously investigated the prosperity preachers and wasn’t aware of their heresies. Most evangelicals responded incredulously because it’s hard to believe that Chan was unaware of their heresies; but, it’s easier than believing he doesn’t care about their heresies.  View article →


Francis Chan


Word of Faith/Name-it-and-claim-it/Prosperity Gospel

via Francis Chan Denounces Apologetics, Says Church Unity More Important Than Truth — Christian Research Network

Clarence Thomas: Abortion has potential to ‘become a tool of eugenic manipulation’ — Christian Research Network

“Enshrining a constitutional right to an abortion based solely on the race, sex, or disability of an unborn child, as Planned Parenthood advocates, would constitutionalize the views of the 20th-century eugenics movement.” 

(Melissa Quinn – Washington Examiner) Justice Clarence Thomas said Tuesday the Supreme Court will not be able to duck the issue of abortion forever and raised concerns about the potential for abortion to “become a tool of eugenic manipulation.”

Thomas’ warning came in a concurring opinion in which he agreed with a decision by the Supreme Court not to review a provision of an Indiana law that bans abortion on the basis of race, sex, or disability. In an unsigned opinion, the high court upheld another provision of the law that mandates the burial or cremation of fetal remains after an abortion.

The measures at the center of the dispute were signed in 2016 by then-Gov. Mike Pence. View article →


Abortion Issues

via Clarence Thomas: Abortion has potential to ‘become a tool of eugenic manipulation’ — Christian Research Network

Ron Paul: Are the US/UK Trying to Kill Julian Assange? — The Gateway Pundit

Ron Paul discussed the news that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is “gravely ill” on Thursday’s episode of the Liberty Report, noting that if he dies in that prison the US and UK will not look very different from North Korea.

Paul is encouraging people to speak out for Julian Assange amid news that his health has deteriorated to the point where he is now in the hospital wing at Belmarsh Prison.

On Wednesday, WikiLeaks confirmed that Assange is so gravely ill that he could not even have a normal conversation with his lawyer.

Speaking about his concerns over Assange’s treatment, Paul asked if the US and UK are trying to kill Assange. He brought up the case of Otto Warmbier, the American college student who was imprisoned by North Korea and not released until he was in a vegetative state — dying shortly after his release.

“The Korean government abused him and they killed him,” Paul said. “Then they brought him back here when he was terminal.”

Paul said that if Assange dies in that prison, we will not look much different than North Korea.

Assange is currently imprisoned at Belmarsh Prison in the United Kingdom and facing eighteen charges under the Espionage Act in the United States for his publication of the Iraq and Afghan War Logs. If extradited and convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 175 years in prison.`

Prior to his arrest, Assange spent nearly seven years in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, unable to receive proper medical treatment, despite the lack of sunshine and fresh air taking a toll on his system. Doctors who visited him there wrote an article for the Guardian pleading for him to be allowed to go to the hospital for treatment, headlining their account “We examined Julian Assange, and he badly needs care — but he can’t get it.”

The doctors wrote, “experience tells us that the prolonged uncertainty of indefinite detention inflicts profound psychological and physical trauma above and beyond the expected stressors of incarceration. These can include severe anxiety, pathological levels of stress, dissociation, depression, suicidal thoughts, post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain, among others.”

via Ron Paul: Are the US/UK Trying to Kill Julian Assange? — The Gateway Pundit

Give Me That Old Time, 12 Step, New Age Religion

The Word Like Fire

Near the small town where I worship, a neighboring church holds Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings. They know the Scriptures that clearly forbid mixing our Savior in with false gods, and yet this has made no difference. They do what they do because that is what they want to do.

Not that this is unusual. It is happening all over our nation–churches embracing anti-biblical activity, and choosing to portray it as God’s perfect will. We even find books to validate what we prefer to believe about the nature of God Himself.

“Has a nation changed gods, when they were not gods? But My people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. Be appalled, O heavens, at this, and shudder, and be very desolate,” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 2:11-12)

We have gone far beyond individual Christians simply attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Now, increasingly, Alcoholics Anonymous…

View original post 1,081 more words

May 30, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


President Donald Trump said on Thursday he will make a “dramatic” statement about the country’s southern border with Mexico either later on Thursday or on Friday.

Louisiana’s Democratic governor said on Wednesday he would sign a bill passed earlier in the day to ban abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected, the latest legislation in a movement in mostly Southern and Midwest states to curb abortion rights.

Democratic presidential candidates ratcheted up the pressure on U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to start the process of impeaching President Donald Trump after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s first public comments on his two-year Russia probe.

Austria’s president has picked the female president of the Constitutional Court to become interim chancellor after parliament voted Sebastian Kurz’s government out of office in the wake of a video sting scandal.

The United States will respond with military force if its interests are attacked by Iran, U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook told a news conference call on Thursday.

The United States believes Russia may be conducting low-level nuclear tests, a U.S. intelligence official on Wednesday, while the head of a body monitoring a global nuclear treaty said there was no sign of such violations by Moscow.

In a sweeping social policy shift, the Trump administration is seeking to remake health rules at home and abroad for women, gay and transgender people, restricting access to abortion, curtailing support for contraception and narrowing the scope of civil rights in healthcare. The turnaround has its foundations in the quiet, behind-the-scenes influence of Vice President Mike Pence, who has been driven throughout his political career by his evangelical Christian beliefs to restrict abortion and prioritize the rights of religious conservatives.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is flying to Ottawa on Thursday to talk to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about ratification of the new North American trade agreement and the two countries’ dispute with China.

AP Top Stories

Thousands of Arkansas and Oklahoma residents braced for more flooding on Wednesday and some evacuated their homes, as forecasts of further rain drove fears that decades-old levees girding the Arkansas River may not hold.

A Baghdad court sentenced a Frenchman to death on Wednesday for joining the Islamic State group, bringing to seven the number of French jihadists on death row in Iraq.

Seeking to cull its crowded 2020 presidential field, the Democratic Party will make it tougher for candidates to qualify for a third debate scheduled for September. The party will require contenders to meet both a higher polling standard and a larger fundraising target.

Kosovo police arrested more than a dozen fellow officers as part of a crackdown on organized crime in the mainly Serb north on Tuesday, triggering concern from the UN, which said two of its staff were injured.

The cat was let out of the bag a little early regarding Motorola’s new Moto Z4, the $499 handset the company officially unveiled this morning – and which Amazon mistakenly sold to a user two days before we were supposed to, er, know it existed. Nevertheless, it’s here now – or, rather, it will be soon, as it hits Verizon in the US two weeks from today. In keeping with past Z flagships, Verizon has got the exclusive stateside, and as with the announcement of the Moto Z3 as the world’s first “5G-upgradeable” smartphone, the Z4 will likewise be upgradeable to 5G via the company’s “Moto Mod” component once 5G networks are available in your area.

The death toll from a weekend boat disaster in the Democratic Republic of Congo has risen to at least 47 people, with dozens more possibly missing, local authorities said on Wednesday.

Venezuela’s ambassador in Geneva mocked as “ridiculous” a U.S. walkout Tuesday from his chairmanship of the U.N.’s main disarmament body, launching barbs at President Donald Trump and laughing as he claimed a David-over-Goliath diplomatic victory over the United States.


Seven South Korean tourists have died and another 21 people are missing after a boat sank on the Danube River in Hungary’s capital, Budapest.

A baby born weighing just 8.6oz, believed to be the tiniest on record to survive premature birth, has been discharged from hospital in the US. Baby Saybie weighed the same as a large apple when she was born at 23 weeks and three days in December 2018. But five months on, she was discharged weighing a healthy 5.6 pounds, confounding all expectations.

The family of a US man who died of dehydration while in jail will receive $6.75m from Milwaukee County and a private company that ran inmate care.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a new cabinet in which, for the first time in the country’s history, half of all ministers are women.

New Zealand’s Treasury has admitted that details of its budget – leaked earlier this week – were not stolen by hackers but accidentally made available through its website. The government called in police after parts of its budget were released two days early by the opposition National Party.

Israeli lawmakers have voted to dissolve parliament after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government. The vote triggered a fresh election, which will be held on 17 September.


The Satanic Temple said it would challenge a Supreme Court ruling from Tuesday that upheld part of an Indiana law requiring the burial or cremation of fetal remains. The Satanic Temple (TST) said “non-viable fetal tissue is part of the woman who carries it,” according to its statement to the news outlet.

15% of millennials – about one in seven – say they’ve never even tried reading a paper map. That means millions of young adults may end up completely lost without a working digital device.

Mid-Day Snapshot · May 30, 2019

The Foundation

“The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man.” —James Madison (1787)

Mueller’s Disgraceful Exit

The special counsel teed up Democrats for impeachment on phony obstruction inference.

The Real Constitutional Crisis: Unaccountable Bureaucracy

Bureaucrats not only threaten our Constitution but actively trample it all the time.

CNN Anchor Maligns Pro-2A Rape Victim

“Only in America,” Chris Cuomo snidely remarked. He’s right in a way, but he didn’t mean to be.

Inheritance Welfare Liberals — The Effluent of Generational Wealth and Privilege

Irony: Legions of leftist cadres hate the wealthy elite benefactors who gave them rise.

Air Force Cadet Beat Cancer to Earn Lieutenant’s Bars

“I am very, very thankful,” he said. “I am extremely blessed to be here and be where I am at right now.”

Video: Key Points of Mueller’s Final Statement

Ben Shapiro believes Mueller tried to make the case for setting up an impeachment inquiry.

Video: Gillette Does It Again

Dissecting the company’s new ad featuring a “transgender” learning to shave.

Video: Mueller’s DOJ Press Conference

“Charging the president with a crime was … not an option we could consider.”

Today’s Opinion

Victor Davis Hanson
Trump Has Become the Democrats’ Great White Whale
Ben Shapiro
What We Can Learn From the European Union
Ken Blackwell
Shielding America Against Geopolitical Energy Shocks
Cal Thomas
No Credit Where Credit Is Due
Larry Elder
Democrats 2020: The Grievance Party
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Thursday Top News Executive Summary

Impeachment, Obama overreach, abortion ban, conversion therapy, Israel election, and more.

Thursday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Charles C.W. Cooke, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and more.

Today’s Meme

For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

Today’s Cartoon

For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

News – 5/30/2019

US believes Russia conducting low-level nuclear tests: official
This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates as more information becomes available. The United States believes Russia may be conducting low-level nuclear testing in violation of a moratorium on such tests, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency said on Wednesday.

In Venezuela, criminals feel the pinch of an economic crisis
street gangster El Negrito sleeps with a pistol under his pillow and says he’s lost track of his murder count. But despite his hardened demeanor, he’s quick to gripe about how Venezuela’s failing economy is cutting into his profits. Firing a gun has become a luxury. Bullets are expensive at $1 each. And with less cash circulating on the street, he says robberies just don’t pay like they used to. For the 24-year-old, that has all given way to a simple fact: Even for Venezuelan criminals it’s become harder to get by.

Obama Bags $600,000 Payday For Single Speech In Colombia
Obama was paid nearly $600,000 to speak at a Tuesday marketing conference in Bogota, Colombia, according to Colombian news outlet El Tiempo. For those keeping track, that’s $100,000 more than Bill Clinton made for a single speech in Moscow (during a 2010 trip where he hung out with Vladimir Putin at his house).

Pre-Crime Is Here: Law Enforcement’s New TAPS System ‘Predicts’ If You Pose A Future Threat
But the TAPS Act, first introduced in January, would take law enforcement screenings to a whole new level. It would create a national threat assessment of children and adults. In the course of six months the Threat Assessment, Prevention and Safety (TAPS) Act (H.R. 838) has seen support of the bill grow to nearly 80 Congress members. What better way to garner public support for a national threat assessment program than to introduce it during National Police Week.

Runners and riders: The favourites in the race to replace EU boss Jean-Claude Juncker
THE row over replacing Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission president will rumble on after EU leaders failed to decide on his successor at a Brussels summit last night. German MEP Manfred Weber made himself an early favour to become Commission president after becoming the centre-right European People’s Party’s candidate of choice. But a number of EU leaders, including Emmanuel Macron, showed strong signs of opposition to Angela Merkel’s favoured candidate. This leaves the door wide open for an alternative contender to swoop in and steel Mr Weber’s thunder, as well as EU’s most senior role.

THE EBOLA death toll continues to rise at a staggering rate in in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), with charities now urging the UN to step up efforts to the highest possible threat level. “There has never been an epidemic of this complexity or size in the DRC.”

Bilderberg 2019: Shock conspiracy theories behind shadowy meeting of world leaders
ONE of the world’s most-mysterious meetings will take place this week at Bilderberg, with conspiracy theorists aflutter over what really takes place. Theorists claim those in attendance at the meeting have the power to start wars and run world affairs. Other conspiracy theorists connect Bilderberg to the Illuminati, the Freemasons and even the death of Princess Diana… participants are forbidden from talking about the discussions.

World War 3: ‘Breakthrough’ US missile capable of ‘wiping out’ North Korea WITHOUT killing
A MILITARY expert has warned the US could retaliate to an international threat by using a “breakthrough” US Air Force missile which is capable of “wiping out” North Korea’s military capabilities without causing any fatalities.
“It really is a breakthrough on a level of a nuclear weapon in terms of what it can do.

RUSSIA WARNING: Putin could INTERVENE if US and Iran go to war
The relationship between Washington and Tehran continues to be strained amid plans to deploy 1,500 US troops to the Middle East. US national security adviser John Bolton warned the US had “deep and serious” intelligence on threats posed by Iran. The prospect of warfare in the troubled region has prompted fears Moscow will be dragged into battle if its Iranian allies come under threat.

Venezuela Reports Grim Details of Hyperinflation, GDP Plunge
Venezuela’s central bank published key economic data for the first time since 2015, reporting figures on gross domestic product, external accounts and inflation that might be expected from an economy devastated by war rather than one boasting the world’s largest oil reserves. Inflation spiraled out of control to 130,060% in 2018 and hit 862.6% in 2017, while the economy shrank 22.5% during the third quarter of 2018 from same period in 2017,… illustrating in painful detail the depth of Venezuela’s collapse.

Israel goes back to elections as Netanyahu fails to form coalition
Exactly one month after the 21st Knesset was sworn in, a majority of the Knesset voted late Wednesday night to disperse and initiate an unprecedented repeat election on September 17. It was the first time in Israeli history that a candidate for prime minister failed to form a coalition after being given the task by the president after an election.

Jordanian king to Kushner: Pal. state only possible on pre-1967 lines
Jordanian King Abdullah told White House senior adviser…Jared Kushner on Wednesday that a Palestinian state can only be created along the border lines that existed before the 1967 Six-Day War. “His Majesty stressed the need for a comprehensive and lasting peace based on a two-state solution, leading to an independent Palestinian state on 4 June 1967 lines with east Jerusalem as its capital,” according to a statement from Abdullah’s palace.

Argentina abortion: Crowds gather to back pro-choice bill
A large crowd has marched on the Congress building in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, to demand the decriminalisation of abortion. Tuesday’s march came as a bill was introduced to legalise terminations in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. A similar bill was defeated at almost the last hurdle last year when senators voted 38 to 31 against it.

Syrian military ‘burning farmland in rebel-held north’
Satellite images show large areas of farmland in opposition-held north-west Syria have been burnt as part of what activists allege is a campaign by the government to destroy vital food crops. Civil defence workers say incendiary weapons have been fired repeatedly at fields in Idlib, Hama and Aleppo provinces in the past month. Air and artillery strikes have also killed at least 160 civilians.

‘Fetal heartbeat’ abortion bill sent to Louisiana governor, who will sign it; court must uphold it
Louisiana lawmakers have passed a bill that would ban abortions at about six weeks of pregnancy if upheld by the courts, sending it to the governor’s desk without exceptions for victims of rape and incest. Gov. John Bel Edwards, the only Democratic governor in the Deep South, said he will sign the bill into law.

Rain intensifies flooding in saturated Arkansas, Oklahoma
Brad Hindley planned to be vacationing on a lake this week. Instead, he’s been on a boat in his swamped Fort Smith neighborhood trying to keep gas in generators that are pumping water from his flooded home in Arkansas’ second largest city. “We’ve got lakefront property now. Right up to the front door,” said Hindley…who is among thousands of residents along the Arkansas-Oklahoma border impacted by widespread flooding along the swollen Arkansas River.

Dow slides more than 200 points as yields fall on worries about the economy
Stocks fell on Wednesday as bond yields declined again, triggering concerns about the economic outlook. Increasing trade tensions in the China-U.S. trade fight also weighed on markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 221.36 points to 25,126.41 while the S&P 500 slid 0.7% to 2,783.02. The Nasdaq Composite declined by 0.8% 7,547.31. The Dow briefly fell more than 400 points as the 10-year Treasury note yield hit its low of the day.

How U.S. sanctions over a Russian weapon could rattle Turkey
Turkey is on the cusp of facing U.S. sanctions over its decision to buy a Russian S-400 missile defense system, leaving its already soft currency and economy vulnerable and raising questions over its position within NATO… If no solution is found in coming weeks…tit-for-tat sanctions could hit trade between the allies and prolong a recession in Turkey that has already tested President Tayyip Erdogan’s grip on power.

Methodist evangelicals ask for prayers as Church considers allowing gay marriage
Evangelicals are asking for prayers ahead of the Methodist Church’s annual conference next month when proposals to allow gay marriage ceremonies will be considered.

Crop-tastrophe In The Midwest – Latest USDA Progress Report Signals Nightmare Scenario
The last 12 months have been the wettest in all of U.S. history, and this has created absolutely horrific conditions for U.S. farmers.  Thanks to endless rain and historic flooding that has stretched on for months, many farmers have not been able to plant crops at all, and a lot of the crops that have actually been planted are deeply struggling.  What this means is that U.S. agricultural production is going to be way, way down this year.  The numbers that I am about to share with you are deeply alarming, and they should serve as a wake up call for all of us.  The food that each one of us eats every day is produced by our farmers, and right now our farmers are truly facing a nightmare scenario.

Extreme weather spans coast-to-coast with multiple tornadoes and severe storms plaguing the country
Severe storms stretched across the nation Tuesday, including tornadoes in Kansas and Pennsylvania, while catastrophic flooding puts other states at risk. It’s only the latest outbreak of extreme weather that’s been plaguing the U.S. for nearly two weeks.

IDF reveals ‘longest, most significant’ Hezbollah tunnel on northern border
Military says Lebanon terror group’s cross-border tunnel has infrastructure for electricity, ventilation, communications; subterranean passage to be destroyed in coming days

Uproar over Netflix show in which Hitler ‘roasts’ Anne Frank
Actor playing Nazi leader makes concentration camp jokes at expense of famed diarist who died in Bergen-Belsen; Amsterdam’s Anne Frank House calls show ‘tasteless satire’

NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses
A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.

AFA.net – Target stores donating $100,000 to promote gay lifestyle to school children
Target’s website has several pages dedicated to products that promote the LGBT lifestyle According to LifeSiteNews, Target department stores are not only offering clothing and accessories celebrating the gay lifestyle to adults and children, but the company has also pledged to donate to a nonprofit that trains students and teachers in LGBT politics and advocacy.

‘Dark day’: Illinois House passes abortion bill far worse than New York’s
…HB 2495 and would virtually eliminate all protections for preborn children, allow infanticide, remove conscience protection laws for health care workers, allow taxpayer funding for abortion, and more. HB 2467 would repeal the Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995, making it so that minors can obtain abortions without parental notification. 

Ohio Public Library to Offer ‘Drag 101’ Class for Teenagers
The Delaware County District Library in Delaware, Ohio, is gearing up to host a “Drag 101” class for local teenagers.

Under Mayor de Blasio, NYPD Records Record “Antisemitism Crisis,” 83% Increase in Hate Crime
Wilhelm is his real name. This vicious leftist gave Linda Sarsour hundreds of thousands of dollars and has been a long time support of antisemitic causes. He was a Sandinista activist with Palestinian ties (NY Times). He flouted his ties to Nicaraguan Solidarity Network, a Communist-front organization that still supports the Marxist regime in Nicaragua headed by Communist Sandinista Daniel Ortega.

Official: U.S. Believes Russia Conducting Low-Level Nuclear Tests
The United States believes Russia may be conducting low-level nuclear testing in violation of a moratorium on such tests, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency said on Wednesday.

Florida governor, Cabinet sued over plans to meet in Israel
An open-government watchdog group and several news outlets sued Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and members of the Cabinet on Tuesday in an effort to stop them from holding a Cabinet meeting while on a trade mission in Israel.

Palestinians Broadcast Ramadan Mini-Series Inciting Muslim Children To Kill Jews – Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar Silent (VIDEO)
Palestinian Muslims are running a TV special to celebrate Ramadan. And what would Ramadan be without death to the infidels? A young boy is taught how to murder Jews in the holy Ramadan TV special.

You Will Not Believe What the INDY 500 Officials Gave Out at the Event
Professional sports has totally gone globalist! In the latest example of this, we see unquestioning support for the Big Pharma agenda. Despite the fact that the vast majority of the recent measles outbreak is of foreign strains coming from unscreened immigrants, the INDY 500 gave out free measles vaccines.

World War Follows False Flag Attacks on American Ships
Throughout American history, false flag attacks on ships have led to major wars. As we approach war with Iran, or Venezuela, or anywhere else, we need to look for the same thing to happen again.Four tankers, off the coast of Saudi Arabia has already constituted the first false flag attack. However, it is was not enough to move the needle on the way to war. Look for more. Here’s the complete story….

Bolton Says “No Doubt” Iranian Naval Mines Used In UAE Tankers Sabotage
Addressing a press conference in Dubai on Wednesday US National Security Advisor John Bolton said Iranian underwater mines were “likely” used in an attack on four international oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz a week-and-a-half ago, including two Saudi vessels, but still didn’t present evidence nor show the precise nature of the damage.

Headlines – 5/30/2019

White House Adviser Kushner in Jordan to Promote Peace Plan

Jordan king tells Trump team a Palestinian state the only way to peace

Kushner, Greenblatt arrive in Israel after meetings in Jordan, Morocco

Jabari: Bahrain workshop not part of Trump peace plan

‘Hello’ elections means ‘goodbye’ Trump peace plan – analysis

Despite Israel’s Political Crisis, Kushner Shows ‘Business as Usual’ for Mideast Peace Plan

Knesset votes for new elections on September 17 after PM fails to form coalition

Dissolving Knesset, Netanyahu blames Liberman for ‘unnecessary and wasteful’ elections

Litzman: Liberman chose a campaign of incitement against the ultra-Orthodox

Netanyahu slams Liberman: He deceived the voters, is part of the Left

Likud’s chief negotiator: Liberman’s demands were ‘insane, bizarre’

Liberman: Israel going to polls because Netanyahu surrendered to ultra-Orthodox

Arab MK brings comic relief with Knesset speech mocking Netanyahu concessions

Netanyahu’s Wife Agrees to Plead Guilty in Catering Case

Sara Netanyahu: Israeli PM’s wife ‘agrees plea bargain’

Sixth Hezbollah terror tunnel discovered

U.S. calls Russian, Syrian air strikes ‘reckless escalation’ in Syria

Top US and Russian diplomats discussed ways to end Syria war

Saudi Arabia calls on Muslim world to reject Iran ‘interference’

Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei says Tehran will not negotiate with US

Bolton warns Tehran of ‘very strong response’ to any Gulf attack

‘Don’t say we didn’t warn you:’ Chinese state media issues ominous warning to US

Julian Assange moved to prison health ward as WikiLeaks reveal ‘grave concerns’ about well-being

Boris Johnson could go on trial for ‘lying and misleading’ in Brexit campaign, judge ordersv

Dow slides more than 200 points as yields fall on worries about the economy

Dow Crashes Below 25,000 as Bond Yields Trigger Alarm Bells

Special counsel Robert Mueller: Russia report did not exonerate President Trump

Mueller Says His Probe Didn’t Clear Trump on Obstruction Issue

Mueller says charging Trump was ‘not an option’; says he won’t expand on report if he testifies to Congress

Mueller: If it were clear president committed no crime, “we would have said so”

Nadler: Mueller clearly demonstrated that Trump is lying

Robert Mueller Russia probe statement will cause ‘state of chaos’ until 2020 election, Gowdy says

Robert Mueller’s remarks ‘explosive,’ sets up impeachment talk ‘for foreseeable future,’ says Andy McCarthy

Joe diGenova: Mueller wants Americans to believe Trump is a criminal and it’s up to Congress to impeach him

‘The dam has burst’: Liberals warn Democrats risk backlash by not impeaching Trump

Trump accuses Democrats of crime amid rising calls for impeachment

Tom Del Beccaro: Robert Mueller’s abuse of our legal system continues – He didn’t need to speak Wednesday

Nancy Pelosi: Doctored Videos Show Facebook ‘Willing Enablers’ of Russians in 2016

Why Facebook is right not to take down the doctored Pelosi video – Taking down the ‘drunk’ Pelosi video could set a precedent for censoring political satire or dissent

Your smartphone is not listening to you, but your ‘free’ apps are definitely spying on you

Army’s ‘Google Earth On Steroids’ Can Look Inside Buildings

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Tennant Creek, Australia

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits the Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Tobelo, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near L’Esperance Rock, New Zealand

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits the Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Sabancaya volano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 24,000ft

Reventador volano in Ecuador erupts to 17,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 14,000ft

New eruption near the summit of Etna volcano, Italy

A month of Mayhem: ‘Stuck’ weather pattern fuels hundreds of tornadoes

Tornado, severe weather outbreak most ‘prolonged stretch’ in 8 years — and here’s why

Rain intensifies flooding in saturated Arkansas, Oklahoma

‘Slow-motion disaster’ along Arkansas River: Every large community will see major flooding within 7-10 days

6 months later, gene-edited babies stir new interest, debate

Fertility clinics around the world asked ‘CRISPR babies’ scientist for how-to help

Canadian PM Trudeau plans to confront Pence on state abortion restrictions

Louisiana Lawmakers Approve Strict Abortion Limit, Dem. Governor Says He Will Sign it

Disney CEO says filming in Georgia will be ‘very difficult’ if abortion ban goes into effect

Netflix may ‘rethink’ investment in Ga. over anti-abortion bill

Netflix CEO Donated To Missouri GOP Lawmakers Who Backed Abortion Ban

Biological Male Wins NCAA Women’s Track Championship

Apostasy Watch Daily News

The tragic results of denying the resurrection

Give Me That Old Time, 12 Step, New Age Religion

Australian Christian Festival Uses LEGO Spirits and Spirit Summoning

‘Below Deck’ star Captain Sandy reveals she’s dating gospel singer Leah Shafer

Transgender no longer recognised as ‘disorder’ by WHO

Planned Parenthood Caught Doing Abortions on 12-Year-Old Girls, Not Reporting Sexual Assault

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“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther


May 30, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Self-Denial (10:43–45)

Continuing His lesson, Jesus contrasted the worldly, self-promoting path to greatness with true greatness in God’s kingdom. He told the apostles, “But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all.” Paradoxically, the path to greatness in the kingdom lies in humble self-denial; in being a servant and a slave of all.

The desire to be honored in the kingdom is a noble desire. Paul wrote, “Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him” (2 Cor. 5:9). To that end he “discipline[d his] body and [made] it [his] slave, so that, after [he had] preached to others, [he would] not be disqualified” (1 Cor. 9:27). Nearing the end of his life, he penned,

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. (2 Tim. 4:7)

The apostle John cautioned believers, “Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward” (2 John 8). “Behold, I am coming quickly,” Jesus declared, “and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done” (Rev. 22:12).

But the road to that greatness in the kingdom lies in selfless service. Diakonos (servant) literally refers to those who waited on tables (it is so used in John 2:5, 9). Doulos, though frequently translated “servant” in English Bibles, actually means slave (cf. John MacArthur, Slave [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2010]). The Lord’s point is that believers are to consider everyone their master, and themselves slaves to serve all.

The perfect example of such humble service is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of Man. Unlike the world’s leaders, He did not come to be served, but to serve; not merely to be Lord and Master but also to be a slave of His Father and do His will (John 4:34; 17:4), and to serve sinners by the sacrifice of Himself. As noted earlier, the most profound illustration of Christ’s humble service and obedience to the Father is His death (Phil. 2:5–8), when He gave His life a ransom (lutron; the price paid for the release of a slave) for many. Having made the greatest sacrifice, Jesus received the greatest honor:

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:9–11)

In His vicarious, substitutionary death on behalf of sinners, He gave His life to pay to God in full the price of sin for all the people who would ever be saved throughout history. Christ’s death propitiated God’s wrath and fulfilled the demands of His justice for the elect, the redeemed. The one sacrifice of the Son of Man paid the ransom for the many who believe (Rom. 5:12–21; 1 Tim. 2:6; 1 Peter 2:24).[1]

45 The climax to the episode comes in this verse. In the kingdom of God humble service is the rule, and the Son of Man is the example par excellence, especially in his redemptive mission. Every part of this verse is important. “Son of Man” is the veiled messianic title Jesus often uses of himself. The title is sometimes contrasted with “Son of God” and assumed to refer to Jesus’ humble human nature. Yet its primary background is the exalted messianic figure of Daniel 7 (see comments at 8:31), where “one like a son of man” (i.e., a human being) is presented before the Ancient of Days and given “authority, glory and sovereign power.” All the nations of the earth worship him, and he receives an eternal dominion and an indestructible kingdom (Da 7:13–14). This exalted background explains why Jesus says, “Even [kai] the Son of Man”—even the glorious Messiah, who will receive all glory, power, and dominion—“did not come to be served, but to serve.” This statement summarizes Jesus’ incarnate life. He did not come as a potentate whose every personal whim was to be catered to by groveling servants, but he came as a servant himself. And his coming meant giving “his life as a ransom for many.”

The word translated “ransom” is lytron, which means “the price of release” (cf. BDAG, 605). The noun occurs in the NT only here and in Matthew’s parallel (Mt 20:28). In Koine Greek lytron was often used of payment for the release of slaves or captives. The LXX uses the term for various payments, including compensation for crimes (Nu 35:31–32) or the redemption of those who, because of poverty, had sold their tribal land or themselves into slavery (Lev 25:26, 51–52). Since every firstborn, whether human or animal, belonged to the Lord, a “ransom” was to be paid to redeem the firstborn son (Nu 18:15). The verb lytroō could mean “to set free by paying a ransom” but commonly meant simply “to set free, deliver, or rescue.” It is used in the LXX of God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt (Ex 6:6; Dt 7:8; 9:26; etc.). Paul uses the cognate apolytrōsis for the redemption from sins accomplished through Christ’s death (Ro 3:24; 8:23; 1 Co 1:30). The sense in the present passage is that Jesus’ death pays the price to set his people free.

The prepositional phrase “for many” translates anti pollōn. The ordinary meaning of the preposition anti is “in place of” or “instead of”—a clear indication of substitution. Although it can be used to mean “in behalf of,” this meaning is not its usual one, and here its use with lytron seems to demand the sense “instead of.” The expression “the many” is not to be understood as a limiting adjective, meaning “some but not all,” but rather in contrast to the one: the one died for the many. A single life is given for the ransom of others (see Bratcher and Nida, 337). The entire phrase “to give his life a ransom for many” therefore emphasizes the substitutionary and atoning element in Jesus’ death. The one takes the place of the many. What should have happened to them happened to him instead.

Significant debate has focused on two key issues related to the ransom saying: its background and its authenticity. While it was once widely assumed that the conceptual background to the ransom saying was to be found in Isaiah’s fourth Servant Song (Isa 52:13–53:12), this conclusion was seriously challenged by C. K. Barrett (“The Background of Mark 10:45,” in New Testament Essays, ed. A. J. B. Higgins [Manchester: Manchester Univ. Press, 1959], 1–18), and M. D. Hooker, 129–31. Both scholars argue against Isaianic Servant imagery and instead find the background in Daniel 7 and in the experience of the Maccabean martyrs, who suffered and died so that the nation might live (see 2 Macc 7:37–38; 4 Macc 6:28–29; 17:21–22). While scholars continue to debate this issue, there is good evidence that Jesus indeed has Isaiah’s fourth Servant Song in view: (1) The language of service that permeates Mark 10:43–45 recalls the role of the Servant, who sacrificially gives himself for others. Although the word “servant” in Isaiah 52:13 LXX is pais instead of diakonos or doulos, the terms are conceptually similar, and the cognate verb douleuō does appear with reference to the Servant in Isaiah 53:11 LXX. (2) The phrase “give his life” in Mark 10:45 is very close to Isaiah 53:12, where the Servant “poured out his life unto death” (cf. 53:10b). (3) In Isaiah 53:10 the Lord makes the Servant’s life a “sin offering,” i.e., a sacrifice covering the sins of others. Similar language appears in v. 6b, where “the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all,” in close parallel to the Son of Man’s role as a “ransom” or payment price (lytron) for the sins of others. (4) Perhaps most significantly, the striking image of the one suffering for the many appears both in Isaiah 53:11–12 and Mark 10:45 (cf. 14:24). Though individually none of these allusions are conclusive, together they make a convincing case that behind Jesus’ words lies Isaiah’s image of the Suffering Servant, who offers himself as a sacrifice for others.

The second key issue related to Mark 10:45 is its authenticity and whether Jesus attributed atoning significance to his own death. A strong case may be made for the authenticity of the saying: (1) The claim that the saying was created under the influence of Pauline theology of the atonement is unlikely, given the fact that Paul never uses lytron to refer to the redemption Jesus has accomplished (see Cranfield, 344). (2) The saying has a strong Semitic flavor and is easily translatable back into Aramaic (see S. Kim, The Son of Man as the Son of God [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985], 39). (3) The idea of the suffering or death of one person’s providing atonement or benefit for others was not alien to Jesus’ world; the idea appeared in Maccabean and other Jewish sources (2 Macc 7:37–38; 4 Macc 6:27–29; 17:22; 18:4; 1QS 5:6; 11QtgJob 38:2–3; Pr Azar 3:38–40; L.A.E. 3:1; cf. Evans, 122; McKnight, Jesus and His Death, 168–71). (4) Evans, 124 (citing V. Taylor, “The Origin of the Markan Passion-Sayings,” in New Testament Essays) points out that the Semitic phrase “son of man” (which is natural Hebrew and Aramaic but very awkward Greek or Latin) certainly has its origin in the ministry of Jesus rather than in the later Hellenistic church. Similarly, the description of Jesus as “servant” “would be open to serious misunderstanding, even ridicule” in the Greco-Roman world. As the gospel moved out of its Jewish and Palestinian contexts, titles such as “Lord,” “Son of God,” and “Savior” became preferred titles for Jesus. Both the Son of Man traditions arising from Daniel 7 and the Servant traditions of Isaiah “are better explained as originating in the teaching of Jesus, rather than in the early church” (Evans, 124).[2]

45 The reversal of all human ideas of greatness and rank was achieved when Jesus came, not to be served, but to serve. He voluntarily veiled his glory as the Son of Man (cf. Chs. 8:38; 13:26; 14:62) and assumed the form of a slave who performed his service unto death because this was the will of God (cf. Phil. 2:6–8). In verse 45, which subsumes verses 43–44, the death of Jesus is presented as his service to God and as a vicarious death for many in virtue of which they find release from sin. Each of the components of this highly compressed saying is significant. The formulation “The Son of man came …” places the entire statement in the context of Jesus’ messianic mission (cf. Ch. 2:17). The service in which the royal will of the Son of Man is displayed is fulfilled in his giving of himself. In a Jewish frame of reference this expression was characteristically used of the death of the martyrs (e.g. 1 Macc. 2:50; 6:44; Mekilta to Ex. 12:1). In this context it expresses the element of voluntariness or self-sacrifice in the death of Jesus who offers himself in obedience to the will of God. His death has infinite value because he dies not as a mere martyr but as the transcendent Son of Man.

The ransom metaphor sums up the purpose for which Jesus gave his life and defines the complete expression of his service. The prevailing notion behind the metaphor is that of deliverance by purchase, whether a prisoner of war, a slave, or a forfeited life is the object to be delivered. Because the idea of equivalence, or substitution, was proper to the concept of a ransom, it became an integral element in the vocabulary of redemption in the OT. It speaks of a liberation which connotes a servitude or an imprisonment from which man cannot free himself. In the context of verse 45a, with its reference to the service of the Son of Man, it is appropriate to find an allusion to the Servant of the Lord in Isa. 53, who vicariously and voluntarily suffered and gave his life for the sins of others. The specific thought underlying the reference to the ransom is expressed in Isa. 53:10 which speaks of “making his life an offering for sin.” Jesus, as the messianic Servant, offers himself as a guilt-offering (Lev. 5:14–6:7; 7:1–7; Num. 5:5–8) in compensation for the sins of the people. The release effected by this offering overcomes man’s alienation from God, his subjection to death, and his bondage to sin. Jesus’ service is offered to God to release men from their indebtedness to God.

The thought of substitution is reinforced by the qualifying phrase “a ransom for the many.” The Son of Man takes the place of the many and there happens to him what would have happened to them (cf. Ch. 8:37: what no man can do, Jesus, as the unique Son of Man, achieves). The many had forfeited their lives, and what Jesus gives in their place is his life. In his death, Jesus pays the price that sets men free. The sacrifice of the one is contrasted with those for whom it is made, in allusion to Isa. 53:11f. In rabbinic literature, and even more strikingly at Qumran, “the many” is a technical term for the elect community, the eschatological people of God. The majestic figure of the Son of Man is linked here with the community which will be vindicated and saved in the eschatological judgment because Jesus goes to his death innocently, voluntarily and in accordance with the will of God. This corresponds perfectly with the main thought of Isa. 53. The ultimate meaning of Jesus’ vicarious suffering and his giving himself as a ransom, however, can be understood only from the reality of his life, death and resurrection as narrated in the Gospel. In Mark there is complete correspondence between the ransom saying and the death of Jesus. Because Jesus’ will is synchronous with the will of God he must die in the place of guilty men (Ch. 8:31, 33). This is what it means for him to offer his life as a ransom for the many.

This painful and glorious destiny of the Son of Man is something unique to his mission and in a definite sense is incommunicable: only he can accomplish this service. Nevertheless, his submission to the servant’s vocation is here proposed as an example to the Twelve, who are summoned to pattern their lives after the humility of the Son of Man. Jesus’ sacrifice of his own glory is the ground of a renewal of life to self-sacrificial obedience. The disciples were to experience this power of his death in themselves. That John, the son of Zebedee, ultimately understood Jesus’ intention is clear from 1 John 3:16: “He laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”[3]

45. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many—“instead of many,” that is, “In the kingdom about to be set up, this principle shall have no place. All My servants shall there be equal; and the only greatness known to it shall be the greatness of humility and devotedness to the service of others. He that goes down the deepest in these services of self-denying humility shall rise the highest and hold the chiefest place in that kingdom; even as the Son of man, whose abasement and self-sacrifice for others, transcending all, gives Him of right a place above all!” As “the Word in the beginning with God,” He was ministered unto; and as the risen Redeemer in our nature He now is ministered unto, “angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him” (1 Pe 3:22); but not for this came He hither. The Served of all came to be the Servant of all; and His last act was the grandest Service ever beheld by the universe of God—“He Gave His Life a Ransom for Many!”, &c. “Many” is here to be taken, not in contrast with few or with all, but in opposition to one—the one Son of man for the many sinners.[4]

Ver. 45.—A ransom for many (λύτρον ἀντὶ πολλῶν; from λύω, to loose, or set free). Not that Christ died only for the elect. For Christ died for all; and has obtained for all the means necessary and sufficient for their salvation. Yet the fruit of his death and his full salvation comes only to those who persevere to the end. When our Lord says that he came “to give his life a ransom for many,” he regards the vast multitude of those who are included within his purposes of mercy. He “is the Saviour of all men, specially of them that believe.”[5]

45 καὶ γὰρ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου οὐκ ἦλθεν διακονηθῆναι ἀλλὰ διακονῆσαι καὶ δοῦναι τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ λύτρον ἀντὶ πολλῶν, “For the ‘son of man’ came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” This is by far the most remarkable and probably most disputed saying in Mark. Most commentators have tended to regard this saying as originally independent, whether authentic or not. Of course, many have regarded it as a later Christian formulation, especially in light of comparison with Luke 22:24–27 (Klostermann, 108–9, with regard to v 45b), perhaps deriving from Pauline circles (Branscomb, 190–91; Nineham, 280–81). Strecker (Int 22 [1968] 432 n. 30) thinks the saying is “an independent logion” that originated in “Hellenistic-Jewish Christianity.” Similarly, Bultmann speaks of the saying as originating “from the redemption theories of Hellenistic Christianity” (History, 144) and so is a secondary formulation “of a later stage” (History, 155). Lohse (Märtyrer und Gottesknecht, 117–22) also believes that the saying is inauthentic but that it derives from the early Jewish community. Others who regard the saying as inauthentic include Pesch (2:162–64), S. K. Williams (Jesus’ Death as Saving Event: The Background and Origin of a Concept, HDR 2 [Missoula, MT: Scholars Press, 1975] 211–12), and Roloff (NTS 19 [1972–73] 38–64). The authenticity of the saying is strongly defended by J. Jeremias (TDNT 5:706, 708, 710, 712–13, 715) and in more recent years by Stuhlmacher (“Vicariously Giving His Life,” 16–29) and his student Grimm (Weil ich dich liebe, 231–77). Others who regard the saying as authentic include Lagrange (281–83), Rawlinson (146–48), Taylor (445–46; NTS 1 [1954–55] 159–67), Schürmann (Jesu Abschiedsrede, 85–86), Barrett (“Background”), C. Colpe (TDNT 8:448, 455), Cranfield (343–44), Schmid (200–201), Hooker (Son of Man, 140–47), Hampel (Menschensohn und historischer Jesus, 302–42), France (Jesus and the Old Testament, 116–21), Radermakers (270–71), Patsch (Abendmahl, 170–80, 205–11), and Gundry (587–90).

Boiled down, the controversies surrounding v 45 are three in number: (1) the unity of the saying and its relationship to vv 35–44; (2) the relationship of the saying to Second Isaiah, especially the Suffering Servant Song of Isa 52:13–53:12; and (3) the authenticity of the saying. All three of these disputed elements are in various ways related to one another. The position taken in this commentary is that the saying was originally a unit, that it was part of the whole pericope that makes up vv 35–45, that themes from Second Isaiah do indeed lie behind it, and that the saying derives from Jesus. The detailed discussion that follows will justify this position.

First, there are good reasons for allowing the saying to stand as a unity and as part of the whole dialogue between Jesus and his disciples as presented in vv 35–45. Claims made by Wellhausen (84–85) and Nineham (281) that v 45 stands in tension with vv 35/41–44 are overdrawn. Jesus enjoins his disciples to assume the roles of “servant,” even “slave” (vv 43–44), if they are to be great in the kingdom of God (as implied by v 37). To take part in Jesus’ glory, the disciples must be willing to endure a time of suffering (i.e., drinking the cup Jesus drinks, being baptized with his baptism), even martyrdom (as taught in vv 38–39). The ransom saying in v 45 properly connects to this teaching about suffering. The reference to serving (διακονῆσαι) links the saying to v 43, where the cognate word (διάκονος, “servant”) occurs, and v 44, where a synonym (δοῦλος, “slave”) occurs. The examples of being a servant or slave anticipate an allusion to the Suffering Servant of Isa 52:13–53:12. The willingness to give one’s life in behalf of others does not introduce a new theme, one that is ill-suited for the present context or is “out of harmony,” but rather brings the discussion to a fitting and logical conclusion (Casey, Aramaic Sources, 216, rightly says that v 45 “effectively … draws the whole passage together”). To be great in the kingdom of God will require a willingness to suffer (vv 37–38) and a willingness to serve (vv 43–44), and the prime example of one who is willing to serve and to suffer is the “son of man,” who “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (v 45).

Second, there are good reasons to understand the ransom saying in terms of themes and images drawn from Second Isaiah, particularly the Suffering Servant Song. At one time this had been a given among scholars (e.g., Engnell, BJRL 31 [1948] 54, who speaks of the “indisputable role” that the Servant theme played in Jesus’ self-understanding; cf. also Jeremias, “Lösegeld”), but in the wake of publications by Barrett (“Background of Mark 10:45,” 1–18) and Hooker (Jesus and the Servant), many scholars have reconsidered this influence. However, in recent years there are signs that the pendulum is swinging back to the older opinion (cf. Moulder, NTS 24 [1977–78] 120–27; France, Jesus and the Old Testament, 116–21; Hengel, Atonement, 49–65; Pesch, 2:163–64; Stuhlmacher, “Vicariously Giving His Life”; id., Jesus of Nazareth, 49–57; Davies and Allison, Matthew 3:95–100; Hagner, Matthew 2:582–83; Painter, 150). Let us consider every element in the ransom saying that may reflect the Suffering Servant Song or some other Isaianic passage:

διακονῆσαι, “to serve”: It has often been suggested that this word alludes to the Servant of Isa 52:13; 53:11 (both times פעבְדִּי ˓abdî, “my servant”). διακονεῖν, “to serve,” and its cognates do not appear in the LXX. (In 1 Kgs 18:36; 2 Kgs 9:36; 10:10 Elijah is called the Lord’s עבד ˓ebed, “servant,” while in Josephus, Ant. 8.13.7 §354, Elisha is called Elijah’s διάκονος, “servant.”) The synonym δουλεύειν, “to serve (as slave),” appears in LXX Isa 53:11 (δουλεύοντα πολλοῖς, “serving many”; cf. MT: פעבְדִּי לָרַבִּים ˓abdɩ̂ lārabbɩ̂m, “my servant, for the many”), and its cognate also appears in Mark 10:44 (πάντων δοῦλος, “slave of all”). Hooker (Jesus and the Servant, 74) concedes that this linguistic overlap “supports the claim that the concept of the Suffering Servant may lie behind Mark 10.45.” Nevertheless, she goes on to reject the allusion, arguing that the contrast between the great men who lord it over others and the servant who gives up his life does not fit well the function of the Isaianic Servant. After all, the Servant is in fact the Lord’s servant, not the servant of others. To this France (Jesus and the Old Testament, 118) replies by noting that in v 44 διάκονος, “servant,” and δοῦλος, “slave,” occur in parallelism and that διακονεῖν, “to serve,” which appears in v 45, and δουλεύειν, “to serve (as slave),” which does translate עבד ˓ābad, “serve,” in the LXX, are synonymous. Therefore διακονεῖν may very well translate an Aramaic term that echoed עבד ˓ābad (such as פלח pĕlaḥ, “serve,” which in fact does translate עבד ˓ābad). Davies and Allison (Matthew 3:96) agree, adding that “διακονῆσαι accurately describes what the ˓ebed does.”

δοῦναι τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ, “to give his life,” closely approximates part of Isa 53:10: אִם־תָּשִׂים אָשָׁם נַפְשׁוֹ ʾim-tāśɩ̂m ʾāšām naps̊ô, “when you place/make his life [as] a guilt offering” (nrsv, adapted), and 53:12: הֶעֱרָה לַמָּוֶת נַפְשׁוֹ he˓ĕr̯ lammāwet napšô, “he poured out his life to death” (nrsv, adapted), or Tg. Isa. 53:12: מסר למותא נפשׁיה mĕsar lĕmôtāʾ napšêh, “he delivered up his soul to death.” The language of giving (διδόναι), ransom (λύτρον), and life (ψυχή) is thoroughly biblical, e.g., LXX Exod 21:30: ἐὰν δὲ λύτρα ἐπιβληθῇ αὐτῷ, δώσει λύτρα τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτοῦ, “And if ransoms should be imposed on him, he shall give ransoms for his life”; Sir 29:15: χάριτας ἐγγύου μὴ ἐπιλάθῃ· ἔδωκεν γὰρ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ὑπὲρ σοῦ, “Do not forget all the kindness of your surety, for he has given his life for you”; and 1 Macc 2:50: νὺν τέκνα ζηλώσατε τῷ νόμῳ καὶ δότε τὰς ψυχὰς ὑμῶν ὑπὲρ διαθήκης πατέρων ἡμῶν, “Now, my children, show zeal for the law, and give your lives for the covenant of our fathers.”

λύτρον ἀντί, “ransom for,” approximates אָשָׁם ʾāšām, “guilt offering,” but because λύτρον does not appear in LXX Isa 53 and never translates אָשָׁם ʾāšām in the LXX, Barrett and Hooker discount it as a possible allusion to the Suffering Servant, a point with which Casey (Aramaic Sources, 212) agrees. But Mark 10:45 is not a translation of any portion of Isa 52:13–53:12 (a point that is underscored by Davies and Allison, Matthew 3:96); it is a summary of the task of the Servant. It is true that Jesus has not said that the “son of man” has given his life as a guilt offering; rather he says that the “son of man” has given his life as a ransom. But a ransom for what? Why would a ransom be required? The last part of Isa 53:12 answers this question in saying that the Servant “bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Jesus’ proclamation, following John’s, called for repentance. Israel had not repented but instead had rejected God’s messengers (in killing John and soon in killing Jesus). Jesus’ life would constitute the ransom that would free Israel from divine penalty; his blood would make the hoped-for new covenant a reality (Mark 14:24).

The preposition ἀντί means “in the place of” (or “for” in the sense of exchange). On λύτρον, see MM, 382–83, and Deissmann, Light, 327–28. According to Deissmann (327), “when anybody heard the Greek word λύτρον, ‘ransom,’ in the first century, it was natural for him to think of the purchase-money for manumitting slaves.” See Stuhlmacher (Jesus of Nazareth, 33–35, 49–54). According to Wilcox (“On the Ransom-Saying,” 178), “it seems that the most promising choice of meaning is that of a payment for release of prisoners or hostages.” This idea is consistent with Mark’s portrait of Jesus as the one who is “stronger than” the strong man (i.e., Satan) and is thus able to rescue those whom the evil one has taken captive. The meaning of λύτρον is also consistent with the immediate context, for unlike the great men of late antiquity who lord it over others and by doing so often make slaves of them, Jesus is willing to give his life in exchange for their freedom from bondage.

πολλῶν, “many,” probably alludes to לרבים lārabbɩ̂m, “for the many,” which appears in Isa 53:11 (LXX: πολλοῖς, “many”) and 12 (LXX: πολλῶν, “of many”) “to describe the beneficiaries of the Servant’s sacrifice” (France, Jesus and the Old Testament, 120). לרבים lārabbɩ̂m may also be alluded to in Mark 14:24, when Jesus says his blood will be ἐκχυννόμενον ὑπὲρ πολλῶν, “poured out for many.” This phrase is a close approximation of the words of Isa 53:12: הֶעֱרָה פלמָּוֶת נַפְשׁוֹ … וְהוּא חֵטְא־רַבִּים נָשָׂא he˓ĕr̯ lammāwet napšô … wĕhǔʾ ḥēṭʾ-rabbɩ̂m nāśāʾ, “he poured out his life to death … yet he bore the sin of many” (nrsv, adapted). There are at least five Jewish texts that antedate Christianity that entertain ideas about the death or suffering of a human being as providing either atonement or benefit for others. (1) One immediately thinks of the courageous sons who refused to abandon their faith in the face of severe persecution, one of whom says to Antiochus Epiphanes: “I, like my brothers, give up body and life for the laws of our fathers, appealing to God to show mercy soon to our nation and by afflictions and plagues to make you confess that he alone is God, and through me to bring to an end the wrath of the Almighty which has justly fallen on our whole nation” (2 Macc 7:37–38, emphasis added). (2) It is said of the deaths of righteous martyrs in 4 Maccabees: “By their endurance they conquered the tyrant, and thus their native land was purified through them” (1:11); “Be merciful to your people, and let our punishment suffice for them. Make my blood their purification, and take my life in exchange for theirs” (6:28–29). (3) God responded to Job the righteous sufferer: “God hearkened to Job’s voice and forgave them their sins on account of him” (11QtgJob 38.2–3 [= Job 42:9: “and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer”]). (4) In the Prayer of Azariah we read, “In our day we have no ruler, or prophet, or leader, no burnt offering, or sacrifice, or oblation, or incense, no place to make an offering before you and to find mercy. Yet with a contrite heart and a humble spirit may we be accepted, as though it were with burnt offerings of rams and bulls, or with tens of thousands of fat lambs; such may our sacrifice be in your sight today …” (LXX 3:18–21 = nrsv 3:15–17). (5) In the Life of Adam and Eve, Eve asks Adam to kill her, explaining, “Then perhaps the Lord God will bring you again into Paradise, for it is because of me that the Lord God is angry with you” (3:1). In view of these texts, it is simply inaccurate to maintain that human atonement ideas could not have been derived from Palestinian Judaism. (Another text sometimes mentioned is T. Benj. 3:8: “The innocent will be defiled for the lawless, and the sinless one will die for the ungodly”; but Christian editing can be detected in the immediate vicinity, so this passage may not represent pre-Christian Jewish ideas.)

Recently Grimm (Weil ich dich liebe, 231–77) and Stuhlmacher (“Vicariously Giving His Life,” 22–26) have argued that the ransom saying may reflect the language of Isa 43:3–4: “For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give [ נָתַתִּי nātattɩ̂] Egypt as your ransom [ כָפְרְךָ koprĕkā], Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you [תַּחְתֶּיךָ taḥtêkā]. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give man in return for you [ וְאֶתֵּן אָדָם פתּחְתֶּיךָ wĕʾettēn ʾādām taḥtêkā], peoples in exchange for your life [ פתּפחת נַפְשֶׁךָ taḥat napšekā].” The linguistic and thematic coherence between this passage and the ransom saying is intriguing. Isaiah’s כפר kōper, “ransom,” is the equivalent of Mark’s λύτρον, “ransom” (cf. Pesch, 2:164: “λύτρον … is based on כֹּפֶר”); תחת taḥat, “in exchange for,” corresponds to ἀντὶ (πολλῶν), “for (many)”; ואתן אדם wĕʾettēn ʾādām, “I give man,” may approximate Mark’s ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου … δοῦναι, “the ‘son of man’ … to give”; and נפשׁ nepeš, “life,” corresponds to Mark’s τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ, “his life.” However, Gundry (592) expresses reservations. Davies and Allison (Matthew 3:96) find the proposal “attractive but not demonstrable.” Given the concentration of vocabulary and the thematic coherence (though admittedly not exact), it is probable that Isa 43:3–4 has contributed to the matrix out of which Jesus’ saying was fashioned. It is not necessary to view Isa 53 and Isa 43 as competing alternatives; rather they may be viewed as prophetic sources out of which Jesus’ mission, message, and self-understanding could be formed.

Finally, there are two important elements that reflect Dan 7:

(1) ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, “the son of [the] man,” is an articular, specific reference to the פבר אֱנָשׁ bar ʾĕnāš, “son of man,” of Dan 7:13. The Aramaic is anarthrous and is neither technical nor titular. Jesus’ messianic self-understanding has been informed by this mysterious heavenly figure. He is the figure to whom dominion and authority have been given. (For more discussion of the “son of man,” see the Introduction as well as the Comment on 8:31.)

(2) διακονηθῆναι, “to be served.” Even the “son of man” himself, contrary to what might be inferred from Dan 7:14 (“And to him was given dominion … that all peoples … should serve [Aramaic: יִפְלְחוּן yiplĕḥûn; LXX: λατρεύουσα; Theodotion: δουλεύσουσιν] him”), “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (v 45). Casey (Aramaic Sources, 212–17) believes that the OT background to the ransom saying has more to do with Daniel and stories of the Jewish martyrs (in the Maccabean literature) than with Isa 53 or 43, though he allows for some formal and thematic similarities (“It remains possible that Jesus was informed by Isa 53, among many other texts, as he meditated on his death”). However, the Danielic elements do not necessarily compete with or contradict the underlying elements from Isaiah. The two scriptural traditions complement each other, with the Suffering Servant of Isa 53 redefining the mission and destiny of the “son of man” of Dan 7. Indeed, the “son of man” will someday “be served,” but he first must serve, even suffer and die, as the Servant of the Lord.

Elsewhere in the dominical tradition there is evidence of Jesus subverting teaching in Daniel. Jesus’ Prayer of Thanksgiving is an especially interesting example: “I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will” (Matt 11:25–26 = Luke 10:21). Grimm (Jesu Einspruch gegen das Offenbarungssystem Daniels [Mt 11,25–27; Lk 17,20–21], vol. 1 of Jesus und das Danielbuch, ANTJ 6.1 [Frankfurt am Main: Lang, 1984]) has suggested that Jesus has alluded to Daniel’s similar prayer in Dan 2:19–23, parts of which read: “Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might … he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and mysterious things” (vv 20–22). This shows that Jesus’ hermeneutic was dynamic and experientially oriented. He was at once informed by Scripture but not necessarily confined by it. It also reflects the Jewish interpretive principle of two passages interpreting each other (gĕzêr̯ šāw̯). Davies and Allison (Matthew 3:97), commenting on Matt 20:28 (the parallel to Mark 10:45), rightly state that “Daniel 7 is not rejected. Rather, it is creatively reinterpreted through combination with another Scripture.” They go on to point out that elements from Dan 7 and Isa 53 are combined in 1 Enoch 37–71.

Third, Taylor (“The Origin of the Markan Passion-Sayings”) argues compellingly for the authenticity of the ransom saying along with the other passion sayings (8:31; 9:31; 10:32–34) on the grounds that in Paul, Matthew, Luke-Acts, and the Johannine writings the Suffering Servant concept is on the wane. The popularity of the concept, as appropriate for understanding Jesus, was much earlier. Since the popularity of the epithet “son of man” also seems limited to the very earliest period of the development of the Jesus traditions, the two concepts, “servant” and “son of man,” may have been in fact quite primitive, with only lingering echoes in later christological formulations. This makes perfect sense as it relates to the emergence and expansion of Christianity. The epithet “son of man” would have been dropped in the Greco-Roman world, for it would make no sense in either Greek (ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) or Latin (filius hominis), whereas the concept “servant” (whether παῖς, διάκονος, or δοῦλος) would be open to serious misunderstanding, even ridicule. As Christian preaching moved beyond the confines of Jewish Palestine toward an increasingly hellenized and romanized world, the preferred titles for Jesus became ὁ κύριος, “Lord,” ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ, “Son of God,” and ὁ σωτήρ, “Savior,” titles that resonated with the overtones of the imperial cult of the divine emperor. The lingering and rarely exploited fragments of tradition indebted to the language and imagery of Dan 7 (the “son of man,” authority, reception of kingdom, struggle against demonic forces) and Second Isaiah (the messenger, announcing the kingdom, announcing good news, healing, the servant, suffering for many) are better explained as originating in the teaching of Jesus, rather than in the early church, only to be muted, reformulated, or dropped altogether in subsequent years.

Evidence for this contention is seen in the parallel in 1 Tim 2:5–6: εἷς καὶ μεσίτης θεοῦ καὶ ἀνθρώπων, ἄνθρωπος Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς, ὁ δοὺς ἑαυτὸν ἀντίλυτρον ὑπὲρ πάντων, “and there is one mediator between God and humans, the human being Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all” (author’s tr.). Jeremias (“Lösegeld”) argued that this statement represents a later, hellenized version of the dominical ransom saying (with which Stuhlmacher, “Vicariously Giving His Life,” 17–18, concurs): ἄνθρωπος, “human being,” replaces the odd-sounding, Semitizing ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, “the son of [the] man”; ὁ δοὺς ἑαυτόν, “who gave himself,” replaces δοῦναι τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ, “to give his life”; the hellenizing ἀντίλυτρον, “ransom,” replaces λύτρον, “ransom”; and ὑπὲρ πάντων, “for all,” replaces the Semitizing ἀντὶ πολλῶν, “for many.” The form of the saying in 1 Timothy gives us a clearer idea of what form a hellenizing tradition of this sort would take and stands in noticeable contrast to the older, more Semitic form of the saying in Mark 10:45, thus seriously undermining the claims made by some that Mark 10:45 represents either a Pauline formula or some other hellenizing formula.

Finally, as Allison shows (Jesus of Nazareth, 64–65), the ransom saying corresponds to other sayings of Jesus, notably Luke 12:51–53 (= Matt 10:34–35 [Q]), where a saying beginning with “I come” is followed by an antithesis, a reference to suffering, and a scriptural allusion. The ransom saying of Mark 10:45, which thematically coheres with Mark 14:24, formally coheres with this saying in Q. Coherence such as this supports the claim to authenticity.


The request made by James and John is innocent enough, but Jesus quite possibly perceives the proverbial tip of the iceberg: the all-too-human desire for honor, power, and prestige. Although Jesus does not rebuke his disciples, he does challenge them. If they want what Jesus has to offer, are they prepared to experience it? If they want to sit next to him, then are they prepared to share his fate? They say they are able (as many Christians today affirm), but do they really understand what lies ahead? On previous occasions Jesus has spoken of his suffering and death, and there was little indication that the disciples fully understood or accepted such discouraging teaching.

Jesus teaches his disciples that the places of honor are not his to appoint. But he can tell them what is expected of them. They are not to be like the “great ones” of the world, who like to rule over people. No, the disciples are to seek opportunities of service. The supreme example of this service is seen in Jesus himself, who as “son of man” does not in fact desire “to be served” (as Dan 7:14 depicts) but instead seeks “to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” If the disciples are able to follow this example, then the places of honor will follow.

Hengel is correct to argue that Mark 10:45 and 14:24 underscore how important Jesus’ atoning death is for the Markan evangelist. To conclude that no more than two references imply little interest in Jesus’ death is to misunderstand the evangelist by failing to observe the contexts in which these passages occur (see Hengel, Studies, 37–38). The evangelist’s economy should not be confused with lack of emphasis. Just as Jesus’ acknowledgment as “Son of God” occurs only a few times (notably in 1:1; 14:61–62; and 15:39), so disclosure of Jesus’ role as the suffering “son of man” occurs only a few times. Their relative rarity allows them to stand all the more in sharp relief.[6]

[1] MacArthur, J. (2015). Mark 9–16 (pp. 108–109). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] Wessel, W. W., & Strauss, M. L. (2010). Mark. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew–Mark (Revised Edition) (Vol. 9, pp. 875–877). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Lane, W. L. (1974). The Gospel of Mark (pp. 383–385). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 83). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[5] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). St. Mark (Vol. 2, pp. 65–66). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[6] Evans, C. A. (2001). Mark 8:27–16:20 (Vol. 34B, pp. 119–125). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

May 30 Satan Out, Christ In

scripture reading: Revelation 3:20–22
key verse: Revelation 12:11

They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

Dr. A. W. Tozer stressed the need for the proper perspective on spiritual warfare in Born After Midnight:

The scriptural way to see things is to set the Lord always before us, put Christ in the center of our vision, and if Satan is lurking around, he will appear on the margin and only be seen as but a shadow on the edge of the brightness.

It is always wrong to reverse this to set Satan in the focus of our vision and push God out to the margin. Nothing but tragedy can come of such inversion.

The best way to keep the enemy out is to keep Christ in. The sheep need not be terrified by the wolf; they have but to stay close to the shepherd. It is not the praying sheep Satan fears, but the presence of the shepherd.

The instructed Christian whose faculties have been developed by the Word and the Spirit will not fear the devil. When necessary he will stand against the powers of darkness and overcome them by the blood of the Lamb and the word of his testimony.

Fill your heart and mind with the power and awe of the God who has the keys to life and death. Fear God and you need never be terrified again by the roar of the devilish lion, for the Lion of Judah is with you.

Satan is out, and You are in, God! Keep my focus on You instead of the enemy. Let me rest secure in Your presence and power.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

30 may (1858) 365 Days with Spurgeon

A present religion

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God.” 1 John 3:2

suggested further reading: Hebrews 13:1–8

We need not talk of walking righteously, and soberly, in the world to come—

“There all is pure, and all is clear, There all is joy and love.”

There will be no duty to discharge between the tradesmen and the customers, between the debtor and the creditor, between the father and the child, between the husband and the wife, in heaven, for all these relationships will have passed away. Religion must be intended for this life; the duties of it cannot be practised, unless they are practised here. But besides these, there are other duties devolving upon the Christian. Though it is every man’s duty to be honest and sober, the Christian has another code of law. It is the Christian’s duty to love his enemies, to be at peace with all men, to forgive as he hopes to be forgiven; it is his duty not to resist evil, when smitten on the one cheek to turn the other also; it is his duty to give to him that asketh of him, and from him that would borrow of him not to turn away—he is to be a liberal soul, devising liberal things. It is the Christian’s duty to visit his Master’s children when they are sick, so that it may be said to him at last, “I was sick, and naked, and in prison, and ye visited me, and ministered to my necessities.” Now, if religion be not a thing for this world, I ask you how it is possible to perform its duties at all? There are no poor in heaven whom we can comfort and visit; there are no enemies in heaven whom we can graciously forgive; and there are not injuries inflicted, or wrongs endured, which we can bear with patience. Religion must have been intended in the very first place for this world, it must have been meant that now we should be the sons of God.

for meditation: Faith in Christ is the qualification for a place in heaven; work for Christ is the qualification for rewards in heaven in addition to a place in heaven (Matthew 10:40–42).

sermon no. 196[1]

[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 157). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

Federally Funded Study: Common Core Sunk U.S. Kids’ Test Scores — The Federalist

In several cases student achievement reversed under Common Core, and in every subject studied students would have been better off if states had not adopted Common Core.

Researchers the Obama administration funded to assist Common Core’s rollout recently found, to their surprise, that under Common Core U.S. student achievement has sunk (h/t Lance Izumi).

“Contrary to our expectation, we found that [Common Core] had significant negative effects on 4th graders’ reading achievement during the 7 years after the adoption of the new standards, and had a significant negative effect on 8th graders’ math achievement 7 years after adoption based on analyses of NAEP composite scores,” the Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction and Learning (C-SAIL) preliminary study said. “The size of these negative effects, however, was generally small.”

The study found not only lower student achievement since Common Core, but also performed data analysis suggesting students would have done better if Common Core had never existed. The achievement declines also grew worse over time, study coauthor Mengli Song told Chalkbeat, an education news website: “That’s a little troubling.”

Common Core is 640 pages of K-12 curriculum and testing mandates that nearly every state switched to between 2010 and 2013 under heavy federal pressure. President Obama, his education secretary Arne Duncan, and private financier Bill Gates promised the nation that overhauling what students learn and how it is measured would lead to student achievement gains.

It’s not that teachers didn’t work really hard to make Common Core succeed, either. C-SAIL’s report says “More than three quarters (76%) of teachers surveyed, for example, reported having changed at least half of their classroom instruction as a result of the CCSS, and about four out of five mathematics teachers (82%) and three out of four English teachers (72%) reported having changed more than half of their instructional materials in response to the CCSS.” Between two-thirds and three-quarters of teachers also said in surveys that they thought Common Core benefited their students, so while their perception may not match reality it doesn’t appear negative teacher attitudes obstructed Common Core either.

Teachers and schools made massive, good-faith efforts to comply with Common Core. The problem is that those changes didn’t help kids.

If CC Never Happened, Kids Would Be Better Off

Last month, C-SAIL researchers presented their preliminary findings in this longitudinal study of student results from 2010 to 2017 (the latest data available). The presentation included the graphs below.

Read more: Federally Funded Study: Common Core Sunk U.S. Kids’ Test Scores — The Federalist

John Durham Needs To Investigate Why The Info Generating The Mueller Probe Is All Linked To Hillary Clinton — The Federalist

At a certain point, it can’t be mere coincidence that every major figure involved in probing Trump’s campaign is linked to Hillary Clinton in some manner.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation had a budget approaching $10 billion during James Comey’s tenure as its director. Combined with budgets for the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency, these agencies cost taxpayers around $30 billion annually.

Therefore, one would think that incriminating evidence derived from the FBI, NSA, or CIA could have linked Donald Trump to Russian hackers or Kremlin operatives, if that evidence existed. Instead, almost all the major findings used to justify investigations into Trump’s campaign are linked to Hillary Clinton or the Democratic Party.

The heads of America’s top intelligence agencies used a dossier linked to Clinton’s funding, a tech firm outsourced by the Democratic National Committee, and hearsay from Alexander Downer as the basis to obtain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants and initiate sprawling probes.

The “evidence” leading up to the Robert Mueller probe was so specious that the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence reports compiled by James Clapper and others had warranty disclaimers. President Trump was investigated based on intelligence linked to statements like “(DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within” and “judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact.” 

U.S. Attorney General William Barr hired prosecutor John Durham to investigate the origins of the Mueller probe. A key issue for Durham to resolve is why the inciting information never originated within the U.S. government. Why has the funding from Democrats, along with other blatant conflicts of interest, been ignored by Comey, Clapper, and John Brennan?

Although an estimated 70 percent of intelligence budgets go to private contractors, these private companies work with classified material and their workers hold security clearances. Fusion GPS, the firm Clinton and Democrats hired to compile the Steele dossier, did not provide the FBI classified intelligence. In fact, the Steele dossier is still unverified and anyone can read the document within the BuzzFeed article that publicized the allegations in early 2017. Crowdstrike, the third-party tech firm the DNC hired to analyze its servers (instead of the U.S. government) didn’t provide the FBI, CIA, or NSA any classified intelligence, since the DNC is a private entity that never allowed U.S. intel agencies near its servers.

Comey never used intelligence derived from U.S. sources to initiate or justify probes into Trump’s campaign. All the information Comey, Clapper, and Brennan used to justify investigating Trump was data linked to Clinton or Democrats in some manner. During a Fox News interview with Bill Hemmer, Barr explained that initiating a counterintelligence probe from the Steele dossier was “very unusual”:

HEMMER: Can you tell us about the Steele dossier and what role did it play?

BARR: Well that’s one of the questions that we’re going to have to look at, it is a very unusual situation to have opposition research like that, especially one that on its face had a number of clear mistakes and a somewhat jejune analysis. And to use that to conduct counterintelligence against an American political campaign… would be strange development.

I’m not sure what role it played but that is something we’re going to have to look at.

HEMMER: Do you smell a rat in this?

BARR: I don’t know if I’d describe it as a rat, I’d just say the answers I’m getting are not sufficient.

HEMMER: Republicans have said for months that these men — Just to follow up on that Republicans have said for months that these men: Brennan, Clapper maybe James Comey had it in for Trump. Do you think that’s true?

BARR: Again I’m not going to speculate about their motives.

Durham will no doubt investigate the intent behind these decisions, and the true reasons America’s intelligence agencies outsourced virtually all of the evidence against Trump.

At a certain point, it can’t be mere coincidence that every major figure involved in probing Trump’s campaign is linked to Hillary Clinton in some manner. Christopher Steele was “desperate” to prevent Trump from becoming president and was paid $160,000 by Democrats before he compiled his infamous dossier.

DNC lawyers met with FBI officials before a surveillance warrant was granted, raising questions as to why the FBI would meet with a political party’s counsel, yet not inform Trump his campaign was under investigation. Fusion GPS, the firm that hired Steele, was paid by money from Hillary Clinton and the DNC, funneled through a law firm, to compile the Steele dossier.

Clinton allies gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the political campaign of Andrew McCabe’s wife, yet the former FBI deputy director only recused himself from Clinton’s email probe one week before the election. Even before the FBI obtained a FISA warrant on Carter Page, Bruce Ohr of the DOJ informed FBI officials that the Steele dossier was connected to Hillary Clinton and filled with political bias. Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS and now her emails are linked to controversy.

Crowdstrike, the only entity to analyze the claimed DNC email hack, was outsourced and paid by the Democratic National Committee. Australian diplomat Downer informed the FBI of a conversation with George Papadopoulos, where Downer stated the Trump campaign official was given information by a Russian operative about the DNC emails. Downer isn’t mentioned in the Mueller report, was never interviewed during the Mueller probe, and is linked to the Clinton Foundation.

Along with the Crowsdtrike assessment that Russia hacked the DNC, the FBI used the Steele dossier to obtain a FISA warrant to surveille Page—without informing FISA judges the dossier was linked to funding by Hillary Clinton. Then of course, former FBI agent Peter Strzok texted “we’ll stop” Trump and wrote about an “insurance policy” that he had spoken about with McCabe.

Yet all of these conflicts of interests linked to Clinton, or intelligence linked to Democrats, failed to produce any evidence against Trump. In an article titled “FBI couldn’t prove Trump-Russia collusion before Mueller appointment,” John Solomon explains that Lisa Page admitted the FBI had nothing on Trump even before the Mueller probe:

‘It’s a reflection of us still not knowing,’ Page told Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) when questioned about texts she and Strzok exchanged in May 2017 as Robert Mueller was being named special counsel to take over the Russia investigation.

With that statement, Page acknowledged a momentous fact: After nine months of using some of the most awesome surveillance powers afforded to U.S. intelligence, the FBI still had not made a case connecting Trump or his campaign to Russia’s election meddling.

Page opined further, acknowledging ‘it still existed in the scope of possibility that there would be literally nothing’ to connect Trump and Russia, no matter what Mueller or the FBI did.

‘As far as May of 2017, we still couldn’t answer the question,’ she said at another point.

So why did the U.S. government investigate for two more years, only to find the same conclusion?

In the event preceding the Mueller probe, Comey leaked at least one classified memo, and possibly more, according to Sen. Chuck Grassley. Four Mueller attorneys donated around $50,000 to either Obama, Clinton, or the DNC.

Durham already prosecuted an FBI agent linked to Boston’s notorious mob boss Whitey Bulger, so he’s no stranger to rogue government officials. At the heart of the matter, regarding the origins of the Mueller probe, is why Comey and others investigated Trump with information that would never be considered evidence in normal counterintelligence probes.

While intelligence officials outsource intelligence, they also use intelligence from U.S. government to conduct investigations and prosecute criminals. In Comey’s case, the former director never relied on the U.S. intelligence community for information to investigate Trump, since as Lisa Page testified, nobody had any evidence that Trump had committed crimes, or colluded with Russia.

When Durham finds out exactly why Comey and others ignored blatant conflicts of interest to use faulty and suspect intelligence, Americans will learn the truth about the origins of the Mueller probe.

H. A. Goodman is an author, columnist, and journalist published in The Hill, The Huffington Post, The Daily Caller, The Jerusalem Post, and other publications.

via John Durham Needs To Investigate Why The Info Generating The Mueller Probe Is All Linked To Hillary Clinton — The Federalist

30 MAY 365 Days with Calvin

Trusting in the Sun of Righteousness

But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. Malachi 4:2

suggested further reading: John 1:1–18

“Sun” is an appropriate name for Christ, for God the Father has given a much clearer light in the person of Christ than he did formerly by the law and all its appendages.

Christ is called the light of the world, not because the fathers wandered as the blind in darkness and were content with the law as with the dawn or with the moon and stars. We know how the doctrine of the law was so obscure that it may truly be said to be shadowy. When the heavens at length were opened and the gospel was made clear, it was through the rising of the Sun, which brought the full day. Hence it is the peculiar purpose of Christ to illuminate us.

On this account, the first chapter of John says that the true light which illuminates every man that comes into the world existed from the beginning. Yet this light shone in the darkness, for some sparks of reason exist in men, however blinded they became through the fall of Adam and the corruption of nature. Christ is specifically called the light with regard to the faithful, whom he delivers from the blindness by which all by nature have been afflicted, and whom he undertakes to guide by his Spirit.

The meaning, then, of the word “Sun,” when applied to Christ, is that without the Light of the World we can only wander and go astray. But by his guidance we shall keep in the right way. Hence he says, “He who follows me walks not in darkness” (John 8:12).

for meditation: Without Christ and his light, we would be doomed to wander in darkness. If you are a Christian, thank him particularly for dispelling the darkness in which you were determined to remain. You could not see the light until the Spirit opened your eyes.[1]

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 169). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

Thursday Briefing May 30, 2019 – AlbertMohler.com


 Stunning Political News This Morning from Israel: How Israel’s History and Theological Landscape Explain Today’s Crisis


 It’s Hollywood vs. Georgia: The Pressure Increases with Netflix Announcement


 Big Business and the Brave New World of ‘Woke-Washing’: Coming Soon to a Brand Near You


 High Politics, Low Ratings: Middle America Didn’t Like ‘Murphy Brown’





 In Defeat for Netanyahu, Israel Moves to Hold New Election, by Isabel Kershner




May 30, 2019 Morning Verse Of The Day

How God Judges and Rewards Our Work

Rev. 22:12

Though we consider the apostle Paul the greatest missionary in history, he received more lashes and stones than honorary banquets, and spent more time in jail than in mansions. How did he continue under such duress? He looked ahead to God’s reward: “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day” (2 Tim. 4:8).

Why would Moses leave the luxury of Pharaoh’s palace for the harshness of the desert? Because he considered the “reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward” (Heb. 11:26). Serving God yielded Moses a vast storehouse of heavenly reward, though it meant a lifetime of struggle.

Every act, word, and thought will be credited by Christ: “Each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor” (1 Cor. 3:8). If we seek to glorify God with a diligent and humble spirit, our laurels will multiply. If we seek merely to please others and reap their praise, then our rewards will shrink.

Rewards are not limited to the hereafter. Whenever we follow the principles of Scripture, we enjoy the blessings of obedience: “He who fears the commandment will be rewarded” (Prov. 13:13).

When Peter reminded Jesus that he had left everything behind to follow the Messiah, Christ responded, “There is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life” (Luke 18:29, 30).

When one knows and serves God, every product of his or her life will be rewarded, either in this life or in heaven. God watches over all our ways, and He has promised to perfectly reward us. All those who “serve the Lord Christ” (Col. 3:24) will be rewarded, either positively or negatively, on the day of judgment of believers. The Christian who seeks to please God lays up treasures that can never be devalued or depleted.[1]

Immediate Service

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. (22:12)

The speaker is no longer the angel, but the Lord Jesus Christ, who repeats His declaration of verse 7, “Behold, I am coming quickly.” As noted in the introduction to this chapter, Jesus’ statement means that His coming is imminent. It teaches the same truth that He expressed in Mark 13:33–37:

Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come. It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert. Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning—in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. What I say to you I say to all, “Be on the alert!”

When He comes, Jesus will bring His reward … with Him, to render to every man according to what he has done. Believers’ eternal rewards will be based on their faithfulness in serving Christ in this life. Their works will be tested, and only those with eternal value will survive (1 Cor. 3:9–15; 2 Cor. 5:9–10). The rewards believers enjoy in heaven will be capacities for serving God; the greater their faithfulness in this life, the greater will be their opportunity to serve in heaven (cf. Matt. 25:14–30). Knowing that, John exhorted believers, “Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward” (2 John 8).

The knowledge that Jesus could return at any moment should not lead Christians to a life of idle waiting for His coming (cf. 2 Thess. 3:10–12). Rather, it should produce diligent, obedient, worshipful service to God, and urgent proclamation of the gospel to unbelievers.[2]

12 Once again (see v. 7) Christ announces that he is coming soon. This time, however, he replaces the beatitude with the promise of reward. He will bring with him a reward for each person based upon what each has done. The distribution of rewards on the basis of works is taught throughout Scripture. Jer 17:10 is representative: “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” Paul teaches that God “will give to each person according to what he has done” (Rom 2:6), and Peter declares that God “judges men by their actions” (1 Pet 1:17, Phillips).20 The reward will be spiritual blessedness to the righteous but judgment for those who are evil. It is the quality of a person’s life that provides the ultimate indication of what that person really believes.[3]

12. And—in none of our manuscripts. But A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, and Cyprian omit it.

behold, I come quickly—(Compare Rev 22:7).

my reward is with me—(Is 40:10; 62:11).

to giveGreek, “to render.”

every manGreek, “to each.”

shall be—so B in Mai. But B in Tischendorf, and A, Syriac, read, “is.”[4]

Ver. 12.—And, behold, I come quickly. Omit “and” (cf. vers. 7, 10, etc.; see also on ver. 11). Note also that once more the words are spoken as by Christ himself (cf. ver. 7). And my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be; as his work is, according to the best authorities. This is one of the fundamental truths enforced throughout the book; cf. the epistles to the seven Churches (ch. 2:5, 10, 16, 17, 22, 26, etc.). Similar language is found in Isa. 40:10; 62:11. The infinitive phrase seems to be explanatory of the idea contained in the word μισθός, “reward;” the double nature of the reward being thus indicated.[5]

12 Ἰδοὺ ἔρχομαι ταχύ, καὶ ὁ μισθός μου μετʼ ἐμοῦ ἀποδοῦναι ἑκάστῳ ὡς τὸ ἔργον ἐστὶν αὐτοῦ, “Indeed, I am coming soon, and my reward is with me to repay to each in proportion to his or her behavior.” While vv 10–11 seem to be attributed to the angelus interpres whom John attempted to worship in vv 8–9, this abrupt saying must be attributed to the exalted Christ. It is no less abrupt than the saying in 16:15, which was similarly inserted into an existing narrative. The demonstrative particle ἰδού, “indeed, behold,” functions here as a marker to indicate the truth and reliability of the saying that follows (see Comment on 1:7a).

The first phrase (“Indeed, I am coming soon, and my reward is with me”) appears to have been loosely based on LXX Isa 40:10 (with the bracketed portions omitted), ἰδοὺ [κύριος μετὰ ἰσχύος] ἔρχεται καὶ [ὁ βραχίων μετὰ κυριείας, ἰδοὺ] ὁ μισθὸς αὐτοῦ μετ! αὐτοῦ [καὶ] τὸ ἔργον [ἐναντίον αὐτοῦ], “indeed, [the Lord] comes [with strength] and [his arm with lordship; indeed,] his reward is with him [and] his behavior [before him]” (cf. Isa 62:11 and Wis 5:15). It has been reformulated from the third person to the first person and supplemented with the redactional phrase ἰδοὺ ἔρχομαι ταχύ, “indeed, I am coming soon,” characteristic of the Second Edition of Revelation (2:16; 3:11; 22:7, 12, 20). The second phrase (“to repay to each in proportion to his or her behavior”) is an allusion to a widespread proverbial expression found in Prov 24:12 (ὃς ἀποδίδωσιν ἑκάστῳ κατὰ τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ, “who will repay to each according to his or her behavior”), as well as in numerous other places in OT and early Jewish literature (Pss 27:4 [MT 28:4]; 62:12 [LXX 61:13]; Prov 24:12; Jer 17:10; Jos. As. 28:3; Pss. Sol. 2:16, 34; 17:8). The same saying is cited in Matt 16:27; Rom 2:6 (quoting Prov 24:12); 2 Cor 11:15; 2 Tim 4:14; Rev 2:23; 18:6; 20:12, 13. In all these passages, however, the plural form τὰ ἔργα, “the works (i.e., ‘behavior’),” is used. Both phrases are combined only here in Rev 22:12 and in 1 Clem 34:3:Ἰδοὺ ὁ κύριος, καὶ ὁ μισθὸς αὐτοῦ πρὸ προσώπου αὐτοῦ, ἀποδοῦναι ἑκάστῳ κατὰ τὸ ἔργον αὐτοῦ, “Behold, the Lord, and his reward is before him to repay to each according to his or her work” (also quoted in Clement Alex. Strom. 4.22).

The view that 1 Clem 34:3 is based on Rev 22:12 (J. B. Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers 1/2:104; Charles, 2:221) ignores the striking verbal differences between the two texts (emphasized by D. A. Hagner, The Use of the Old and New Testaments in Clement of Rome, NovTSup34 [Leiden: Brill, 1973] 61–62). Yet the unusual combination of Isa 40:10 and Prov 24:12 requires explanation. The similarities, however, are too striking (including the omission of common phrases from Isa 40:10) to suggest that the authors of 1 Clement and Revelation each combined these two passages independent of a traditional combination (Prigent, 354; Lindemann, Clemensbriefe, 106). Hagner correctly suggests that the combination may derive from a common source, perhaps a lost apocryphal writing (Clement of Rome, 62, 93, 270–71). Certainly the author’s inclusion of the redactional phrase ἰδοὺ ἔρχομαι ταχύ, “indeed, I am coming soon,” suggests adaptation from an existing source. Similarly, the term ἔργον, “work,” occurs nineteen times elsewhere in Revelation, but only in 22:12 in the singular. This also suggests that the saying is based on a traditional proverbial formulation.

This saying of the exalted Christ clearly indicates that he functions as judge, for he promises to repay each person in a way proportional to his or her behavior. This saying stands in some tension with the depiction of God as judge in 20:11–14, where it is explicitly stated that “each person was judged [i.e., by God] according to their works [κατὰ τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν]” (as in Rom 2:6; 1 Pet 1:17). The role of Christ as judge is found in a variety of passages in the NT, usually within an eschatological context (John 5:22; Acts 10:42; Rom 2:16; 2 Thess 1:7–11). The motif of judgment according to works or behavior is attributed to the exalted Christ in Revelation only here in 22:12 and in 2:23 (see Comment there also), though Christ as judge occurs in a variety of other ways (1:16; 2:12, 16, 22–23; 3:3; 19:15). The saying in Rev 2:23 is also formulated as an utterance of the exalted Christ: “I will give to each of you in accordance with your behavior [δώσω ὑμῖν ἑκάστῳ κατὰ τὰ ἔργα ὑμῶν]” (suggesting that both passages belong to the Second Edition). Outside Revelation, the closest parallel is Matt 16:27, where it is the Son of man who will function as judge: “For the Son of man is about to come in the glory of his Father, with his holy angels, and then he will repay each person in accordance with his or her behavior [ἀποδώσει ἑκάστῳ κατὰ τὴν πρᾶξιν αὐτοῦ].” Since the motif of the returned Son of man judging each person according to his or her behavior is found only in Matt 16:27 (but cf. Matt 13:41–42; 25:31–46), it is obviously not part of the Son of man tradition in the NT (Tödt, Son of Man, 84–87; Hare, Son of Man, 156–58), nor is it part of the Son of man tradition in the Similitudes of Enoch (Theisohn, Der auserwählte Richter, 260–61).[6]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Re 22:12). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2000). Revelation 12–22 (pp. 298–299). Chicago: Moody Press.

[3] Mounce, R. H. (1997). The Book of Revelation (pp. 406–407). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 604). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[5] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Revelation (p. 547). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[6] Aune, D. E. (1998). Revelation 17–22 (Vol. 52C, pp. 1217–1219). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.