Today @ Healingsprings fellowship

Parables were not unique to Jesus. They are part of an oral tradition for teaching universal truths in the ancient Middle East. In fact some of the parables in the gospels were known parables that were expanded by Jesus, providing radically new meaning. Hence Jesus’ audience note that he spoke like, ‘one with authority’ (Matthew 7:29), emphasising that he was breaking known conventions.

Contrary to the notion that Jesus used parables because they were easy for his mostly uneducated audience to understand, we now know that Ezra et al’s reform meant that all Jews had a basic education through the instruments of the local Rabbis and synagogues from the age of 5. We also know that their curriculum covered what we now refer to as the Old Testament, as well as other classical texts and Jewish commentaries.

In using parables Jesus was keeping with Rabbinic tradition. Interestingly Matthew saw Jesus’ use of Parables as further evidence of his messianic credentials (Matthew 13:35), with reference to Ps 78:2.

Parables form about 30% of Jesus’ recorded teaching, as such they are crucial in understanding the ‘mind of Christ’ – 1 Cor. 2:16. And in deciding Jesus position on matters that are not explicitly covered in the Texts, especially modern challenges.

Join us this Sunday as we explore Jesus’ Parables within the series: God was in Christ.

3pm – 4:30pm

The Parish Hall

St John’s Sidcup,

Church Road,

Sidcup,

Kent DA14 6BX

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

Today @ Healingsprings fellowship

In terms of influence the Jews were only a footnote in history compared to other civilisations like Egypt, Greece, Ethiopia, Hittite, Assyria, Babylon, and Persia.

In fact Jewish racial laws and customs would not have even allowed them to trade, or exert much cultural or political influence over their neighbours, let alone the known World. Neither were they ever known for their conquest or military might.

Furthermore, theologians and historians argue that Jesus’ ministry spanned only between two to three years. Even his cousin, (John the Baptist) was more widely known and respected than Jesus.

So, how did Jesus a little known carpenter, who started his ministry around the age of thirty, who was largely seen as an agitator, who was so unpopular so much so that the people opted for the release of Barrabas when they had the choice. How did Jesus go on to leave such a legacy?

Dear friends, the lazy answer will be through God’s providence, however, the same could be said for the success of the French Revolution or even the Arab Spring.

Join us this Sunday as we explore some of the core Teachings of Jesus within my series: God was in Christ.

3pm – 4:30pm

The Parish Hall

St John’s Sidcup,

Church Road,

Sidcup,

Kent DA14 6BX

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

Thought Leaders Series: 2017

The World of Work

When Jesus asserted that we cannot serve God and money (Luke 16), he was advancing an argument against the world of commerce. His ideas were centred around the early forms of capitalism.

By way of context, with centralised governments the burden of taxation had increased significantly. For instance, colonial masters charged their subjects for central and local administration, and a percentage of this revenue is returned to the State’s treasury. The impact of this policy is a massive economic gulf between the rich and poor. Most of the elites will offer their services to their colonial masters in one capacity or another. They serve as tax collectors, magistrates, administrators etc. The funds they made might be used to acquire lands, which the poor cultivated.
There was always competition among these poor farmers as a result of pressure from landowners for yield, thereby creating a toxic environment within their social class. Community spirit is broken, cooperation eroded, and social capital diminishes. People are left behind. The sick, disabled, and vulnerable ones are seen as liabilities.

We fast forward to the 21st century, and Jesus’ indictment still holds. We have a broken system. The world of work is competitive, aggressive, selfish and very tribal. Marx argues that the reason we are largely unhappy with work is because we no longer do what we enjoy, but rather, we are producing things which gives us little or no benefit directly. As such work becomes a burden.

So, many argue that our world of work is responsible for much of our social ills today. Workers are stressed, people are fearful about going to work, people are living on pain killers and stimulants. Relationships suffer and our communities collapse. Even worse, as we are slowly loosing what is left of work to machines, the rate of suicide is rising fast.
Added to this is the fact that without being involved in these dehumanising activities one can hardly survive in this world. Our basic needs like food, shelter, clothing; depends on this system. But in every sector: government, charities (sadly even churches), social enterprise, private; the world of work offers little or no value to our general well being. It is either heavily bureaucratic, dangerous, or serving the interest of a few.
Therefore, it is not the configuration, but the overarching idea. What Marx calls the Superstructure. This system enslaves humanity, and it stops us from harnessing our true potentials. Jesus saw it, hence he called for reordering. In similar vein David Platt argues:

“A materialistic world will not be won to Christ by a materialistic church.”

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

This Sunday @ Healingsprings fellowship

The incarnation provided the platform for the inauguration of God’s Kingdom by Jesus.

Through his modelling of God’s Kingdom, Jesus provides ideas for the work of the Church, till the fullness of His Kingdom is manifested in His Second Coming.
As we study, meditate and extrapolate from his teaching, and model his lifestyle, we in turn become shapers of our communities and world at large, through our various vocations. Hence we are co-labourers with him (1 Cor.3:9).
This is what Paul meant when he stated that we spread the fragrance of the knowledge of God (2 Cor. 2:14).
Join us this Sunday for: I and the Father are One (John 10:30), as we draw inspiration from The Beatitudes.
3pm 

The Parish Hall 

St John’s Sidcup,

Church Road, 

Sidcup, 

Kent DA14 6BX
Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

This Sunday @ Healingsprings fellowship

Unlike the patchy images of God we get from the Old Testament, Jesus’ life and ministry gives us unique insight into God. Hence Paul describes him as the image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15), and for John he is the Word made flesh (John 1).

Jesus exposes knowledge gaps in scriptures as he corrects wrong ideas, teaching and traditions. As a health warning, this position puts to question the doctrine of Biblical Inerrancy. Hence he is the last interpreter of the Scriptures. 
To this end, Jesus becomes the lenses from which we read, understand and interpret the Bible, and the motivation in our lives. He shapes our ideas, world view, actions, and ultimately, our contribution in the creation story.
As members of his body his character is reflected through our individual lives, as we spread the fragrance of his knowledge through every facet of our lives (2 Cor. 2:14)

Therefore, in a bid to make that connection between his divine nature and their everyday life, Paul urges the church in Philippi to emulate Christ’s self-emptying (Phil. 2).
Join us this Sunday for: I and the Father are One (John 10:30), as we draw inspiration from The Beatitudes.
3pm 

The Parish Hall 

St John’s Sidcup,

Church Road, 

Sidcup, 

Kent DA14 6BX
Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

Thought Leaders Series 2017

In my studies last week I came across an interesting twist to the Golden Rule, which I believe is profound in relation to Kingdom business. It reads: 

“Whoever Has the Gold Makes the Rules.”

The brain behind this thought is unknown, however, while musing over it I got a deeper understanding of what Amos meant when he declared: 
“Woe to them that are at ease in Zion” – Amos 6:1
Or Jesus’ warning to his disciples, 
“From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it.” – Matthew 11:12
Dear friends for there to be a reorientation of society, and a spiritual emancipation of the masses, the existing power structures are to be addressed and scrutinised until we see,
“justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” Amos 5:24
The problem with the Church is that we have become fat cats, and a part of the problem, rather than the solution to this corrupt system. 
History warns us that this struggle is never easy, but it’s worth starting. Because in the end – good will always triumph over evil.