Does the Bible tell us what Jesus really looked like? Are there any other writings from the first century that describe Jesus?
Many people down through the ages have claimed to know what Jesus really looked like. From paintings and sculptures (many of them famous), to likenesses of Jesus seen in everything from clouds to scrambled eggs, Jesus’ face seems to be everywhere you look. Do any of these images even resemble the real face of Jesus?
What Jesus really looked like.
In Isaiah 53:2 it says, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.” It would seem that the only description of Jesus in the Bible is telling us that He was not physically attractive. He probably had nothing about Him to set Him apart from other common Jewish men of the first century.
In the New Testament account of Jesus’ arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, Judas had to give Jesus a kiss so the guards could distinguish Him from the others with Him. This seems to add to the likelihood that Jesus didn’t stand out from the crowd.
If the Biblical description of what Jesus really looked like is correct, then Jesus was a typical Jewish peasant from Galilee. He probably had a dark beard and hair that was not trimmed, as was the Jewish custom. Since He spent much of His time outdoors, He would have had dark olive skin and would have most likely been lean and muscular. He would have been about 5 feet 1 inch tall and weighed approximately 110 pounds. Doesn’t sound like He was a real he-man, does it?
The Bible tells us that true beauty is on the inside of a person, so maybe Jesus’ beauty came from within. Maybe God wanted us to desire what was in Jesus’ heart, not His outward beauty. Maybe people of the first century could see the beauty in Jesus just by his countenance. Maybe they knew He was special by His demeanor. Maybe what Jesus really looked like is not what was important, but rather what He said and what He showed us by the example of His perfect life.
There is another school of thought that speaks to the question of what Jesus really looked like. There are some historical documents that many believe contain physical descriptions of Jesus. The descriptions included in these first century writings give a very different picture of Jesus than what is written in Isaiah. They portray Him as a tall, handsome man with blond hair and blue eyes. This Jesus would have certainly stood out among the people of first century Judea.
In a letter from Publius Lentullus, President of Judea, written to the Roman Senate concerning the Nazarene called Jesus, Lentullus stated that Jesus was somewhat tall. The color of His hair was said to be like chestnut, His eyes gray and clear, and it even said He wore a part in His hair. It said that He was very beautiful, not like the sons of men. If this Lentullus was a trustworthy fellow, this paints a very different picture of what Jesus really looked like.
In another letter, one written by Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar, the physical appearance of Jesus was also described. Pilate said Jesus appeared to be about 30 years old, with golden hair and beard that contrasted with the black beards and tawny complexions of His companions. It seems Jesus may have stood out among the people He spent His time with. It could be assumed He was very handsome and a delight to behold.
These two theories of what Jesus really looked like are obviously at odds with each other, and it would be impossible to believe both of them to be correct. It is up to each of us to determine how we will picture Jesus while He was on earth. There isn’t enough evidence to be sure of what Jesus really looked like, but we can be sure that His was the face of God, and the men and women who where fortunate enough to look upon that face were certainly blessed.
Which movies are the top Christian movies of all time? It depends partly upon your definition of what a Christian movie is. Must a Christian movie be made by Christians, about Christians, and for Christians?
How can we define top Christian movies? Must a great Christian movie be a movie that includes Christian values like The Blind Side or Chariots of Fire, or could it be a movie that parallels the Bible or some part of it like The Chronicles of Narnia? Must a great Christian movie be Scriptural, or can it just be a movie about God in general?
Without knowing exactly how to define what top Christian movies are, we will attempt to create two categories of movies that we believe are well worth watching.
Top Christian Movies
First, we found some great movies that all Christians should watch. Even though these movies were not made strictly by Christians or for Christians, and may not technically be considered top Christian movies, they are mega entertaining and worth your time.
1. The Truman Show, starring Jim Carrey, is about the life of a man who is unaware that he is living in a constructed reality television show that is being broadcast around the globe. He becomes suspicious, and embarks upon a journey to find the truth. The movie includes a creator named Christof who is a God-like figure with a bad attitude. The Truman Show may not be a top Christian movie, but it is quite enjoyable and will certainly cause a Christian to think.
2. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark is another movie that we think Christians and non-Christians alike will enjoy. Even though it’s not one of the top Christian movies, looking beneath the surface to find hidden truth in movies is challenging and can be inspiring as well. Directed by Steven Spielberg, this movie is anti-Nazi and is melodramatic to the nth degree. Fun and thought provoking, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark is definitely one of our favorites.
3. A Christmas Carol, a well known story written by Charles Dickens, has been put on the movie screen numerous times. We have enjoyed it every time, not because of how well the movie is made, or because it’s one of the top Christian movies, but because of the amazing story line. Whether we watch an old British version, an animated film, or a newer movie with great direction and special effects, the message is the same. Until we discover the true meaning of Christmas, our lives are empty and miserable. Is that Christian enough to merit viewing? We would say, yes.
4. We can’t leave this category without mentioning our personal favorite, Slum Dog Millionaire. This movie, though devoid of Christian morals and values, does clearly show us why the Bible says to go and share our faith with others less fortunate. This movie is about a place in the world where Christian witnesses are desperately needed. Watching this movie was not only enjoyable to us, (it had a great story line and was really well made), it tore at our hearts and helped us to see people through the eyes of God. Slum Dog Millionaire, though not a top Christian movie, is a movie every Christian should see.
The second category of movies we want to give you are the top Christian movies that are made by Christians for Christians. Some of these movies are very poorly made, but they have great messages for Christians, while some are very well made movies, and will benefit Christians and non-Christians alike.
1. Passion of the Christ, a controversial movie directed by Mel Gibson and starring Jim Caviezel ( both devout Catholics), is about the last week Christ was on earth. It is a powerful good versus evil tale, a gripping love story between a man and His mother, and a graphic version of the Bible story all Christians love (rated R). This top Christian movie may be too traumatic for some viewers, but is loved by many others.
2. End of the Spear is a top Christian movie about a group of missionaries that were killed by a tribe of headhunters in South America. Based on a real situation, it sounds like a story with a very sad ending, but the spearing of the missionaries was only the beginning. The wives of the five men who were killed decided to reach out to the tribe, and most of the tribe are now believers. A truly uplifting story of how the love of God can conquer all evil and bring salvation to the lost world.
3. The Chronicles of Narnia, although not technically Christian films in our opinion, are movies based on stories written by C. S. Lewis, a great Christian writer. The Chronicles of Narnia are stories about a world hidden to most people, a world where good and evil are constantly battling. Most Christians see that the stories parallel the Bible, and are great movies for children.
4. The Ten Commandments, an epic adventure movie about Moses and the Children of Israel’s exit from Egypt, is probably the greatest Christian movie of all time. Directed by Cecil B. Demille, the movie was made in the 1950′s at the height of the American hatred for the atheist attitudes of Communist Russia. It is unusual to say the least, but is always a great experience for most Christians. It is the classic Bible movie of the 20th century.
There are many different opinions about which movies deserve the title of the top Christian movies of all time. People even disagree on what makes a movie a “Christian movie.” With that in mind, we won’t try to promote movies as top Christian movies, but just movies that are fun to watch and thought provoking as well.
Most Christians celebrate Christmas (Jesus birthday) on December 25th. Is there evidence to conclude that it is actually the birth date of Jesus?
Is the birth date of Jesus in December?
Early in the fourth century, Church leaders decided they needed a celebration to rival the popular pagan solstice celebrations. This holiday, they thought, would make Christianity more appealing to non-believers. They chose December 25th as the day to celebrate the birth date of Jesus even though the birth date of Jesus had never been celebrated before. Whether the Christians in the fourth century realized it or not, they had blended the pagan religions of the day with their Christianity.
Was there any theological reasons for choosing December 25th as the birth date of Jesus? Third century theologians reckoned that the world was created on the spring equinox, and four days later, on March 25th, light was created. Because Jesus coming signaled a new beginning, or new creation, it made sense to assume that Jesus conception would have also been on March 25th. This would place the birth date of Jesus nine months later, in December.
Is the birth date of Jesus in Autumn?
There are many problems with the December 25th theory for the birth date of Jesus. December in Palestine is very cold, much too cold for people to have been traveling to pay taxes. Also, shepherds were in the fields with the sheep when Jesus was born. They were not in the fields in winter, but usually from late March to early October.
It is believed by many that Jesus lived 33.5 years and He died at the feast of the Passover, which is at Easter time. He must have been born six months from Easter, which makes the birth date of Jesus around September or October, not December.
One early writing notes that the birth date of Jesus was in the 41st year of the reign of Augustus. Since Augustus started his reign in the Autumn of 43 B.C., it seems logical that the birth date of Jesus would be Autumn of 2 B.C.
Another early writing says Jesus was born the 28th year from the death of Anthony and Cleopatra in Egypt. Egypt joined the Roman Empire in the Autumn of 30 B.C., so this information would also place the birth date of Jesus in the Autumn of 2 B.C.
John the Baptist was, of course, the forerunner of Jesus. He was Jesus’ cousin, and was born just six months before the birth date of Jesus. By calculating when Zacharias (the father of John the Baptist) would have served in the Temple, we can assume that John was conceived around May or June. This would place the conception (not birth) of Jesus in December. Again, this would place the birth date of Jesus in Autumn, on the first day of the feast of Tabernacles, in September or October.
If the birth date of Jesus was on or near this Jewish holiday, it would explain the lack of room in the inns of Bethlehem. People would have been traveling to Jerusalem from all over and everything would have been crowded.
The feast of Tabernacles is a celebration of the harvest. It seems fitting that the birth date of Jesus would have been on the first day of this celebration. Some people even believe that it is the day that Jesus will return, and the only question is what year it will be.
Is it important to know the birth date of Jesus?
There appears to be little evidence that the birth date of Jesus is in December. More of the evidence points to Autumn as the probable season of Jesus birth. Does it really matter when Jesus was born? Should we let this affect our faith in Him? As Christians, we don’t need a special day to celebrate the birth date of Jesus. We must celebrate Him and what He did for us everyday. By revisiting that familiar story in Luke 1-2, we can discover what God wanted us to know about the birth of Jesus. Apparently, the exact birth date of Jesus doesn’t matter too much.
Did you know that all the names of Jesus used in the Bible add up to over 100? We, as Christians, believe that Jesus name exudes power. Therefore, we should know all the names of Jesus.
The many names of Jesus in the Bible have many different meanings. Jesus name means everything to us. Depending upon our situation, we may rely on Jesus to fill many different roles such as Savior, Protector, or Healer. To take full advantage of the free gift of grace that God gave us through His Son, Jesus, we need to know and understand all the names of Jesus.
We will not attempt to explain all the names of Jesus here, but we would like to try to list them with where they are found in the Bible, so that you can study them yourself. We will also delve a little deeper into a few of our favorite names of Jesus.
All the names of Jesus
After Jesus was seen walking across the Sea of Galilee in Matthew 8:27, many asked, “Who is this man? Even the winds and waves obey Him.” Who is this Man that has over 100 names? Let’s take a look at all the names of Jesus.
- Advocate (1 John 2:1)
- Almighty (Rev. 1:8; Mt. 28:18)
- Alpha and Omega (Rev. 1:8; 22:13)
- Amen (Rev. 3:14)
- Apostle of our Profession (Heb. 3:1)
- Atoning Sacrifice for our Sins (1 John 2:2)
- Author of Life (Acts 3:15)
- Author and Perfecter of our Faith (Heb. 12:2)
- Author of Salvation (Heb. 2:10)
Hebrews 2:10 says, “For it became him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”
What does it mean that Jesus is the Author of Salvation? Not only is He the one who saves us, but without Him as author, there would be no salvation at all. He wrote the salvation contract, if you will. Of all the names of Jesus, this is one that speaks to us on a daily basis as we are in awe of the saving Grace of God.
- Beginning and the End (Rev. 22:13)
- Blessed and only Ruler (1 Tim. 6:15)
- Bread of God (John 6:33)
- Bread of Life (John 6:35; 6:48)
- Capstone (Acts 4:11; 1 Pet. 2:7)
- Chief Cornerstone (Eph. 2:20)
- Chief Shepherd (1 Pet. 5:4)
- Christ (1 John 2:22)
- Creator (John 1:3)
- Deliverer (Rom. 11:26)
- Eternal Life (1 John 1:2; 5:20)
- Everlasting Father (Isa. 9:6)
- Gate (John 10:9)
- Faithful and True (Rev. 19:11)
- Faithful Witness (Rev. 1:5)
- Faith and True Witness (Rev. 3:14)
- First and the Last (Rev. 1:17; 2:8; 22:13)
In Revelation 22:13, it is written, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Jesus is the first. Nothing predates Him. He has always been. When everything else is gone, Jesus will still exist. He is the Last, the victor, the King of Heaven and Earth at the end of time. This name, out of all the names of Jesus, can help us to understand that nothing was before Jesus, and nothing or no one can outlast Him. This name puts life in perspective for Christians.
- Firstborn From the Dead (Rev. 1:5)
- God (John 1:1; 20:28; Heb. 1:8; Rom 9:5; 2 Pet. 1:1; 1 John 5:20)
- Good Shepherd (John 10:11,14)
- Great Shepherd (Heb. 13:20)
- Great High Priest (Heb. 4:14)
- Head of the Church (Eph. 1:22; 4:15; 5:23)
- Heir of all Things (Heb. 1:2)
- High Priest (Heb. 2:17)
- Holy and True (Rev. 3:7)
- Holy One (Acts 3:14)
- Hope (1 Tim. 1:1)
- Hope of Glory (Col. 1:27)
- Horn of Salvation (Luke 1:69)
- I Am (John 8:58)
- Image of God (2 Cor. 4:4)
- King Eternal (1 Tim. 1:17)
- King of Israel (John 1:49)
- King of the Jews (Mt. 27:11)
- King of Kings (1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 19:16)
- King of the Ages (Rev. 15:3)
- Lamb (Rev. 13:8)
- Lamb of God (John 1:29)
- Lamb Without Blemish (1 Pet. 1:19)
- Last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45)
- Life (John 14:6; Col. 3:4)
- Light of the World (John 8:12)
“Again therefore Jesus spake unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follow me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12 helps us to walk with God in our everyday life. If we follow Jesus, we can see the path in front of us. How terrifying it must be for people who are walking in darkness. There are many pitfalls on the road of life that we can only avoid if we are following the Light of the World. Of all the names of Jesus, this one guides us every day.
- Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5)
- Living One (Rev. 1:18)
- Living Stone (1 Pet. 2:4)
- Lord (2 Pet. 2:20)
- Lord of All (Acts 10:36)
- Lord of Glory (1 Cor. 2:8)
- Lord of Lords (Rev. 19:16)
- LORD (YHWH) our Righteousness (Jer. 23:6)
- Man from Heaven (1 Cor. 15:48)
- Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb. 9:15)
- Mighty God (Isa. 9:6)
- Morning Star (Rev. 22:16)
- Offspring of David (Rev. 22:16)
- Only Begotten Son of God (John 1:18; 1 John 4:9)
- Our Great God and Savior (Titus 2:13)
- Our Holiness (1 Cor. 1:30)
- Our Husband (2 Cor. 11:2)
- Our Protection (2 Thess. 3:3)
- Our Redemption (1 Cor. 1:30)
- Our Righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30)
- Our Sacrificed Passover Lamb (1 Cor. 5:7)
- Power of God (1 Cor. 1:24)
- Precious Cornerstone (1 Pet. 2:6)
- Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6)
- Prophet (Acts 3:22)
In Acts 3:22 it says, “Moses indeed said, A prophet shall the Lord God raise up unto you from among your brethren, like unto me. To him shall ye hearken in all things whatsoever he shall speak unto you.” The name Prophet, out of all the names of Jesus, tells us it is essential that we as Christians listen to His every word and obey them. Jesus spoke only the truth, and what He said will come to pass. We can be certain of this. Listen to Him, and don’t be deceived.
- Resurrection and Life (John 11:25)
- Righteous Branch (Jer. 23:5)
- Righteous One (Acts 7:52; 1 John 2:1)
- Rock (1 Cor. 10:4)
- Root of David (Rev. 5:5; 22:16)
- Ruler of God’s Creation (Rev. 3:14)
- Ruler of the Kings of the Earth (Rev. 1:5)
- Savior (Eph. 5:23; Titus 1:4; 3:6; 2 Pet. 2:20)
- Son of David (Lk. 18:39)
- Son of God (John 1:49; Heb. 4:14)
- Son of Man (Mt. 8:20)
- Son of the Most High God (Lk. 1:32)
- Source of Eternal Salvation for all who Obey Him (Heb. 5:9)
- The One Mediator (1 Tim. 2:5)
1 Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus,”. Sinful people have one chance to reunite with God, and that is through Jesus. Understanding this is the first step to eternal life. Jesus is the one that is perfect, and He can petition God for us. Through His perfection, God is willing to look upon us with mercy.
- The Stone the Builders Rejected (Acts 4:11)
- True Bread (John 6:32)
- True Light (John 1:9)
- True Vine (John 15:1)
- Truth (John 1:14; 14:6)
- Way (John 14:6)
- Wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24)
- Wonderful Counselor (Isa. 9:6)
- Word (John 1:1)
- Word of God (Rev. 19:13)
All the names of Jesus are important to us. No matter what is troubling us, Jesus is the solution to our problems. Knowing all the names of Jesus gives us insight to exactly who He is and we begin to realize that He is all we need. Whatever the question, Jesus is our answer. Get to know Jesus and all His names, and you will know God himself.
Many movies about the rapture have been made throughout the years. Many of these movies may well be worth watching with our family and friends.
Even though many movies about the rapture are low budget films, and some are somewhat poorly made, these unusual, if not controversial, movies can spark great questions and conversations between parents and children about the end times.
The rapture is an important topic to discuss because it can be confusing and scary, especially for children. An age-appropriate film about the rapture to watch with children can be a great tool for parents.
No matter how cheesy the movie is, with a great dinner and good company, a nonbeliever will usually be willing to watch a movie with us. Even if he is just watching to be nice to us (yes, many nonbelievers are nicer than many Christians), the lesson to be learned from the movies about the rapture may come through loud and clear. It may present a unique opportunity for us to tell our friends about Jesus.
We have found five movies about the rapture that are easily found online. We hope that they will be used to further the Kingdom of God. We do not attest to the quality of these films, but only that they are movies about the rapture. We will give some general information about each one, but if you are going to watch these movies with a purpose (with children or nonbelievers), we strongly suggest you preview the films first.
Movies about the rapture.
1. In the film, The Moment After, a mass disappearance has occurred. FBI agents are called in to investigate, and they have a real mystery on their hands. Where did millions of people go? With a government cover-up and someone trying to raise up a para-military organization, turning to the Bible may be the only way to find the real truth. This story is full of intrigue and based on the end-times book of Revelation. Directed by Wes Llewellyn, it’s a film you may want to consider viewing.
2. In the trilogy, Left Behind, a small group of people who are left behind when the rapture occurs struggle to find out the truth of what happened in a world that is literally falling apart. Even though the movies definitely contain some weak spots, the in-depth development of the characters and story line will keep believers and nonbelievers alike on the edge of their seats. Watching these movies about the rapture will definitely spark conversations about the end-times, no matter how poorly made we think they are. Starring Kirk Cameron and directed by Vic Sarin, these films based on the book series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, are worth a second look when we are viewing with a purpose.
3. In the movie, Missed the Calling, an inner city pastor and his congregation watch as the rapture unfolds before their very eyes. With a massive terrorist attack on the horizon, a new leader that has taken control of the world, and Christians being persecuted, they begin to look to the Bible for answers to why these events are taking place and what they should do as believers. Directed by Darrell Thomas, this film is also worth taking a look at.
4. In another movie about the rapture, Vanished (In the Twinkling of an Eye), well respected Pastor John Hagee takes us to a near future world that is spinning out of control. Millions of people have vanished, chaos rules the world, and mass global destruction is taking place. Christians are being persecuted as the prophetic events of The Revelation unfold. For those of us who like documentaries, this may be the rapture movie to see.
5. In Revelation, a global government that hunts down anyone who opposes it has restored order after millions of people disappeared. A special agent searches for his missing wife and child and struggles to find out the truth about what is happening. This movie should appeal to both Christians and nonbelievers, so we should definitely consider its worth. Directed by Andre van Heerden, this film does contain some violence, but probably not as much as most movies.
Many movies about the rapture have been made, some excellent and many not so good. We just see these movies as a valuable tool in ministering to some nonbelievers and teaching older children about the end-times. Even if the films have major flaws, these problems may just spark even better conversations.
Do Jews believe in Jesus? Yes. They believe He is one of the many false Messiahs who has tried to deceive God’s people down through the years.
According to the Christian faith, Jesus is the Messiah that was prophesied about in the Old Testament. He is perfect God and perfect man, sinless, born of a virgin, crucified, and resurrected to live again. Why can’t Jews just see our point of view and believe?
There are several reasons for the adamant unbelief of Jewish people. Not only do they think that Jesus did not fulfill all of the Old Testament prophesies about the Jewish Messiah, they don’t even think Jesus was an important part of Jewish history. He was just another man seeking fame by making false claims.
Do Jews believe in Jesus?
Jews believe that the Messiah will only be sent to Earth by God once and will fulfill all the prophesies while he is alive. Since all the prophesies have not yet come to pass, Christians say that the remaining prophesies will be fulfilled when Jesus returns. Do Jews believe in Jesus? They say He could not possibly have been the Messiah.
Jews don’t believe that Jesus was divine, but even if He was, they don’t believe that the Messiah will be anything more than just a regular man that is specially chosen by God to fulfill the prophesies. He will have an earthly mother and father, and there will be nothing special about his birth. He will live and die like any other man, and will not be resurrected any differently than anyone else. Christians say that Jesus was born fully divine (God) and fully human (Mary). Do Jews believe in Jesus? According to Jews, He was not the promised Messiah.
Jews believe that the Messiah will be a direct descendant of King David through an earthly father. They say there is no evidence that Jesus was that direct descendant, so it doesn’t matter that Jesus performed many miracles including healing the sick and raising the dead. Do Jews believe in Jesus? Even if God allowed Him to do these mighty works, He was not the Messiah promised. After all, He did not come as an earthly king from the house of David to rule over all of Israel.
Jews believe that the Messiah will bring all Jews back to Israel, rebuild the temple, and bring peace on earth. They don’t think they need a savior, but someone to restore Israel back to its glory days. Do Jews believe in Jesus? Since Jesus didn’t bring the Jews back to Israel and restore the nation while He was alive, they say He can’t possibly be the Messiah promised in the Old Testament.
Jews absolutely do not believe in Jesus. Jesus has no more importance in Jewish beliefs than Julius Caesar or Mohammed. If we asked a Jew to believe that Caesar was the Messiah promised by God, it would make just as much sense to them. The Jewish beliefs were firmly in place many centuries before Jesus came on the scene, and His life is not considered to even be worth discussing.
The Jews are faithfully watching and waiting for the promised Messiah today. They are still attempting to follow the Laws of Moses for their salvation, and continuing their cultural traditions to try to please God.
Did God send Jesus to bring salvation to the Jews? YES, HE DID!!
Have they accepted this free gift from God? NO, THEY HAVEN’T!!
Did Jesus drink wine while He was on Earth, or was the “fruit of the vine” just fresh grape juice?
Did Jesus drink wine? Yes, He did. It is recorded in the Bible. We all understand that Jesus was God, the Son, and He was perfect God and perfect man. He was sinless while he lived as a man on Earth, so whatever Jesus drank was not sinful. Jesus said He came eating and drinking unlike John the Baptist (Luke 7:34), so we can assume He drank whatever was served. The question then becomes, was the “wine” or “fruit of the vine” spoken of in the Bible alcoholic or not?
If we are familiar at all with Jewish customs and traditions of the first century, we would assume that both grape juice and fermented wine were consumed. At harvest time, fresh grape juice would have almost surely been preferred, but fresh juice would not have stayed good very long. Without fermentation, they would not have been able to drink fruit of the vine except for about one month each year.
Did Jesus drink wine at weddings?
Did Jesus drink wine at the wedding in Cana? At weddings, such as in Cana where Jesus performed His first miracle of turning water into wine, surely fermentation would have been present. Weddings were huge parties, lasting for several days. However, the alcohol level would probably not have been over 10% for the “best” wine. This is significantly lower than the alcohol level of our wine today. The question that comes to mind here is why, if drunkenness is a sin, would Jesus encourage more wine drinking when the people had already been drinking?
Did Jesus drink wine with His meals?
Did Jesus drink wine at the Last Supper? At the Passover meal (Last Supper), it is likely that they would have drunk fresh grape juice if they had it. Along with the unleavened bread (without yeast), they would have also wanted unleavened drink (without yeast). The only question in our minds would then be where would they find fresh juice with no refrigeration when the harvest had been over for 6 to 7 months? Wine could be made with as little as 0-3% alcohol content, so perhaps this is the wine that was used.
If we think that Jesus did at times drink wine with as least some alcohol content, then we must realize that God is not the author of confusion. Did Jesus drink wine? If He did, and He never drank to the point of sinning, then it must not be sinful for us to partake as well. Does this mean that we must drink wine to be a follower of Jesus? Jesus said all food and drink is good, but does that mean we have to eat and drink it all? He set us free from following the Law, and told us to live for Him!
There are many references in Scripture that warn against drinking too much wine, so we can conclude that excess is certainly a sin and should be avoided (Proverbs 20:1, Isaiah 5:11). Many people think it is better to be safe and stay away from alcohol altogether.
Did Jesus drink wine? Yes, He did. Does that mean we have to drink it, too? No, it doesn’t! Philippians 4:5 says, “ Let your moderation be known unto all men.” If we drink wine, it should definitely be in strict moderation so that we do not fall into sin.
Ancient history tells an very interesting story about a mother and child which eventually becomes a major motif throughout most world cultures. The mother’s name is Semiramis and her child’s name was Tammuz. In this article, we will focus on the identity of the mother: Who is Semiramis?
According to the historian Eusebius, Semiramis was the wife of Nimrod. In the Sumerian language, her name is “Sammur-amat.”
According to less trustworthy traditions, Semiramis was Noah’s granddaughter, and both the mother and wife of Nimrod.
According to various legends, Semiramis became pregnant after engaging in an adulterous affair while married to Nimrod. Around this same time, Nimrod dies an violent and untimely death. In an effort to retain power and to hide her misdeeds, Semiramis makes a most audacious claim. She publicly declares that upon Nimrod’s death he had been resurrected as the god of the Sun. As the Sun god, Nimrod used his sun rays to miraculously inseminate Semiramis with a child. This child was thus considered to be divinely conceived. The child’s name was Tammuz, which she claimed was the reincarnated Nimrod. (Thus, Semiramis was both Nimrod’s wife and mother.)
After the scattering that occurs at the Tower of Babel, this story of the miraculous conception of this child disseminated throughout the world and led to the rise of the various birth-death-rebirth cults that are littered through history. These mystery religions of future generations adopted different names for Semiramis and her child, Tammuz.
According to another tradition, Semiramis was the daughter of a goddess. She had mermaid-like features with a head of a woman and the body of a fish.
So exactly who is Semiramis?
Much speculation surrounds Semiramis throughout history. However, the image of a mother holding her child is pervasive throughout nearly every culture throughout history. This gives some credence to the import of Semiramis and her place in history.
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Carchemish was a Canaanite city that was important in antiquity. The Battle of Carchemish is considered by historians to be one of the major battles in world history in which the Babylonian army humbled the Assyrian army.
Egypt, under the leadership of Pharaoh Necho, sought to recapture the land of Canaan. However, their attempts to recapture the land would put them in direct conflict with the Babylonian army under the strong hand of King Nebuchadnezzar. The Egyptian and Assyrian armies were devastated by the Babylonian military might displayed at Carchemish in 605 B.C.
The Bible describes the battle in Jeremiah 46:1-12.
3 “Order the buckler and shield, And draw near to battle! 4 Harness the horses, And mount up, you horsemen! Stand forth with your helmets, Polish the spears, Put on the armor! 5 Why have I seen them dismayed and turned back? Their mighty ones are beaten down; They have speedily fled, And did not look back, For fear was all around,” says the Lord. 6 “Do not let the swift flee away, Nor the mighty man escape; They will stumble and fall Toward the north, by the River Euphrates. 7 “Who is this coming up like a flood, Whose waters move like the rivers? 8 Egypt rises up like a flood, And its waters move like the rivers; And he says, ‘I will go up and cover the earth, I will destroy the city and its inhabitants.’ 9 Come up, O horses, and rage, O chariots! And let the mighty men come forth: The Ethiopians and the Libyans who handle the shield, And the Lydians who handle and bend the bow. 10 For this is the day of the Lord God of hosts, A day of vengeance, That He may avenge Himself on His adversaries. The sword shall devour; It shall be satiated and made drunk with their blood; For the Lord God of hosts has a sacrifice In the north country by the River Euphrates. 11 “Go up to Gilead and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt; In vain you will use many medicines; You shall not be cured. 12 The nations have heard of your shame, And your cry has filled the land; For the mighty man has stumbled against the mighty; They both have fallen together.”
Before Nebuchadnezzar was able to conquer the unprotected lands of Egypt, he was called back to Babylon in order to take the throne after the death of his father. Nebuchadnezzar would later return to Egypt to conquer Egypt, which eventually became a part of the Babylonian Empire.
Babylon also conquered the Jewish kingdom of Judah, conquered Jerusalem, laid waste to King Solomon’s temple, and took the Hebrew people into captivity.
“Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait upon the LORD.” (Psalms 27:14)
The Bible tells us to be patient and wait upon the Lord. But this is often easier said than done. Consider this illustration.
Have you ever tried to talk to a baby? Trying to communicate with a six-month old baby using the English language is an exercise in futility. The child simply has no earthly idea what you are saying. The baby may be able to sense your intentions, or your mood, but that is the extent of your attempts at two-way communication. However, children certainly have a way of communicating with adults. When they are happy, they coo and smile. When they are tired, they become cranky. And when they are upset, they scream.
As a proud Daddy of a beautiful six month old baby boy, I can certainly testify to the fact that communicating with a small child requires a lot of creativity.
Recently, my newborn son became extremely upset and decided to let everyone know about it. It had been about three hours since he had last eaten and he decided that he was not going to wait patiently any longer. He wanted to eat, and he wanted to eat NOW! As the baby began to scream at the top of his lungs for food, my wife and I were still a few miles from our house. We immediately stopped what we were doing and made a mad dash back home. All the way home my wife and I tried to calm the poor child using our best ‘baby-talk.’ Needless to say, he was not impressed.
But in my attempts to calm my son down, I got a sense of how God views His children in our times of crisis. My baby son had a legitimate need. He was hungry. But due to his inability to understand my intentions through my words he acted as if the world was going to end.
Have you ever done that with God? Have you ever been in a real jam only to cry out to him with no immediate response?
So there we were driving our car home as quickly as possible with a little baby screaming in the backseat. His piercing cries were proof that he thought everyone was oblivious to his desperation.
Of course, there was no way for me to communicate to him that we were heading straight home to fix his (and my) problem. In vain, my wife and I tried to soothe our son’s hunger pangs and explain to him that we were almost home and soon everything would be okay.
When we finally arrived home, my wife immediately fed him. Suddenly, all was right in the world.
What struck me was how little he understood that my wife and I truly wanted to help him. But he had no way of understanding that food was coming soon.
This was a big lesson to me. It showed me how we must often appear to God in our times of distress.
Today, you may have problems. You may even have some really big problems. But when you “cry” out to your heavenly Father, take heart in knowing that He hears you. If there seems to be a delay in His answer to your cries, have patience. Wait upon the Lord. As the psalmist says: “Be strong and let your heart take courage.”
Strive to listen closely to the voice of God. He is speaking directly to you. And you can tune into that voice if you will allow your faith to replace your fears. Your Heavenly Father knows what you need. He is not slack concerning His promises and is not oblivious to your hurts. He knows our pains and is intimately aware of our sufferings. He loves you. And as you learn to wait upon the Lord, always remember that He will never forget you. You are his child. So be patient and wait upon the Lord.
Prayer: “Lord, thank you for watching over me with a Father’s eye and loving me with a Father’s love. Teach me how to wait upon you. I trust you and know that you know what is best for me.”