In All Things (But wait there’s more!)

Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. – Hebrews 2:17

We started talking about this phrase “in all things” on Friday by looking at how Jesus took on the frailty and weakness of man. But Christ’s weakness and frailty pale in their ability to ignite my imagination when compared to His amazing compassion and the great manifestations of the miraculous He carried as a man.

Jesus declared that by Himself, in other words, in His flesh and blood body, He could do nothing. Everything He did–EVERYTHING–He did through the indwelling Spirit of God. He never opened blind eyes, or deaf ears until after the Spirit came upon Him and remained in and with Him. The dead stayed dead when boy Jesus went to the cemetery. The demon possessed continued to live in captivity. No chains were broken by a twenty-five-year-old Jesus.

But when John baptized Him in the Jordan, all heaven broke loose.

Sitting in Church, after His time in the wilderness, He turned to Isaiah 61 and began to read.


He closed His Bible and slid it back into the slot in the back of the pew. Every eye was on Him.

Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” – Luke 4:21

Notice where He started. He didn’t say I am here to open the eyes of the blind, but the Spirit of the Lord is upon me to…

Later Luke tells us,

“You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. – Acts 10:38

Jesus tells us the same thing:

Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. – John 5:19

The implications are amazing. What Jesus did through submission to the Father, we can do too. What God did through Jesus, God still does through those who are willing and obedient.

He’s still in the business of healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, raising the dead and preaching the gospel to the poor.

Like our elder brother and great high priest, Jesus, we are called to host the Holy Spirit’s presence and walk in His anointing to bring freedom, healing, and deliverance to those around us.

He lived like us “in all things” so that we could live like Him, “in all things.”

I have a two-edged reaction to this truth.

Hallelujah! and Yikes!

There’s a huge call on our lives.

Boy, do we ever need God!

cropped-BenHeadshotThanks for coming by today.

Bless you, as you walk in Him.


In All Things

Hey guys! Welcome back to our cruise (crawl?) through Hebrews.

Today we reach a mile marker. We come to the end of chapter two, and to the statement of why we have been pushing this line of reasoning. All this time making a distinction between Jesus and the angels, followed by his herculean effort to demonstrate how Jesus so completely identifies with us.

For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.

Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. – Hebrews 2:16-18 

I didn’t want to break this in pieces, but it clearly holds way too much for one blog post.

These three verses summarize the writer’s argument thus far and set us up for the next big thing. (So exciting…)

The little bit I want to bring onto the light table for examination today is “He had to be made like His brethren in all things.”

The writer keeps coming back to this. Jesus did not come to earth and walk about as God in a man costume. He took on flesh and blood. He took on the weakness and frailty of the flesh. He not only took on these clumsy bodies and their gravity bound surounds. He took on a man-sized soul, able to be tempted, able to exercise a will that was out of synch the His Father’s, frankly able to sin.

Ben!!! (Shocked looks abound.) You can’t say Jesus could sin! He is God. How could God sin?

And there’s the rub. God could not sin, and so could not be tempted. How could God do something that was not the will of God? It’s an oxymoron.

But wait…

What if God stepped away from all that diety and became a man, a man IN ALL THINGS What if He had a sex drive and raging hormones. What if He lived with peer pressure. What if someone did something completely stupid right in front of Him, and He so wanted to tell all his friends, to gossip about the goofball. What if people took advantage of Him? What if one of His mates was stealing from Him. What if one of His best friends denied that he even knew Him. What would He do with all that indignation, anger, frustration, fear, desire?

You see, He was made like us IN ALL THINGS. The writer brings to light the fact that He was tempted like us so that He could with full confidence represent us before the Father. He took on the role of High Priest, not as one who grew up in an ivory tower, unaware of the struggles we face, but as one who slogged through the same stuff.

Man, I love Jesus!

Thanks for stopping by today. There are more implications to this IN ALL THINGS thing, and we’ll talk about some of them next time.

cropped-BenHeadshotSee you then.

Walk in the light of the Word.



So Ben, What’s God talking to you about?

God’s been talking to me about provision but from a strange place.

In Matthew 4 after Jesus is baptized by John in the Jordan, the Spirit leads Him into the wilderness to be tempted.

And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” – Matthew 4:3

I want to focus on just one aspect of this temptation, though there are many. After all, Jesus experienced every temptation we do.

My thought…

The devil tempts Jesus to provide for Himself.

Again–I know that’s not all that’s going on here, but I realized that the devil tempts Jesus to do the very thing we spend our lives doing.

The more I ponder this, the more I think I’ve been missing something in my understanding of kingdom living my whole life.

Before I dig deeper, let me highlight the Lord’s answer.


Jesus says we are to live by every word God speaks to us. The “Word” here is Rhema, not Logos–spoken word, not written word. And in fact, Jesus lived this way. He said, I only do what I see the Father do and say what I hear the Father say. How did Jesus live day to day, how did He eat and drink?

When He wanted to throw a party, He sent the boys to a particular man who would give them a room to use. When He wanted to feed multitudes all He needed was a boys lunch–more accurately–all He needed was a word from God. When the tax man came, He sent Peter fishing–and not net fishing which would have been like saying “go work for it,” but “throw in a line” fishing. When He needed a donkey to make His entrance into Jerusalem, He didn’t call Uber.

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:19

We all know this verse, but here’s a fact–most of us believe something much different. The average Christian I know believes this version:

I will supply all my needs according to my toil and hustle, and if I have a shortfall, desperate prayer to Jehovah Jireh, and some belt-tightening will rescue me.

Peter tell us:

seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. – 2 Peter 1:3

If you have ever given to a Christian charity then you know the mountain of junk mail that you’ve just signed up for. Have you ever had this thought which I have all the time: Why can’t you be more like George Mueller who never asked for support, but simply trusted God. If God ordained it, He’ll supply it. Stop begging.

Does this mean God didn’t ordain my life? Am I toiling for a living because that’s what God ordained for the common man, but the full time Christians should live by faith. Woops. There it is. I’m exposed. I’ve chosen to fall for the lie Jesus resisted. I’ve taken the bait and spent my life toiling.

Let me drop two more scriptures into the mix here.

…Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. – Genesis 3:17

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us–for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE” – Galatians 3:13

I’m not suggesting all the Christians in the world quit their jobs. Work is not the enemy here, but toil originates with the curse.

We know Paul made tents for a time to support himself and his ministry.

Let’s start with a simple change in perspective.

Let’s make hearing the voice of God our first and most important job. Stop thinking of Him as the safety net or the One Who fills our shortfalls, but rather the One responsible for all supply. Let’s ask Him to light our path and show us how to walk in His provision.

Paul, in his discourse about giving in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 says the Lord gives seed to sow, food to eat, and plenty to share. If our finances drive our lives from stress to stress instead of from glory to glory, we’re not doing it right.

Finances place high in reasons for divorce.
Finances figure among the top reasons for suicide.

God does not intend for His people to be stressing over money. Stop trying to provide for yourself! If you are a child of God, it’s His job to provide, and your job to listen and obey.

cropped-BenHeadshotWhat do you think?


Announcement – So Ben, What’s God talking to you about?

So Ben, What’s God talking to you about?

I love to ask people this question once we get past “How’s your day?” or some other greeting-like phrase.

We’ve lost this from our day to day language as a church. We can gather hundreds of Christians together on a Sunday morning, and the lobby conversation consists of baseball scores, kids sports, and health updates. Don’t get me wrong. There is no problem with talking about life-stuff with other believers.

But my simple question, “What’s God talking to you about these days?” goes a long way toward discipleship. It says a few things.

1) God’s talking.

2) Are you listening?

3) Are you processing what you hear?

4) Are you putting what you hear into action?

It brings accountability into our day to day conversations.

The man who discipled me asked this all the time often it caught me off guard. I had to either dredge up something a few weeks old or come clean. Often when I was out of earshot of the Lord’s voice, it was because my circumstances were dominating all my time and attention. I would use my circumstance as an excuse for why I come with nothing fresh from God’s heart.

But this question brought light to my mixup of priorities. It brought me over to the door where Jesus daily knocks requesting entrance into those very circumstances which blocked His access to my heart.

I read some material recently in preparation for a class I’m helping to teach, and the man in the book said: “You can’t expect to hear from God every day.” I know, I’m tearing this out of context, but it begs the question, does God have something for your heart every day? Or is it hit and miss? Is mana a daily provision?

Well, God’s definitely not hit and miss.

One morning recently, after a particularly late night, I had set my alarm so I would not oversleep my time with the Lord. When the alarm went off, I hit snooze. To be clear, I’m a morning person. I almost NEVER hit snooze. I rarely set an alarm because I’m usually just up. But as I hit snooze that morning I heard the gentle whisper of the Spirit to my spirit.

“I have something really sweet for you if you’ll come and meet with Me now.”

What could I say but “Alexa, turn off my alarm,” and off I went and, true to His word, He had much to speak into my heart.

Hear me folks. I’m not preaching a legalism. I’m not bringing condemnation. But I have learned that God offers daily bread–daily.

And now for the announcement.

I’m glad to introduce a new set of posts on my site. I’m not going to abandon Hebrews, but some days, the Lord is pressing something upon me that just needs sharing.  Now and then, I’m going to share what the Lord is pressing into my spirit in the moment.

At the same time, I want to urge you to share with others what God’s been teaching you, too.

And feel free to borrow my question as you lead others into deeper waters.

BenHeadshotThanks for coming by,

Walk in Him.


Power of Death

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. – Hebrews 2:14-15

Today, we learn two things.

1 – Who had the power of death.

2 – How that power manifested itself.

Our text clearly states that the devil had (yes – past tense) the power.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;” – John 10:10

Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. – 1 Peter 5:8

But notice this bit about his power.

His power over us comes only from the fear he’s able to inflict upon us. Your fear of death enslaves you to it, and to him. His only power over you is given when you hand it over willingly to him through fear.

Jesus’ love for us and active pursuit of victory over death breaks this power of fear the devil holds over us.

We look at Jesus’ resurrection and His promise to work the same in us, and BAM the chains of fear fall off and we’re free. Satan’s power is broken when Christ, through His victory over death drives out the fear.

Hallelujah–we’re free.

BenHeadshotThanks for stopping by.

Have a great day.


Flesh and Blood

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, – Hebrews 2:14

I love the turn of phrase “share in flesh and blood.”

Put’s me in mind of communion.

This is My body, which is for you;” – 1 Corinthians 11:24

This cup is the new covenant in My blood;” – 1 Corinthians 11:25


Communion – intimate fellowship or rapport – (

Jesus came in the flesh to share with us this common bond – this point of communion – flesh and blood.

When we share communion, we acknowledge, not only Christ’s great sacrifice for our sins but His taking on flesh and blood and becoming like us. Communion acts as a reminder of our likeness, our oneness, that which unifies us.

There’s a wow moment lurking in this bit of language.

The children share in flesh and blood with the one who spoke them into being.

And why?

Without becoming flesh and blood Jesus could not die.

Jesus could not conquer death until He experienced it.

He could not demonstrate the defeat of death without breaking out of it. Jesus conquered death not by avoiding it or escaping it, but by going through it.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at the power of death, and whose in charge.

cropped-BenHeadshotThanks for coming by,

Walk in the light.


My Weeping is Over


I tell you, I’ve seen Him with my own eyes! I didn’t dream this whole thing up.

Here’s what happened.

Friday, just before the Sabbath, Joseph managed to get us the body before sundown. I think he spoke directly to Pilate. From what he told me, Pilate was glad to have Him off that cruel cross.

I had no idea what to do. I’d never buried a man before, but I knew we couldn’t leave Him out there. Thank the Lord for Joseph. He gave us his own tomb. It was a cave in the side of a hill not far from Golgotha, near the resting place of his ancestors. I remember how Jesus had called us all sisters and brothers, those of us who followed Him. I’m sorry, I’m babbling. Where was I?

Friday night we put Him in the tomb, but we didn’t have time to do it well. I wanted to adorn the horrid place so it looked like something other than just a hole in a rock. I wanted to wrap Him up. To be honest, I just wanted to see Him once more.

The sun was not up when I left the house. When I got to His grave, the predawn mist swirling about, I saw guards sitting beside the massive stone blocking the entrance to the tomb. The sight of it broke my heart afresh, and I began to weep again. I collapsed to the ground and buried my face in my apron.

It was then I felt the earth begin to shake. Another earthquake? As the earth stopped its rumble, I heard a commotion near the tomb. I looked up, and where the guards had been just moments before, there were two beings. Their brightness was greater than the brilliant sun which had just peeked over the eastern horizon. Not only that—the tomb was open. Someone had moved the boulder away from the mouth of the tomb.

I flashed back to last week when Jesus called Lazarus out of his burial cave. It took three men to move that stone, and it was much smaller than this one.

I ran to the mouth of the cave, tears still pouring down my face. The man on the right—an angel, I suppose—said to me:

“Woman, why do you weep?”

I could see the cave was empty. My mind was racing. Where were the guards? Had they moved the stone and taken the Lord with them? Where could they have gone? What was going on?

My sorrow now mixed with anger, fear, and confusion. I looked down at my hands; I still carried the fragrances I intended to use in the tomb. I held them up and somehow managed to speak.

“They took my Master,” I said, “and I don’t know where they put him.”

What was I going to do now?

I turned away from the tomb, head to the ground. Things kept getting worse. First they killed this wonderful man, and then they stole His body. Why? The tears just kept coming.

As I moved away from the tomb, I saw feet before me and heard a voice.

“Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?” He said.

Why is this gardener talking to me? Can’t he see I just want to grieve? There was a hint of anger in my voice when I replied.

“Mister, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him.”

Even as I said it, I was replaying His voice in my mind. I knew that voice.

Then He said my name.


At that instant, the moment I heard Him say my name, it all left—the sorrow, the anger, the fear, the confusion. It rolled away, like the stone before His tomb. And like the death that tried to take Him away, these no longer had a hold on me.


I fell to my knees before Him and reached for His feet. I could see the nail holes in those beautiful feet. As I reached for Him, He said:

“Don’t cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.’”

I didn’t know what to say or do. I knew only this: He was alive!

I heard something behind me, and as I turned to see what was rustling, He vanished. Was I imagining it? Did I dream it? There is no way this was my imagination. The tomb was empty; and He had risen.

I headed back into town to tell the disciples. When I got there, the mood was the same as it had been for three days. Most of them were still in shock. I burst through the door and cried out to them, “He’s alive! He’s alive! He is alive!” Then I told them all about it. Before I finished telling my story, Peter and John were on their way.

It’s only been three days since the worst day I ever imagined. The glory of this new day—this first day—swallowed up all the horror and turned it into something beautiful, something wonderful. He is risen!


To read the original story, see Matthew 28:1-11, Mark 16:9-10,
and John 20:11-18.

The preceding is a chapter from my book Encounters with Jesus. You can pick your copy up at in paperback or for your Kindle. Forty stories that chronical the life of Jesus from the perspective of those he touched.

This Was the Son of God


If I have seen one criminal die, I have seen a hundred. I am tasked with ensuring they are dead before we end these torturous crucifixions.

Sometimes we leave these worthless men hanging for days, but at times like this, with the Jew’s Holy days coming, Pilate has us rush things a bit. Once he feels they have been sufficiently crushed and humiliated, he will have us break their legs. When it comes to that, these hardened criminals nearly beg for the relief they think death will bring. Breaking their legs brings death in minutes.

But today . . . well, I’ve never seen anything like this before.

There were three trees planted on the hill today, three men facing the price for their crimes against Rome. Left and right were thieves—repeat offenders. Roman law is stern. The more public and harsh the punishment, the more cowed the populous. You don’t need to see many crucifixions to decide to give up a life of crime.

But this One in the center . . . I mean, I’ve seen criminals talk from the cross before, but it’s always been either a plea for mercy, cries of innocence, or, more often than not, it’s bitter and foul refuse flying from their mouths. But His words . . .  Even on the cross there was life in them.

Rather than being consumed by His own pain and agony, He looked down and gave the care of His mother to another man. He even seemed to be comforting one of the other criminals while they both struggled for breath.

He didn’t blame, beg, or curse. He forgave. Forgave! Who does that?

“Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.”

There was a moment when His agony peaked, but it did not seem related to the pain He was bearing. He cried out:

“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

If it were possible, it seemed to grow even darker at that moment. Then I felt the rumble; thunder, I thought.

The end is usually ugly, but not for this man.

It was almost like He decided it was time to die and just passed on. When the Jews accused Him and Rome put Him on this cross, they intended to take His life from Him. But when He was ready, He said, “It is finished. Father, take my Spirit. I trust you with it.” And then His breathing stopped. Man intended to take His life, but in the end He gave it up Himself.

That’s when things got really strange.

The rumble returned. The sky was so dark it would be no surprise to hear such a roar from above. But as the rumble grew, things started shaking. It seemed the ground was about to open up and swallow us all!

The earth itself was breaking apart as this Son of glory and sorrow breathed His last.

A breach opened up clear across the city—through the temple and into the graveyard. What a mess! There have been stories of dead men walking the streets. The Jews are in full-blown panic because the breach has compromised their most holy place.

Are these raindrops the tears of a brokenhearted God pouring down to wash away the blood of a millennium of sacrifices?

Truly this was the Son of God.


To read the original story, see Matthew 27, Mark 15,
Luke 23, and John 19.

The preceding is a chapter from my book Encounters with Jesus. You can pick your copy up at in paperback or for your Kindle. Forty stories that chronical the life of Jesus from the perspective of those he touched.

for Signs and Wonders

The third quote the writer uses to show us how Jesus identifies with us comes from Isaiah 8:18.


Here’s the original:

Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are for signs and wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion. – Isaiah 8:18

Oh, how I love this verse. It’s so packed! Let’s just break it down and feast a while this morning.


He begins with LOOK! What He’s about to tell us is evident. He’s not revealing hidden truth here, but something that can be seen and understood with our senses.


This I is the I AM. We can be sure of this because of this reference in Hebrews. Isaiah once again is bringing Jesus to our attention.

…and the children…

We know this is us. In Isaiah, 2 verses earlier the Lord specifically calls us “my disciples.”

…whom the Lord has given me…

These children are not begotten by Jesus, but given to Jesus, committed to His trust. The Father entrusted Jesus with His (the Father’s) flock to shepherd them. This flock is the Church for whom the shepherd laid down His life. The Father gave us to Jesus, and He paid the full purchase price for our freedom.

…are for signs and wonders…

Somehow this flock thinks it’s mission in life involves sitting in pews and being entertained.

Jesus trained us.
God empowered us.
The Holy Spirit filled us.

And yet we sit.

That’s not our call. God calls us to signs and wonders.

…from the LORD of hosts…

Not some sappy signs, like a smile or friendly nod on the sidewalk. Signs from the Lord of hosts look like something, Jesus sized signs and wonder–NO–bigger than that. Signs so big you can’t even imagine it now.

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.John 14:12

It makes me so sad when I hear preachers minimize this promise.

You know…

Radio is the greater work.
Television is the greater work.
Our money will buy more influence than Jesus carried.


It’s not even possible for Jesus to lie. When He starts a verse with Truly, Truly, how dare we diminish or explain away what He said.

It’s not unclear.
It’s doesn’t use hard to understand words.

the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do

But it will never happen as long as we won’t,

1 – believe it
2 – free our selves from distractions
3 – press in for it.

Why did the Father give Jesus children?

We are for signs and wonders.

We MUST begin to walk in this light. We can’t ignore our calling any longer. God never intended the Church of Jesus Christ to sit idly by and watch the world–in judgment and condemnation–but to turn it upside-down.

But Ben…how do I start?

Begin to call those things that are not as though there were.
You can simply take this verse and begin to declare it over yourself.
I am for signs and wonders!
I am for signs and wonders!
I am made for greater works the Jesus!
When I walk into the room, the Spirit of the LORD of Hosts comes in.
When I step into my workplace, the Prince of Peace enters with me.
When I speak healing and health over folks at Kohl’s, Jehovah Rapha confirms my words (His words) with signs following.

Get His word in your mouth, and let Him use you today.

Ok – I’m excited. I wonder what today holds?

BenHeadshotAs you go…

Be light…


Missed something – catch up with us here.



The main point the writer is making here in Hebrews 2:12-13 is that Jesus came and humbled Himself, and set Himself on our level. Jesus came, not a God to dazzle us with signs and wonders, but to walk as one of us. We will soon see in our study how Jesus is able to represent us before the Father because He can fully identify with our frailty.

The writer with this quote, “I will put my trust in Him,” demonstrates Jesus subjecting Himself to the Father.

Why would the God-man need to trust anyone other than Himself?

If Jesus is God, why did He need to trust God?

Jesus, having set aside all those wonderful Omnis, learned to walk through trusting the Father for everything He needed. In fact, if you want to fully understand trust, it would be good to take a look at Jesus.

When you live with the misunderstanding that Jesus exercised diety as He wandered Galilee, you miss the best example of how to trust in God.

Trusting in God is not a prayer at the front of a church or a hope that someday you will go to heaven. We relegate trust to hoping things will turn out OK for us. Our wishy-washy prayers that are more like lightly sanctified worry have nothing to do with trust.

Trust is daily.

Trust is not just thinking and knowing. It’s doing!

Jesus told us what trust looked like.

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. – John 5:19

So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. – John 8:28

Trust looks like doing what you see the Father do and saying what you hear the Father say.

Trust looks like Jesus.

Trust says yes to God, even when everything in us want to go the other way.

Father was pointing out an area in my life just this morning as I was in my happy place. He showed me some liberties I have been walking in that His Word warns against. He showed me how my arrogance and belief that I was stronger than the temptation I was flirting with was folly. He grabbed me by the chin so I couldn’t look away and said, “you say you trust me, then lay all that down and TRUST me.”

Do I trust Him? Can I step away from sin and compromise and open myself up for His voice to lead me every day?

Oh loved ones, what could be safer, what could bring more pleasure than the enduring presence of God in our lives.

You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. – Psalm 16:11

cropped-BenHeadshotThanks for stopping in.

Trust Him today.


I’m teaching verse by verse through Hebrews. If you’d like to catch up you can catch the whole series here.