Learning from a Roman centurion

On this show:

Synthetic marijuana is becoming increasingly popular

It’s been a few years since the last reports of synthetic marijuana were circulating — with some stories about the substance having disastrous endings — but now, “K2” or “Spice” is back in the headlines. There has been an marked increase of overdose reports across the US. From NPR:

It was billed as synthetic marijuana, but it has nothing to do with marijuana. It’s a completely chemical product. It kind of has the look of marijuana, maybe, because it’s a plant material, it’s dry, it comes out of a pouch, you roll it up, you smoke it like you would a marijuana joint. But the effects are completely different. Pharmacologically it’s completely different. Chemically, it’s completely different. These cannabinoids were invented in research labs decades ago and never marketed, never made it out of the lab, and then they just suddenly started appearing in these products. And they are mainly, almost exclusively, made in China in sort of industrial facilities

Dr. Bill encourages parents to get the facts about this newer ‘drug’, and to have a talk with their kids, especially their teens, about the harmful affects of substances like these.

Learning from a Roman centurion

When you think of a Roman centurion, what comes to mind? Perhaps you think of this story from Matthew 8:5-13:

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”

Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”

The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.

On the surface, it seems like another one of Jesus’ miracles and that’s great! According to Professor Dr. Gary Burge, if you dig a little deeper into the culture and world where Christ’s ministry took place, you’ll see just awe-inspiring our Savior really is.

Burge has written a new book called  , and he joins the program to talk more about the life and times of the world surrounding Jesus. Dr. Burge says it’s crucial to understand the historical context of Jesus’ ministry:

Highlight: context is everything

Gary M. Burge (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is professor of New Testament at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. His passion in teaching, research and writing is how the unique world of the Middle East in antiquity shapes how we read the New Testament today. Among his many published books are Theology Questions Everyone Asks (with coeditor David Lauber), The Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary (general editor with Andrew Hill), The New Testament in Antiquity (coauthored with Lynn Cohick and Gene Green), John: The Gospel of Life and the award-winning Whose Land? Whose Promise? What Christians Are Not Being Told About Israel and the Palestinians.