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Showing posts from February 16, 2014

The Box

When was the last time you met an old friend or classmate at a high school reunion or in business and became amazed at how incredibly well they were doing? It is often difficult to see them for the person they have become because we still have them in the box of our expectations. Jesus returned to his home town of Nazareth a year after he had been rejected by the people and evicted from the synagogue. Perhaps this was a "second chance" for them to come to belief; a moment of grace from him. He read a passage of scripture and then commented on it and the people were amazed. Well….that was their first reaction. Then, they began to take offense. "Where did this man get these things? What's this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles? Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" (Mark 6:2-3) Those who had power, position and prominence were t…

Tale of Two Women

Twelve years of pain and twelve years of happiness are ending in the same way. A Synagogue leader Jairus comes to Jesus to enlist his help in saving his twelve year old daughter from a deathly illness. Jesus immediately starts on the path to Jairus' house to help. In the crowd around him as he walks is a woman who has been plagued with a bleeding disorder for twelve years. She is in deep pain and after spending all she had on physicians is no better off; her last effort for healing is in approaching and touching Jesus' garment. The woman carries out her desire touching the Master's robe and immediately is healed. She knows it and Jesus knows it. So now the issue is will she confess it? Jesus asks, "Who touched me?" and she confesses with explanation of her purpose. Jesus commends her by saying, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering." (Mark 5:34) Was this event necessary for the next moment in the story? An a…

Unintentional Sins

Have you ever done or said something and then found out you hurt someone? You were not aware of it until it was brought to your attention by someone else. That is unintentionally causing another person pain. God understands this idea and He makes room for it in the book of Leviticus. This book of the Bible specifically speaks to the actions of individuals or groups who sin, unintentionally or intentionally. It describes the action, identifies it as sin and then shares the offering that must be given to pay for it. In Leviticus 4 these words are used: "if the anointed priest sins;…if the whole Israelite community sins unintentionally;…when a leader sins unintentionally;…if a member of the community sins unintentionally;…if a person sins because he does not speak up;…if a person touches anything ceremonially unclean;…if he touches human uncleanness;…if a person thoughtlessly takes an oath." (4:3-5:4) Each time it says this it is followed by a phrase similar to this, "he …

Wisdom or Folly

There are similarities between wisdom and folly. They both call out to those who pass by. They both take their position in the highest places to reach the greatest crowd possible. But their end is very different. Wisdom seeks to save, impart understanding, and develop maturity, right responses and a more fulfilling life. Folly or foolishness seeks to destroy, burn out, make its prey simple, ignorant of right and oblivious to the downward path they are on. Folly says to those who lack judgment, "stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!" (Proverbs 9:17) She purports that no one will ever know what you did and it will taste great. Follies power of allurement is that it fishes for an already willing heart; a heart that is seeking delight for itself and willing to ignore all the warning signs. Pleasures of the senses allure us with promises of joy but deliver only for a moment, if even that. They are insatiable. There is no rest, no freedom, no lasting fulfillme…