Saturday, March 5, 2011
Jesus is sad.
He just got word that his cousin, who we know as John the Baptist, was senslessly murdered by the ruling polititian of the day. The whole thing was sleasy and wrong. An innocent man was murdered.
He does not say a thing (that is recorded) but he does withdraw. Goes to a solitary place. There he can be alone (with his buds) and grieve...
13 "When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns."
But like so many famous people, he is allowed no alone time. Soon people began appearing. Clusters of families, groups of guys, entire villages...
Oh well! So much for quielty grieving!!!
14 "When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick."
So he got up, and got to work. Healing the people until it got close to dusk.
There is a lesson here.
Today we are busy addicts. Busy makes us feel good. Busy makes us feel important. We have a wonderful work ethic that gets pleasure in accomplishment.
The down side is - what are you like when you are interrupted?
Grouchy? Impatient? Rude? Brusk?
Jesus just needed time alone.
He didn't get it.
His response? Graciously attend to the needs of the people...
Friday, March 4, 2011
Drunk Polititian has Sleazy entertainment and the result is the Slaughter of an innocent man!
Matthew 14:1 "At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus, 2 and he said to his attendants, “This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead! That is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”
3 Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, 4 for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered John a prophet.
6 On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests and pleased Herod so much 7 that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” 9 The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted 10 and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. 12 John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus."
The Sinless Saviour of the world hears about it and is Sad for his cousin the beheaded prophet and the king who is an unrepentant sinner.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
The hometown effect.
For some of you it is the family effect.
Those who know you the best sometimes can limit you by their over familiarity.
They remember your awkwardness as a Junior Higher. The crazy things you did as a teen ager. The dramatic statements you made in your early twenties. And they underestimate you.
In todays reading Jesus goes back to his home town. Where he was raised. They did not know him as the miracle worker. The amazing teacher. The one who claimed to be God. They knew him as a carpenter, son of Joseph, the carpenter.
Matthew 13:53 "When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. 54 Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. 55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him.
But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.”
58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith."
Don't allow yourself to be limited by the family effect.
Or the home town effect either...
Monday, February 28, 2011
How do you value something?
Mostly it is supply and demand.
Sometimes it is value that is perceived.
Prince Andrew gave an engagement ring to Katie. It was said to have cost around $40,000 when his father, Prince Philip gave it to his mother Lady Diana. However, now it should be worth at least twice that, and given the love of Lady Di around the world, and the controversy around her life, her marriage and her death, it is probably priceless.
Today Jesus talks about value.
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
This real estate had value. It had value as a piece of land. It had more value depending on the orchards that were already planted, or the water rights it enjoyed, or the possibility of growing crops on it. Maybe it had value for some buildings on it.
But the man who found the abandoned treasure suddenly valued it far above all of that. It had supremely high value to him.
Jesus is saying that the Kingdom of Heaven is like that.
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it."
This is much like the blood diamond in Africa, or the Star of India jewel. They are unusually beautiful, and big, and valuable.
Jesus is saying that the kingdom of heaven is like that.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast
31 "He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds[a] of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
34 Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 35 So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:
“I will open my mouth in parables,
I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”[b]
The Parable of the Weeds Explained
36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear."
Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom...
This is good news, or bad news, depending on your choices right now!