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Category Archives: Biblical

Exorcisms and Healings

23Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. 24So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought to him all the sick, those who were afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he cured them. 25And great crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from beyond the Jordan. (Matthew 4:23-25, NRSV)

Why were people following Jesus or flocking to where he was?

Did they enjoy his teaching?

Or was it because of what he was doing?

Why do you worship Jesus?

Do you expect a simple carefree life and all your worries taken away?

Or do you follow his promises and share his love for all the world?

Why do we follow Jesus?

 

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Calling the Fishermen

18As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 19And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” 20Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. 22Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him. (Matthew 4:18-22, NRSV)

Jesus was walking on the shore and saw Simon and Andrew and said Follow me. ορισο μου. Literally get behind me. Also the words Jesus uses for Peter when Peter tries to stop Jesus from going to Jerusalem after Jesus tells them he will be killed.

Know your place is to follow behind me. If you can’t see the back of Jesus’ head you might want to reevaluate your position.

Get behind me and go where I go.

Are you ready to get behind Jesus?

 

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Temptation in the Wilderness

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. 3The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 5Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’” 7Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; 9and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’” 11Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him. 12Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. 13He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: 15“Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— 16the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.”17From that time Jesus began to proclaim, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (Matthew 4:1-17, NRSV)

I have a love for this passage of scripture that is found in the misrepresentation of the translation above.

In most of our modern translations the devil asked Jesus, “If you are the son of God…” well that is one translation for what the Greek says but there is another.

The Greek word is ιε. Which does mean if. However it also means something which make much more sense theologically. You see with if it could be construed that the devil is questioning whether Jesus is the Son of God or not. But the devil knows who Jesus is. ιε also means since. I believe the devil is saying, “since you are the son of God…”

Both Jesus and the devil quote scripture and know about what scripture has and does say about God and God’s chosen.

Do we question who Jesus is?

Do we question who we are in Jesus?

Since you are a child of God, go in faith and proclaim God’s love.

 
 

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You are my Son

1Why do the nations conspire, and the peoples plot in vain?
2The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and his anointed, saying,
3“Let us burst their bonds asunder, and cast their cords from us.”
4He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord has them in derision.
5Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying,
6“I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.”
7I will tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have begotten you.
8Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.
9You shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
10Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth.
11Serve the Lord with fear, with trembling
(Psalm 2:1-11, NRSV)

You are my child, today I have begotten you.

Gid names us as God’s own. We are God’s children and God has begotten us.

And because God first claimed us we should serve God.

Let us follow our father where God leads and show the world God’s love.

 

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The Day of the Lord

See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. 2But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. 3And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts. 4Remember the teaching of my servant Moses, the statutes and ordinances that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel. 5Lo, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lordcomes. 6He will turn the hearts of parents to their children and the hearts of children to their parents, so that I will not come and strike the land with a curse. (Malachi 4:1-6, NRSV)

The day of the Lord is coming. But I wonder how we should feel about this.

The day of the Lord is the judgement. The day we will see the return of Jesus. And all will be judged and ushered into their place for all eternity.

Is this something we should be happy about? Worried about?

If we revere God’s name then we will leap like a calf from the stall.

It is a day of joy. If we follow after and believe in the promises of God then this is joy but if not it might be a day of concern.

So will you leap or be worried?

 

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A Messenger is Coming

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. 2But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; 3he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. 4Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years. 5Then I will draw near to you for judgment; I will be swift to bear witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired workers in their wages, the widow and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the alien, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts. 6For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, have not perished. 7Ever since the days of your ancestors you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, “How shall we return?” (Malachi 3:1-7, NRSV)

I did a photo search for messenger and I got a lot of icons for Facebook Messenger and bags… Not really the messengers I was looking for.

Who is God’s messenger?

Well, you are and God is preparing you to go and to give the message of love, mercy, and grace to the world. And how is God preparing you?

God is preparing you as a refiner of silver refines silver. And that is done as the refiner watches the silver in the fire and knows it is ready when the refiner can see their reflection in the silver.

When God sees God reflected in you, then you are ready.

So go and be the messenger of hope for the world.

 

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John’s Teaching, part 2

15As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, 16John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” 18So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people. 19But Herod the ruler, who had been rebuked by him because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the evil things that Herod had done, 20added to them all by shutting up John in prison. (Luke 3:15-20, NRSV)

John is not the Messiah, but he is proclaiming the coming of the Messiah.

The Messiah will baptize with fire and the Holy Spirit. And the Messiah will clear the threshing floor and separate what goes to the granary and what is burned away.

We too can be like John, preparing the way and telling others about the Messiah and the relationships they can have, but know in doing so that we might wind up where John did. John here in the reading is in prison because of his speaking out against Herod and Herodias. Sometimes proclaim the good news does not sit well with others. But that did not stop John.

Will it stop you?

 

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