Tag Archives: brother

Big Breakfast

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’ He said to him the third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep. Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.’(He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ (John 21:15-19, NRSV)

Do you love me?

Yes, you know I love you.

Do you love me?

Yes, you know I love you.

Do you love me?

Yes, you know I love you.

Sounds like an exchange any of would get more upset about as the one we loved asked us 3 times if we loved them. But the problem is, Greek has 3 words for love, where English has one.

Greek has ἀγάπη which is unconditional love, φιλέω which is brotherly love, and ερως which is erotic love. This last one does not come up in the Greek New Testament, but the first 2 do.

The exchange between Peter and Jesus is more like this:

Do you ἀγάπη me?

Yes, you know I φιλέω you.

Do you ἀγάπη me?

Yes, you know I φιλέω you.

Do you φιλέω me?

Yes, you know I φιλέω you.

Did Jesus give in? The first 2 times He asked Peter do you unconditionally love me, and as Peter responded with I love you like a brother, then Jesus asked do you love me as your brother, and Peter said yes. Then Jesus tells him what will happen.

How do we love Jesus? Could we take a seat at the Big Breakfast?


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So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (Romans 8:12-25, NRSV)

We are not slaves but are a part of the household.

We have been given adoption by God and called heirs with Christ.

God is our Father. We were saved by the hope we have in Jesus Christ.

So cry out to God your father and know that Christ is your brother!


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hate not

Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him,saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions. “Salt is good; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; they throw it away. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” (Luke 14:25-35, NRSV)

Hate not your father or your mother or your brothers or sisters, then you can not come after me.

If you think of anyone or anything more than me, then you are not fit to follow me.

We think of the cross we must bear as a punishment.

We think thinking about Jesus above all else is not possible and so we are all doomed!

But with Christ all things are possible, and the cross we bear is a freedom into the life God has prepared for us.

So let go of all the things that hold you back from fully living in Him and take up the life He has for you and follow Him.


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When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.” So he went with him. And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, ‘Who touched me?’” He looked all around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. When he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha cum,” which means, “Little girl, get up! And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat. (Mark 5:21-43, NRSV)

This is two stories, or actually a story interrupted by another story.

Jarius’ daughter is the main story interrupted by the unnamed woman’s story.

Have you ever noticed that she does not have a name. She is a woman who has suffered with a flow of blood, which makes her unclean, for 12 years, and the doctors have bled her dry (pun intended) of all her money. They have not helped her, but have kept her from being a part of the community. They have held her back and kept her nameless.

But her faith…

Her trust in Jesus’ power to heal her, made her think that if she only touched the fringe of His cloak she would get what no doctor or any money could get her over the past 12 years. Restoration.

But she not only got that, but so much more.

You see she went from being the woman with the flow of blood, or unclean, to daughter!

Not only did Jesus heal her, but He restored her, and named her daughter. She is now part of the family!

Do not listen to any of the names the world gives you, but cling to the name that Jesus gives you:





Child of the Living God!


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unexpected welcome

Now Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two maids. He put the maids with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. He himself went on ahead of them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near his brother. But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. When Esau looked up and saw the women and children, he said, “Who are these with you?” Jacob said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” Then the maids drew near, they and their children, and bowed down; Leah likewise and her children drew near and bowed down; and finally Joseph and Rachel drew near, and they bowed down. Esau said, “What do you mean by all this company that I met?” Jacob answered, “To find favor with my lord.” But Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.” Jacob said, “No, please; if I find favor with you, then accept my present from my hand; for truly to see your face is like seeing the face of God—since you have received me with such favor. Please accept my gift that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have everything I want.” So he urged him, and he took it. Then Esau said, “Let us journey on our way, and I will go alongside you.” But Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are frail and that the flocks and herds, which are nursing, are a care to me; and if they are overdriven for one day, all the flocks will die. Let my lord pass on ahead of his servant, and I will lead on slowly, according to the pace of the cattle that are before me and according to the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.” So Esau said, “Let me leave with you some of the people who are with me.” But he said, “Why should my lord be so kind to me?” So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir. (Genesis 33:1-16, NRSV)

Did you ever know someone was coming who you were worried about how the interaction would be?

Maybe like Jacob you mistreated the person coming to see you. Maybe your Esau is coming and you do not know how they are going to react. And when you see them coming they have a group of people coming with them.

You expect the worst…

Yet when they get to you, or close to you, they start running and embrace you. One of the warmest embraces you have ever had, as if the sun were shining down on you and making your day!

Esau had every reason to want to kill Jacob for all the things that had happened, yet Esau was changed and knew the gift he had in receiveing his brother back. How often do we see the gift of our brothers and sisters in Christ all around us?

Maybe if we can be open to the workings of God we will see in those around us brothers and sisters rather than people who are out to get us. We are in this together and are the body of our Lord. Let us see Him in everyone around us.


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“You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire. So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. (Matthew 5:21-26, NRSV)

If you attend worship at a liturgical congregation then you probably pass the peace before you go to the altar for Holy Communion…

Did you ever wonder why we do this when we do?

Wouldn’t it make more sense to share the peace fo Christ as we leave the worship space? That way we are up, we don’t have to sit back down, and we can move along to coffee and share the peace of Christ as we go…

That might make more sense, but when we read the above verses and see that if we have an issue with our brother or sister, before we come to the altar of the Lord, we need to go and repair that issue. You see when there is a right in the community, it could cause you to not be focused on God. We need to give God 100% and if we are distracted by an issue with another, then we will not be focused.

So we share the peace to right the issue. To not have anything that will keep up from focusing on the grace and love we are about to receive at the altar of our Lord. We need to be fully participating in the great banquet feast!

So peace be with you!


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The sweet sound of your name

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’ Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’ When she had said this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, ‘Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” ’ Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that he had said these things to her. (John 20:1-18, NRSV)

Close your eyes… And remember the sound of your greatest relative calling your name.

Can you hear the sound of your mother calling your name?

Can you hear the voice of your father calling your name?

Your brother? Your sister? Grandmother? Grandfather?

Isn’t it sweet to hear your name come flowing off their lips…

Now you can see and feel how Mary felt that morning at the tomb.

Distraught and in anguish because her savior was gone. She did not eve recognize Him…

But then He says her name! And she knows who He is. He is not dead! He is alive!

And if you listen, you will hear Him call your name!

And how sweet is the sound of your name as it flows off the lips of your Savior!


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