Archive for the ‘Forgiveness’ Category

Paralytic Point   2 comments

A verse jumped off the page at me in Mark 2 this morning. The story of the four men bringing their crippled friend to see Jesus is one of those classic tales that is told in early discipleship teachings. Rightfully so, too, as it is a great visual for children to learn of how much Jesus loved the man and healed him. It is also an early look into how the teachers of the day would challenge Jesus because of the forgiveness of sins issue Jesus raised to their objection. There’s another hidden treasure embedded because the man got up, picked up his mat, and walked away. Carrying one’s mat on the Sabbath was also breaking the law.

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What jumped at me today was not the additional tale of the crowd size. The house was filled to the brim and even at the door (and I’m assuming windows) crowds were gathered to hear Jesus. Why? What was he doing? Did they all know about the mat and roof story that was about to happen? Nope!

Between describing the crowd and the introduction of the crippled man and his companions, the text simply says this, Jesus was preaching the word to them (Mark 2:2). That’s it. He wasn’t healing the lame or the blind or the deaf. He wasn’t performing other miracles of any kind or even magic tricks. He wasn’t glowing in the dark and telling people to pray to him. He wasn’t turning water into wine (I’d follow him around for that-just kidding). He was preaching the word to them.

Overlooked a lot in the teachings about Jesus today is how much he preached. The stories and healings and miracles and dialogues are rich with messages to share, and they should be shared. But we see more than a time or two in Scripture that when he is out and about he is teaching and preaching, “as one with authority.” His preaching was powerful, penetrating, unique, bold, and obviously engaging to have so many come from all over the place to hear him.

Maybe I should ditch my scrolls of questions about how things are done when I get to heaven and just do the Mary thing – sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to him teach. Perhaps that’s the point.

Doubts   1 comment

John 20:24-29

The Resurrected Jesus appeared to his disciples on many occasions, being seen by 500 people before ascending to heaven.  One of those appearances gives us a great word for today.  Thomas said that he would not believe Jesus was raised until he saw him and touched his wounds.  In other words, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”  Jesus appeared.  He saw.  He believed. Read the rest of this entry »

The Blunt Truth – Sermon Summary   Leave a comment

Luke 13:1-9.

Do you know anyone who is very blunt in their speech?  Are you a blunt person?  One thing I like about blunt people is that you never have to guess what is on their minds or where you stand with them.  Jesus had a conversation in which he was quite blunt with the truth of repentance. Read the rest of this entry »

Slippery Sublety – Sermon Summary   Leave a comment

Genesis 3:8-15.

Living right is full of distracting temptations.  Last week we looked at Ezekiel as he witnessed the valley of dry bones coming together, with muscle forming and tissue developing, and the four winds of God’s Spirit entering the bodies to produce a mighty army – that’s us!

So as we move forward and prepare to think forward as a church, allow me to offer a word of warning. Read the rest of this entry »

Clearance Sale   1 comment

Everything must go!  Our family recently participated in a yard sale as we continue to make preparations for moving.  Just like everybody else who has such events, we had zero desires to take any of these “treasures” back into our house.  Our words to passersby and potential customers were something like this, “If you see something you like but don’t like the price, speak up!  We can take care of that for you.  This is a clearance sale and everything must go.”  To our delight and surprise, all but two medium-sized boxes remained.  God is good!

I doubt that the apostle Paul had any yard sales, but I do believe that one point he was making to the church in Philippi had some similar principles. Read the rest of this entry »