Showing posts from January, 2020

JESUS ASKED: Where Shall We Buy Bread for All These People?

Did you know that there are only a few stories shared in all four Gospels? Mark, Matthew, and Luke have a ton of similarities, but very few stories make it into all four. The "Feeding of the 5,000" is one of them. If this story was important enough for all four gospel writers to include, then it's important enough for us to pay attention to. Today I want to focus on John's account. (So far, all these questions occur in John's Gospel.) Let's just read it and then we'll look closely at the question Jesus asked.      When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.      Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”      Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small

JESUS ASKED: Do You Want To Get Well?

Humans are funny creatures. One of our greatest traits is our ability to adapt to almost any set of circumstances. Humans have lived in some of the most extreme climates on the planet - deserts, frozen tundras, dense jungles, and southern Indiana. We can adapt and thrive in just about any kind of environment. Just don't ask us to change. It's really weird. We're super adaptive, but we resist change. We fight to the bitter end to make sure things stay exactly the same. Because we get comfortable. Adapting is doable but difficult. Staying the same takes very little mental or physical effort. We are strong and we adapt...but we would really rather not. We'd much prefer to take the path of least resistance, even if it's to our detriment. Jesus was known for his miracles. Once word got around that he could heal people, the broken and diseased masses began making their way to him. He could heal virtually any disease or disability. That was even part of his own div

JESUS ASKED: Will You Give Me a Drink?

I find it fascinating that Jesus can take just about any kind of interaction and turn it into an in depth theological conversation that changes peoples' lives. Jesus and his disciples were traveling from Judea in the south to Galilee in the north. The region of Samaria lay in between. Most "good Jews" would completely bypass Samaria, going many miles out of their way to avoid stepping foot in the region. But not Jesus. He takes his disciples straight through. When they got near the town of Sychar, Jesus hung out by the well outside town while he sent his disciples to go find some food. (It's nice to see these disciples doing the tasks of lowly interns!) While Jesus is chilling by himself around noon, a woman came up to the well to draw water. Instantly, this sends all kinds of messages about what kind of woman she is. Most women in the town would have gone out together early in the day when it was cooler, and they would help each other out and socialize for a wh

JESUS ASKED: Why Do You Involve Me?

There's an interesting little exchange between Jesus and his mother which led up to his first recorded miracle in the Gospel of John:       On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”       “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”      His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”      Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.      Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water” ; so they filled them to the brim.      Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”      They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servan

JESUS ASKED: What Do You Want?

Who were your favorite teachers? Odds are they weren't the ones who simply lectured and acted like they knew all the answers. The best teachers are those who ask the best questions. As I read through the gospels I'm amazed by the questions that Jesus asked. In fact, if you keep reading in Luke 2 after the birth story, the next time we see Jesus is as a 12 year old boy. He ditches his family in Jerusalem after a festival and spends three days alone in the city. Surprisingly, his parents find him in the Temple carrying an in depth conversation/debate with the religious leaders. They were amazed by his understanding that was revealed in the questions he asked. People asked Jesus questions all the time. But let's take a look at some of the questions Jesus asked of others. They are the same questions, I believe, that we are asked today. Let's begin in John 1. Check out this story: The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passi

My UPDATED Definitively Subjective Star Wars Movie Rankings

It's an amazing time to be a nerd. I've found myself thinking and saying that a lot over the last several years. I've  always  been a nerd - Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Monty Python, DC, Marvel, and everything in between. I remember sitting in elementary school having Star Wars trivia contests with my friends.  Who was Luke's childhood best friend? What was the name of the droid Uncle Owen almost bought instead of R2-D2?  That sort of thing. When I was home sick as a kid, I wore out our Star Wars trilogy VHS tapes. And yes, Han shot first. Is every Star Wars movie a masterpiece? No, not by a long shot. But each movie has something I can really appreciate for what it's worth. I've also been getting into the new canon books (especially the audiobooks - those things have incredible production value) and the TV series on Disney+ (The Mandalorian, Clone Wars, Rebels, and Resistance). I appreciate how they are trying to flesh out the fuller