From the monthly archives:

April 2010

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Continuing our online journey through the gospel of John

1 Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias),2 and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick.3 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples.

4 The Jewish Passover Feast was near. 
5 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?”

6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. 

7 Philip answered him, “Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” 
8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up,

9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” 
10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them.

11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. 
12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”

13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. 
14 After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.”

15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

Did Jesus lead the disciples on by suggesting that they possibly ‘buy’ bread?  Clearly Jesus knew the miracle he was about to perform.  Could it be that sometimes God leads us down one path, to starkly contrast an alternative path he’ll soon take us on?  What would the implications of this be in where God has take you so far?

It probably didn’t matter what the boy with the bread and fish had.  It could’ve been oranges, it could’ve been only half a fish.  The point is that God can perform astounding things with whatever we have in hand if we make it available.

In our ecologically challenging times, it’s also striking that even amid seeming unlimited abundance Jesus requested that “nothing be wasted”.  We all have too much, how might we allow nothing we have to go to waste?

How many of us wouldn’t love to be made king?  Jesus refused that they make him “king by force” – Ironic that the one who truly deserves to be king of kings, refused that very honor.

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John 5:31-47

by Lon on April 19, 2010

Continuing our journey through the gospel of john

31 “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid.

32 There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is valid. 
33 “You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth.34 Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved.

35 John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light. 
36 “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me.37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form,38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent.39 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me,

40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life. 
41 “I do not accept praise from men,42 but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts.43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.

44 How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God? 
45 “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set.46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.

47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”

What does it mean for Christ to suggest if he were to testify of himself it would not be valid?  What does this say for how we testify of Christ?  or even how we go about sharing about our own lives?

The word of God is a primary means by which we relate to God but this is a profound statement by Christ himself – “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life.”  Surely he’s not saying we shouldn’t study the Scriptures, but what might he be suggesting?

What does it mean for Christ to be able to risk relying on the voices of others and his actions to speak?  Jesus seems to share several other entry points to belief in him – The Father, John the Baptist, The Scriptures, Moses… and if we can’t clue into these more obvious signs towards him, how can we ever trust in Christ?  How might this translate into your own life today?

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by Lon on April 13, 2010

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John 5:16-30

by Lon on April 12, 2010

Continuing our journey through the Gospel of John

16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him.17 Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.”

18 For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. 
19 Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these.21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son,

23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him. 
24 “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.25 I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself.

27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. 
28 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice29 and come out–those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.

30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

It’s intriguing how there are so many seemingly ‘conflicting’ statements in the sacred scriptures.  Someone just asked me a moment ago about why paul said that it was better not to marry when in genesis god clearly has an intention for men and women to get together.  And in this passage we find something similar, don’t do work on sabbath vs. always working and serving others.

The passage also says that it was ‘for this reason’ that the Jews plotted to kill Jesus.  Disagreements is one thing, but they’ve clearly veered off when they’re spending time and emotional energy on killing Jesus.

Even if we’re not plotting murder, it’s all too easy for us to co-opt parts of scripture to justify our own actions.  Are our actions towards others truly being inspired by God or just what we’ve manipulated the word of God to be?  In this particular passage Jesus even goes on to say the Father judges no one… maybe we shouldn’t either, even if we have differences about the most serious of issues.

Jesus also talks about honoring him, I assume in this lifetime.  And it’s in this context that he talks about having eternal life.  And as a person does so he “has crossed over from death to life”.  Note that it’s not will but has it.  This abundance of life is something that is accessible to us now, today.

The passage closes by Jesus reminding us of who he truly lives his life for.  Not to please himself, but the one who sent him.  This is something we could all continuously need reminding of.  It’s easy to live for what i think is right or good.  But if our lives become a desire to please the one who has called us from death to life then maybe we’d spend less of our precious lives critiquing the actions of others?

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Solar Crash – broken | beautiful

by Lon on April 7, 2010


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