Matthew 3:13-17; John 1:29-34 (3/11/13)
The greatest mystery of the Christian faith is that Jesus was at the same time fully human and fully divine. Last week we read about events in which people recognized that Jesus wasn’t ordinary
, but they never questioned whether he was human
. This week we read about events in which people began to see signs that Jesus was also divine; some did raise questions about that. The first suggestion that Jesus was more than human came at his baptism.
Luke 9:28-36 (3/12/13)
It’s always a good idea to read related scriptures, if any, to gain a better understanding of what a particular passage is saying. When I read this passage in Luke, I’m amazed that Peter, James, and John said nothing to anyone about their experience. Here’s this truly astonishing event, in which Jesus is transfigured into a being of light and glory and God bears witness to his identity, and they say nothing?
If we read the story in Matthew, however, we learn in Matthew 17:9 that Jesus instructed them to say nothing until after the resurrection. John Wesley comments that they were told not to talk about it “Till the resurrection should make it credible, and confirm their testimony about it.”
John 9:13-33 (3/13/13)
A couple of weeks ago I said to my Greek study buddy that as a matter of fact what
we know about the Bible or how much
we know about the Bible doesn’t really have an effect on our salvation. And this is me talking – I know quite a bit. What does matter is who
The Pharisees knew a lot about the Bible, which at that time consisted of what the Jews still call “the Bible” and Christians call “the Old Testament.” They studied all the time. If Moses said it, they knew it. Then comes along this formerly blind beggar. He hasn’t studied the scripture much, but he knows one really important thing: Jesus opened his eyes. The Pharisees say they don’t know where Jesus comes from. The beggar answers, “He opened the eyes of a man blind from birth, and you don’t know where he comes from??
” He might not know much about what
, but he certainly knew who
John 10:22-38 (3/14/13)
Yesterday we read about the man, blind from birth, whose sight Jesus restored. That was in Chapter 9. The story actually isn’t over at the end of Chapter 9, but instead goes on into Chapter 10. Jesus talks for a while to the bystanders, who debate among themselves about who Jesus is. Some think he is mad (vs. 10:20), but others argue that a madman could not have opened the eyes of the blind (vs. 10:21). The next verse, which begins our reading today, tells us that all this happened during the Feast of Dedication, which we know today as Hanukah, or the Festival of Lights. John likes to make this sort of connection for us: Jesus brought light into this man’s life at the Festival of Lights.
Mark 14:53-64 (3/15/13)
Have you heard of “trial by ordeal”? In the Middle Ages, if you were accused of being, say, a witch, you might be thrown into a lake. If you sank, you were innocent. If you floated, you were guilty. I’m not making this up, unfortunately.
I’ve always thought that today’s passage has that flavor. When the high priest asked Jesus, “Are you the Christ, the son of God?” what answer could Jesus possibly give? If Jesus answered “no,” they would have continued to solicit false testimony until they got two people to agree. If Jesus answered “yes,” there were actually two
possibilities – blasphemy and truth – but the high priest didn’t even slow down to consider that what he was hearing might be truth. Unfortunately, I’m not making this up, either.
More of The Rest of the Story
Week 1. Beginning of Life As We Know It
Week 1. More on the Beginning of Life As We Know It
Week 2. God Builds a Nation – Abraham … But Not Lot
Week 2. God Builds a Nation – Isaac…But not Ishmael or the sons of Keturah
Week 2. God Builds a Nation – Jacob…But not Esau
Week 3. Joseph Preserves Two Nations
Week 4. Deliverance
Week 4. More on Deliverance
Week 5. New Commands and a New Covenant
Week 6. Wandering
Week 6. More on the Wandering
Week 7. The Battle Begins
Week 8. A Few Good Men...and Women
Week 9. The Faith of a Foreign Woman
Week 10. Standing Tall, Falling Hard
Week 11. From Shepherd to King
Week 12. The Trials of a King
Week 13. The King Who Had It All
Week 14. A Kingdom Torn in Two
Weeks 15 and 16. God's Messengers and The Beginning of the End
Week 17. The Kingdoms' Fall
Jeremiah, Prophet of the Exile
Story 19. The Return Home
in the Old Testament
Story 21. Rebuilding the Walls
Story 22. The Birth of the King
Story 23. Jesus’ Ministry Begins
Story 24. No Ordinary Man
Story 25. Jesus, the Son of God
Story 26. The Hour of Darkness
Story 27. The Resurrection
Story 28. New Beginnings
James, Brother of the Lord
John and Jude
Story 31. The End of Time
Copyright 2013 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved. This page has been prepared for the web site by RPB.
Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the
author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the
Bible-study participants. Thanks to the
Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers
for their support and enthusiasm. All
errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.
St. John’s United Methodist Church,
2626 Arizona NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110
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Traditional worship services are held Sundays at 8:15 and
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are held monthly on the second Saturday at 5:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. St. John’s feels especially called to the worship of God and to the service of our neighbors through our music program
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