Tag Archives: Jesus’ teaching

TO DANCE OR TO DIRGE? (Wisdom’s Many Children) Part 2

wisdom1In Part 1 we talked about how it takes more than one person, one church, one political party, or one culture to represent true wisdom, and how an over-identification with one over another is not only unwise but immature. Jesus said it reminded him of spoiled children whining about not getting their way.

“To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other:

“‘We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance, we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.’

For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by all her children.” Luke 7:31-34

John and Jesus weren’t opposites. The way they conducted themselves was not contradictory but complementary. They both represented wisdom, while, from the outside looking in neither displayed to the naked eye all that wisdom entails. [Note: Of course Jesus was and is all that wisdom is, but to the ascetics of the day, he wasn’t ascetic enough. Although we might point out that he was born in a cave, fasted for forty days, and had no house to live in. Fairly ascetic from my point of view.] Continue reading

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How Jesus Feeds the Hungry (Part 1 of 2)

 

quote-you-pray-for-the-hungry-then-you-feed-them-that-s-how-prayer-works-pope-francis-81-13-03Besides the resurrection, I bet you don’t know which of Jesus’ miracles made it into all four gospels!

OK, my title gave it away, but would you have guessed it if I had called it “Jewish Boy Loses His Lunch” or “Give All You Got and Get More Than You Had” or something of that sort?

So, why did the Spirit single out this particular miracle of feeding the multitude from a little boy’s lunch for so much press? The incident definitely infers a lot about Jesus and what he can do. That’s the customary Sunday School lesson from this text. The Christological and supernatural implications aside, I’d like to narrow this particular conversation down to his choice to use the human agency in that particular miracle. Continue reading

(Just) Enough Time (Part 6 of 6)

This is part six of a six-part conversation about how God gives us enough time to finish our lives well, but just enough time. If you’d like to begin at the beginning… or if youwould rather, you can see the entire essay at barneywiget.com.]

Work till the sun goes down…

John 9:4 “As long as it’s day we must work the work of him who sent me. Night is coming when no one can work.”

In Jesus’ day when the sun went down they went to bed. They didn’t get cable in Galilee, so what was there to do at night but sleep? When they saw dusk arriving it was time to wrap up the day’s labor, eat supper, and take their rest. There was no working late at the office, so if you didn’t finish, you were out of luck, at least for the day. Continue reading

Their need is interrupting our blessing!

As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

“Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”

Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him. Matthew 20:29-45

The crowd objected to the two blind men stealing (or at the very least, delaying) their blessing. “Your need is interrupting our blessing!” What worried them so much? Was it that they thought Jesus only had so much to give, so much in his bag of blessings, and if he stopped to give something to these derelicts, it’ll take something away from them? Or was it that the atmosphere was charged with excitement and anticipation of what he was going to do for them, like participants on a TV game show, they were waiting to see if they’d won the daily double? And the game show host was distracted from his job of handing out the prizes to them! Continue reading

what jesus said at dinner

One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body. Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way.

Then he asked them, “If one of you has a child or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?” And they had nothing to say.

When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Luke 14:1-14

There are two dinners in this passage – one’s real and the other’s part of a parable. I never thought about it before, but Jesus wasn’t particularly diplomatic at this dinner as a guest. He sets out to offend pretty much everyone (except the guy he healed). He offends the Pharisees and experts in the law (that term “experts” always makes me laugh in reference to anything spiritual) when he heals the guy on the wrong day of the week. Then, in his parable he scolds the other guests when he indicts them about their pride in taking the best seats. And finally, in his worst social faux pas for the evening he lectures the host by suggesting that he invite another brand of people to his dinner parties! Jesus was definitely not on his best behavior that night!   Continue reading