Without asking Mary and Joseph, 12-year-old Jesus stayed in Jerusalem after the Passover festival. Back home in Nazareth, He grew up in obedience to them. After curing a man on the Sabbath, Jesus revealed that His Father had given Him authority, not only to heal, but to judge. How can we remain open to God’s will if we pray only for a miracle?
When Naaman sought cleansing from leprosy, he got angry because the prophet Elisha sent him to wash in the muddy Jordan, rather than a clearer river or stream in Damascas. When Peter asked if he had to forgive as many as seven times, Jesus suggested seventy-seven. To love God wholeheartedly includes loving neighbors who keep the Spirit within them rather well hidden. Finding it hard to lovingly forgive, do we ask God for clearer understanding?
Boxes called phylacteries contained written Scripture readings, and tassels on clothes served as reminders to obey the Commandments. Scribes and Pharisees made theirs big. Jesus had just said that He would suffer condemnation and death when the mother of James and John asked that her sons have places of honor beside Him in glory. Parables described a rich man ignoring dire need right outside his door, and a prodigal son returning home. When judging others, how often do we use “apparently,” rather than “actually”?
At the second coming of the Lord, He will separate people according to how they treated others because, for better or worse, He takes such treatment personally. Babbling on and on in prayer doesn’t convince God, who always knows what people need. When we long for a sign from God, looking in Scripture will provide many! Jesus pointed out the Old Testament example of people in Nineveh heeding Jonah’s warning to repent or perish. If we choose to turn away from people or refuse to turn from our less-than-loving ways this Lent, how can we face tRead More
Coming down the mountain after the Transfiguration, Jesus saw a crowd drawn into an argument between scribes and some of the Disciples. A father explained that the Disciples had failed to cure convulsions that even threw his son into fire or water. Then the father asked Jesus to help if He could. If?! The father said he had faith but asked the Lord to help his unbelief. Jesus cured the son. The Disciples must have realized that they lacked perfect faith, too. Jesus saw religious leaders blowing their own horns, instead of giving alms, praying,Read More
After sparing only Noah and animals in an ark, God made the rainbow a sign of His promise never to so decimate the world again. Instead of glorifying God, people vainly decided to make a name for themselves by building a city with a sky-high tower. God confused their language. Unable to communicate with each other, the people abandoned the city of Babel and scattered. Recognizing Jesus as the Christ, Peter did not want to hear about our Savior’s impending suffering and death. The Transfiguration of the Lord gave Peter, James, and John a glimpRead More
Jesus cured the sick who lay on mats outside in hope of touching a tassel on His cloak. When a Gentile begged Jesus to heal her daughter, He compared her request to giving children’s food to the dogs—an analogy that self-righteous Israelites would have applauded. The woman persisted, saying that even dogs get table scraps dropped by children, and Jesus worked the miracle. Scribes and Pharisees noticed that Jesus’ disciples skipped ritual handwashing before meals. On the other hand, the hypocritical leaders allowed pledging donations to thRead More