Events in this week's Scripture readings span from before the Crucifixion to the early Church guided by the Holy Spirit. When the Lord described Himself as the sheepgate, the Pharisees didn't connect the analogy to entering heaven only through Him. Before ascending to heaven, Jesus told the Disciples that they knew the way to the place He would prepare for them. That completely baffled Thomas, at least until Jesus called Himself the Way. The Lord left plenty for the Disciples to do. The Apostles and the Church proceeded to welcome anyone, JewsRead More
People could easily see the multiplication of loaves and fish as a miracle and followed Jesus to see what more lay in store. When the Lord promised His flesh as the Bread of eternal life, however, many found the idea too hard to swallow. They left, not understanding that He can satisfy every need. Jesus asked the Twelve if they wanted to leave, too. They stayed because they believed. The Lord will not reject anyone who comes to Him hungry and thirsty, suffering the pangs caused by too little faith. When we feel overburdened, underqualified, orRead More
Jesus withdrew so that the crowd would not try to make Him king after five loaves and two fish miraculously became a meal for thousands. The Gospel of John assures us that God doesn't ration the gift of the Holy Spirit, either. To Nicodemus, a Pharisee, the idea of grown people "born from above" and "born of the Spirit" made no sense, but He kept listening to Jesus. Later, with the Apostles on trial before the Sanhedrin, a Pharisee named Gamaliel advised letting them go. If just a fad, their endeavors would die out. If not, the Sanhedrin mightRead More
Picture the Risen Lord lightheartedly greeting His friends and followers. Mary Magdalene mistook Him for the gardener. ("Mary!") Two disciples heading to Emmaus a couple of days after the Crucifixion asked if He hadn't heard about the things that occurred in Jerusalem. ("What sort of things?") Mistaken for a ghost, Jesus asked the Disciples for something to eat. (Would a ghost do that?) Jesus appeared on the shore of the Sea of Tiberius, and Peter jumped into the water. (What could the Lord say?) Peter and John later found themselves in hot watRead More
Martha, Mary, and Lazarus held a dinner for Jesus and the Disciples. Judas objected when Mary anointed Jesus' feet with costly oil, but the Lord realized that holding on to her loving act would help when she grieved for Him after the Crucifixion. At the Last Supper, the Lord revealed that Peter would deny Him three times but still follow Him later. After letting Jesus down, Peter would need to recall that the Lord didn't want him to quit. On the Cross, Jesus entrusted His Mother and the Disciple whom He loved (probably John) to one another as mRead More
Jesus saved a condemned woman by challenging anyone without sin to hurl the first stone at her. When He told Jews in the Temple area that they didn't know God, people picked up rocks to throw at Him. After the Lord raised Lazarus from the dead, chief priests and Pharisees plotted in fear that everyone would come to believe in Him. The Lord and His Disciples withdrew, leaving people to wonder whether the coming Passover feast would draw Jesus back out into the public. If we get angry with God, do we ask what truth we have missed that can set usRead More
Frustrated with people refusing to believe without seeing a miracle, Jesus cured an official's son from a distance, sight unseen. At the pool of Bethesda, Jesus healed a man and then slipped away to avoid accusations of violating the Sabbath. Chief priests and Pharisees looked for ways to stop Him, while others looked to Jesus with hope. When disappointed in prayer, do we take a dim view of the Lord or ask Him to shed more light on what we truly need?