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Archive for the ‘good and evil’ Category

Know God in a Year #191 Religion Gone Bad

01/26/2020

Now Jesus turns to the people gathered around him and says, “The Scribes and Pharisees teach you what God gave to Moses, so listen; but don’t follow them–they are phonies–blind guides! They bind heavy burdens on you, but they themselves claim exemption, not lifting a finger to do what they require of you. Everything they […]

Know God in a Year #190 Breaking Chains of Blind Faith

01/23/2020

After the Sadducees and the Pharisees make their last attempts to trap Jesus, he turns to them with a question. “Whose son is the Messiah?” A  chorus of voices answer with them, “The Son of David!” It’s a well-known title of the Messiah in prophecy. Jesus asks, “Then why does David call him ‘Lord’ under […]

Know God in a Year #189 One Step of Love

01/22/2020

The Pharisees aren’t giving up. They believe Jesus is unbalanced, emphasizing the last six commandments, and disregarding the first four. They keep urging a noted lawyer to question Jesus. Cautiously, he finally agrees to go with them. They arrive just in time to hear the discussion Jesus is having with the Sadducees. The lawyer is […]

Know God in a Year #188 “Your Problem Is…”

01/21/2020

While the Pharisees are legalistic and concerned with controlling all things external and behavioral, the Sadducees are intellectuals and all about science. Forerunners of the first Deists and materialists, they believe God isn’t involved or interested in humanity. Having no use for miracles, they don’t believe in resurrection either, thinking God would need to reconstitute […]

Know God in a Year #187 Never Be Disappointed

01/20/2020

When King Solomon’s temple was being built, the stones were prepared for building at the quarry. No tools were to be heard on site. The stones were brought and fit seamlessly together in their places. One unusually large stone was brought to the site that didn’t seem to fit anywhere. It became annoying to the […]

Know God in a Year #186 Cracking Stone Hearts

01/19/2020

Jesus has the Pharisees’ attention, and knowing his death is a few days away, he speaks boldly, trying with everything in him to open the eyes and hearts of the leaders of his nation. This is for them. A few Pharisees were baptized by John, but for the most part, the leaders rejected that he […]

Know God in a Year #185 Letting Go

01/16/2020

Tuesday morning, after spending the night on Olivet again, Jesus and the disciples walk to the temple passing through the orchard and see the withered fig tree. Amazed, they comment, and Jesus gets to explain his “strange act.” Giving up on the Jews, accepting their rejection, is extremely hard for him whose nature is to bless and […]

Know God in a Year #184 True Worship is Restored

01/15/2020

A crowd all but runs from the temple, meeting others who are looking for Jesus. Hearing the exiter’s accounts, some turn back afraid, but others press on to see the one they’ve come to as their last hope. Many had stayed in the temple also, hearts thrilling at the power of his majesty, so seldom […]

Know God in a Year #183 A Second Indictment on Greed

01/14/2020

From the fig orchard, Jesus and disciples arrive at the temple Monday morning, and find worse mayhem than when he cleaned out the greed mongers three years earlier–a veritable cattle yard. It’s Passover week and the city is filled with travelers. Sellers are bickering over the high prices of animals for sacrifice, combined with priests […]

Know God in a Year #182 Producing a Parable on Pretense

01/13/2020

Jesus acts out a parable. Maybe it just happens. More likely Ruach set it up–its message is that important. The fig tree along their way on Monday morning is falsely advertising fruit because figs come on before the leaves. A tree full of leaves means ripe figs. Jesus, hungry and needing food, sees none, and says […]