Beginnings and endings of books can help us grasp and remember what the books mean. Recently I finished reading through Exodus and left some thoughts on what that book means in light of its ending. I have also just finished reading through the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew begins with a genealogy that grounds the meaningContinue reading “Reading Matthew: Make disciples”
The most basic choice you make is not between left and right, liberal and conservative. Something else is more basic.
We have to make the same decision, on the basis of the same physical evidence, that the ancients had to make. And closely related is our decision about how to read the Bible.
Isn’t it funny how you can look at something, and look at it, and look at it, and see the same thing, and then again look at it and see something completely different? I guess we’ve all stared at drawings like Wittgenstein’s duck/rabbit, or the old woman/young maiden drawing, or the one that at oneContinue reading “Gestalt shift: Jesus and the woman in Simon’s house”
In Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount, Jesus speaks to his followers, but in Luke’s Sermon on the Plain Jesus speaks to everyone—plainly.
Luke, like Matthew and Mark, tells of Jesus’s selecting twelve of his disciples for a special roles in service-leadership. John doesn’t bother with the appointment of this dozen. (See Matthew 10:1–4; Mark 3:13–19.) Luke tells it a little differently than Matthew and Mark. Like Mark, he tells us that Jesus went up a mountain toContinue reading “Choosing leaders (Luke 6:12–16)”
We keep rereading scripture (and other classic texts, but I’m especially interested in scripture) because they strike us differently as our own circumstances change. This morning Luke 6:6–11, which in some seasons has just been for me a Standard Bible Story, smacked me. There was a startling, then painful, recognition, not as in “Oh, IContinue reading “Jesus and the Make Israel Holy Again movement”
In Luke 5:17–26, we have the story of a paralytic who was brought to Jesus for healing. There was such a crowd around Jesus in the house where he was teaching that the friends who brought the paralytic resorted to letting the man down through the roof to get him into Jesus’s presence. They reallyContinue reading “Seeing unexpected things (Luke 5:17–26)”
I have not really reckoned seriously with the parable of the wineskins (Matt 9:14–17; Mark 2:18–22; Luke 5:33–39), and I probably need to. Anyone who is bemused as I am with the various ways in which the labels “conservative” and “progressive” are adopted as self-identifiers and hurled as other-blamers in American politics and religion probablyContinue reading ““The old is nice”: Jesus meets the reflexive conservatives”
Jesus will never be our homey who assures us that we are OK until we first hear him as the stranger who tells us that we are not OK, until we accept his exotic words as authoritative, as so authoritative and powerful that they cast out the demons that indwell us (verses 33–37), until we have been unmade and remade by his word.