In a brilliant film, Van Gogh, in At Eternity’s Gate (2018), says Jesus became known thirty years after his death. Before then Jesus was obscure, he says. I have a problem with this. The gospels says about Jesus is that he was well-known to the people during his lifetime, and known soon after his lifetime, as Jesus’ message and Spirit spread immediately after his death and resurrection. One of things that get overlooked at times, is that the gospel narratives and the story of the early church in Acts are reliable. It may sound like one of those disagreements Van Gogh and Gaugin had in this movie–but this is me, a viewer, disagreeing with what Van Gogh says. Sounds strange, but it’s the point of view here I’m pointing to that’s a problem, not the movie itself.
The passage I mulled over recently seemed to be the inspiration for a classic movie title, but it is not really. By-passing that entirely, let me get to the point: the verse that stood out for me the most. Of course, all of the passage is beautiful, but one verse tended to illuminate something for me:
[The men and women who are worthy to rise from death] will be like angels and cannot die. They are the sons of God, because they have risen from death. Luke 20:36 (Good News Bible)
Being worthy. That’s the point for me. The New Testament teaches that theContinue reading “Being worthy”
The servant does not deserve thanks for obeying orders, does he? It is the same with you [Jesus’ disciples]: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, ‘We are ordinary servants; we have only done our duty. Luke 17:7-10 (Good News Bible)
When I read the passage from the gospel of Luke, chapter thirteen verses 1-5, I wonder if anyone today would talk like Jesus did in that passage. Sure, some may, but not in the kind of way Jesus would. Jesus had the best, if not perfect way of putting something. Sure, it would get a reaction, but Jesus knew how to put his message aptly. He would say it just as it should be said, just as the sender of the message intended it, no missing links, or showing up falsities. Jesus knew how to say things. So, if Jesus talked about the matter of sin today, I wonder what reaction he would get?
In the gospel, Jesus taught his disciples to pray. He is teaching all of us how to pray, if we take on board the “how to pray” part of the gospel. Jesus taught how to pray through the Lord’s prayer. My prayers can be instinctual rather than scripted and arise out of the moment, but I believe Jesus is giving us good advice in how to pray, which I share with you as well as myself. Before I describe what Jesus taught and what I interpret his teaching on prayer as, let me say that prayer can start by addressing God or putting our minds on God. I believe God is outward, not inward, so this post on prayer takes the outward in how to address God.Continue reading “When praying”