Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How Deep Is The Well?

Up till recently, I had spent almost 25 years using a 35-foot deep x 3-foot diameter well. For many years, even with seven of us at home it was sufficient. But a few years ago, supporting two families and a very dry summer, the old well 'went dry' eight times. 

For those readers with a constant supply of 'city' water, let me explain. A 'dry' or 'near-dry' well translates into no showers, only wash cloth bathing. It means carrying the clothes to the coin-operated laundry. Don't wash the car or anything else.

What was the problem with my well? It was too shallow. It had no depth to serve as a reservoir.

There is a direct correlation between my old well and some people Jesus talked about in Mark 4:5-6, 16-17. The correlation is based on depth.

A near-literal translation of the passage finds Jesus telling us of a commonly known fact: Some people are like "ground full of rocks". This section of mankind "do not possess much ground" and their "soil is not deep," the text says. They are like my well, not much there to work with.

At this point I see two possibilities that Mark does not answer. Is Jesus speaking of their intellect? I really do not think so, but can not say for sure. Or is Jesus saying they have not placed the "seed" DEEP "in themselves". This would seem to fit the context. I think Jesus is NOT talking about their ability, but about how people prioritize His seed or word. 

Seed must be planted deep enough to allow the plant enough root to provide plenty of moisture for transpiration, life processes, and reserve. Plant seeds too shallow and the plant will be tortured by the intense heat of the summer sun. Death by drying is certain.
And remember, all plants will face the heat.

Jesus' explanation of the code talk (parables) said these with 'stony ground' interest will "feel the heat" of peer pressure, opposition, tribulation, being 'between a rock and a hard place', or some type of persecution (according to the Greek word). 

Jesus said when these difficult times come, the stony-ground-ers will SKANDALIZO (Transliterated Greek word). (Do we get the English word 'Scandal' from it? Maybe.) They cause a scandal by:
  • showing how displeased they are.
  • showing how indignantly treated they are.
  • showing how they can not be trusted
  • promote the distrust of someone who should be trusted and obeyed.
These are worse than the 'hard-hearted' people. They are scandalous because they work against the word.

So who am I? Or, who are you?

PLEASE make sure you plant God's word DEEP. How?
  • Read it! Read it! Read it! If you do not read, YOU WILL BE TOO SHALLOW!
  • Memorize, memorize, memorize. What did the Psalmist say?
  • Think about it. Think about it. Think about it.
What happens when we do? Psa 1:3 says "He shall be like a TREE, PLANTED BY THE RIVERS OF WATER, that brings forth its fruit in its season, WHOSE LEAF WILL NOT WITHER, and whatever he does shall prosper." (NKJV; emphasis mine)

That makes it worth the struggle!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Code Talk

This title sounds like espionage.

There are times I get tired of hearing politicians. When asked a direct question they talk in great patriotic themes all around the subject while wrapping themselves in the red, white and blue American flag. I think they do this so Americans will be impressed by the rhetoric and not by the answers. They are answering in a kind of code.

I recently watched an episode of Law and Order in which a rap artist was interrogated by the police. But if you did not know slang, you heard the answer but did not grasp the meaning. He hid information directly in front of their eyes using a code.

And Jesus was not a fool either. There were occasions when Jesus hide his message in a code. Why? Here are a few ideas I learned from commentators.
  1. He fulfilled prophesies.
  2. He confused the Pharisees' spies.
  3. He challenged listeners to greater spiritual discernment.
  4. He knew Hebrew people were familiar with this style of teaching.
  5. His teachings would be easier to remember.
  6. He disguised powerful teaching in a language Pharisees could not use in court.
One commentator said he "taught those who wished to know truth and confounded the opposition."

Jesus was open to the twelve (and us) as to why he used these codes called parables. He put the information in front of some listeners knowing they were spiritually so insensitive they would not perceive nor understand.Jesus hid spiritual truths in  stories like The Sower (Soils), The Lamp, Growing Seed and Mustard Seed.

Does this mean that a reader of Jesus' stories (parables) who does not understand is hopeless? NO!

Christians are told the scriptures are "able to make you wise". Those lacking wisdom should ask God. He liberally gives wisdom without fuss.

So where is the struggle? It is more than just hearing the code, but in comprehending. It is one thing to hear or read Jesus' parables, and it is another to understand. It is most important to translate the understanding into action.

Listen to the code, understand, and do.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Family Redefined

I watched on Cold Case a story of a tragic family. The mother turned work-a-holic to avoid being around her husband and kids. The father created a child porn website featuring a boy he had bought from a kidnapping-gone-bad. The actual son had been the 'star' of the website, thinking what his father was doing was real love, up till he became a teen when he was relegated to a support-the-father role. To say the family had problems is being too kind.

In the Bible I read of a man who left his mom, leaving the her care to the younger brothers and sisters. His work made him very popular. 

One day his family came to check up on him. They were having trouble getting to see him because of the crowd. They sent word to him that they were there. He asked the messenger something like "Who are they?" Then he redefined his family with a famous quotation.

How does God feel about families? Let's just see.

Jesus redefined his family as the doers of God's word. These family members do not deceive themselves, nor do they forget what they are told. It is these family members, the ones obeying God's instructions, that will have their work blessed.

Do we need to redefine our families? What will it take to redefine a family?
What kind of family-life did Jesus have?
Please rate this blog, or make comments. thanks

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Am Blessed!

Above and beyond having a loving, gracious God and His sacrificial Son, I have a host of things to be thankful for. So, I make my list public in hopes that you, the reader, will be able to identify some of your blessings God has given you, too.

I have a loving, talented woman, who just short of 20 years ago, accepted the engagement ring held in the hands of a teddy bear inside a Christmas-wrapped box. She contines to stick with me through difficult days.

I gladly claim all 5 kids (2 mine; 3 hers). They make life full. 

I get to be 'Papa' to five sweet ones. From the youngest pair (twins) to the 6-year-old I get to love them all.

Our basic little house is warm in winter and cool in summer. It meets all our needs.

I am thankful for the computers that open the internet, with its wealth of information and services.

I thank God every time I ride that Honda VTX1300 and the freedom it brings.

I am grateful for a TV large enough to see every detail without squinting, and Dish HD

I am thankful for being allowed to capture families and friends with my Nikon D40. It is not the 'top of the line', but it does all I need. And to capture images of insects in such detail as to remind me of their maker is satisfying.

To have a small piece of countryside where kids can play baseball, hunt Easter eggs, or shoot fireworks is a great blessing.

To watch my 89-year-old mother functioning independently at her own home is amazing. I know how blessed she and my deceased dad have made my life. God has blessed me.

I have former students come up to me to thank me for giving them hard work, and how share how successful they are becoming because of my classroom demands. They continue to bring satisfaction.

To have a 'Droid' that has a keyboard where I type this blog in the middle of the night, is a rich blessing. And to be able to contact most of my friends and contacts by phone, text, and email from a single device is wonderful.

I have a job that helps me pay my bills.

I have plenty of food.

I drive a old truck that is comfortable and yields 27 mpg. It has its dents and imperfections, but I can get from point A to point B just like people driving their fancy $35K vehicle. I am blessed.

And there has been almost 1350 readers from more than 12 countries who have read these simple blogs. Many have complimented me personally in a variety of methods. I am most appreciative for EVERY reader.

Should I mention my clothes? Reasonable health? 

I won't forger my friends and brothers in the Ukraine, Belarus, China, Zambia, South Africa, and many other countries? 

What about sight? Smell? Taste? Touch? Hearing? 

How can I forget all my teachers in grade school, high school, Harding, Henderson, Southern Arkansas, Cossatot? 

What about the members of the Prescott Church of Christ?

Shall I forget the multitude of people in Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri who have listened to sermons and talks over the last 39 years? 

And all my Alpha Omega brothers, who still love to be together, shall not be forgotten.

I am thankful for tears. Many have been like screams to God because I need his help. He heard them and answered.

Have you been reminded of your blessings?

I know this has been good for me. To shed a few tears and wipe my nose while making this list reminds me of the countless ways I have been blessed.

Is it any wonder that when I blow my head on Thursday near that big turkey and mass of 'fixins', that my eyes will be drowning in liquid joy? And all I will be able to say is...


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Unforgivable Sin

It is hard to look at old, familiar passages with 'fresh eyes'. Such a passage is Mark 3:28-30.
When I read these verses I usually focus on verse 29, the famous 'unforgivable sin' passage. I note the finality and clarity of "never has forgiveness". It immediately creates a strong sense determination. I want to make sure I stay away from that sin (which should be my reaction to all sins).
I have heard many speeches and panel discussions, and read commentaries on the passage. So much rhetoric on the one thing guaranteed of sending someone to hell. Why all the fuss? Jesus did not stumble or st-st-studder. He clearly said what he meant, and meant what he said. Anyone who says the work of the Holy Spirit is evil, or is associated with the devil's work is going to hell. Period.
But I do not think Jesus spoke this passage to condemn. His point is not only what to avoid, but also the wonderful forgiving power of God. What did he say in verse 28?
Jesus said ALL SINS CAN BE FORGIVEN except....  Our sins CAN be forgiven.
*David wrote of a God who is ABLE to "FORGIVE ALL YOUR INIQUITIES,".
If I spend all my effort and attention dodging thorns on rose bushes I will miss their wonderful smell and the delicate, intricate beauty the Creator placed in them. If I place all my attention on the one thing that will send me to hell I will miss the comfort and confidence I can have through Jesus.
Which way should I live?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

He's Crazy!

I have read stories of people being brainwashed into religious fanaticism. It isn't that far from where I sit tonight to Foulke where Tony Alamo's religious compound is. What goes on inside would only be conjecture on my part. But the people venturing out are not viewed as 'normal'. Do you know stories of religious brainwashing? (Please add them in the comments section, below.)

Brainwashing involves getting the subject to stay awake for long periods of time, or being active for extended periods. Failing to get rest makes it possible to 're-set' someone's mind. 

Jesus, after selecting The Twelve, went to a house. There, with his extended periods of service, he hoped to eat a simple meal with his newly-appointed disciples. What happened next was not restful. A crowd invaded the house till he could not eat bread

His family heard about all the constant work, crowds, healings, teaching, controversies, etc.. They were thinking he had lost control of his mind, that he had gone crazy. 

What should a family do? Jesus' family planned to get him and take him by force if necessary. Is this not what families do today to rescue their loved ones from being brainwashed? 

Later Jesus is told his family has arrived 'calling Him'. Instead of visiting with them about his stress-filled lifestyle, he redefines his family.

So, how about struggling with me on some questions.
  1. Is it ok to be brainwashed?
  2. Is it ok to brainwash religious students? 
  3. Should we, as imitators of Jesus, allow ourselves to be viewed as 'out of our mind'? 
  4. Should we be politically correct in hopes of reaching those people who pride themselves in being politically correct, or should we not worry about how we are viewed and serve Jesus (our Lord and Master) up to the point we are considered counter-cultural religious fanatics? 
Please make your comments using the link below, or email me so I can be 'Mr. Copy and Paste', as my brother J.C. jokingly calls me.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Underlying Causes

As a teenager I remember going to the doctor with a sharp pain in the back of my right hand. If I did anything with my fingers, the pain would stab. After a few days my handwriting at school went from awful to illegible, and teachers began to complain. I spoke to my folks, and off to the doctor we went.

The doctor did the usual palpation finding nothing, but noticed my grimaces. He X-rayed the hand and found something distinctly triangle shaped on the film. With dad's permission, he gave me a shot of Novocain to deaden the area, and made an incision at the base of my hand's palm. “Hmmm... Nurse, bring me the forceps,” he said. He lifted an entire sharped tip of a pencil out of my hand. Then I remembered that six to eight week previous I had stuck the pencil in my hand, but saw nothing in the wound and my puncture wound healed. Little did I know that the tip of the now-lost pencil was in my hand.

Pain in the back of my hand was not the problem. There was an 'underlying cause' for the problem not related to the pain. The cause had occurred earlier.

Jesus encountered a group of people oblivious to the problem and even less knowledgeable about their underlying cause. Read Mark 7:1-13

The Pharisees and some scribes were oblivious to their problem. Approaching Jesus, they were saying Jesus had a problem with his disciples not following the ceremonial washing of the hands before eating.  Mark records in verse 3 how they did this washing in a special way. Their problem was not related to the ceremonially 'dirty' hands, but was in their “holding” the traditions of the elders. They were treating the ceremony of washing hands as equal to any other of God's commands.

Follow along as 'Doctor' Jesus dissects their problem of treating something men say or do as equal to what God has said. Check out verse 4 where the Spirit, through Mark, says they had many things they have “received and hold.” The Pharisees and scribes, in speaking to Jesus, openly spoke of the traditions, not recognize it as the underlying cause. Verse 5 has them saying Jesus' disciples do not walk “...according to the traditions of the elders.” Jesus quotes Isaiah's vain worship passage in verse 7 concluding the unforgettable phrase, “teaching as doctrine the commandments of men.” Then 'the doctor' applies Isaiah's thoughts to them, exposing the underlying cause plainly. “...you hold the tradition of men...” after they have laid aside God's commands.

Jesus continues to excise the problem and reveal the underlying cause. He illustrates his point by showing how they would set aside God's command to “Honor your father and your mother,” so they could “keep” their tradition.

Unfortunately, their tradition-keeping had invalidated the word of almighty God. God's word was of “no effect” because of the traditions they had “handed down”.

Have you ever “been to church” and walked away with that empty feeling? Have you left wondering what was accomplished? Could it be that you need Jesus to show you the underlying cause?

Our “preacher Paul” recently spoke of a time when Paul the apostle came to town and wanted to meet with the saints. This is Lynn Anderson's account of what might have happened.
“Oh look! Here come the apostle Paul riding up Central Boulevard on a donkey and looking for the church.  

'Well,' we explain, 'there is the church at the corner of Fifth and Jackson, and the Pleasant Hills church, and the congregation near the new subdivision, and ...'
Paul's eyes widen and he asks: 'What are the brethren doing in all these places?'

'Oh,' we explain again, 'that is where the building are?' 
'Buildings?' [Paul questions with a confused look on his face.] 
'Yes, church buildings, of course.' 
Paul leans forward with curiosity: 'What is a church building?' 
'Well, its where the pews and the pulpit are.' 
'And what are those?' Paul asks. 
'Well, the pews are where the members sit when the communion trays are passed,' we answer. 
'And what are communion trays?' asks our beloved and bewildered apostle. 
This line of discussion isn't getting us anywhere very quickly, so we shift direction: 'The pulpit is the place where the song leader stands and ...' 
'Excuse me,' Paul interrupts, 'I'm not familiar with a song leader.
What or who is that?' 
'Oh, he tells us where to open our hymnbooks and leads us in praise before we go to our Bible classes in the educational wing.' 
Poor Paul is having a hard time understanding our ideas of church.
'Forgive me again, but I don't understand these hymnbooks, Bible classes, and educational wings that you have mentioned.' 
This guided tour rambles on as we lead Paul through explanations of the baptistery, the foyer, the nursery, the fellowship hall, youth ministry, bulletins, our worship times, and so forth, as we describe 'church,' or at least what we think when we think of church”.

In addition to this humor, I have many friends, maybe some of you, who practice religious ideas passed down to you by good-meaning people, but have nullified God's word. Would you let Jesus show you the underlying cause of your dissatisfaction with religion?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mind Reading Reported

Wandering Preacher Heals, Forgives Sins
Scribe claims preacher reads minds 

Capernaum – Thursday the traveling preacher returned to his adopted home town after a two week absence to teach and heal a long-term paralyzed man after forgiving his sins. The scribes present at the time of message, forgiveness, and miracle say he knew what they were thinking.

Jesus, the roving Nazarene preacher returned to Capernaum, with the focus of the trip being preaching. The last time he was in town many of the disease-laden and demon-possessed were healed in a lengthy night-time gathering. 

"This time my mission is different. This time I came to Pete's house to teach," Jesus said, adding, ”Challenging peopled to change is my job, and it was a key reason I left town two weeks ago.”

Pete's modern home was packed with listeners, disciple-hopefuls, and curiosity seekers. All reported his teaching authoritatively.

Two hours into his message a foursome began tearing the roof off Pete's home at 220 Sardine St. The four men created a hole large enough for a rope-borne stretcher to be lowered into the great room.

Joshua Trotter, 27, of 517 Perch Street, said he has not walk for more than 12 years. "I caught the fever when I was 15 and have not walked a step since," Trotter said. 

"My four friends heard Jesus was back in town and got real excited," exclaimed Trotter, adding, "They were not going to let him get out of town this time before getting me to him."

Those in attendance reported how jammed the house was. 

Trotter said his friends were convinced that the traveling minister would heal him. "They just knew it would happen. There was no doubt in their minds," the Capernaum native said.

The men, after peeling back the roof, tied ropes to the pallet and lowered Trotter down directly in front of Jesus. "That is when the unexpected happened," Trotter said.

"Jesus said my sins were forgiven," Trotter reported. "The scribes gasped so violently I thought they were going to swallow their tongues," he added. 

Joe Sample, an accomplished scribe in attendance, said the next statement from Jesus shows he was reading their mind. "I was thinking that only God can forgive sins. So this man was blaspheming," Sample said.

Sample said Jesus looked sternly at him and asked "Why are you thinking like that? Which is easier, to forgive this man's sins or to tell him to go home."

Jesus continued, "I want you to know I have the authority to forgive men's sins," Sample reported.

"He stopped talking to Joe and looked right at me. He told me to get up, roll up my pallet and go home," Trotter chimed in.

Trotter said he had not felt strength in his legs for years but suddenly did. "So I did what he said. I got up and went home," he added.

Sample said he just sat there for a long time. "I heard people saying things like, 'Never seen anything like that before.'," Sample concluded.
This fictionalized news story of a Bible event leaves me with a question that Mark, the gospel writer, failed to answer. What is it going to take before these people figure out Jesus is God's son???

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

He Touched A Leper

As you probably know for yourself, real stories from life are often better than anything fictional. So, this posting will not approach the creative factor, but will, instead, look at a real event. 

Mark's gospel records Jesus touching a leper. Why did he touch the leper? Why did Mark think that was important? What is significant about touching a leper? Is there a spiritual lesson to be learned here, or is this an exaggerated detail?

To see the significance we must:
  • understand what biblical leprosy is.
  • see the social implications of being a leper.
  • examine the effect of Jesus' actions.
  • note any appropriate spiritual application.
What is biblical leprosy? It is important to note from the start the ancient Hebrew word, in Leviticus 12 and 13, does not refer to the same medical condition that the modern English word does. Easton's Bible Dictionary and four internet web sites agree there is a major difference. Note these facts about this biblical disease.
  • Leprosy was a "Terrible skin disease", not like modern leprosy which is primarily a nerve disease.
  • The Hebrew word was not intended for medical precision.
  • Leprosy is characterized by
    • scaliness
    • bleaching the hair white
    • possible rotting flesh.
  • It is a non-contagious disease.
What were the social or religious implications for a leper? Again, consider these facts.
  • Leprosy was considered a punishment by God. Three times in the Old Testament God used this condition as strong punishment.
  • They were required to live outside the camp or city walls. They could not get to the tabernacle or temple to worship.
  • Clothes were tattered or torn as a symbol of remorse, whether deserved or not.
  • They could not have anything on their heads to cover the white spots and bleached hair caused by the disease.
  • They were required to cover their beard with their mantle.
  • When a healthy person approached them, the leper was required by law to warn them by shouting, "Unclean! Unclean!"
  • They were not allowed to have a conversation with anyone.
  • They could not address another person, mostly because their greetings included a hug.
  • Lepers were social rejects.
What are the implications of Jesus touching this leper?
  1. It would be well to note this leper was not acting in a 'socially/politically correct' manner. He spoke first to Jesus and gained his attention -- a social 'No-No'. Second, he did not shout "Unclean", but pleaded for Jesus' to make him whole. "You can if you want to," he said.
  2. Jesus may not have considered his skin disease a punishment from God.
  3. Jesus could have been showing that God is approachable outside of a worship setting.
  4. Instead of being cut off from society, Jesus was showing acceptance of his person.
  5. Jesus was more interested in communicating his care for this person than in keeping religious or social 'customs'. He was showing his compassion instead of religious condemnation.
What are the appropriate spiritual lessons?
  1. There are situations that demand us being counter-cultural. Sometimes it is OK to be socially or politically incorrect. When we are despised or out-casts for Jesus sake, it is good.
  2. Some things in life are not a 'punishments' from God' but the consequences of sin or evil desires. Don't blame God for the results of your choices.
  3. I am so glad I don't have to be in church to approach God. Didn't he tell some Hebrew Christians they could approach God's throne "in times of need"?
  4.  I should accept people as they are, sin and all. This doesn't mean I condone their sin, but it does say 'I care.' Then help them fix their problem like Jesus fixed this man's disease and social condemnation.
  5. Some things in Christianity are customs or traditions, and some are unchangeable doctrines. If a custom or tradition needs to be broken to reach out to others, what are we waiting on? Jesus did!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dr. McCoy???

Ralph H. put it very simply: "People are the same now as they were back then," referring to the similarities between people today and Bible times. He spoke about how people react, how they are tempted, how prone they are to sin, etc.. "It is the same now as back then," he concluded. I am convinced he is right. 

This is my principal foundation for my attempts to take the stories found in the life of Jesus (or any other place in the Bible) and try to bring them into the 21st century. I try to answer the question "What would it look like today?"

But tonight's efforts on a Bible story is proving frustrating. I am having trouble 'modernizing'. So I will ask you two things. First, try to do what I try to do with this story and add to the comment box. Maybe you can do what I can't. Second, just look at the story with me as it is told, and join me in amazement of the event.

Jesus has just left the synagogue after ejecting a bad spirit from a man using his authority. It may have been well after lunch when he goes over to Pete and Andy's house. There we learn that Pete is married and his mother-in-law lives with them. She has a fever, and Jesus is told about it. Another writer of the event said it is a high fever, indicating a serious illness, not a common cold. There, without any pomp, ceremony, or anything special, he takes her by the hand, lifted her up and she is well. Instantly she has recovered from a major illness. He did it quietly and privately in Pete's house. There was no fanfare, no publicity.
But shortly after 6 p.m. the whole town, with all the sick people, showed up at the door. All they had seen or heard was about the bad spirit in the synagogue. And Jesus did his soon-to-be-ordinary healing 'thing'. It didn't matter what their ailment was, he fixed it. He gave immediate relief. And again, like earlier in the day, he didn't let the bad spirits or demons tell people who he really was.
How long did it take to heal everyone in town? Mark does not say. But he does get finished and gets a little rest.
Then he uses a habit learned in the wilderness -- prayer in solitude. Maybe not everything during those 40 days were wasted. He got away from everyone and all their distractions so he could pray effectively. On another occasion He will teach them, according to Matthew, to get into a closet if necessary, to have one-on-one time with the Father in power-filled prayer.
After Pete and the others at the house did a search for him, He told them,"Let's do some more of this in other towns." He then disclosed that preaching was his purpose, and he needed to get on the move.
In this town, Capernaum, did he accomplished the goal of the people learning he was God's son by looking at the evidence? At this point Mark says nothing. Neither do the other writers now. Years later, Jesus will make a very unfavorable comparison between Sodom and Capernaum because they did not recognize from the miracles (evidence) who was with them.
At the beginning maybe I could have told a story of Dr. McCoy of the Federation Starship Enterprise healing an entire civilization without violating the prime directive. Hmmm... Maybe another time.

Friday, November 5, 2010

B-E-E-E Q-U-U-I-I-E-E-T-T-T!!!!

Hodgins is a unusual character in the television show "Bones." He is the only son in a very rich family. Someday he will inherit a multimillion dollar conglomerate, but for now he wants to remain as Dr. Hodgins. You see Hodgins enjoys people appreciating him for his skills and work as a 'lab rat' determining the sources of trace elements from a crime scene and his work in entomology (bugs). 

In one episode Hodgins and the other 'squints' (lab personnel) are ordered to attend a gala hosted by large-gift contributors, including Hodgin's family. Attending is a threat to his identity secret, so he respectfully says 'no' to his boss. The remainder of the show has him repeating an insistent 'No'. He does, however, reveal his secret to two key characters, who help him remain a 'squint'. 

If Jesus would have watched this show I think he would have identified with this character. Jesus wanted people to see his miracles and teachings, and THEN decide he was God's Son. He hoped they would believe based on evidence.

Jesus went to the synagogue (a Jewish church building of sorts). One day there was a man there, in the 'church' with a bad spirit. The spirit recognized Jesus as God' son and was telling everyone he was the "Holy One of God."  Jesus said powerfully, with authority B-E-E-E- Q-U-U-I-I-E-E-T-T!! A few moments later he used his authority to cast the bad spirit out of the man. What the synagogue-goers saw made them ask questions and think

Did they conclude what Jesus desired? Did they make some important steps in the right direction? 

What conclusion do you draw when you read or hear this story? Could you prove Jesus is God's son? What evidence would you use? 

Write your answers in the comment section for others to learn, consider, and grow. Anyone can comment.