Showing posts from February, 2018

Never Going Home?

We're still trying to follow Jesus through the Gospels, just reaching the point where he enters Galilee. Whether this is in his first or second year of ministry is kind of debatable, as most things that far back in history would be. It's the differences in the stories that make it so hard to imagine they were made up. When Jesus is rejected in his home town, my immigrant self almost smiles. We change. The world changes behind us. And we really can't go home because that home we remember no longer exists. But Jesus points toward a home that won't change, where we will be changed through him to make us welcome. (13) On To Galilee Jesus is heading North through Samaria with a few disciples – probably John, Philip and Bartholomew (Nathaniel); maybe Andrew and Simon. His ministry, as described in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, is just about to begin. (Some say the second year of his ministry, following a “year of obscurity” in southern Judea, is about to begin

Do hidden followers hide in a hidden year?

Some authors believe Jesus' ministry lasted three years, starting with the hidden year, then the public year, then the troubled year leading to the Passion. That first year would coincide with the time our Coffee Break group has been studying, starting with Jesus' baptism and temptation (recorded in Matthew, Mark and Luke), followed by the calling of the first few disciples (Andrew, Simon, John, Philip and Bartholomew, as recorded in John), the wedding feast at Cana, various unrecorded miracles, cleansing the Temple, and now... ...and now we move on to meet two people who don't become disciples: Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman. (12) Conversations with the rich and the poor Still following John’s gospel, Jesus goes on to have two interesting conversations, one with a Jew and one with a Samaritan. The first occurs near Jerusalem, probably at a camp by the River Jordan where Jesus (or just his followers) may have been baptizing people, just as John was. The second pro

Feast and Fast

We're back in John's gospel for the next steps in our study of the New Testament. Jesus has returned from the desert (temptation) and recruited a few of John's disciples--namely Andrew, Simon, John, maybe James, Philip and Nathaniel/Bartholomew. As he heads North to a wedding, it's not clear which disciples travel with him and which continue to their fishing boats in Galilee. But John's probably still here, since he tells the story... And you're still here, since you're reading the study... (11) Early Signs and Early Days John, according to John, was one of the first disciples. If he followed Jesus from the start, he might have been witness to early events that the other disciples missed out on. This might explain the early events in John’s gospel which don’t appear, or appear much later in other accounts. Also, John was probably the last to write a gospel. He may have reordered events to give a consistent telling of Jesus’ purpose, rather than just a

Are you a zealot?

We got up to five, maybe six disciples last week. And then I got distracted. I know we're trying to follow the New Testament stories sequentially, but I want to know who the other six/seven disciples were and where they came from. Otherwise I'm going to keep imagining they're all there when half of them are missing. So we're taking a detour to satisfy curiosity in our Bible study this week. We're going to look at some rebels, tax-collectors and party-goers, as well as fishermen and students... Which might you identify with? (10)Rebels, Tax-Collectors and Partygoers The Jewish Gospels are much more concerned with organizing stories by content than by timing, but it’s hard not to wonder where the other disciples came from after reading John’s account of Jesus near Jerusalem. So far we have John, maybe James, Andrew and Simon, and Philip and Nathaniel. What type of people are they? How long would you expect them to stick around Jerusalem? The next events in John