Archive for October, 2013

RiuniteMurphy (the non-disciple) plays croquet with James, John and their mom, Salome in Mary’s front yard in Jerusalem. Salome has just penalty hit John’s ball under the pigeon coop as Jesus watches.

Jesus: Hey, Murph, I need you to run down to Roma’s to pick up three big bottles of Lambrusco and some French bread.

Murphy (the non-disciple, dropping everything): Sure, but first, I wish you’d…

Jesus: Granted.

Murph: Wait! You didn’t even let me finish!

Jesus: Okay, finish.

Murph (sighing): I wish you’d forgive me for my sins–I’ve tried not to, but I’ve been lusting.

Jesus: You wish you weren’t that way?

Murph (dejected): Yeah…

Jesus: You’re forgiven, stop doing that.

Murph: I try, but it’s like the weather almost…morning, partly lazy with a 60% chance of lust before noon, then gluttony turning into murderous thoughts by afternoon, then scattered guilt and 100% full guilt by sunset.

Jesus: Follow me a bit closer.

Murph (stepping closer): Okay.

Jesus (eyes rolling): I mean in your head, spiritually–stay close.

Murph: Oh…  After your Mountain Sermon I’ve been thinking…about offending parts. I figure I need to cut my feet off, then my hands, cut out my tongue, poke out my eyes–I guess my ears are okay…

Jesus: Led Zeppelin?

Murph: Yeah, gouge out my ears, too.        I’m a mess. I’m really sorry.

Jesus: Murph, who am I?

Murph: Well, you’re the Messiah, God’s anointed, Son of God…God among us.

Jesus: So, I know it all Murph. What you’ve done. What you will do. Everything. And I forgive you. Stop worrying about it. Go get the wine and French bread. I’m going to do something special tonight. It’s going to be a crazy week.

Murph (doubtfully): I’ll go, but I bet I’ll sin on the way….

Jesus: Murph. Keep your mind on me and what I have you doing. I appreciate your concern, but you’re going overboard. I need you to work with me and be of some use. Just don’t get confesstipated like Judas, he’s rarely sorry.

Murph: Oh, nuts! I called him a fool and an idiot about his cigars. Murder…

Jesus: Forgiven.

Murph: I

Jesus: Forgiven.

Murph: We’re okay?

Jesus: Yeah, Murph. We’re okay. I forgive everybody of everything, if they’ll just believe I can.

Murph (hugs Jesus): Okay, three bottles of Lambrusco and French bread. Some pastries or pasta? Their cannelloni is amazing.

Jesus: Murph, you’re blessed ’cause I’m here with you. People in the future are going to have to trust me without seeing me. Blessed are they that mourn their condition–they shall be comforted.

Murph: This has been a weird week, with the donkey and palms and hosannas and stuff.And, this weekend’s execution of the rebels and Barabas gives me the willies.

Jesus (winking): Well, things are going to get bad, but I have a big surprise for you on Sunday.

Murph (excited): What?! Tell me!

Jesus: You’ll see everything–really you all will SEE I can’t not be alive. We’ll talk about it at dinner tonight.

_________________________

Tr8: Confession is good for the heart, but don’t become useless confessing when you ought to be walking in faith.

Last supper coming.

coupleJesus is sitting with Andrew and Peter at their house. Their mother is clearing the table and their father comes in and gives her a peck on the cheek and begins to help her.

Jesus: That’s what it’s all about.

Andrew: The hokey-pokey?

Jesus (amused): Your mom and dad. Their relationship. That’s what glory is all about.

Peter: Glory? I thought glory was like worshiping or praising — you know, angels singing, “Glory to God in the highest.”

Jesus: Those are expressions of glory, sure, but I’m talking bout the essence of glory — it’s source.

Andrew: Mom and dad, the source of glory? I don’t get it.

Jesus: Your mom and dad clearly love each other. When they show it to us, that’s glory. They glorify each other with their love. Glory is love expressed.

Andrew: Ahh. You’re saying they’re glorifying each other — the outward expression of love between two people.

Peter: I know where you’re going with this — the way we give God glory is loving others. Makes sense. You could do it with a song, but you could also do it by helping or kissing someone.

Jesus: Here’s the really good part: God counts loving others as loving him, so EVERY time you are loving and gracious, you are glorifying him. I determine my actions on that principle. Remember what I told John — God is love. Marriage is the best example of glory here on earth.  Co-sacrificial, unconditional love, lived.

Peter: What about when you tore up the Temple courtyard?

Jesus: That was personal. It was a tough, loving cleanup I needed to do for the benefit of Jerusalem. A bride needed a bath. That kind of love and glory is very difficult to understand. Bottom line: Loving others is loving God. How else are you going to give God a hug or show him your love?

Andrew: Loving others is hugging God? Hmm haven’t thought of it that way. Glorification is hugging God by loving others.

Jesus: When you love one another as I have loved you, you not only glorify God, but me, yourself and your mom and dad. Your life is one big adventure in glorification. Because you are related to God through me, you show your love for God by doing as I have shown you. My way is THE WAY — the truth and the life — no one comes to the Father any other way. Just like you show love to your mom and dad by obeying and respecting them. It’s really very simple.

Andrew rises, picks up the last few things on the table and helps his mom and dad straighten up the kitchen. He gives them both hugs.

Jesus and Peter smile.

Tr8: Glorifying God is loving others with your life.

radio jerusalemRadio: …that’s why I buy my silver bullion only at Capital — free buyers guide if you call us at 1-800-temple-52.

Sgt. Buzz: It’s 5:00 o’clock J-city!  If you’re outbound on the Jericho thruway expect delays, there’s an injury accident with oxen in two lanes at exit 12.  Northside is clear and outbound Sinai Road is moving smoothly. Now, back to The Rabbi.

Rabbi Jerry: Hey, folks! This is Jerry “Rabbi” Goldberg and you’re listening to AM 1470, KREX, The Voice of Rome. This afternoon I’m with some of the followers of Jesus of Nazareth, recently crucified by Pilate with the support of the Sanhedrin. If you have questions or opinions call us at 1-800-temple-12, 1-800-temple-12.

So, let me set this up: Jesus comes into town this week to a cheering crowd heralding him as the Messiah. Palm branches on the streets, crowds yelling,flags, fireworks, fig smoothies…the whole 9 yards. Then things change. I have Peter, one of Jesus’ key followers here with me. We’re at a house in northern Jerusalem. Peter, what happened?

Peter: We thought Jesus was the Messiah, but hadn’t bargained on Rome or their lackies at the Temple. Rome and the Temple establishment weren’t having a messiah.

Rabbi Jerry: You were there when they took Jesus into custody, right?

Peter (disappointed): Yeah, all of us here, were there. We expected Jesus to lead us in victory, but he folded on the spot without a fight.  Barely said a word. The messiah thing unraveled right there, right, James?

James Zebedee (nodding): Yep. The air left the room at that moment. It was embarrassing. Judas walks up, fingers Jesus, and the whole thing was over in less than a minute.

Rabbi Jerry: Peter, you eventually followed the soldiers and Jesus to the palace, correct?

Peter: Well, yes, sort of. I tagged along from a distance. I was in the courtyard during the trial. Jesus didn’t say or do a thing. They beat him senseless, put a thorn crown on his head and proceeded to condemn him. With the help of the Temple jerks, the crowd turned on him. It was over before it started. It was incredible. Sad. Disappointing.

Rabbi Jerry: John, where were you and the others?

John: I was with Jesus’ mother and the ladies near here. When the soldiers came and Jesus gave up, Peter tried to fight, but Jesus wouldn’t have it. The soldiers were gearing up to take us, too, so we ran for our lives. I returned to a house nearby where the women were staying. I wanted to be the one to break the news to Jesus’ mother since Jesus gave up any pretense of being the Messiah almost immediately. He wasn’t going to do anything to save himself or us. I got steady updates through a friend at the palace regarding the trial and verdict.

Rabbi Jerry: We have to go to a hard break and we’ll be back. Folks, are your documents and important papers safe? I use Bronzite to protect my identity… (taped ads).

We’re back. So, John, you were with Mary, Jesus’ mother?

John (sadly): Yes. When we heard about the verdict, we grabbed our stuff and went to be with Jesus. We were there at the cross. It was terrible. He was himself to the end, though — forgiving, worried about his mother and stuff like that. He prayed. He died when the storm blew up. Some friends with influence got permission for us to take Jesus down and bury him just before the Sabbath. The ladies will finish the burial after the sabbath.

Rabbi Jerry: Hmm. So, after this weekend, it’s back to square one for John and his friends. Thanks, John.

Simon, “the Zealot,” is with us. Simon, why didn’t you fight for Jesus?

Simon (shaking his head): I’ve seen my share of action in Syria and I could tell within seconds the encounter was going to go badly. Jesus was not going to fight. We had to clear out or go on trial with Jesus.

Rabbi Jerry: So, what about Jesus of Nazareth?

Peter: I think I can speak for all of us (looking around). He’s finished. Jesus is dead. John and the ladies have put his body to rest. No more messiah. Right guys?

Guys: Yes.

Rabbi Jerry: So what’s next for you guys?

John: We’ll finish up the funeral. I promised I’d take care of Mary. I’m thinking we might go back to Capernaum when things have settled.

Peter: Most of us are going to lay low for a while. There may be bounties on our heads, we’re not sure. Better to be safe. Then, I guess we’ll go back home and take up where we left off about three years ago.

Rabbi Jerry: So, there you have it. Jesus of Nazareth, dead. Followers scattered. Fantasy to funeral in a week. I’m Jerry “the Rabbi” Goldberg and you are listening to AM 1470, KREX, The Voice of Rome.  We’ll be right back.

Tr8: “They did not believe” (Luke 24: 11). Jesus and prophets raised others from the dead, but NO ONE ever raised himself from the dead. The event that changed the world was Jesus (God apparent) overcoming death on his own after we killed him. God with us on his terms, not ours. The Good News is God has revealed sin (the truth), but has determined to love us (grace) despite our sin.