Posts Tagged ‘faith’

Murphy, an Irish pub owner, is walking through Capernaum and bumps into a guy in front of Starbucks.

Murphy (carrying a load of books): Oops! ‘Scuse me.

Jesus (smiling): Murph! I’m Jesus, you’re Matt’s friend.

Murphy (smiling, too): Sure! I know you!

Jesus: No, you don’t.

Murphy (eyebrows raised): What?

Jesus: You DON’T know me.

Murphy: Matt says you’re God, the Messiah–you have disciples, a magic touch, high connections and stuff.

Jesus: All true, but you don’t know me. You make lists about objects. But people require revelation. For instance, what’s my favorite food?

Murphy: Figs?

Jesus: Nope, Ted Drew’s chocolate concretes in St. Louis.

Murphy: I didn’t understand a thing you just said.

Jesus: That’s because you don’t know me.

Murphy: What’s my favorite food?

Jesus: I don’t know, what?

Murphy: Ha! It’s shepherd’s pie! With a crunchy crust…

Jesus: Ah, you like crunchy crusty things…I’m going to make fried chicken and french fries for you and your family sometime.

Murphy: Mmm. Sounds good. How do you know I have a family?

Jesus: I know everything about you, but you haven’t revealed much to me. Let’s pop into Starbucks and talk.

Murphy: Okay. Please, it’s my treat, though.

Jesus: So, you like to give stuff to others?

Murphy: Yeah, I wish I had more to give away. People around here have so many needs. I feel blessed, but I worry about my neighbors. For instance, the Jacobson’s family–they were evicted last week, so they’re staying in my pub for now. Sad.

Jesus: I’m a giver, too. See that cut on your arm? Watch this.

(Jesus runs his finger along the cut and it disappears)

Murphy (drops his books at a booth): Whoa! Thanks, that was amazing! Wish I could do that!

Jesus (looking intently): Well, we’ll see. It’ll depend on if we’re compatible and can relate.

Murphy: I once knew a barber who could sew up cuts, but nothing like you do. He could also sing–the other three guys in his shop used to sing Egyptian tunes in four-part harmony–beautiful!

Jesus: You like music?

Murphy (excited): Oh, yeah, I sort of play the guitar. Mostly folk songs from Ireland–reminds me of home. You like music?

Jesus: As a matter of fact, I do. And, I like Irish music, too. Do you know Danny Boy?

Murphy: Sure! Can you sing?

Jesus: A little.

Murphy: I’d love to hear you sing. Maybe you could come to the pub some evening and we could try some tunes. Can you play anything?

Jesus: I mess around with a concertina that was Uncle Zebedee’s.

Murphy: James and John’s dad? I know them! John and I went to the same gymnasium. He’s a bit of a hot-head, but deep down he’s a thoughtful guy.

Jesus: Yeah, not many people see that in John, but they will. So, you look beyond the surface when you meet people?

Murphy: I guess so. I’m no saint, so I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I certainly can’t throw any stones…

Jesus: Interesting. I’m enjoying getting to know you Murph. We see a lot of things the same way–a kind of shared values thing.

Murphy: Yeah, I see we do. It’s like we’ve let each other in. I’m beginning to see what makes you tick and why everyone is drawn to you.

Jesus: Right. Me, too. You’ve revealed a lot about yourself just now. See, that’s what people do; they reveal and relate–or not. That’s how I decide who I decide to ask to follow me. Disciples–friends–mates–share values. ‘Seems the more folks are alike, the better they relate.

Murphy: 10-4. I read you. I guess I didn’t know you after all, but I know you better now and hope do this again.

Jesus: We will. Murphy, here’s something very important. Listen closely. I’m looking for friends like you who are looking for friends like me. AND, I am that I am. I’m GOD. I met Simon Aaronson, the scribe at the synagogue…I doubt we’ll ever be friends. Understand, I love him, but we have nothing in common, plus he’s a jerk around women and hates kids.

Murphy (looking down; somewhere between humble and afraid): Wow…  Lord, that makes perfect sense. Everyone builds relationships by revelation, right?

Jesus: Murphy, you are on the right track. I’ll have a tall Pike Place, black. I think we’re going to be good friends. Can I bring my guys around to the pub tonight?

________

Tr8: Want God to reveal himself to you? Reveal yourself to him and hope what you reveal draws him closer. The more like Jesus we become, the better the revelation.

 

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Jesus walks down to the lake after the disciples and 15 others lunch on a hot dog and a bag of sour cream and chives chips. Jesus reaches the shore and sees Judas sitting with his feet in the water. The other disciples are dunking and splashing each other. Jesus sits a little further up the bank and watches until John notices him.

John: Hey, Jesus!

Judas turns around and everyone stops and looks at Jesus.

Jesus (pointing at Peter) : For Pete’s sake, guys. You aren’t supposed to swim within 30 minutes after lunch.

Judas: Told you so.

Peter: (raises an eyebrow at Judas, smiles at Jesus): We’re practicing baptizing.

Jesus: Hmm. So how does it work?

Peter: Well, you get your hands wet and then make the sign of a cross on their foreheads.

A few near Peter nod.

John: No, you lean ’em back and then dunk ’em totally under water.

Andrew and a few others near John nod.

Judas: Doesn’t matter as long as you get water on ’em.

Everyone looks at him quizzically.

Jesus: What’d’ya think baptism means?

John: Like you told Nicodemus — it’s a new birth — a water birth. The old person goes into the water and a new one comes out. I guess it’s symbolic.

Peter: No, it’s not just symbolic. Baptism imparts real grace to people. You almost glowed when you were baptized. It’s God’s way of giving grace, which opens the way to eternal peace and redemption…I think.

Simon the Zealot: If you don’t get baptized, you can’t join a church can you?

Judas: It doesn’t really mean anything. At best it’s symbolic. It’s just plain water, isn’t it?

Everyone rolls their eyes. Peter splashes Judas.

Jesus: Hmm. You guys are all over the place on this. Andrew, what did the Baptizer tell you?

Andrew: Baptism was supposed to signify repentance and turning from sin.

Jesus: That’s good.

John: Yeah, the Baptizer said it signified turning from sin. After all, he baptized you, what’d it do for you?

Jesus (smiling): It pleased the Father. It was a special moment between the Father and me.

Judas: See, it doesn’t mean anything.

Everyone looks askance at Judas.

Jesus: Sorta right, Moneybags. What if I told you baptism means what you think it means? What if what you believe is what you get? Frankly, guys, it you believe it means nothing, your baptism means nothing. If you believe it’s part of the saving grace of the Father, it is. If you see nothing miraculous about it, nothing is. If you believe you’ve received a miracle, you have. Personally, I like baptisms.

John: So, what does it really mean?

Jesus (wading out): It means, if you like me, do it. Who wants to practice on me?

Tr8: Be baptized in faith, believing. Believe big in case it’s bigger than you think. God exceeds whatever we think.

John the BaptistJohn the Baptist and Benny (his last loyal disciple) sit talking through prison bars.
Benny: Brought you some honey and locusts. And a thermos of coffee from my mom.
John (head down): Thanks. Hey to your mama.
Benny: Man you look really depressed. Sorry.
John: Tell me again what Jesus said.
Benny: Well, I asked just like you said: “Are you the one or shall we look for another?”
John: And…
Benny: He looked really sad–maybe even a tear–and said, “Tell Cousin John everything you’ve seen–blind see, sick healed, dead raised, demons running, people comforted–tell him to remember Isaiah 61.”
John (smiling slightly): Ah, break out the faith…
Benny (reaching through the bars to touch John’s robe): Then he said you were the greatest man to ever be born of a woman. John, he loves you. I know he does. It was clear as day.
John (hopefully): Did he say he’d try to come visit? Man, I been praying day and night to see him again.
Benny (dropping his head): Uhh, no. Said he was moving to Capernaum. Further north. Near the beach…
John: Well, maybe John and Andrew could visit? They were good guys while they were with us. I could use some encouragement here.
Benny (shaking his head): No, they’re staying with Jesus and going to Capernaum, too.
John: Oh.
Benny (quietly): John, nobody’s coming. It’s just me.
John (looking into Benny’s eyes): Thanks, Ben. Means a lot.
Benny: It’s nothing. No trouble coming in tonight. There’s some kind of huge banquet going on in the palace. I heard Herod promised up to half his kingdom to his step-daughter for dancing.
John: I’m glad you are here. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been totally forgotten. I pray, sing and meditate and review Scripture and stuff, but seems pointless. Even so, I continue.
Benny: Sure. Things are bound to look up pretty soon.
John: Maybe. I’m God’s man, good or bad. He sent me to make a pathway in the wilderness and to declare it’s time. I wavered for a bit, but of course Jesus is THE Messiah, the Chosen One.
Quietness.
John: I can feel his spirit with us now. And, yeah, Jesus is here. How could I doubt?
Ben and John look up as keys rattle in the dungeon door. Two guards enter. One carries a sword, the other a dinner platter.

Tr8: Persevere in trials. We are loved and cared for in adversity. God’s plan isn’t always easy or painless, but it can be full of faith, hope, love, peace and joy regardless of the circumstances.

References: Matthew 11:11 and “In the Meantime” by Andy Stanley.

heavenIt’s 72 A.D. and Murphy, the non-disciple, sits with his family at the funeral of his son, Micky. They are near Capernaum, where Mick was killed in a construction accident. Murphy is getting on in years. While sitting with his wife, Murphy is approached by a neighbor, Sem, a Kurdish buddhist.

Sem (respectfully):May Mick be one with the universe.

Murphy: Hogwash.

Sem (surprised): What?!

Murphy: Hogwash. Mick is with Jesus right now in heaven.

Sem: That’s right, y’all are members of The Way.

Murphy: Quite right. I actually followed Jesus and spoke with him AFTER he didn’t die at the hands of the chief priests and Romans. Mick was a kid back then.

Sem: So, you believe in heaven? Where is it and what’s it like?

Murphy: Can’t say as I really know, but Jesus said there was such a place. When a guy who works signs and wonders rises from the dead says something, you can take it to the bank.

Sem: Does the Torah or any of your holy books teach about heaven?

Murphy: Can’t say for sure. I don’t really know the Scriptures like I should. But, if Jesus says it, I believe it. In fact, that’s why I believe the Jewish laws and prophets–Jesus did and that’s good enough for me.

Sem: I see. So, it’s all a matter of faith for you.

Murphy: Yep. Jesus said, “Life will be hard, but I go to prepare a place for you, that where I go you may be also.” I saw him live. I saw him die. I saw him alive again. AND, I saw him ascend into the sky.

Sem: Seriously?

Murphy: You can look it up. Dr. Luke wrote it all down for his friend Theophilus who lives in Alexandria, or maybe Antioch, by a library. There’s a copy of his letters down at our gathering place on the corner of Mud and Fish streets near my other son’s pub.

Sem: You believe Mick is with Jesus now?

Murphy: Yes, I do. Mick believed in the one who has risen. He repented of his sin, was baptized in the sea by Matthew the tax collector. Mick kept Jesus’ truth in his heart and acted graciously toward others.

Sem: That’s good.

Murphy: Yep. We’re parted for now, but we’ll meet up again. You wanna come along?

Tr8: Belief in Jesus settles our doubts about the hereafter. We may not know the answers, but we know the one who does.

Son of god“Son of God” opens Friday, February 28. See it!

Jesus was not a small group leader with 12 followers…he was a rock star and came to Jerusalem as THE MESSIAH with a huge following. The populace rolled out the red carpet and screamed, “Hosanna!” Yet, he surrendered to the Jewish religious leaders and Romans without a word or a fight. They executed him.

To the amazement of Jerusalem, he returned and said, “I am the Son of God, whom you crucified. Repent and love one another!”

Then he proved he was THE MESSIAH by establishing his kingdom HERE, NOW, in our hearts–love one another”

Tr8: Believe in Jesus, love one another and live!

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, suggested Jesus was either a lunatic OR indeed, the Son of God.