Posts Tagged ‘saved’

Jesus is sitting with the disciples in Waffle House early one morning. Everyone is tired, but James and John just had to have waffles. So, they all went, packed into two cars. Murphy, the “13th” disciple came on his motorcycle.

Peter: Jesus, it’s late, but I need to tell you I did something I’m not proud of.

Jesus: I know, you ran a red light on the way here.

Peter: Well, that wasn’t what I was thinking about.

Jesus: You also had mean thoughts about Murphy.

Peter: Ouch! Sorry, Murph. You’re just so unlucky. But, that’s not it either.

Jesus: So, are we gonna sit here and play ‘guess my sin?’

Peter: No. I was the one who passed gas in the car, but didn’t claim it. I think everyone thought Bartholomew did it.

Bartholomew: See! I told you it wasn’t me.

Jesus: Guys, it should not surprise you at this point that I know all your sins. Right?

John (pouring blueberry syrup on his waffles): Yea. You know everything. Even about Peter. Glad I was in the other car.

Jesus: I even know what you are GOING to do wrong. For instance, Judas is going to undertip the waiter.

Judas: Uh-uh. I’m planning on tipping 20%.

Jesus (rolls his eyes): Truth is, I’ve already forgiven the sins you are going to commit.

Judas (surprised): Does that include me?

Jesus (gazing into Judas’ eyes): We’ll see. Those who love me will be loved.

Thomas: So you know that I’m…

Jesus (as Thomas empties the salt shaker): …going to dump out the salt shaker? Yeah. That was mean. Judas, tip 25%.

Murphy: So, when we pray for forgiveness, we’re only agreeing with what you already know.

Jesus (eyebrows raised): Yeah, Murph. That’s right. Well played.

Peter: I knew that. So, you’ve already forgiven us for what we haven’t, already, done yet.

Jesus: Yep. You guys are mine. In me, the price is paid in full. As long as you come back to me. You’ll be fine.

John (thoughtfully): As long as we come back to you. Cool. Are you going to eat the rest of your bacon?

Jesus: This is turkey bacon, and yes, I’m going to eat it and the rest of Nathaniel’s.

John (grabbing Jame’s last piece of bacon): That works for me.

Tr8: In Christ, the deal is done as long as you keep coming back to him.

Holy BibleIt’s 78 and Murphy, the non-disciple, sits in front of his public house in Caesarea. He’s very old. As he sits, his son, Josh, joins him.

Josh (excitedly): Dad! Guess what? A bunch of us have made a book!

Murphy (quizzically): Made a book?

Josh: Yeah, we’ve collected all the Jewish histories, all the gospels and a bunch of letters from James and the Apostles–we call it, The Holy Bible.

Murph: Hmm. The Holy Bible. Sounds impressive.

Josh: See, we’ve put it all together and then we can tell people, “Believe the Bible and you’ll be saved.” It’ll all be in one clean package. You know, all the answers in one place. One-stop-shopping!

Murph: Believe the Bible? I believe–I knew–Jesus and was a witness. I believe in Jesus, who didn’t die, for us.

Josh (exasperated): Duh! Sure, it’s all about Jesus. We believe what you believe, we’ve just made it easier to tell his story.

Murph: I have my doubts.

Josh: Listen, Dad, you believe the Hebrew histories and prophet stories, right?

Murph: I find it hard. After all, we’re not Jews. Yet, I believe the histories and stuff on Jesus’ word. He believed ’em and quoted them, that’s good enough for me. I don’t have to understand ’em. I trust him.

Josh: Well, that’s splitting hairs, isn’t it? Doesn’t really matter why, just that you do.

Murph: It’s different to me. The key is he didn’t die. He lives. In me. Now. Histories don’t really concern me. They didn’t change my life.

Josh (more exasperated): Good grief! Well, you DO believe in the gospels, right?

Murph: I believe the gospels because I know the guys who wrote ’em and saw what they saw. I’m pretty sure John is in Ephesus and I’m pretty sure Matthew is alive someplace. All but James, cleared out of Jerusalem before it fell. Jesus warned ’em to flee and they did.

Josh: So, we agree. The gospels are important and should be believed.

Murph (shaking his head): They’re Jesus’ story. I believe what I saw and I saw what the gospels say. They are reliable.

Josh (getting angry): Why are you fighting? We agree! You always have to be right!

Murph: I know we agree, but while the truth in the stories is important, the grace and love is more important–it’s what HE lived. It’s why he didn’t die.

Josh (irritated): Okay, I’ll concede that. Just work with me on this. The book is a good idea.

Murph: With the right perspective it’s a good idea, with a legalist, it could be disastrous.

Josh: What about the letters? We included James’, John’s, Peter’s, Paul’s, that Hebrew letter and even one by Jude.

Murph: I’m not sure about Jude and I think Barnabas wrote Hebrews, but I’m not sure. Could be Apollos or maybe even Paul in his “Hebrew phase.”

Josh (emphatically): But it’s all good and reliable, right?!

Murph: Yes.

Josh: Finally! It may take a few centuries to catch on, but this book has legs. I promise. All the guys in my small group agree. Your generation seems to be the holdouts–funny how the witnesses seem to resist this project.

Murph: Truth is, some of us have discussed it. Here’s our concern: After our generation this is all going to sound like a tall tale or myth. People will surely say the gospels aren’t true because they won’t know the historical context.

Josh: What?

Murph: Jerusalem, the war, the destruction of Herod’s Temple, the mass crucifixions and genocide. They won’t know that everything changed in the 60s. WE all KNOW about the fall of Jerusalem in 70. What future generations won’t know is what happened in 70 validates the gospels and letters.

Josh: What do you mean?

Murph: I mean, if they knew about the destruction and genocide, they’d know the gospels and letters were written by eye-witnesses. Why? Because the elimination of the Hebrews as a nation would have been mentioned–Jesus prophesied it, then we saw it happen decades later after he went up. Those of us who are still around talk about it and marvel. That’s just how he was when he lived with us…

Josh (thoughtfully): Sorry, Dad. I know it’s tough, still….so, future generations will have the gaul to suggest the gospels and letters aren’t real, or are just stories?

Murph: What do you think?

Josh (thoughtfully): Hmm. That’s something to think about. But surely, if we get the Bible all together, people will believe it.

Murph: Well, I hope so. But you know what the Sanhedrin did with their “Scripture”–they crucified Jesus. He died, then he came back. I saw him myself.

Tr8: Believe in Jesus. The one who didn’t die, for you and me. He lived so we can live in his truth and by his grace and love.

Watch this!

 

Lazarus is eating breakfast (Captain Crunch) with Mary and Martha (Special K) a couple of days after Jesus raised him from the dead.

Mary: Take another bath.

Martha: Yeah, You’re still coming on a bit strong. Next time you die, put on your deodorant. You never know…

Lazarus: Okay. I’ll go down to the bathhouse again and try out that new, organic free-range soap.

Martha: Laz, what do you remember about being dead?

Lazarus: I told you, not much. Seem’s I was only there for an hour or two. Sat by the fireplace with Jonathan and David and a lady named, Lois. God made us some chocolate chip cookies with milk. We talked a while.  Moses joined us at a quarter til eternity and booted up a NetFlix movie — The Ten Commandments — Charlton Heston was just about to whack an Egyptian in a short skirt when Jesus beamed me back.

Mary: Did it hurt?

Lazarus: Not a bit. I was dying when I left, but came back feeling like a champ.

Martha: So, did God tell you how you made it? How you got over the hump?

Lazarus: There were folks all over the place, I think. I didn’t see anyone standing around in hell, but I saw a sign that said it was down the street. Tuesdays are free, but I don’t think alot of folks visit unless someone is getting out. Then there’s a party and a pounding.

Martha: I wish I knew what God wanted out of us. I don’t want to screw things up or disappoint him.

Mary: Makes me sad. At least you get two tries.

Lazarus: Don’t worry, Martha. Mary, don’t you weep. Here’s what I know for a fact. It’s not so much what you believe in, it’s what you be leavin’ when your’re gone. Our lives should leave a trail of all the stuff in Galatians 5: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Martha: Say, what?

Lazarus: If love, joy and peace aren’t what’s found when you leave a room, you’re barkin’ up the wrong tree. It’s not about ‘gettin saved,’ rules, laws, sacraments or being moral, it’s about loving others. The moral stuff goes on automatic when we love as Christ does. The Law leaves you with Romans 7. Grace leaves you with Romans 8.

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Tr8: Leave a wake of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control wherever you go. That’s what paves the way for all of us to get back to Eden.