Archive for June, 2012

Mark 4:35-41, Job 38:1-11

June 25, 2012

 

Did Jesus really calm the sea? Or is this a story meant to teach us a spiritual lesson? Was the storm really violent, or did the disciples’ fear make it seem more terrifying than it was? Was the real miracle calming the sea? Or was it that Jesus calmed the disciples’ fear, so that they no longer perceived the storm as threatening?

If you were Jesus, how would you have responded to the disciples’ terror? You could calm the waters, and that would have impressed them, but what would they have learned from that? Dependency for one thing — not to look within themselves to meet a challenge, but to look around for someone else. (more…)

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Mark 4:26-34, June 17, 2012

June 18, 2012

“Jesus did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.”  We are his disciples.  What do you suppose Jesus would have explained to us in private?

His topic was the kingdom of heaven.  Few people hearing these two parables would conclude that the kingdom of heaven is a seed and we should search for it in the soil.  Some might hear the parables and rightly conclude that the kingdom of heaven is a process.  But where does this process take place?  In the sky?  In a place we go to when we die?  Until this question is answered, it doesn’t really help us to know that the kingdom of heaven is a process.  (more…)

Mark 3:20-35

June 10, 2012

What is the eternal sin that Jesus speaks of that “can never have forgiveness?”  That has an ominous sound!  How can we avoid it?  Let’s have a go at those questions, starting with the reading from Genesis.

We have to bear in mind that the person who told the story of Adam and Eve had achieved immense spiritual insight.  I’d like to call that person the Holy Sage.  The Sage had lived deeply enough to see through the shifting surface of life to the unchanging realities below the surface.  Think of a pond.  At first leaves floating on a blue sheet capture our gaze, then our focus may pass through all of that to the brown twigs and mud resting on the bottom.  In a similar way the Sage saw through to deeper truths and passed them on to us in story form. (more…)