God explained

blank squareChrist 25 copy Jesus is the exegesis,
the exposition,
the explanation of God.
We cannot know God
outside of Christ.
There IS no God
outside of Jesus.
He’s God enfleshed.
      –Frank Viola

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The power of humility

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Loving humility
is a terrible force:
it is the strongest
of all things,
and there is nothing
else like it.

–Fydor Dostoyevsky

Why would he do that?

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When Jesus was approached by soldiers to be arrested and killed, Peter picked up a a sword and cut off the ear of a man named Malchus. Jesus told Peter to put his sword away, then picked up the ear and put it back on Malchus’ head. We imagine the dialogue: “I’m sorry about my disciple Peter. I’ve been work on him for three years, haven’t gotten very far. I apologized about the ear thing.”

Imagine when Malchus got home for dinner that night, and his wife asked, “How did work go today?” Malchus: “Well, my ear got cut off, but the strangest thing happened. The man who I came to have crucified healed me. Why would he do that?”

–John Ortberg
Who is This Man?

Published in: on 01/09/2015 at 10:21  Leave a Comment  
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More than you think

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Truth is more important,
freedom is more complex
and Jesus is more liberating
than you think.

–Tim Keller

Image: Brett Maurer

Published in: on 11/29/2013 at 14:17  Leave a Comment  
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The Good Wine

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No one really cares that it was on the third day
and there were six stone waterpots able to hold
twenty or thirty gallons each. Those are simply
details the beloved apostle used to tip the occasion
toward its toast, toward the one I AM statement
the sober commentators have always missed.

Only after a few gleaming cups at Cana would
guests be honest enough to hear among all the
revelry what the son of Mary actually meant:

I AM the good wine, kept until now.
Now is the earth’s privileged season.
Now is the beginning of my pouring out.

–John Blase

It’s all about Him

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Jesus isn’t the vital piece
of the puzzle.
He’s the picture.

–Glen Scrivener

Published in: on 06/08/2013 at 16:11  Leave a Comment  
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Do you love Me?

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An extraordinary transaction takes place between Jesus and Peter on the Tiberian seashore. The most plaintive words ever spoken take the form of a heart-stopping question: “Do you love Me?” As we lay aside our fuzzy distractions and actively listen, we hear the suffering cry of a God never heard of before. What is going on here?

No deity of any world religion
has ever condescended to inquire
how we feel about that god.

The pagan gods fired thunderbolts to remind persons who was in charge. The Rabbi in whom infinity dwells asks if we care about Him. The Jesus who died a bloody, God-forsaken death that we might live, is asking if we love Him!

–Brennan Manning

Not the God we imagined

Jesus reveals a God
entirely different
to the monstrous bore
we routinely imagine
God to be.

–Mike Reeves

He could have but He didn’t

He’s in Gethsemane and it’s becoming increasingly obvious that he’s not going to fight. There was a skirmish there when he was arrested but he was not involved in it and he did not approve of it. In fact, he disapproved of it and, according to Luke, healed the one who was wounded and reprimanded his friend, “Put your sword away. That’s not how we do it.”

He’s not going to fight apparently. He could have, oh, he could have. Matthew has absolutely no doubt he could have. In fact he said, “Don’t you know I could ask God right now for twelve legions of angels and they would be here to fight for me?” He could have, says Matthew, but he doesn’t…

When he’s on the cross, there was a good time for him to do it. With all the taunting, just reading the taunting makes me want to do something. “If you’re the Messiah, why don’t you jump down? Everybody will believe in you. If you’re the king, come down. If you’re the Son of God, God would surely love you and get you down.”

That would have been my cue to act. Pull a little whammy. Motivate and energize the crowds and they would take care of it with garden tools and everything else and we’d be on our way. But it’s obvious that he’s not going to fight, although he could…

Matthew, more than anyone else, likes to call Jesus the King. He could have done it, but he didn’t. And I don’t know why I’m always surprised when I read this because I know better. Matthew has told us all along that he’s not going to. Is he the King? He’s the King. Is he going to fight? No. The title for every chapter in Matthew is this: “He Could Have but He Didn’t.

–Fred B. Craddock

Approachable childlikeness

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:14,15).

The unthreatening childlikeness of Jesus intimidated no one. Both friend and foe approached him freely. The Pharisees and Saduccees attacked him with a fervor they could never have mustered had Jesus walked the earth with a heavenly glow and spoken in a royal, electronically enhanced voice. Children were comfortable around him, which even a surface observation would tell you could not be so without his own childlikeness.

–Gayle D. Erwin

The Pharisee and the child

The Pharisee and the child in the gospels stand for opposite types—one had attained, had closed up, was impervious to anything outside of the closed system and his closed soul, while the child was open, eager, full of questions, explorative. Jesus could do nothing with the one and everything with the other.

–E. Stanley Jones

God unveiled

God hides nothing.
His very work from the beginning
is revelation—a casting aside of veil after veil,
a showing unto men of truth after truth.
On and on from fact Divine He advances,
until at length in His Son Jesus
He unveils His very face.

–George MacDonald

King of joy

Don’t be put off by these gloomy caricatures of Christianity. For God’s sake don’t judge Jesus, the King of joy, by them! Try the real thing, not that miserable parody of the reality. Make friends with Jesus, stand where Peter and John and Andrew did and look into His eyes, listen to the music of His voice, answer His challenge, rise and follow.

–James S. Stewart (1896–1990)


Published in: on 04/07/2011 at 12:55  Leave a Comment  
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A photo of God

Take this reverently:
snap a photo of Jesus
and you’ve got God on film.

–Joni Eareckson

A true picture of God

If we accept Jesus as our God, we would have to conclude that our God does not want to be served by us, he wants to serve us; he doesn’t want to be given the highest possible status in our society; he wants to take the lowest place, without any status; he does not want to be feared; he wants to be recognized in the sufferings of the poor; he is not supremely indifferent and detached, he is irrevocable committed to the liberation of humanity, for he has chosen to identify himself with all the people in a spirit of solidarity and compassion. If this is not a true picture of God, then Jesus is not divine. If this is a true picture of God, then God is more truly human, more thoroughly humane, than any human being. He is a supremely ‘human God.’

–Albert Nolan

What God looks like

It is God Himself, personally present and redeemingly active, who comes to meet men in this Man of Nazareth. Jesus is more than a religious genius, such as George Fox, and more than a holy man, such as the lovable Lana in Kipling’s Kim. He himself knows that he is more. The Gospel story is a tree rooted in the familiar soil of time and sense; but its roots go down into the Abyss and its branches fill the Heavens; given to us in terms of a country in the Eastern Mediterranean no bigger than Wales, during the Roman Principate of Tiberius Caesar in the first century of our era, its range is universal; it is on the scale of eternity. God’s presence and his very Self were made manifest in the words and works of this Man. In short, the Man Christ Jesus has the decisive place in man’s ageless relationship with God.

He is what God means by ‘Man’.
He is what man means by ‘God’.

–J. S. Whale

Rethinking everything

For me, everything we thought we knew, from our doctrine of God to our notions of salvation, from election to eschatology, from heaven and hell to repentance and faith have to be rethought in the light of Jesus’ identity. Jesus is the light of the world. It seems to me that the Christian community is called to believe in Jesus and that means to stop believing in ourselves and our own notions of God, life, and history. If we err, we are to err on the side of making too much of Christ and his place in the whole of creation–which, of course, is impossible.

-C. Baxter Kruger

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