Remembering Our Lessons – Good News for July 13

13 07 2010

Matthew 11:20-24

Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.

And as for you, Capernaum: Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the nether world.

For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

The Daily Path: What would you do differently if today was your last on earth?





Ephphatha! – Good News for February 12

12 02 2010

Mark 7:31-37

Jesus left the district of Tyre and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, into the district of the Decapolis. And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, “Ephphatha!” (“Be opened!”) And immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly.

He ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more he ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it. They were exceedingly astonished and they said, “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

The Daily Path: This is one of my favorite passages in the Gospel. “He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.” We also know that He makes the blind see. And in these words I see a nice analogy for the wonder of accepting God into our life.

When I finally re-embraced God after so many years, I was able to “experience” my weakness, and, as some would say, my woundedness. In this ongoing experience, God provides me with the ability to overcome them. Through Him, my eyes were opened. I’ve been given the ability to see the problems in my life from a new perspective and accept them. This isn’t SuperVision because I still miss a lot, but at least my eyes are open to seeing what I once ignored… or perhaps a better way to put that is: to see what I once hid from. And, by opening my ears to hear the Word of God, I am better able to open my mouth and reclaim the voice that will bring about change in my life.

Enjoy these passages! They illustrate the miraculous healing that God provides when we are willing to “open” ourselves to Him. Is it any wonder that the people Jesus touched couldn’t keep their mouths shut about these miracles? They were truly moved by the Good News each experienced! And so am I.





Banquet of Scraps – Good News for February 11

11 02 2010

Mark 7:24-30

Jesus went to the district of Tyre. He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it, but he could not escape notice. Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him. She came and fell at his feet.

The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, “Let the children be fed first. For it is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.” She replied and said to him, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.”

Then he said to her, “For saying this, you may go. The demon has gone out of your daughter.” When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.

The Daily Path: Ready to take a little road trip with me? Do a Google Search on: Mark 7:24-30

You’ll find a number of interpretations of Mark’s account. Reading them only took a few minutes, but provided a number of insights to help me better understand this passage. So much to learn, and every scrap helps.





Crushingly Popular – Good News for January 21

21 01 2010

Mark 3:7-12

Jesus withdrew toward the sea with his disciples. A large number of people followed from Galilee and from Judea. Hearing what he was doing, a large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem, from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan, and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon. He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him.

He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him. And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, “You are the Son of God.” He warned them sternly not to make him known.

The Daily Path: He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him.

I somewhat reluctantly draw the comparison between what Jesus experienced and the mobs faced by early rock and roll stars, like Elvis and the Beatles. Reluctantly for two reasons: 1) Because there is no real comparison other than the crowds of followers that would do anything to get close; and, 2) The statement John Lennon made about the Beatles being “more popular than Jesus”.

All that aside, both Elvis and the Beatles were met with screaming fans, before after and during their performances. Apparently Jesus had a lot of screaming among his followers, too, but this was from the pharisees and all those unclean spirits being driven from the individuals whose bodies they occupied. And, like the musical celebrities, Jesus had to take precautions to escape being crushed by those who wanted a closer experience with Him.

I suppose the desire to get so near our heroes is just human nature. But what if those who craved to be close to Jesus had done so in the spirit? They could have gathered a thousand deep, with those in the back row equally close as those in the front row. No screaming needed. Only quiet of mind and heart would have been required to hear Jesus and draw close. Come to think of it… isn’t that all we need do today to be near Him?

By the way, where is Idumea? Sounds like something I once contracted as a lad.





Ephphatha! – Good News for February 13

13 02 2009

Mark 7:31-37

Jesus left the district of Tyre and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, into the district of the Decapolis.  And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, “Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”) And immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly.  He ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more he ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it. They were exceedingly astonished and they said,
“He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

The Daily Path: I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. For many years I was deaf to God’s messages to me. Apparently He grew tired of this after being petitioned for so long by my parents and others. So one day He said “Enough is enough.” and stuck His finger in my ear. I remain astonished how suddenly I could hear again. Now I’m proclaiming He can do all things… and does.

Room to Chat: With a long weekend of activity ahead I hope you will still find time to spend with Christ. I’m sure He likes to have fun, too.





At The Feet Of Jesus – Good News for February 12

12 02 2009

Mark 7:24-30

Jesus went to the district of Tyre. He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it, but he could not escape notice. Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him. She came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter.

He said to her, “Let the children be fed first. For it is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” She replied and said to him, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.” Then he said to her, “For saying this, you may go. The demon has gone out of your daughter.”

When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.

The Daily Path: Mark’s gospel offers me two things. First, that I need a daily reminder to throw myself at the feet of Jesus in complete surrender. I must learn to humble myself and stop reaching out to wrestle back control of my situation. 

Second, it’s a reminder that I am not first. Who around me is worse off? Who can I help? These are desperate times for so many. Where is the abundance in my life that I can share?

Lord help me to see where I am needed most. Show me the way.

Room to Chat: I find that the more time I share with God the better my day is.