Jesonian… March 25th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3256)

jesonian-cover-amazon

When John, son of Zebedee, sat down to pen his recollections of traveling with Jesus of Nazareth, he had two goals in mind:

  1.  He wanted the reader to know that Jesus was the only begotten son of God.
  2. He also wanted the reader to understand that Jesus was a flesh and blood human being.

So the same Jesus who raised Lazarus from the dead often finds himself trapped in squabbles with disciples and Pharisees who totally misunderstand his motives.

Nowhere is this clearer than in John the 7th Chapter, when Jesus is once again thrust in the middle of a squall with his Nazareth family. Since he spent his first thirty years in the household of Joseph the Carpenter, one might think that many of these misunderstandings would have been worked out, and that smoother paths would have been pursued.

But as soon as Jesus decided not to be “normal,” his family dubbed him “weird.”

  • They sought him out to bring him home because they thought he was crazy.
  • They stood idly by when the townspeople of Nazareth pushed him to the edge of the cliff, threatening to cast him to his death.
  • And in John the 7th Chapter, they taunt him about his newfound fame, asserting that if he really wanted to “promote his gig,” he should do it at the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, where there would be large crowds.

It is a nasty and bitter piece of resentment and jealousy. Some theologians even think that his family members may bave been paid to intimidate him into going to Jerusalem so that assassins lying in wait could kill him on the journey.

We know that Jesus is still trying to work out his own feelings about this nuclear family, because he speaks back to them just as bratty as they spoke to him.

Paraphrasing, “Since you are common laborers with nothing special about you, you can go to the feasst anytime you want and no one will care one way or another. I, on the other hand, wait on instructions from my Father.”

It is one of those examples where Jesus breaks pattern with the conservative Christians of our generation today. On any given Sunday, almost every minister will tout from the pulpit the importance of our personal families–the beauty of fellowship involved in those relationships. But even with a cursory look, we quickly discover that Jesus loved his family, but not more than he loved his fellow humans.

Cases in point:

When they told him that his family had come to see him, he pointed to the crowd and said, “These are my family–those who do the will of my Father.”

When Mary asked him to do something to provide wine for the Cana wedding feast, he called her “woman” and said that he was not at her bidding, but waiting for the right time.

Of course, in the Sermon on the Mount, he says, “If you only love those who love you, you’re no better than the heathen.”

And he goes on to say that if you don’t “hate your mother and father, you are not worthy of the kingdom”–not because he was trying to pull families apart, but rather, trying to break curses, genetic trends and predilections which cause children to become just like their parents, choiceless.

And on this occasion in John 7, he makes it clear that he will not be intimidated by his brothers and sisters just so they can force him to become “one of the clan.”

Later, he does attend the Feast of Tabernacles–but on the bidding of the Spirit, not the coercion of family.

What can we learn from Jesus about family?

You can love them, trust them and listen to them as long as they do not steal your identity and your calling. Then, if they choose to do that, for a while you can just love them–until the day that they finally understand.

Even though Jesus died, rose from the grave and went to heaven without the support of his Nazareth home, we know that at least three of them–James, Jude, and of course, Mother Mary–ended up becoming ardent followers of his message. 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … March 23rd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2876)

PoHymn Judas

The Unusual Suspect

Did you know the man?

Please tell us what you can.

Did he live alone?

Ever use your phone?

Was he the kind to smile?

We need this for our file.

Would a woman make his day

Or was he openly gay?

Believe in the divine?

Seeking for a sign?

Search your memory.

What did you watch and see?

Would you trust him with your kid?

Did he ever flip his lid?

When did he come for dinner?

A loser or a winner?

Silver seemed to be his preference.

Do you know of any particular reference?

Go by Judas or Jude?

Was he ever rude?

What about the number thirty?

Would you describe him as timid or flirty?

Did you see any of this coming?

We hear he was often heard humming.

What was his favorite tune?

He moved here back in June.

Anything weird that comes to mind

Will give us the motive we need to find.

Was he on the level?

Did he worship the devil?

What would be your vote?

Did he leave a suicide note?

‘Cause he’s dead, you know

By a rope.

Went completely nuts.

Couldn’t cope.

Search your memory

Nothing’s too small

We’ll leave you our card

Give us a call.

For we need to close

This stupid case

Of this careless sumbitch

Who betrayed our race.

Sorry to bother you.

Thanks for your time.

Sometimes there is just

No reason or rhyme.

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Jesonian: 12,206 … August 10, 2014

 

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2318)

carpenter young Jesus12,206.

It’s the number of days that Jesus of Nazareth lived on this earth. Give or take a hundred here or there.

I would never be so presumptuous as to tell you that I know all the specifics of the times and dates of the life of the Nazarene. But for the sake of discussion and discovery, come along with me, and let us agree that 12,206 is pretty close.

The reason I want you to examine this with me is that six years of that life was spent in Egypt, as a boy in exile, having been threatened by Herod the Great. So for six years of his life–or approximately 22% of his existence–he was a stranger in a strange land, alienated from the people of his origin and left to discover, along with his refugee parents, who were aliens in Egypt, exactly who he was, what he could do, and survive all the difficulties associated with the process,

For twenty-four years, or approximately 71% of his term, he lived as a carpenter in a tiny village with a family of about seven people.

Only three years, or about 8% of his life, was spent traveling, sharing, teaching and interacting with people in his ministry. And only about two of those years included healing, exorcisms and resurrections of dead people. So although we consider him to be the celebrated healer of Galilee, only about 5% of his life was spent in that pursuit.

He had one night when he was arrested, about 4.5 hours on the cross of his death, thirty-six hours in the grave and forty days of life after the resurrection before he ascended to heaven.

He spent forty days in the wilderness preparing himself by challenging his appetites and being tempted.

All of those moments in his life which we call his ministry, was less than 10% of his journey.

Almost 3/4 of the time he was alive, he was Jesus of Nazareth, son of a carpenter, brother to Jude, Simon, James, with at least a couple of sisters, and with his mother, Mary.

To me, the message he left behind through this lineage of his life is:

1. Learn to get along with people.

2. Take some time to get to know yourself; otherwise you’ll enter life much too defensive to be any help to others.

3. Don’t be afraid to be a stranger because in doing so, you find out what you’re really made of and the power of your values.

4. When you do finally decide to travel, move among your fellow-humans with a heart to forgive and a desire to heal.

5. Understand that there will be those who will try to hurt you.

6. Be prepared to lay your life on the line.

7. Trust God to bring you through.

He was a human being who lived for 12,206 days, spending most of them communicating, through his life, how to better understand the people around him … and offer a helping hand instead of a critical spirit.

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