Jesonian … March 10th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog


Not every morning supplies a miracle. Weeks can go by without walking on water–or water turning into wine, for that matter.

Truthfully, life is more like dry cereal looking for milk–not much to be excited about unless you brought along your own thrills.

This was true in the life of Jesus, too.

Fortunately, the Gospel writers tell us about the good moments and also the bad ones. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John share that sometimes Jesus just hung out, to “tarry” with his friends. And just like us, often his activities were dictated by the whim, intensity and preoccupation of his audience or critics.

In the Good Book, Matthew 19, there is such a situation. Jesus is minding his own business when he is confronted by the Pharisees, who seem to spend a lot of time worrying about things that don’t matter to anyone else. They were especially distressed over the issue of divorce–not because they were against it. The Law of Moses and also the Oral Law, which had been constructed by religious leaders over many centuries, allowed men to divorce their wives simply by leaving a note on the pillow.

The Pharisees felt that Jesus had a different outlook on the subject, so they confronted him about the dilemma.

Jesus made it clear that he believed divorce to be chauvinism. He explained that marriage is meant to be an experience between people of equality, who decide to leave their families to form their own union.

They were very upset.

Yet escaping their probing, Jesus arrives back in camp to discover that his disciples, who had been cut from the same homespun philosophies and bigotry as the Pharisees, were chasing away the women and children. After all, they thought, Jesus was too important to have time for women, who were lesser, and children, who were insignificant.

The feminist in Jesus comes to the forefront. He rebukes his disciples. He tells them to bring the children–which meant the women, also–to him, and he lays hands on the tykes, blesses and enjoys them.

Often we wonder how miracles occur. Miracles happen because people who know how to treat women and children humbly ask for them.

It isn’t about extended periods of prayer, nor ministers on Sabbatical studying the original Greek. Rather, miracles are about people who know how to play with children–people who are aware that a woman is not a “weaker vessel.” When these people pray, God listens.

Jesus treated women as humans. On this week, with “International Women’s Day,” we need to consider what this entails.

Jesus gave women empathy, but not sympathy: You are as good as men, but don’t pull up lame and fall back on femininity when you think it’s to your advantage.

So even though Jesus showed compassion on the woman caught in adultery, he looked her straight in the eyes and said, “Go and sin no more.”

He relished a conversation with the woman at the well in Samaria, but when she said she “had no husband,” he reminded her that she had married five husbands, and was now living with another man.

When his mother tried to interfere with his work, he spoke to her as an equal, not as a son, and said, Back off. It’s not my time.

And when busy Martha was doing all the housework, using the “gift of helps” to feed the disciples and Jesus, he stopped her and said, Your sister Mary has decided to listen to the teaching instead of playing “Harriet Homemaker. Follow suit.”

Life is not about what we do when we’re trying to be spiritual or contemplative. Life is lived in the cracks–those moments that seem insignificant when the world around us has cast a negative vibe and it is our job to bring the light.

Jesus believes that spirit begins with how women and children are treated.

I, for one, think he’s right.



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Jesonian… May 6th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog




He’s “Joseph’s son.”

“The carpenter’s kid.”

These were the comments from the people of Nazareth when Jesus dared to express his individuality.

He had already established some obvious success. He had partaken of the baptism of his cousin, John, been in the wilderness seeking guidance, garnered some followers and had made quite a splash changing water to wine in Cana.

Rumors of his escapades had already come to his hometown. So when he arrived at the synagogue and was given the scroll to read, and he spouted the words of the prophet Isaiah about the Gospel being preached to the poor, and then told them that “this day the prophecy was being fulfilled,” they became infuriated.

They attacked him. What was the weapon? They chose to lump him in with his family. “You’re just a local boy.”

That brings me to a thought.

One of the more crippling proclamations being uttered in our time, when referring to our offspring, is to say, “They will always be my children.”

No, they won’t.

There comes a time when they need to be themselves.

They need to take responsibility for their lives and their kids, knowing when they grow up they will need to let them go as well.

Family sucks–it sucks the life out of each and every one of us, trying to make us dependent on a tiny nucleus of identity. Sometimes we stop growing, but more often than not we end up mimicking the actions of our parents instead of creating the fresh soil for an awakening in generosity and mercy.

Jesus was rejected in his hometown because he dared to be something different from just “Joseph’s son.”

The Nazarenes became infuriated when he explained that he would be unable to do much to help them “because of their unbelief.”

It caused them to rise as a mob and push him to the edge of a cliff, with the intention of shoving him to his death. You see, they went from being a small town church gathering to an enraged, out of control gang, ready to commit murder.

All because Jesus refused to follow the rules of family.

What would have happened if Jesus had stayed in Nazareth, been the carpenter’s son and complied with the local menu of activities?

We would be lost.

Yet it is possible to love your family, honor your mother and father and still quickly and intentionally separate yourself from them, find your direction and pursue your calling.

I would hope that my sons would find comfort in their upbringing, but never, ever consider themselves to just be my sons.

America is drunk on the elixir of family. We use it as an excuse for all sorts of indifference to the world around us.

Fortunately for us, Jesus of Nazareth was not really Jesus of Nazareth.


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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … February 3rd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog


PoHymn February 3

Servant of All

I saw my Master serving

And I felt quite undeserving

Because I want to rule

Instead of play the fool

I grasp the tarnished crown.


For he took the water fine

And changed it into wine

Gave for all to share

To express his heartfelt care

Rejoicing in their pleasure.


While offering his words so wise

He touched the blind man’s eyes

Disturbing his time and space

To commune with the human race

I blare my horn in traffic.


When arrested in the garden green

At the mercy of the mob obscene

He healed the ear of his accuser

Wounded by a nearby abuser

As I wipe the blood from my sword.


Hanging, bleeding, black and blue

Father, forgive them for what they do

Weary and worn in his demise

He welcomed a thief to Paradise

While I abhor inconvenience.


For I wait at the table demanding to be served

Impatient as always, often unnerved

While he kneels down to wash my feet

I am embarrassed, seeking a hasty retreat

He smiles and continues his labor.


I am not a worthy soul

Less than half of what is whole

But if I can slow down from moving faster

I can become the servant worthy to be master.

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Jesonian: He Was… November 2, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog


jesus knocks

He was not a traditional Jew, though he loved his mother, father, sisters and brothers who were.

He was not an Arab, even though he spent his formative years in Egypt.

He was not a Greek, though like many of their philosophers, he had great “ideas,” which when applied, improved the human condition.

He was not a Roman, though he told his disciples to “render unto Caesar the things that were Caesar’s.”

He was not an African, though his goal was to make the whole earth a common tribe.

Nor was he Chinese, though in the tradition of Confucius, Jesus say: “What shall it profit man if gain world and lose soul?”

He wasn’t German, but instead, tried to envision a world that was “all the Father’s Land.”

Not French, but turned water into wine.

Was he British? No, but to this day, the sun never sets on his kingdom.

He was not Spanish, though he taught us all to explore the world within and to go into all the world around us.

He was not Native-American, though he introduced us to the “Comfort of the Great Spirit.”

And he was not American, though he certainly believed that all humans were created equally.

Isn’t it fascinating that perhaps in being none of these individually, he had room in his being to become all of them?

Jesus was the “Great Physician Without Borders,” who healed the heart, saved the soul, refreshed the mind and energized the body.


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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

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Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

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Click here to listen to Spirited music

Four Mothers… May 12, 2013


four mothersI am convinced that being a mother is a good thing, even though I would have to insist that being referred to as “Mom” is preferable–because if your children call you “Mother” it’s usually because they‘re angry or overly mature.

Of course what you want to avoid is mothering. How could adding “i-n-g” to such a wonderful word turn it into such a picky piece of prissiness? After all, NO one is going to endure mothering.

But I have come to the conclusion that there are FOUR mothers, and each one plays an essential part in achieving the ideal status of Mom.

First, there is Mother Earth. That is part of the process, you know–teaching your children to understand the world around them, respect others and stop complaining about their lot, but instead, find ways to improve things. This is certainly in the job description of being a good Mom.

How about Mother Goose? While we’re teaching all those lessons about earth, it’s nice to allow our children a dream–which if they work real hard, can be confirmed by fairy tales coming true.

I think mingled into the process of being that female parent to your child is Mother Mary. Can you birth your own child of promise, let him or her grow up, teach them the best you can–but in the long run, leave it to them to change their own water to wine? Even if it takes them far from your home? That’s what Mary had to do with Jesus and I guess that’s what every Mom has to do with her child.

And finally, the fourth part of being a mother is being a Mother Ship. Once you’ve launched your little capsule of wonder into the world, it’s nice to offer them a place to come back to from time to time, where they can get energy, rejuvenate and discover the wonders of “home” before going into outer space.

So I guess that’s what it means to be a Mom–to be Mother Earth, Mother Goose, Mother Mary and a Mother Ship.

So on this day I celebrate. And on this day I salute all of those who have taken on the amazing task of birthing something you know you will have to let go, realizing that in doing so, you believe you’ve made the world a little bit better place.

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