The reading from Matthew today offers a sharp contrast to the Jesus pictured in this scene. The meek, the poor in spirit, the merciful . . . the Beatitudes must be seasoned with a picture of Jesus that is driven, committed, and even stubborn.
John is often portrayed as a crazy, Grizzly Adams type of character with his strange, hairy clothes and odd diet of locusts, but we often gloss over the audacity of his message and the prophetic edge with which he spoke.
The Bible begins with the audacious claim that humans are created in God’s image. What sets us apart from the rest of the created order is that we are made in the image of God. Spend a few minutes today pondering what that means.
When a miracle gets “corrected,” and Peter’s mistaken view of Jesus appears, we are reminded that seeing Jesus means giving up our own ways to follow him. What are some ways we can show Jesus more clearly around us?
Think about it, the Bible isn’t that big. You can read Jesus’ words in a couple of hours. Jesus lived over thirty years, ministered at least three, and the record we have can be read in the time it takes to watch a movie.
The opening scene highlights the age of skepticism that we have in our world today. It once seemed that video cameras and live television footage would provide the ultimate evidence for truth. However, we have been trained to doubt what our eyes tell us.
Like so much of the Bible, the story is told so matter-of-factly we sometimes lose sight of the deeper, underlying struggles that must have been at play. Take, for instance, Jesus telling Peter he would make him a fisher of men.
Put yourself in Jesus’ shoes. Imagine the attention he was receiving. Like today, when a child prodigy is discovered, they receive attention from an early age. The attention is accompanied by skeptics who wonder if they can live up to the early expectations
Who is Jesus and why did he come? These questions are at the center of Christian faith. “Jesus is the Son of God” is a straightforward answer (though not requiring any faith), but beyond that lies the more complex question of why he came.
We can’t help but wonder, “Why Mary?” When reading Genesis we ask, “Why Abraham?” It is a reminder that God is in control of this world and we are simply here to receive his grace and open ourselves up to where he may lead.