Archive for the 'Bible Ah-Ha!' Category

(Posts Archive)

Epiphany

He gave us the season and moments of epiphany. Yet no one knew how much he would change his people’s reading of the Scripture or how controversial he would be. Only in time would it become clear that he was a different kind of Messiah—a different kind of prophet, priest, king, savior, lord, judge, warrior, teacher, […]

Outrageous!

Why did Jesus give thoughtful people so many reasons to doubt and reject him? Many of us overlook things he said and did that were outrageous—in his day. Yet to whatever extent we can think like those who feared and resented him, we too may begin to feel some of the ridiculous drama of someone […]

For the Love of God

A friend recently called my attention to a book titled “Testaments of Love, a study of love in the Bible.” It was published in 1981 and written by well-known Australian author, Leon Morris. Even though the book is heavily footnoted  I am impressed not only with its clarity— but also that it may be the book I didn’t […]

Between the Lines

There’s a time to speak and a time to be quiet. Or as Solomon put it, a time to be quiet and a time to speak. Be still and know… God must think that way too. His Book is full of bounded silence. What is said matters. And what is not  said. What is not said can be a […]

Fill in the Blank

When we think of filling in the blank, we fill in the blank. The phrase itself doesn’t tell us in what sense we mean it. Is it a reference to the kind of test we took in school? If so, it we are reading in our recall of a testing method that was used by […]

Reading in Low Light

The book of Ecclesiastes, like the books of Job and Psalms show how easily we confuse our own understanding with our thoughts of God. How else can we read “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.“Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless…” (Ecc 1:2 NLT), followed soon by, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every […]

The Consuming Fire

Seems like I’ve been so slow to learn that Jesus does more than change lives. He also gives new meaning to the way his followers use words and ideas. He gives us his own upside down and inside out vision for everything. He shows us how to think differently about big people, little people, life, death, family, […]

Hiding in Plain Sight

Sometimes the best place to hide is in plain sight. That’s the smile behind a series of urban legends about shrewd rip offs. One is a rumor about an army post that had experienced a series of thefts. When a covered truck with a nervous-looking civilian driver pulled up to the exit gate, guards were […]

Why Jonah Ran

Be fair to Jonah. His mission was dangerous. Bearers of bad news had been killed for a lot less, even within the borders of Israel. Imagine hearing, “Go to your enemies. The awful ones.  Tell them that in 40 days the God of Israel is going to destroy them.” Yet when the prophet eventually delivered his message, people as evil as […]

Jonah and the Perfect Storm

Fearing for their lives, the crew called out to their gods and did everything they could to save the ship and themselves. Desperate, the captain went down into the hold, woke Jonah up, asked how he could sleep at a time like this, and urged him to cry out to his god for help. Meanwhile the crew resorted to a game […]

Jonah and Jesus— for Openers

Continued… from Jonah’s no Jesus. Thanks to those of you who’ve taken the challenge… Here’s an example of the kind of reflection I’ve been alluding to. It’s done not by turning the subplots of the Bible into allegories, but rather by reading forward and then backward to see how the greatest of all true mysteries, tragedies, […]

Jonah’s no Jesus

Jonah’s story ends abruptly. We’ve been given narration, dialogue and miracles. Like so much of the Bible we’ve been told what sounds like a tall tale— but haven’t been told what we are supposed think or conclude. All that is truly clear is that Jonah is not on the same page as his sender or […]

Foreshadowing in The Lottery

In 1948 the New Yorker Magazine published one of the most famous short stories in American literature. Titled “The Lottery”, and written by Shirley Jackson, it’s about a small town that held an annual drawing in which every family picked a slip of paper out of a black box. As town people look at one […]

Words in the Night

In the middle of the night, lately, I’ve found myself waking, with some of the same words running through my mind, over and over… and then over and over— as if something deep inside me is trying to reach and grasp something that seems too good to be true, suspended teasingly just beyond my will […]

Ubuntu

A story is going around the internet that, in some ways, sounds more like legend than fact. But the idea behind it seems to represent a cultural value that is real. As related on an Ubuntu website, an anthropologist made an important discovery after completing his study of a tribe in a southern region of […]

Joseph, Jesus, and the Bible

Seems to me that the story of Joseph, the son of Jacob, is one of the most compelling and provocative stories of the Bible. Indulged as a child of his father’s old age, Joseph, in the apparent innocence of youth, talked to his other brothers about dreams of reigning over them. Together his brothers were […]

What’s a Word From the Lord?

Do we agree with those who say, “Every promise in the book is mine?” If so, in what sense do we mean that? Do we read the Bible until something jumps out as being a phrase we want to claim for ourselves? If so how do we keep from claiming to have a Word from […]

20/20 on Who?

Two passages of the Bible that are often used to emphasize the importance of Scripture may be doing something more. Example One: When, after eating no food for 40 days,  Jesus resists Satan’s temptation to turn stones into bread, he quotes Moses as saying “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word […]

To Do or Not to Do

Another combination of statements that could look like a contradiction shows up in the Sermon on the Mount. First Jesus encourages his followers to “let their light shine before others” so that others can see the good that they do (Matt 5:16). But then a few statements later the Teacher begins an extended emphasis in […]

Studies in Contrast #2

Sometimes the apparent contradictions of the Bible happen in such quick succession that it is apparent that they are intentional devices to provoke thought. For example, in Proverbs 26:4, the person of wisdom says, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him.” The very next proverb in vs […]

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