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Tag Archives: healer

Comic Relief from the Bible

If you asked a millennial, most would attribute the saying Captain Obvious to modern advertising and or screen writers.  This phrase has taken on a life of it’s own in my household.  When sarcasm is present, the punch line “thank you Captain Obvious” suggests someone is shallow or merely stating the obvious.  After reading the Bible earlier this week, the origin of this expression can be attributed to Jesus.

But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition, Matthew 15:5-6.

One day, the Pharisees attempted to spiritually police Jesus and his disciples.  The context of the passage above spawned from religious leaders strict adherence to Old Testament law.  Taking Leviticus literally, these Jews believed not washing your hands before you eat made you unclean.  After listening to their complaints, Jesus responds by highlighting the flaw in their accusation, throwing their own words back at these religious zealots.

Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” – Matthew 15:12

A few minutes later, the disciples play the role of Captain Obvious.  Looking serious and sincere, the disciples felt the back lash from the Pharisees, hoping Jesus would smooth over this situation.  While the specific outspoken disciple is not mentioned, I’m assuming Peter stood up to Jesus, saying something like, “Jesus, do you know that you hurt the Pharisees’ feelings?”  While Jesus never sinned, I believe he came close to some sort of sarcastic reply, “thank you Captain’s obvious!”

One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table close to Jesus, John 13:23.

One of the problems with modern comedy is that people try so hard to be funny, that they end up not being funny at all.  Meanwhile, other professionals believe if you don’t curse or focus on politically correct issues, you won’t be make it in Hollywood.  Yet, in my experiences the most humorous individuals are naturally witty in normal every day settings.  When most people visualize Jesus, they see him as a healer, speaker or teacher.  However, in the passage above, Jesus was a normal human being who enjoyed hanging out, reclining and shooting the breeze with friends.  In these settings, comic relief is found.  Perhaps, it’s time to drop your phone, turn off the television and engage family members to crack a smile, have a good laugh or reflect upon what you have in common.  Have fun with others today.

by Jay Mankus

 

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The Philosophy of Jesus

As his reputation as a healer and teacher grew, first century philosophers began to ponder the secret behind Jesus’ success.  Some Greeks approached Philip, one of Jesus’ disciple, hoping to arrange a meeting.  After conferring with Jesus, he agreed to sit down over dinner to share his beliefs.

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit, John 12:24.

This meal takes place of the eve of Passion Week, beginning with Palm Sunday and ending with Jesus’ crucifixion.  Subsequently, in the previous verse John 12:23, Jesus points to a time when he will lay die his life.  This serves as an introduction to the philosophy of Jesus, you have to die to self before you can trily live.

He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life, John 12:25.

I wish I could have seen the looks on the faces of these philosophers.  I’m sure there was some head scratching and strange looks.  Yet, Jesus’ philosophy comes down to two elements: life and death.  Those who want to stay in control never find the abundant life promised in  John 10:10.  Meanwhile, those who are willing give up their life on earth to serve God receive eternal blessings.  This choice is not forced or manipulated.  Rather, its up to you.  Choose wisely.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Peter’s Shadow

Legends, myths and legendary characters will always be discussed.  Whether its Babe Ruth, Paul Bunyan or Frank Sinatra, common people can be mystified by figures who are larger than life.  Although some feats may be embellished, those who were alive at the time of their prime wouldn’t put it past them to achieve the impossible.

As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by, Acts 5:15.

However, sometimes a real life Clark Kent does the unexpected, turning into a super humanitarian.  Such is the case of Peter, a fisherman turned minister.  Fueled by the Holy Spirit, this once Jesus denier became transformed into a powerful healer.  An eyewitness of Peter’s miracles, Luke a real life doctor was astonished by Peter’s healing power, extending to his own shadow.  Drawing crowds similar to the days of Jesus, those who believed experienced restoration as soon as the shadow of Peter touched their body.

God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them, Acts 19:11-12.

This phenomena continued through the apostle Paul.  Like Peter, his past was nothing to be proud of, hunting down and executing Christians.  Yet, this same Spirit, allowed Paul to turn over a new lease on life.  Possessing strong leadership skills, Paul kept Jesus’ legacy of healing alive.  While Jesus healed those who touched his cloak, those who reached out to Paul’s handkerchiefs experienced similar results.  From a human and scientific perspective, these events make no sense.  Nonetheless, when anointed by the Holy Spirit, even Peter’s shadow can and is used by bring believers into the family of God.

by Jay Mankus