ripple effect: vacaville

Protected: d257 Setting Up for the Honeymoon
February 7, 2008, 12:29 pm
Filed under: god, jesus, john, philip, thomas

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d256 Two Kinds of Betrayal
February 6, 2008, 10:38 am
Filed under: god, jesus, john, judas, peter, satan

Read John 13:21-38.

1. I know how it feels when someone has betrayed me. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to know that someone is GOING TO betray me. That would be heart-wrenching.
2. I wonder how long they stared at one another. Hmm…is it you, Thomas? Is it you, Nathanael? What about Judas? I’m wondering if it was common knowledge that there was something “off” about Judas.
3. “The disciple whom Jesus loved” is John. So…it’s interesting that Peter asked him to ask Jesus who He meant. John must have been the closest to Jesus, even though Peter seems most like the leader.
4. I wonder if Judas was hearing all of this. I wonder if he was just oblivious to the whole “tipping off” through the dipping off.
5. Satan entered Judas when he took the bread. Interesting. I wonder if Satan kept entering and leaving and re-entering Judas. I mean, we know that Satan entered him when he was cutting deals with the religious leaders too.
6. Jesus just told Judas to get it over with. Of course, nobody else knew what that had meant. They thought he might have been going to the grocery store or to a charity. How wrong they were…

7. This is all about God’s glory being made full in Jesus.
8. Jesus alludes to His going away, but I don’t think the disciples truly understood what He was talking about.
9. I don’t know if “love one another” is a NEW command. Maybe the newness of it is the fact that they now have Jesus’ example to follow. So…would the world know that you are a Christian by the way that you love people?
10. I love Peter. He pledged his undying loyalty to God. Which, if I’m honest, I do quite a bit. Unfortunately, like Peter, I am not capable to make those kinds of pledges and make good on them.
11. Jesus lays the truth on Peter. He’s not as committed as he thinks he is. He will not only not follow Jesus, he will actually deny him three times before daybreak. That’s our belief in self being contrasted with human weakness.

d255 Starting Off on the Right Foot
February 5, 2008, 3:13 pm
Filed under: god, jesus, john, judas, peter, psalms

Read John 13:1-20.

1. You know, foot-washing is considered a sacrament in some Christian churches, on the same level as communion, baptism, and marriage. I wonder why we aren’t down with the foot washing…
2. Jesus knew that His time was coming, and it appears that He will now show them the full extent of His love…
3. …but do you think that was hard for Him to do, knowing that Judas was going to betray Him?
4. Isn’t it interesting that Jesus washes His disciples’ feet, knowing that He is all-powerful? Isn’t this something you do when you have no power?
5. Peter balked at the idea of Jesus washing his feet, but then Jesus let him know that this is how he could have a part with Him. In typical Peter fashion, he asks for a bath, then. He he he… I like Peter…
6. I bet that was hard to hear from Jesus, that someone is not clean. I wonder if this caused the other disciples to doubt themselves…
7. Jesus lays is out there. He is the undisputed Leader, and yet He washes feet. We should do likewise. So why don’t we?
8. Do we act like we are too good for Jesus? I mean, people are pretty adamant about praying “The Lord’s Prayer” because that’s what He said to do, so why don’t we have the same passion for foot-washing?

9. So…this betrayal of Jesus is to fulfill a prophecy in Psalms. Judas would have lifted his heel to Jesus because he was lying on his stomach around the table when Jesus went around behind everyone to wash their feet.

d254 The Devil Made Me Do It
February 4, 2008, 6:34 pm
Filed under: god, jesus, john, judas, luke, peter, satan

Read Luke 22:1-13.

1. Oh, man, here we go. We’re getting close to the Passion of the Christ…
2. Wow…so…we already knew that they were looking for a way to get rid of Jesus, and it appears that Satan gave them a solution. Question…do you think Judas had a choice as to whether Satan entered him, or do you think that this was the purpose of Judas’ life? Do you think that Judas’ previous behavior made him more susceptible to being “possessed”? Do you think this still can happen today?
3. Mental note: Jesus probably knows, in all the upcoming events, that Judas is possessed by Satan.
4. Judas knew that if he betrayed Jesus in a crowd that they’d probably not be successful. This was methodical. Why do you think Judas accepted money? I mean, if he was really possessed by Satan, do you think that the devil cares about money?

5. Jesus told Peter and John to get things ready for the Passover. I wonder why it isn’t common for Christians to honor the Passover. I mean, Jesus celebrated it.
6. It’s crazy to think that Jesus and His disciples were essentially homeless. Where would you make a meal if you had no home?
7. Here’s a specific time when Jesus tells them exactly where to go and what to do and what to say. Man, too bad life isn’t always that easy. We do have the compass of the Holy Spirit, though, to guide us towards where God is leading us…

d245 The Capstone
January 26, 2008, 10:58 am
Filed under: god, jesus, john, matthew

Read Matthew 21:28-46.

1. The first son kind of sounds like me. My initial response is usually a dumb one. It takes me a little time (and prayer) to come to my senses. The first con does go to work in the vineyard. Kudos to him…
2. I would hate to be like that second son, but I know I have been. There a lot things that I have SAID I will do in this life that I haven’t. That’s definitely not a good thing…
3. A no-brainer story. And then Jesus turns it on their heads. Tax collectors and prostitutes have said “no” to God, but now they are saying “yes.” Religious leaders say, “Yeah, sure, I’ll work for You, God,” and then don’t. Not cool. Not cool. I bet this ticked them off, but it was true!
4. John the Baptist brought the truth and the “bad” people responded. The “good” people sat on their butts. Hmm…

5. Another parable…ok…guy builds wine-making operation, rents it out, goes away, and has some servants to come by to collect the fruit during harvest time. Easy…
6. Apparently, these renters forgot whose land it was because they beat, killed, and stoned the servants! Dang! Twice. Dang!
7. The man thought they’d at least respect his son (I mean, the son is an owner too!). They didn’t. They killed him. They wanted what was his. Greedy.
8. You’d have to think that the owner is now going to bring the heat with him.
9. No brainer story. Right…wrong…
10. Jesus then quotes a Psalm, saying that there is a “stone” that the “builders” have rejected. But now it will be the “capstone,” the stone that holds everything together. In an archway, you build with stones, up from each side. Finally, you place the middle stone (the capstone). This stone is central and bears the most weight, making it the most important. Amateur architecture. Yeah…
11. So…who were the “servants” from the story?
12. The “son” and the “stone” that was rejected are the same. Who is that?
13. How will the “stone” that was rejected become the “capstone”?
14. The religious leaders seem to be the renters of the vineyard because Jesus talks about taking the kingdom of God away from them and giving it to people who will produce fruit (tax collectors? prostitutes?).
15. You know that you feel guilty when you want to shoot the messenger. They wanted to arrest Jesus. Man… I guess it was a good thing that they were so worried about the crowd.

d244 Genie in a Bottle?
January 25, 2008, 10:30 am
Filed under: god, jesus, john, mark, peter

Read Mark 11:20-33.

1.Wow…I don’t remember reading about Jesus cursing the fig tree in this Bible reading plan. Uh oh… OK…so, in review, Jesus curses a fig tree because it is blooming, as if it is ready to yield fruit; but it isn’t. It’s like a person who looks like they are following God on the outside but is bearing no fruit. Got it? Jesus doesn’t like that…

2. All the stuff Jesus has done, and Peter can’t believe that Jesus could make a fig tree wither? Sheesh…
3. Jesus says that, with faith, we can do all things. I don’t think it makes sense to just go on throwing mountains into oceans, so I’m going to assume that Jesus is using figurative language here to explain the power of faith.
4. I believe that this “what [we] ask for in prayer” has to be in line with God’s will. None of this God is a genie in a bottle.
5. The idea here, though, is that we should have faith that what we ask for in prayer will happen. Why would that be important for us to do? Do you have any objections to that kind of thinking?
6. Yeah, you can’t go to God when you have feuds with other people. Jesus is implying here that our biggest project is to have good human relationships, that is how we can honor God. What would be the point of going to God in prayer, asking Him how we can honor Him, when we know good and well that we need to repair a broken relationship?
7. There’s also a tie between us forgiving others and God forgiving our sins. Maybe God isn’t down with hypocrisy.

8. All the religious leaders are looking for some kind of human authority that has endorsed Jesus. This thinking goes on today. If you’re not “ordained” by some organized religious establishment, some people think that you can’t be worth much to the Church.
9. Jesus comes back with a trick question about John the Baptist’s ministry: “was it from heaven or from men”?
10. I would have to think that Jesus asked this question to reveal the fact that, no matter what these religious leaders think, they base all their thinking on how people will perceive them. So, even though no man endorsed Jesus’ ministry. God did. And Jesus is basing what He does off of God’s approval. The truth is that the religious leaders could have easily, because they believed it, said that John’s baptism was from men…but they were afraid of the people. Jesus basically called them out. They care too much about what people think and not enough about what God thinks.

d243 Courtroom Drama
January 24, 2008, 10:41 am
Filed under: god, isaiah, jesus, john

Read John 12:37-50.

1. How could you doubt these miracles?
2. Isaiah said that they would basically have hard hearts and not be able to understand that this was “the arm of the Lord”…
3. So…is God the one who “blinded” and “deadened” the eyes and hearts of the Jewish people? If so, why would He do that? All I see is God’s heart in that prophecy: He says that if they turned, He would “heal them.” So…
4. That’s crazy to know that Isaiah saw Jesus’ glory…I mean, he did. Read Isaiah 6.
5. So…there were leaders who did believe in Jesus, but they were afraid to tell anyone because they didn’t want to lose their sweet jobs. Not cool. Not cool.
6. Are we silent about our faith at times because of fear of what it might cost us?
7. Jesus is saying that believing in Him is synonymous with believing in God. Is believing in God the same thing as believing in Jesus? What’s the difference?
8. I don’t want to stay in darkness.
9. How about the fact that even Jesus will not judge the person who hears His words and ignores them? Jesus isn’t the judge. He’s the savior. More like the defense attorney. Or maybe, He’ll just become the defendant in our place…
10. God, the Father is the Judge. So, don’t got thinking that God is a pushover…
11. Sometimes we think of God as a cruel judge, but we have to understand that his Judge is sending His Son to take the stand for us. To follow the court room analogy, that means that we have a judge who believes highly in the law and the justice system, but he also loves people. How do you satisfy the law by loving people? I think we’re about to find out. Because, unlike “real life,” a slap of the wrist and a “I can tell you’re sorry” is not enough. That doesn’t satisfy the law. So…how is it done?