ripple effect: vacaville

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…

d204 I Thought Muhammad Ali Was the Greatest
November 25, 2007, 11:54 am
Filed under: god, jesus, john, judas, luke

Read Luke 9:38-50.

1. I have some doctor friends who would probably read this passage and say, “Of course, the disciples can’t cure it– the kid is obviously having epileptic seizures.” Hmm… Then again, Luke was a doctor too…
2. If this was a spiritual war against an evil spirit, why couldn’t the disciples cast it out?
3. At first glance, Jesus appears irritated, using words like “stubborn,” “faithless,” and “put up with.” What do you think Jesus means when He says these things?
4. Jesus knocked out that demon (or epilepsy). Either way, it’s pretty amazing, right?

5. Hmm…and, out of nowhere, Jesus says He’s going to be betrayed. Do you think that Judas knew what He meant?

6. Typical guy conversation: who’s the best? Hey, at least you know these guys were real guys.
7. Jesus gets a child and explains that welcoming children on behalf of Him welcomes God. So…if you were throwing a dinner party for God, I think you’d know who was the greatest there. And I think you’d know how to treat the Guest. So…Jesus says that it’s like that when we take in children. Definitely flipping the script.
8. Do we go out of our way and fawn over other people like we would if our hero was coming over for dinner? Who would be considered the “least” in our society?

9. He he he…John thinks that God only works through his “church.” Boy, that’s something Christians still struggle with today.
10. What do you think of the “if they are not against you, they are for you” statement?

d195 Light Packers
November 9, 2007, 3:05 pm
Filed under: god, james, jesus, joseph, judas, mark, mary, simon

Read Mark 6:1-13.

1. Imagine Jesus returning home after all the things that He had done “on the road.” I bet there was some hype surrounding Him as He rolled up into Nazareth.
2. I’d be amazed if I heard Jesus teaching in the synagogue too. I wonder if He was allowed or if He jiust started teaching…
3. Of course, I’d have a hard time wrapping my head around how DIFFERENT everything Jesus was saying. Um, this was Joseph’s Son, right? Do you think Mary and Joseph advertised who Jesus was when He was growing up?
4. Apparently, Jesus wasn’t raised to even be a priest; He simply was to follow in His father’s footsteps as a carpenter.
5. And, yes, Jesus had brothers: James, Joseph (Junior?), Judas, and Simon. Apparently, He also had sisters. So…it’s kind of funny that we still call Mary “the virgin, Mary.”
6. People were offended at Jesus because they thought that He was too ordinary to preach like this. To me, that reveals that Jesus wasn’t showy about His powers as a kid. If He was, the people would assume this was a natural progression. The going idea is that Jesus was 30 when He began His ministry. I’m 29. That’s a lot of living to live, not being able to “show who you really are.”
7. Why do you think prophets are without honor in their hometown?
8. It says that Jesus “could not” do miracles there. Do you think He “could not” or “would not”? Why?

9. Jesus sent off the disciples in pairs, and He gave them the authority to cast out evil spirits. Do you think this is an “authority” that Jesus gives to all believers or just these disciples? Why?
10. Apparently, you were supposed to bring nothing with you. They just had staffs (to whack wild beasts with?). They weren’t supposed to bring food, a pack, or money. They were at the mercy of the people they were going to. Why do you think Jesus had them do this in this manner?
11. Rock flip flops, but they couldn’t even bring an extra shirt. Hmm. Does this make anyone think about how much we pack for mission trips?
12. You would go to one home and stay with that one home the whole time. Why?
13. If someone was mean, you would shake the dust off your feet and leave. How would this serve as a “testimony” to them?
14. The message was simple: “Repent.” Turn away from your sin.
15. In the midst of this message, I guess they showed their power and compasion by driving out evil spirits and healing sick people. But, in the end, it was all about the people needing to repent.

d178 The AD 27 Amateur Draft
October 23, 2007, 3:31 pm
Filed under: abiathar, andrew, bartholomew, david, god, james, jesus, john, judas, mark, matthew, peter, philip, saul, simon, thaddaeus, thomas

Read Mark 2:23 – 3:19.

1. Wow…the Pharisees seem to be awfully picky at the disciples’ picking. Do they consider this to be “work”?
2. Hey…I remember that story now. David was on the run from Saul, and he needed food. And, indeed, he did eat the “consecrated” bread from Abiathar the priest. He basically ate a chunk of communion bread. Why? Um…because he needed it… So, maybe Jesus is saying that Sabbath is a day in which we shouldn’t be apologetic about getting what we truly need?

3. Boy…those guys were just focusing on the wrong thing. The guy was in need of healing, but I guess being “religious” was more important than being compassionate.
4. I love that Jesus doesn’t think like those guys.
5. I love the fact that Jesus was about meeting needs.

6. Imagine being Jesus. I remember watching stuff about ‘N Sync back in the day, where girls would swarm them wherever they went; but could you imagine how people swarmed Jesus, knowing that He could heal and drive out demons?

7. Jesus has a draft. He picks twelve guys for His team. I wonder if there were guys who were left out that wanted to be in. I’m sure that there were guys who were in that couldn’t believe that Jesus wanted him.
8. Purpose of Jesus’ disciples: be with Christ, go out to preach, and drive out demons.
9. A couple of guys we know, and a couple of new ones: Peter, James (son of Zebedee), John (I love that he and his brother got a cool nickname like “the sons of thunder”), Andrew, Philip, Batholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddeus, Simon the Zealot (a revolutionary), and Judas Iscariot.
10. Mark tells us the end before we get there: Judas will betray Jesus. Maybe he put that here because he knew that Jesus must have known that this was going to happen?

Anyway, we’ve got the complete set now! Woo hoo…

(p.s. The picture of the mustachioed lad is up there in honor of the Relevant Gentleman’s Society, a group preserving the integrity of the mustache.)