Tuesday, June 16, 2009

MkITN VIII, Verses 11 - 26

11. And when He arrived at His destination, the Pharisees found Him and went right into questioning and cross-examining Him, trying to start an argument, badgering Him, and demanding a sign...the performance of a miracle that would validate Him in their estimation and judgment.

12. But instead of going into debate mode, or making any pointless attempt at self-defense, He just groaned and sighed deeply in His spirit and said, "What is it with this generation...and why do you need to see yet another sign? There's nothing I could say to you...no sign I could show you...that would cause you to see Me in a different light. So, suffice it to say, no sign will be given this generation."

13. And He just ended it there, and left them. And, getting into the boat again, He departed to the other side.

14. And the disciples boarded the boat with Him, but they had completely forgotten to bring any bread, and had only one loaf with them.

15. But Jesus, still thinking about what had just occurred, looked at them and said, "Listen...you all really need to look out and keep on your guard against the contaminated yeast of the Pharisees...and beware of the yeast of Herod and his followers, as well."

16. After He had said this, they began to discuss His use of words, and came to the conclusion that He was chastising them in a roundabout way for not bringing any bread with them.

17. And being aware of how utterly they had missed His point, He said to them, "How could you possibly assume that I said what I said because you have no bread? I mean, really...do you not yet discern or understand? The Pharisees demanded a sign for proof...you've actually seen plenty of signs, and yet you still don't seem to get it! Are your hearts really that petrified?

18. You obviously have eyes, but you don't really see with them; and you clearly have ears, yet you don't hear or perceive or understand the sense of what I say. But I ask you...don't you at least have the capacity to simply remember?

19. When I broke the five loaves for the 5,000, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?" And they said to Him, "Twelve."

20. And when I broke up the seven loaves for the 4,000, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect afterward?" And they said to Him, "Seven."

21. Then He asked, "How many miracles is it going to take before you begin to walk in some kind of understanding of all this?"

22. Then they came to Bethsaida, and when they got there, some people brought to Jesus a blind man, and begged Him to just touch him.

23. And He took the blind man by the hand and led him away from the people, as He had done previously with the deaf man. In fact, He led him out of the village, and when they were completely alone, He spit on the man's eyes and put His hands on him. Then He asked him, "Do you see anything at all?"

24. And the man looked up and said, "I think I see people, but they look more like trees than people...yes, I see people who look like walking trees!"

25. Then Jesus put His hands on the man's partially-healed eyes again, and the man opened them and started looking around with the ability to focus...he could fix his eyes on definite objects...and he realized that he had been completely restored. He coud see everything distinctly and perfectly.
26. And Jesus sent him home, telling him directly, "Don't enter the village at all, and don't tell anyone there what just happened here."


Teezy313 said...

This is good..possibly the best stuff you have written! So plain and easy to understand...almost funny in a way...yet still speaks volumes to the spirit!

karl cobos said...

Everybody kneads bread!

Super woozy now from staying up most of the night working on my blog. It's been exciting, although now taxing at this hour.

Bishop I just wanted to say again what a blessing your blog has been for me this whole past year, and I appreciate it all the more now that I know more fully the time and energy that goes into one.
When you get a chance come visit me again, I've been learning how to put pictures on and a slide show tonight, and I usually take a good bit sometimes from AYITN.
Again its Happy Blogger Heart at www.happybloggerheart.blogspot.com

God bless! Gotta make one last stop by Facebook...whew!

Lisa said...

Will we ever change? The Isrealites only believed in GOD when he was doing amazing acts and when those acts became common ( raining manna from heaven and bringing water from a stone) they doubted GOD. Jesus performs the same acts and yet they still forget Who GOD is. It is the Ways of GOD we must remember and his heart of LOVE. It is funny how we don't doubt the things that hurt us, but doubt the LOVE that is freely given. Is it because it is freely given always available without cost and fear and hate and doubt come with a price? Father please help us all to always remember your ways and celebrate your acts, but to always know we are Loved!!!
We are heading home in just a little while... Thank you CITN for a wonderful homecomming visit!!

Anonymous said...

"Listen...you all really need to look out and keep on your guard against the contaminated yeast of the Pharisees...and beware of the yeast of Herod and his followers, as well."

These are warnings that are needful to think on even today. The constant looking for a sign can cause one to miss the fact that God is right there with them all the time. I also view the yeast of Herod as being a distraction to gratify the flesh or sensual part of the soul.

The leadership in worship this past Sunday was for me a genuine refreshing and I know it was for others too. There are times when there is almost a sense of clattering noise eventhough no one is talking. I have recognized that as a spiritual disturbance probably due to our being distracted by things and people around us in some way. There was a dispursing of that clatter and a real unifying of the human spirit with God Sunday during the various expressions of worship. For me it began when Pastor Jimmie gave instruction to the congregation to put their distractions aside and join in with worship. Right after that I was lost and found at the same time during a chorus of "I'm desprate for You". Those are always sweet times when there is no feeling of anything around you but the presence of God's Love. Obviously Bishop and other pastors leading worship had avoided the yeast of looking for a sign and any other potential distraction in their prep time and it brought together a blessing of peace for all who opened up to it.

During my daily life there are moments of high praise that keep me on track also. There are many distractions for any of us to choose from but the gratitude toward our Creator for just the air we breathe can put it all in better perspective.

Another great point in this rendering is Jesus asking the disciples in verse eighteen to develop a capacity for remembering the good miracles they had seen. This works for me also to help bring myself back into focus on what really matters. It is like David said about the fight with Goliath that God had delivered him from great danger in the past and this would be no different.

Teezy is right Bishop, this is very inspirational writing and so fits with our corporate worship in the sanctuary.

Brenda said...

I love the simplicity of the breakdown of the scriptures. No excuse for not understanding, when its right there. I have to look at me and ask, why do I sometimes doubt when I've seen him work so many times. It would stand to reason that I would remember what he has done in the past but when the winds of trouble are blowing so hard I tend to quickly forget. I can almost hear him saying to me how many miracles must I preform before you get it, then I must laugh at myself as I beg him to do what he has already done. Thank God for Grace.

Izumi/JOY said...

11. Love the contrast between the picture and the text. Love the visual about Pharisees trying to badger Him. (their animal-skin nature vs. Spirit?)

21. He asked this, so there must be an answer. Wow...

Avatar said...

Lisa, your questions are inspiring!

I hear a Peacemaker answer to: will we ever change?...we already have...PM's got more I'm sure.

But question 2...deep sigh...what a great all-day-to-ponder question...the length and breadth and depth and height of real unconditional Love...no good or evil, just tree of Life Love.

Izumi/JOY said...

Oops - I forgot v.16. I realllly love how that's written. "... they began to discuss His use of words..."

Remember the teachings on Adam naming the animals?

I've been daydreaming about creation. Wonder how that went.

Wonder how that goes.

When the earth was void and formless, did God talk to the waters?

"You there - be a dew drop on a palm leaf. Quench a parched passerby on the rain forest floor.

And, you over there - gather others like yourself - go be a puddle. Collect by a back porch step and wait for children to find you."

"You - be tears in the eyes of all living things.

You - be an oculus. Let everyone who gazes through you see beauty.

You - go be adobe. Bake in the sun. Get strong, then, shelter someone.

And, you - go be an aqueduct - rush life giving substance to distant places!

You - out there. Go and be a spire. Cause others to look up and wonder."

Avatar said...

Well then Izumi/Joy...I was going to start this post with "call me crazy..." But your post confirms, at least to me, that this is the place to put this:

If the universe is speaking through Britain's Got Talent, then it is no accident that the winner was a dance group called "Diversity". They are a group of people--they call themselves family--who are very diversified but came together for ONE thing...they all love to dance.

--Diversity's first performance was a montage of images and music performed by the group of 11...the first image: MLK's "I have a dream".

--If you haven't been keeping up, Susan's shame-busting "I dreamed a dream" catapulted her into the world's spotlight.

--In the finals, it came down to Susan Boyle and Diversity.

--Susan almost quit the show from the offstage pressure and attacks, but she came back and nailed it...one more time. (I chose "nailed" on purpose)

--Diversity is a very creative troupe. Their final dance begins with the formation of "one being" as they move as one...the judges commented from the beginning about their connection with each other and how it clearly helps their precision in very difficult movements.

They won.

Crazy? Maybe, maybe not...but I hear all of creation groaning for the revealing of the sons of God and the Christ.

timing note: is it coincidence that they won the night before the "Two Trees" message spoken at CITN? Its okay if you call me crazy...I don't mind.

Avatar said...

Bishop, the new globe tracker is so cool!!

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Yeah, I really like it a lot...of course the number of blog visits represented only reflects who's been on since late last night (or, rather, early this morning)...

Avatar said...

Wordver: bragg...for real!

I'm not Blogmaster, but if you insist wordver, here's the numbers up to now...119 hits on BITN in less than 24 hours, (including one in the Atlantic...who could that be?!)

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

It's someone (or ones) from Bermuda on here pretty much every day...I know that from the other tracker...

Avatar said...

Dot placement made me think Cruise Ship...QE2...or maybe Virgin Airlines...and their new authorized internet connections. Maybe tomorrow...(smile)!

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Could be...if it's a plane, it's been in one place for a while...

I just assumed it was the Bermuda blurker...

Hey...whoever is on here from Bermuda, why not identify yourself and settle it for us?!

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

On second thought, it could be someone mobile since the dot is fixed after someone signs on...I forgot about that...maybe it's Jermaine Dupri...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

...or Richard Branson...

You know Virgin tried to sue us several years ago over the use of the word "NOW", because they do that "Now That's What I Call Music" series...it's why we legally changed Now Publishing to Church In The Now Publishing...

Iris said...

Bishop and Avatar... I am here... Just taking me a while to get my thoughts on paper...

Izumi/Joy... beautifully stated

I know this is long... I tried to shorten it... well... it's as short as it is going to get...

What a great passage of scripture… God wants us to see so desperately Him… How many times are we to busy with our daily lives and become immune to the awesomeness of His presence all around us…

Just a few days ago, I sat on the white sands of Pensacola Beach… The moon was high and reflecting beautifully against the water… the rising swells of water rhythmically dancing on the ocean’s edge… how many times has this simple mystery repeated itself since the beginning of time?

As the moon faded below the horizon, the dawn of a new day announced its birth with a magnificent display of reds, yellows, purples and blue.

Or to notice the miracles of the two bookends of life… a new born baby who participated with God in the miracle of birth, and has a lifetime of miracles to experience. Then to see a snowy-haired, stooped old gentleman, who has witnessed decades of miracles… (I wonder how many he actually noticed.)

Outside is my neighbor dribbling a basket ball up to the basket, jumps, shoots, and slam dunks the ball through the hoop… With effortless skill he coordinates countless muscles and reflexes, engage and disengage perfectly designed joints…all to do one task – to get that ball through a hoop.

Miracles… all of them…Divine miracles.

Some mysterious… some scientifically explained… but still miraculous… events that stretch beyond our understanding and find their origins in another realm. They are every bit as divine as divided seas, walking cripples, and empty tombs.

They are as much a reminder of God’s presence as the walking lame, fleeing demons, and silenced storms. They are miracles. They are signs. They are testimonies. The unseen is now visible. The distant has drawn near. God in all of His splendor announcing His presence. He is in the most common of earth’s corners.

I think it is the normality not the uniqueness of God’s miracles that causes them to be so staggering. Rather than shocking the earth with an occasional display of deity, God has opted to display his power daily… Ocean waves… rainbows… birth… death… life…. We are surrounded by miracles. God is throwing testimonies at us like fireworks, each one exploding… God is! God is!

Like the psalmist David said…”Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there.”

Sometimes I wonder, with so many miraculous testimonies around us, how could one not see God. But somehow it happens. We live in an art gallery of divine creativity and yet are content to gaze only at our feet… I understand Jesus frustration in this chapter… Vs. 18. “You obviously have eyes, but you don't really see with them; and you clearly have ears, yet you don't hear or perceive or understand the sense of what I say.”

Perhaps the frequency of miracles blind us to their beauty. Doesn’t nature’s seasons come every year? Aren’t there countless seashells just like this one? Oh… that is just another red rose, just like the rest of them on this bush.

Bored…we say Ho-Hum and replace the remarkable with the regular, the unbelievable with the anticipated. Science and statistics wave their un-magic wand across the face of life, squelching the ooh’s and aah’s and replacing them with formulas and figures.

For me I want to see Jesus… I dare myself every day to find more miracles than I did the day before. To rediscover the splendor of God’s presence in everything and everybody… realizing that through it all, God is gently whispering “I’M HERE.”


Avatar said...

Come on Ri-chard...be a blogger, not a blurker!

Avatar said...

Iris, I love the way you're vision-filled post began and ended with "I'm here!"...way cool!

Gotta head home...later, blogfam.

Izumi/JOY said...

Good morning beloved Universe!

Avatar, "Crazy Praise!" (praise that don't make no sense) And, of course, why would it, in the natural? Tune into any news report - check out most headlines -they'd all agree there's not much good to sing about.

Like Iris, I dare myself to find the day's miracles. And lately, I've tried something else.

I've dared God to surprise me with His goodness. (ooooh - not for the faint-hearted! And, not recommended for anyone more mature than a child!)

The other day, Colin asked his mommy what the best part of her day was. She sat down on the couch beside him and he patted her knee, waiting for a response.

But, before my daughter could answer, he interrupted with, "Was I in it?"

I can't help but cry when I think about that.

So like God.

And, there's Gavin. When things don't look favorable for this 3 year old, he juts out his bottom lip and pouts, "I go upstairs!"

Thing is, my youngest daughter and her family lives on the top floor of their apartment building. There is no higher floor.

Or, is there?

As His glory fills this place, c'mon give the Lord crazy praise!

Donald said...

I have often heard preachers use the story about the blind man seeing people that looked like trees as an out for when they prayed for someone who didn't get healed. You know, "Well, even Jesus had to pray for a man twice one time in the Bible."
We had a Hebrew professor come to our church years ago and told us that what really happened there was that Jesus didn't have to pray for the guy twice. He said that when Jesus asked the guy if he could see, he told him, "How do you expect me to see with all this spit in my eyes?"
Then Jesus wiped his eyes off from where he had spit in them and the man's vision cleared up.