Thursday, October 1, 2009

LITN IX, Verses 1 - 25















1. When Jesus had called His official twelve disciples together, He gave them power and authority, personally, to drive out and expel all rebel spirits, and to cure diseases.

2. And He commissioned and authorized them to proclaim the Kingdom of God, and to validate the message by healing the sick.

3. Then He told them, "Basically, I want you to take nothing with you on your journey...no external equipment...you must learn to rely, solely, on the internal gifts which I have imparted to you.

4. Whatever house you enter, if it's friendly, stay there until you leave that town.

5. But if any house or community will not receive, embrace and welcome you...if they refuse to listen to you...then get out of there. And when you depart, make a grand and symbolic gesture of shaking off the dust from their streets that is on your feet, for a visible testimony against them."

6. So they all obediently set out on their Kingdom-adventure, going from village to village, proclaiming the Good News and healing people everywhere.

7. Now when Herod, the tetrarch, heard about all that was going on, he was very disturbed by it, because some were saying that John had been raised from the dead.

8. Others believed that the reincarnation of Elijah had manifested, and still others were saying that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life in the present dimension.

9. But Herod said, "I personally saw to it that John was beheaded! So who, then, is this amazing person I keep hearing about?" And he made it his intention to see Him for himself.
10. When the disciples returned from their travels, they reported to Jesus everything they had done on their own. After hearing from them what had happened, He took them with Him in order to mentor them further, and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida.

11. But, as usual, the crowds found out about it, and followed Him wherever He went. But, even though they interrupted His plans with His disciples, He didn't rebuke them. In fact, He welcomed them, and used the opportunity to unveil to them the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. He also healed everyone who needed healing.

12. But late in the afternoon, the disciples came to Him and said, "You need to send this crowd away so that they can go to the surrounding villages and find food and lodging before sundown. We're in a very remote place here, and they need to go take care of themselves."

13. But Jesus said, "No...I don't want to send them away. Why don't you just give them something to eat?" They answered, "Well, that's impossible. We have only five loaves of bread and two fish among us. That's it, unless we go into town and buy food for all of them."

14. What makes the story even more interesting is that there were about five thousand men there, along with women and children! But, undaunted by the enormity of the situation, Jesus said to His disciples, "Just have them sit down in groups of about fifty each."

15. Without question or argument, the disciples did as He said, and everyone sat down.

16. Then, taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up into the heavenlies, He gave thanks for what He had in His hands, and began to break off pieces of both the bread and the fish. As He broke off piece after piece, He gave them to the disciples to serve to the people.

17. And they all ate...every one of them...and were completely satisfied. When the miraculous meal was over, the twelve disciples went around and filled up twelve whole baskets of broken pieces that were left over!
18. Once when Jesus was off praying by Himself, He became aware that His disciples had moved close to where He was. So He stopped, and, before they could speak, He said to them, "Let Me ask you something...who do the crowds say I am?"

19. They replied, "Well, some say John, the Forerunner...others say Elijah in another form...still others presume that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life."

20 "All right...fine...but what about you?" He replied. "Who do you say that I am?"
Without missing a beat, Peter answered, "Easy...You are God's Christ!"

21. Jesus then warned them to be careful with that information. They were to be discreet to the point of telling no one what Peter had said.

22. He explained this warning to them by saying, "You see, the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be repudiated and rejected on the part of the elders and priests and scribes. Eventually, He will even be put to death...but on the third day He will rise again."

23. And He went on to say, "So if any person wants to follow Me on this journey, he or she is going to have to give up his or her own personal agendas and selfish interests. You're actually going to have to fulfill your own destiny in taking up your own cross daily, so that you can follow Me as I take up Mine.

24. For whoever is obsessed with self-preservation at the expense of others will end up losing his or her life, anyway. But whoever releases his or her life for My sake...whoever embraces sacrifice and service for the greater good as I do...will ultimately preserve and save his/her life.

25. The bottom line is this...what does it profit a person, if he/she gains the whole world through self-exaltation, and ends up losing his/her very essence in the process?"

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Grayling Chestnut said...

Bishop, thanks for taking the time and effort to post these. I know it has been a blessing to me, and I'm sure to others. Sunday, I hope to get inside the book store to buy some things. CITN/COHS is the place to be - walls of fear are torn down replaced by bridges of love. Let Love Rule!

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Thanks, Pastor Grayling...I think you're the only one reading it...

Izumi/JOY said...

Better is one day...

Anonymous said...

It is another beautiful day. I understand about the pictures and its OK, the text is pictorial enough in its script. About the cover, what ever you do will be cool. My imagination sees four men sitting at a table conversing about scripture with each one of them being representative of the character commonly associated with the gospels. That is part of the beauty of the gospels to me but there is much more to be said about the actual writers and what inspired them to write from these points of view.

The gospels are a real treasure of deep information concerning the phenomenon of humanity. I love how you have made it easier to see things. A great example of this is in your description of the disciple being commissioned and authorized. The character Luke, as a physician in his day, would have loved this. The study of medicine then was more in touch with mysticism than in recent history. However there is a type of return to its importance as part of the complete healing package. Studies have proven that patients with strong faith connections often have better outcomes. I also love what is done to clarify the taking up a cross in this paraphrase. It seems that way too many people have read into that a way to accomplish their agenda rather than the giving up of that agenda.

There is much to say about the importance of this particular rendering. Perhaps more of its inspiration will be illuminated by others.

Blessings

Johnny

Anonymous said...

From FB

Linda M Curtis said...

Naw, he's not the only one ~

Anonymous said...

From FB

Wendy Cohen said...

no, he's not, It's great!

Anonymous said...

From FB

Sherrie Whittaker Hicks said...

I'm readin it~~~~

Anonymous said...

From FB

Vannie Harrell said...

Me too, Bishop!

Anonymous said...

From FB

Rene Babcock said...

I receive it, proclaim it and am sitting in the driver's seat on the way to a cure! :-)

Iris said...

Me too!!!! it's awsome, just at work... can take too long to respond...

Thank you for taking the time to interpret GITN... it is truly life changing....

Iris

Iris said...

Sorry - CAN'T take too long to respond...

Iris

Avatar said...

V.3..."learn to rely, solely on the internal gifts"... It's a great blessing to find a body of followers of this Way. And a most challenging, sometimes confusing but still exciting thing to walk in the "learning" of this mystery.

v.10..."done on their own." I imagine that this was a joyful time for Jesus, listening to the Christ learn to use the gifts they had been given, and maybe even laugh at their missteps? (ditto Izumi/JOY, better is one day)...and he allowed the crowds in. Bethsaida means "fish house"...Jesus was always fishing for men.

V.13...The disciples said "that's impossible." Hmmm. Luke (Lk1:37) knew the angel had said nothing is impossible with God...I wonder when he came to that knowledge. I like the way LITN opens the door to discover the way Jesus flowed with everything that happened, seeming to orchestrate but I'm guessing just in the flow, trusting in the desires God placed in His heart ("I don't want them to go")...and taught the mysteries of God from everything...nothing is impossible...got it guys?

v.15...there's that Kingdom key again...obedience.

V.23-25 I agree, Johnny, there is much to say about this particular rendering. "Cryptic conundrum" comes to mind reading other paraphrases...but LITN gives, as Mystic said, even the youngest of sheep something to work with. I like the "anyway" in v.24...its a cool clue...signpost maybe...sending the message "try it...it's better than it appears from just reading about it."