Initiative

Initiative is generally considered a good characteristic. We hear the encouragement, “take the initiative”, or the admonition, “use your initiative”. But Jesus seems to have thought about it differently. John records several places where Jesus used the word emautou (literally, “of myself”) in the sense of taking the initiative. The pattern is interesting. In most […]

Being like Jesus

So, You Want to Be like Jesus, Do You? What would you think if you heard that a person’s close friend was deathly sick but the person did nothing for a day or two? You’d think they were uncaring, right? Unfortunately, that’s what Jesus did when He heard that Lazarus was ill. By the time […]

Rhema or Rabbit Trail?

I often experience a deep weariness at doing things that seem fruitless or mundane. I fear new paths will turn into impassable rabbit trails. There seems no point in getting exhausted if there will be no return on my investment. Simon and his partners felt something like that one morning after catching nothing all night. […]

Natural Disaster

Another Chance It happens with every natural disaster. Someone suggests that God ordained it as a consequence or punishment of a certain sinful behavior. It has been going on for millennia. Once, Jesus got involved in the debate. There were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with […]

My Jesus

Once in a while someone jumps to a conclusion about who we are before they really know us. It creates all kinds of awkwardness. Based on their impression of us they develop expectations. We feel under pressure; they feel frustrated when we don’t deliver. It happened to Jesus. Here’s an example. Someone in the crowd […]

Silence of the Lamb

Silence is the most ambiguous communication. It can mean so many things—or nothing. Perhaps it is slow and deep reflection. Maybe it is a stunned, awkward, or embarrassed silence.1 Is the person quietly plotting? Or is it a smug, unspoken, “I don’t need to answer you; I know better.”? How do people interpret your silences? […]

The Power of Peace

Jesus’ behavior at His betrayal in Gethsemane shows us the power of peace. His responses defused the tension and He miraculously healed an ear. Peter, on the other hand, panicked and fled with the other disciples. Jesus’ peace came from knowing that the Father was in control and things were going according to His plan. […]

Rivers of Living Water

“He who believes in me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being (koilias) shall flow rivers of living water.’” But this [Jesus] spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive. (John 7:38-39) Humans are like earthenware urns. The outside is dull, rough pottery with obvious imperfections—nothing special to look […]

Satisfying Thirst

“If any man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:37-38) Where do we go to satisfy our thirst? To be honest, I find that I have several favorite watering holes. The company […]