Recent Posts

My grasp on soccer is, at best, average. I've kicked the ball around a little, and I watch a few matches on TV (every four years). During this World Cup, I learned one very important thing: the difference between a worthy win and an undeserved win. Even more so than in other sports, a clearly weaker team can "steal a win" with a last second or a lucky goal. Sometimes, the other team will even score it for you.

Matthew 16 paints the picture of a clearly weaker team, the 12 men Jesus picked to be his "apostles."

Matthew 15:29-39 captures a story that is similar to he story captured in Matthew 14:13-22, but this time, we get even more details on the crowd that had been following Jesus: this crowd included friends and family who had brought Jesus "their lame, blind, crippled mute and many others." But this time, it is not the disciples who first mention the need feed them, it is Jesus. This time, Jesus must teach the disciples not so much about trusting him for the results but to have a heart.

When, exactly, does Jesus work with us? What does the partnership look like. I think that at least sometimes, the part that Jesus plays is somewhere in the middle.

I grew up watching the old James Bond movies (Live and Let Die, Goldfinger, etc.). These are not great movies to learn about healthy interaction between men and women, but they do highlight one Kingdom value extremely well: the danger of an uncontrolled pursuit of power. Unfortunately, when I look at villains like Dr. No (“World domination. The same old dream...”), I have to admit I see a little bit of myself.

Matthew 10:2-4 names 12 men who, until this point, had made no mark on history. From other passages, we know they were mostly fishermen. There were no statesmen, no religious leaders, no military conquerers. Instead, there were guys with nicknames, somebody's brother, somebody's son, a tax collector and Simon, a man so obscure, scholars today have no clear idea what his name, "the Cananaean," really means. These were not well-know people.