More Confusion About Who Jesus Really Is

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Hey, I want to tell you about some of the redecorations we’re doing at the Church of Christ right now. I’m really excited about them. If you’ve been to the building, either for Church or our Christmas Cake off, or a Film night, or even to the Christmas Cracker, then you know that our little building is quite cute, but in need of a little TLC. Right now, we’re getting ready to paint the inside. We’re picking out colours. I say, we’re. I’ve got nothing to do with it. Neither choosing nor applying the paint. It has been decided that I would be more help if I was color blind. And that there is less chance of a paint can being kicked over if I am not around. But I’m excited, even if I’m not a big part of the actual project.

Right now, one of our members in in our back hall putting in some new cabinets. I’m so very excited about that because we have been extremely short on storage space and the hall looks like the inside of a closet. This work is going to make the room feel so much more spacious.

We have some decorating ideas for the outside front of the building too. That’s where I get to help. I’m going to t in some plants and maybe some lights. We’re really going to kick up the curb appeal of the place. I can’t wait for the unveiling. Watch for it.

Ok, commercials are over. Time for us to take our weekly look at the Book of John. I do love this book. I think If I could only persuade people to read one book of the Bible it would be the Gospel of John. There is so much drama and action. Conflict and interaction. It’s quite gripping.

This week we’re in the 7th chapter. Last week we talked about how discouraged Jesus was about the conflict his ministry caused, how the people were walking away, and even because his own family didn’t believe in Him. But despite his discouragement he went to Jerusalem for the festival that was taking place, and he even taught in the temple. If you didn’t get to listen to to last week, I urge you to go back an listen to episode 20. I’ll try and put a link to it in the show notes.

Today, we’re going to look that the follow up to Jesus’ appearance at the temple. Because the people’s responses are quite interesting, and they set the stage for the drama that takes place on Jesus next trip toe Jerusalem.

I imagine, you’re not surprised that people talked about Jesus when he came to town. His miracles were dramatic, and helpful to the people he healed. But his speeches and lessons caused a lot of chit chat, too. Jesus was different than anyone else in the way he lifted peoples spirits, and called them to repentance, and he talked about new hope and a new life instead of the usual politics and religion combination people had grown accustomed to and bored by.

The word on the street was that the Jewish authorities wanted to arrest Jesus and here He is, teaching openly and boldly right smack dab in the temple area. And no one was arresting him.

That caused some people to ask, isn’t this the guy they want to arrest, why arent they doing it? Have they decided Jesus is the long awaited Messiah? But we know all about Jesus. Where he’s from, who his parents are. And no one will know where the Messiah is from.

Other people said, “when the Messiah comes will he do more miracles that this guy does?”

Then the leaders sent out some guards to arrest Jesus, but they get mesmerized by His teaching and don’t arrest him. The leaders are furious and say why not? They answer, “No body ever spoke like this guy.”

And on it goes. The people, guards, and Jewish leaders spouting their opinions and feelings. But not once did anyone compare what was happening to the things the Bible said about the messiah. They just quoted talk and feelings.

That is so much like it is today. Everyone has an opinion about Jesus. But very few know anything about what he said or did. They just repeat the popular gossip that’s going around, or share their feelings.

I am fascinated and saddened by that. Who is this jesus guy? What is this Christianity thing really? And they offer opinions, some good, some not so good, but no one looks at what the Bible actually says about him.

That’s weird. Jesus is the most famous person who ever lived yet most people don’t know a real thing about him. Or what he wants to do to change your life.

I dare you to read the whole book of John. Go back and start with Chapter one and read through chapter 21. You don’t have to do it at one time. Read a chapter a day if you want. But after you read it, you’ll understand what Jesus was all about. And I think you’ll be surprised, because he’s much different than you thought.

If there are parts you don’t get, or don’t understand, write me and ask. I’ll try and help. I’ll keep our communication secret.

What do you think about Jesus? Who is he? What does that mean? Why do some people follow him while others don’t even want to know? Why do some people worship him while others use his name as a swear word? How can one guy create so much difference of opinion?

I think you owe it to yourself to find out. We’re going to look very closely at this Gospel of John. It’s going to clear things up quite a bit. I hope you’ll stick around and search with us. Share the word. This is a safe place to come. You don’t even have to tell anybody about it. This Radio Free Buckie,

I hope you have a great week. Stop by and see us on Sunday, if you don’t already have a Church home. Our Church is a safe place too. Until next week, I’m out.

Jesus Shows His Human Side

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Happy Spring, Buckie! How in the world are you? I know it’s spring, because my calendar says so. Today it’s cloudy and rainy, but the days are getting longer, the daffodils are blooming, and the gorse is too. I’m just waiting for the broom to blossom and I’ll be content until the leaves start popping out.

You are listening to Radio Free Buckie. I’m Sam Burton and I’ll be your host for the next few minutes.

In case you’re a brand new listener, and we have some every week, thank you very much, all of you who promote this space, but if you are new, we’ve been looking at some things in the Gospel of John in the New Testament. But before we go there this week, I want to talk about something very personal to me.

Yesterday, I got word that my auntie, my mum’s baby sister had died. I was stunned. First, I didn’t even know she was sick until last week. And she’s been really ill since we’ve lived here in Buckie. I felt really bad about that. And secondly, she was a little more than a year younger than me. My mum was the oldest of six children. My aunt Star, was the youngest.

Until I was about 15, we were very close. We would play together, go fishing together, ride horses when I was in Florida to visit. But after that, we kind of drifted apart. Not in an ugly way. It’s just that our world, our lives took different paths. The last time I saw her, was at my Mother’s funeral in 2006.. That’s a long time.

We talked via Facebook, who doesn’t? But I haven’t seen her in 13 years. And now she’s gone. I have lost a lot of people I love. Both parents, my grandparents, several aunts and uncles, some cousins, and one granddaughter. That’s a lot of goodbyes.

I haven’t been very good at staying in touch with folk. It’s just the way I’m wired. I’m kind of like a dog, I live in the moment. Where I am at, and those with whom I interact currently are very important. But at times like these, I feel kind of bad. A couple years back, one of my lifelong best friends died of cancer. I hadn’t seen or spoken with him for 25 years. When I heard he’d died. I spent a couple days grieving and thinking about all the good times we’d had together.

I guess I’m never going to be a very good relative or friend when it comes to keeping in touch. I’m such a goofball that way. But I have some compensation. I’m going to see most of them again. I don’t say that out of some maudlin churchy way of thinking. It’s not some wishy washy thing Christians say to make ourselves and others feel better at funeral time. It’s something I truly know, in the core of my being.

Jesus rose from the grave. I’m going to talk about that at length when we get to Easter time, in about a month. But three days after his gory execution, he showed up for breakfast. And that changed everything. It’s not just some religious mumbo jumbo. Look into it. Do your own homework. And because of his death and resurrection, all of us who believe IN him, know we will be reunited one day.

Yes, someday I will hug my Mum and Dad again. Because they were also believers. And they showed my Jesus. I will see my friend I just told you about. I will get to hold my granddaughter whom I never met because she was only 10 weeks old when she passed. I will get to tell them all how sorry I am for not staying better in touch. Until then, I wait.

The reason I’m telling you about all this, is because you can know that no funeral ever has to be goodbye. It can be, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite. I’ll see you in the morning. That’s such good news. There’s a song we sing in Church that goes like this, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because he lives, all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future. And I can face uncertain days, because he lives.”

There’s one other thing about my auntie’s death that I want to share with you. Never ever miss an opportunity to say I love you to those that matter. None of us know when life will put a veil between us and opportunity will be lost. Send an email today. A text. Make a facebook post, some facetime maybe. Knock on a door. Write a letter. Life is short. Way too short. Take every opportunity to share your love with your family and friends.

Ok, after all that cheerful talk, let’s look at the first part of John Chapter 7. These verses are so real that I almost have a hard time believing they are put in the Bible for us to read. Yet we hear so little about them.

Let me set it up. If you remember, Jesus had just fed the multitude with bread an fish in the Spring. The people were so worked up about that and His teaching that they wanted to force Jesus to become King. But withing 30 hours of that moment, much of the crowd walked away from Him forever. Jesus was so discouraged about that, he asked his 12 apostles if they were going to leave too.

Are encouraged that Jesus went through DIScouragement? I am. Because I know he understands when I go through it. And here’s the kicker. Chapter 7 happens about six months after what took place in chapter 6, and he’s still discouraged.

See it says the Jewish feast of booths was about to take place in Jerusalem. That happens in sept. october time. This year 2019 it will be September 13 through 20th. The events in Chapter 6 happened in the spring about mid April. We know that because it says so. It says it was close to the Feast of Passover. That always happens in the spring. I love the way the Bible lets us know stuff like that. It’s not just about spiritual things that are all airy fairy. It’s about real life, real time real space.

Anyway Jesus has kept preaching, and doing miracles. He’s focused. But he’s been discouraged for about 6 months. And now his own brothers, his flesh and blood family, cause him grief. See they don’t believe in him. That’s significant. It shows us that the Bible is real. Jesus own family didn’t believe in him at this time.

There is nothing that hurts more that family not believing your message. We all want the support of family. So here is Jesus, the crowds have dwindled, and even his own brothers are making fun of him. He’s so sad.

Jesus is so sad, he’s ready to skip church. He tells them he’s not going to the feast. You all go, he says, I’ll just stay here. Wow. Jesus is so sad he decides to skip church. I bet you’ve felt that way. Jesus understands. But here’s the kicker. He goes anyway. He goes secretly. I don’t know. Maybe he dresses in disguise. But He love God more than his bad feelings. That sets such an example for me. Then about half way through the week, he ends up going to the temple and teaching the people.

First, he wasn’t going to go. Then he goes in secret. Then he ends up teaching the crowds. What an example. He is discouraged as heck. He knows there are people in Jerusalem who don’t like him, and he knows there are people there who want to kill him.

But in the end he can’t skip going to church. He can’t skip teaching the truth, even though it could cost him his freedom, and his life. That’s how much He loves us.

This section tells me so much about the MAN Jesus. We often talk about how many things in the Bible prove His deity. But this one proves he’s not in disguise, like clark kent. He really is a human, he’s not just dressed like one. He understands he gets it.

That’s somebody I can follow. I hope you can too. Go back and read the first 25 verses of John Chapter 7. It will be a genuine revelation. And don’t forget to let your family and friends know how much you love them.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Thanks for tuning in. I’ll talk to you in about a week. Happy Spring. I’m out.

The Day The Crowd Walked Away From Jesus

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Have you ever had one of those days when your brain is running in a different time Zone than your body? Boy Howdy, am I ever having one of those today. It’s like my body is here in Buckie and my brain is somewhere over the Atlantic. Heck maybe even the Pacific. I am totally out of sync. I have no idea why, but that’s the way today is going. We could have a very interesting time today….

Part of my problem is related to diet. I’m trying to cut out my addiction to bread and sugar. I haven’t had any since last Thursday, and today I’m feeling it. I’m not going to bore you with the details of my diet plan, but I am convinced that white bread and white sugar are really bad for us. I know they are for me. And I don’t like wholemeal bread. Blech. Yuck. Nasty! So it’s go without. I am thinking about rye flour bread. But not for a couple more weeks at least. And the sugar has got to go. Adios, Sianara, see ya, bye bye.

What’s worse is, I’ve brought in some lettuce and stuff to make some salads. Salad is my least favorite food. But I need it for volume. Because, I.get.hungry! I’d rather have white chocolate, but you see why that’s a problem, right?

Enough of my problems. Let’s move along. As some of you know, I’m a Christian Minister here in Buckie. I serve at the Church of Christ at the corner of West Church and Pringle Streets. We’d love to have you stop by for a visit some Sunday. We meet at 11 a.m. And 6:20 p.m. Totally different services. Sunday mornings are more traditional type church services. Very casual, but if you’re familiar with church services, you’ll know what to expect. Sunday night’s I’ve been going through a series I’ve called Game of Thrones. We’ve had a ton of fun looking at history and the Bible, and Faith. It is completely different that traditional as we’ve looked at how God has worked through history, both inside and outside the Bible. Anyway, I think you’d like it. And I want to take this chance to invite you to drop in and visit, if you don’t have a Church home already.

That’s all the commercial I can do. I’d love to have you stop in, but I’m tickled to death to have you listen in here. Remember you can get this show on Stitcher. Stitcher is a website if you’ve got a home computer or laptop, and it’s an app for your smartphone, you can get it free via google play or the itunes store. Obviously, you can click on the link on the webpage http://www.radiofreebuckie, but I want you to know you can find it other places.

Today I want to us to look at what happened to Jesus right after he feeds the multitudes. If you remember, we’re in John chapter 6. That’s the fourth book of the New Testament, Mt, Mk, Lk, John. And then Chapter 6.

Right after he feeds this huge crowd, of likely 20000 people or more. Remember its 5000 men, not counting women and children. But right after, the people want to make Jesus their king. Now, those must have been some tasty fish sandwiches. The crowd is so impressed with Jesus’ power that they want to force him to become king.

But Jesus runs off and hides from them. He doesn’t want an earthly kingdom. He has zero interest. So he disappears.

That night, his disciples can’t find him, so they decide to go home. I find that really odd.. But I see a lot of people do that, when Jesus doesn’t do things they way they want on the timetable they’ve got, they just leave.

When they got in their boat and started across the lake a terrible storm came up and their short trip, took all night. This was like sailing from Buckie to Lossiemouth. But it takes them hours and hours. The wind is high, the waves are choppy. I get seasick just thinking about it.

But just about morning, they see Jesus walking by, walking on the water. Now anyway you slice it, that’s odd. It’s especially hard on your mind if you’ve ever been in the water. You know, it’s not easy to walk on. But here is Jesus doing it. The disciples are terrified. One of the Gospel writers says they thought they were seeing a ghost. I thinks that’s funny. They found it easier to believe in a ghost than that a human could walk on the water. It’s just another testimony that Jesus is God. He’s not an ordinary man.

He was going to walk right past them. He climbs in the boat just as thIney reach where they’re going.

In less than 24 hours, these disciples have seen Jesus feed 20000 people with 5 loaves and two fish, and they’ve seen him walk across the lake on the water. I think they’ve got a lot to think about.

I love reading the reaction of the people who had returned. John says that when they never saw Jesus come out of hiding, they got into boats and crossed the lake. Now they see him and go, “Huh? How’d you get here? It’s magic.”

Jesus is a bit frustrated and tells them they only tried to make him king and only wonder about how he got across the lake because he fed them. He gets exactly to the point. And what’s weird is they ask him what sign he will do to show his authority. What Sign? Less than 24 hours before he fed them with 5 loaves and two fish. What more do they need?

But there are so many people who are just interested in Christianity for a side show. As long as cool things are happening, everything is good. But when Jesus asks us for faith, we ask him to prove himself. Amazing aren’t we.

Then we read something pretty weird. Jesus tells them that he is the real food and drink. That unless they eat his flesh and drink his blood they have nothing to do with him. Now we know he was prophesying about the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist, Communion. But we have the whole Bible and 2000 years of teaching in our favor. To them it just sounds weird and hard.

It reminds me of Abraham. God had promised to give him enough offspring to be comapred to the stars in the sky or sand on the seashore. And he promised it through a son, Isaac. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. Then when Isaac is roughly 20 years old, God asks Abraham to take him to an altar and sacrifice him. That had to sound so weird to Moses. It didn’t sound like God, asking for human sacrifice. It didn’t make sense how God would keep his promise if Isaac was dead. It didn’t make any sense at all. But Abraham trusted God. If God asked him to do it, he was going to obey him. That’s it. And of course, God spared Isaac.

In this case, John tells us that the people left Jesus by the thousands. They didn’t ask any questions. They just thought it sounded weird so they left. Oh my gosh, that sounds like us. When we don’t understand something God says, rather than ask, or figure it out, we just walk away. How sad.

Jesus was sad. He watched the people go, and he turned to his disciples and asked, “Are you going, too?” And Simon Peter has a great answer, “To whom will we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

Man, Peter really got it. He saw past the feeding of the multitude, and even the whole walking on water thing. He realized that Jesus had the words of eternal life. Eternal life. That’s worth the hard stuff. That’s worth sticking around for. That’s worth everything.

Man I love this chapter. It’s a lot to think about. I want you to go back and read chapter 6 of the Book of John again for yourself. If you don’t have a Bible, you can get a free one with an app for your phone, or you can go to Bible and read it on your laptop or desktop. If you need a real Bible, write me at and ask for one and I’ll see that you get one.

Think about all Jesus has done in this chapter to prove he is God. Think about Peter’s answer that Jesus is the one with the words for eternal life. And think about how sad it was for all those people to walk away from Him… By the way, they left for good. Wow.

It’s a lot to think about. And that’s all I’ve got. So have a great week. I’ll talk to you next time. Can’t wait. But for now…I’m out.

No Packed Lunch Required

Image result for Barley loaves images public domain




Today, I want to talk to you about Jesus’ most famous miracle. Apart from his resurrection, of course. That is definitely the most famous. And the most important. But the one we want to look at today, is the only one recorded in all four gospels. It made such an impact on Jesus followers that they all wrote about it. It’s called, the feeding of the 5 thousand. You can read about it in John chapter 6.

The first thing is, there are more than 5,000 people. Matthew tells us that’s the number of men, not counting women and children. That’s saying, no one knows how many people are there. It’s not a sexist comment. Most people say there were at least 20,000 people in all. Now that’s a lot of people.

Some other neat stuff about the story. It doesn’t happen in Jerusalem, or any other big city. It is on the east side of the sea of Galilee. It’s out in the country. Way out in the country. The people either walked or took boats to get to Jesus. That’s impressive. But that’s the kind of effect Jesus had on people. They would go out of their way. Considerably out of their way to be with him and hear him speak.

That is so unlike today. People go out of their way to avoid Churches. Sometimes that’s because Churches often make the Bible and Faith boring or Old timey. It’s neither one. I promise. You’ll just have to take my dare and come on out and see for yourself.

One of the things I think is pretty odd about the story, is that 20,000 plus people, and only one little boy brought any food. That might not be weird in the 21st century because we have places to eat everywhere. Every few miles. But in Jesus’ day, they didn’t. It would have been normal for people to take food with them. But on this day, they didn’t. I wonder if God had something to do with that? So that Jesus could show them that’s he’s God, with the power of creation.

In many ways, this is the same miracle Jesus did in Chapter 2 in Cana, when he turned water into wine. Except now there are thousands of people being fed, rather than a few hundred. See. Jesus cares about our needs. Whether we’re in a small group or whether we’re lost in a crowd. Whatever, whenever, we need him, he’s got what we need.

I think this is a good time to point out the generosity of the boy. Most boys don’t share their lunch with a crowd of strangers. But this one does. That’s the impact Jesus has on people. He makes us different. I think that’s so cool. And I think this boy needs commended. It was beyond generous. It was an act of faith.

One other thing, that stands out to me. There were 12 baskets full of left overs. Jesus didn’t just make enough. He made plenty. And then some. If there were leftovers, that means everyone had enough to eat and then some. Jesus will say later, I came that you might have life, and have it abundantly. In this miracle he really shows that.

The crowd was really impressed. We’ll talk about what happened next, next week. But I just want to add that they were so impressed they wanted to make him king. Those must have been some tasty fish sandwiches. But before the next day ends, many of them will stop following Jesus forever. Because he said some things they didn’t understand. Things that were hard. And a little bit weird.

People are fickle. We are completely unpredictable. One day they want Jesus to be King. The next, they don’t want anything to do with him. How very sad. I’ve known many like that over the years. People who chose to follow Jesus. Then things got hard or weird, and they just walked away. That’s like the saddest ending I can think of. Sadder than any movie. Jesus still dies for them, even though they walk away from him. That’s how much he loves them. That’s how much he loves you.

Think about that for a while. He loves you. Even if you’ve chosen to reject or ignore him. He still wants you to change your mind. And he will still welcome you home.

And that’s all I’ve got. Read John chapter 6 for yourself. It’s impressive. I hope you have a great week. I’ll talk to you soon. But for now….I’m out.

Jesus, Like A Lamb…

gold lamb statue

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I want to take a break today from looking at our Study in John. I was reading something in the book of Isaiah in the old Testament that I just have to share with you. First, lets read it. It’s from chapter 53. If you are a regular Church Goer, this will be quite familiar, but if you’re not, this will be interesting.

First, I want to read it. It’s only a few verses. The whole Chapter

The first thing is, this is a prophesy about Jesus. It was written a little more than 700 years before he was born. Wow, think about that. If the Bible can be that specific 700 years ahead of time. What other treasures might be hidden inside? It’s well worth a read.

But look at this chapter. First, it says that there was nothing special about Jesus. He was so ordinary he could walk through a crowd unnoticed. And in fact, that saved his life more than once. He didn’t look like Thor or Iron Man. He was just an ordinary looking chap.

And it says that he suffered terribly. He was beaten, wounded, broken. He was killed, and buried. This is just exactly what happened.

What’s more is, there is a promise about his resurrection. The whole gospel is there. 700 years in advance.

One more thing. This reminds us very clearly. It was our sin that caused it. It wasn’t just the Jewish leaders, or the Roman Soldiers. It was our sin, our failures that made the cross necessary.

And yet Jesus went through all that totally voluntarily. He chose to die, so we could be forgiven.

No that’s something to think about. So will you? Think about it?

Write me and let me know what your thoughts are. Or just use the comments section on the website. Either way. I’ll read it and get back to you.

Next week we’ll get back to John and his memories of Jesus. Have a great week. That’s all I got. So until next time. I’m out.

Jesus’ Pool Day

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Image result for at the pool images public domain

Listen, today I want to talk to you about some pretty interesting stuff in the first part of John, Chapter 5. If you’re new, we’re looking at the gospel of John, which is the 4th book of the New Testament. This is an amazing book. Again, for you new listeners, The gospels aren’t biographies of Jesus life. They are memories of Jesus. That’s why they have some similarities and a lot of differences. Just like when you get together with family and friends and remember someone that meant a lot to you. One person tells stories then everyone chimes in with their favorites. That’s kind of what the gospels are.

John was the last of Jesus 12 apostles who was still alive, when he wrote his memories. And an odd thing was happening, many people were arguing about Jesus. A few were saying he wasn’t even human. He just looked like a man. John tells the stories he does to show that Jesus is totally God and totally Human. And that’s what made him special.

Here in Chapter 5, we see a really neat story. But first, John points out that Jesus was in Jerusalem because there was a religious feast going on. In chapter 4 he’s still on the way home to Galilee from the last feast, which we read in Chapter 2 that he went to. I think that’s really interesting, because we learn how important worshiping, you know, going to church, was to Jesus. He lived 84 miles from the temple . That means every time he went to a festival, his round trip was 168 miles. And he had to walk. That’s how you got places in his day. Most of us in Buckie, don’t travel 168 miles a year to go to church. He’s just done it now, twice in a year. Plus all the Saturdays he went to the Synagogues along the way. These days, I know people who have never been to church, except maybe to a wedding or a funeral. And I know a lot more who just go when the mood strikes, or it’s convenient. Perhaps, from Jesus example, we should consider making attendance a little more of a priority. Just thinking out loud here.

He stops by this place called the pool of Bethesda, that had 5 covered porches. It was slammed with cripples and blind people. Multitudes were there. That means thousands. Shazaam. This is interesting, because we just read that and go cool pool. But for over 1800 years people said that there was no pool of bethesda. The Bible writers just made it up. No one knew where it was. See, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70. They tore it up. Tore down the temple and wrecked the city. People didn’t know where much was. But in the 1800s archaeologists discovered a pool that had 5 covered porches on it, right outside the city gate. Exactly where the Bible said the pool was. The reason the pool was so badly destroyed was because it provide much of the water to the city. It’s source was a spring. So if the Romans collapsed the whole thing they would cut off water to Jerusalem.

But once again the Bible is proved correct in it’s history. Surprised? Don’t be. This kind of discovery has happened time and time again. The Bible is historically accurate. Full stop.

Anyway, there is this multitude of sick and desperate people at the pool because of a rumor that periodically, an angel came and made the water move. The first person in the water would be healed.

That doesn’t sound much like God to me. First, there is no other place in the Bible where Angels are healing people. And God doesn’t play tricks on people. I mean, the first one in gets healed, everyone else just gets wet. And there are so many people trying to be first in the water that they wouldn’t even know if someone was healed. And it was so crowded some people couldn’t even get in.

This is the story of the poor man Jesus spoke to. He had been totally disabled for 38 years. He couldn’t walk. He would have to crawl or wiggle his way to the pool, and couldn’t make it. But he had heard and believed a myth, a rumor.

That’s the way it is for so many people. They hear rumors and chase them. Some have help. People to throw them in, but some like the guy in our story, is left to suffer on his own.

And then comes Jesus. Jesus asks him if he want’s to be healed. The guy has no idea who Jesus is, and tells him, “What does it matter. I can’t get to the water anyway.” He is so discouraged.

Jesus heals him on the spot. On the spot. Tells him to take his mat and go home. How cool is that. The bloke, just gets up and walks away.

Sometimes, I’ve asked why just one? Why did Jesus only heal this one guy. I’ve read stories where Jesus healed every person in a town. Why just one person? Because the rest weren’t looking for a miracle. They were chasing rumors and myths. Jesus is right among them and they are buzzing all around, ignoring him, waiting for the water to move.

In the other stories, people are coming to Jesus, or being brought to him. That’s totally different than these people. They are chasing the wind. And walking right by Jesus.

How many of us are guilty of walking right past Jesus. We have so many needs, so many unfulfilled dreams, so much guilt, and we’re ready to do anything. But won’t ask Jesus. I’m telling you, He is right here. And He will give you a brand new start. Today. Now.

There’s just one more thing I want to talk about in the story. I mean there’s a whole thing about the Sabbath and all that, but we’ll talk about that stuff another time. Now, the man runs into Jesus later that day in the Temple. First, I think its so cool that the guy was so excited, he went to church that day to thank God. We could probably all learn a thing or two from that. But he sees Jesus, and Jesus says to him, “Sin no more, so that something worse doesn’t happen to you.” That is weird. What could be worse that 38 years of crawling around, unable to walk.

I know people don’t want to hear about it or talk about it, but Jesus is saying, “Don’t risk Hell, son. Live for God.” Jesus had healed more than his body. He had forgiven him. And he’s telling this guy to make the most of it. Being a hopeless quadriplegic was awful. But hell is real. And much worse.

Jesus warns us over and over again that hell is a real place that we want nothing to do with. He came so that we could avoid it. I’m all for taking him up on his plan. We repent and come to him. We turn. We change. We surrender.

Don’t chase rumors. Jesus is right here. He’s the one with the answers. The one with the power. And he offers help to us all. If you’ve surrendered to him, rejoice in that. Relax and live for him. If you’ve never handed over the keys to let Jesus drive, he want to do for you exactly what he did for that man at the Bethesda pool. What will you choose?

Do me a favor? Spend some time thinking about these events. So far, in every chapter Jesus has demonstrated that He is the God Man. In chapter 1, he is God. He made the world. In Chapter 2 he turned water into wine. You don’t see that every day. In Chapter 3 he tells Nicodemus how to be born again. In Chapter 4 he tells the woman at the well the He is the Messiah, the savior of the world. Then he tells the whole town. Now in Chapter 5, he heals a man who has been without a life for 38 years. Who’s chasing after rumors. Just think what Jesus can do for you.

And…That’s all I’ve got for you this week. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to use the comments feature on the website; or write me I’d love to hear from you. I’ll talk to you in about a week. But for now…..I’m out!

One On One With Jesus

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First, I’m batching it for a little while. My wife is out of town and I’m cooking for myself. I’m trying to keep the dishes done, the hoover run, laundry clean, you know, all the household stuff. The only thing she reminded me about before she left was, clean the toilet. She knows me so well. Yes, I miss her. Especially as today is valentine’s day and my valentine is far away. Can I get an Ohhh….? Ok, maybe not. I get it.

Holidays are kind of hard to deal with publicly because, there are always people who can’t celebrate. You know, on mother’s day, people who’ve lost a child, or maybe can’t have them. And on Valentine’s day, today, many people are out there, maybe someone listening, who has recently lost your valentine to death, or you’ve just gone through a troubling break up, a divorce. The last thing you want is to hear about people passing around cards and chocolates. I get it. It can be a hard day. For you, I sympathize. You are on my mind. But for those of you who can celebrate, I hope you do. I hope you remembered to get a card, some flowers, or something. If not, get it done now. If you’re listening to this after Valentine’s Day, and you forgot. You got some serious make up to do. I’ll pray for you.

Hey, we’ve got a really neat story to look at today. It’s in the 4th Chapter of John. Just a reminder, John is the 4th book of the New Testament. Jesus is on his way home after being in Jerusalem. And he stops to rest in Sychar in Samaria.

He sends his disciples out to Harry Gow to get some lunch, while he sits by the well. There’s a whole bunch of weird and cool stuff about this. First, no one who is a Jew liked to stop in a Samaritan town. Jews hated Samaritans and vice versa. It’s kind of like Glasgow Rangers and Celtic fans used to be. I mean they still don’t like each other, but you probably remember how ugly it used to be. Or even better, the problems between Catholic and Protestents in Northern Ireland. The hatred was deep and it went back hundreds of years.

And Jesus sits out in public in Sychar. How risky is that. And then a woman comes to the well and Jesus just starts talking to her. This is not a sexist thing. She isn’t surprised by the fact that he’s talking to a woman, but he’s a Jew and she’s a Samaritan.

But see, that’s the whole nature of Jesus good news. Back in Chapter 3, Jesus has a private conversation with Nicodumus. Nick is a prominent Jewish leader. But Jesus tells him he needs to be born again. Here in chapter 4, he is having a private conversation with a woman who is not Jewish. His gospel is for everyone. Rich, poor, male, female, it doesn’t matter. He came to offer salvation to us all.

We find out that the woman has been married 5 times and is now living with some other guy. How 21st century is that? This woman could have a reality show on the BBC or MTV. Her life is a wreck. She comes to the well at lunch time. That was not what people did. They came at morning and in the evening. But she want’s to avoid the crowds so she comes right at lunch. And there is Jesus.

First, this story reminds us that we don’t have any secrets. Whatever we’ve done, wherever we’ve been, or who or how many we’ve been with, God knows. Even when we try and hide from him, he meets us at lunch time. We can’t get away from him. But Jesus doesn’t come to judge her. He comes to offer her a chance to start over. Who doesn’t want that? What if that were true? Would you be interested? Jesus tells her that he has a ‘living water’ that would be so tasty for her soul. She would never be thirsty again. She immediately runs back to tell everyone about this guy.

One of the things I love is the enthusiasm felt by people when they first meet Jesus. They want to tell everyone about Him. Sometimes people laugh and make fun, but lots of time they can see the change, that somethings different and they come to find out.

That’s what happened here. The people in the town all came out to meet Jesus. We’re not told a thing about what happened. But they invited him to come and stay with them for a few days. And He did. These people were natural enemies of the Jews. And Jesus decides to stay in the village.

This is so different that many of us think about Him. We think we have to be all cleaned up and churchy to spend time with Jesus. And we either can’t or won’t do that. But Jesus just comes and stays.

After he finally leaves, they all say to the woman. “wow, we came to see this guy because of what you said, but now we know him. Thanks so much.”

People see me, and they assume many things. After all I’m a preacher. A clergyman. And an American one at that. Some people avoid me like the plague. That’s ok. I get it. But the reality is, I’m more like the woman Jesus met than I am anybody else in the story. My life has been messed up and messed with so bad that that you would have a hard time believing it. But Jesus met me and told me he could give me a new start. I grabbed it. And I’m just trying to tell people about Him.

Yes, I go to church. But I’m not churchy. I’m a pretty normal bloke, for an American. My wife could tell you the same thing about her. See, Jesus did change us. And I’m so glad He did. He is still doing the same things for people he’s always done.

I don’t know you. I don’t know whether you’re more like this woman Jesus met at the well in Sychar or whether you’re more like Nicodemus Jesus met in Jerusalem. He tells you the same thing. Whether you’re a religious leader or you’ve been married 5 times and now living with someone outside of marriage. You need a new start. And He will give it to you.

Please, read chapter 4, then go back and read chapter 3 of John and see what I’m talking about. It’s quite amazing. Any man or woman is capable of Having Jesus meet your deepest need.

It might feel kind of weird, but I’m going to ask you, Do you want to start over. Be born again? You can. You can come to him right now. Where you are. You can do it.

If you have any questions about what I’m saying, write me: and ask away. I will answer them right away.

This is a short session again this week, you’re welcome. I do want to tell you that in the very near future, I’m going to be relaunching another radio show called, Rediscovering the Bible. I did that show for a year and a half and people keep asking for it to come back. It will be up within the month. I’ll keep you posted. I’ll tell you, each episode is about 30 minutes. Some more, some a little less. But it’s been tons of fun. I’ll let you know how to tune in.

For now, Thanks for tuning in. Please tell your friends. Thanks to all of you. And a special thanks for those of you who re-post the show to your friends. You rock. I’ll talk to you in about a week. That’s it for now. I’m out.