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Who Killed Jesus?

It is a strange scene. The Jewish leaders bring Jesus to Pilate and say that they want him to crucify Jesus. Why? Pilate asks. Well, he’s a criminal, they say. Of course he is. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have brought him here to you. But Pilate still can’t figure out why he is supposed to crucify […]

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Glory through betrayal

Think about this a moment: Jesus chose Judas Iscariot to be one of his disciples. Why would he do that? John, who was Jesus’s disciple and who wrote the book of John, wrote that Jesus knew from the beginning – from the time that he chose Judas, and even much before! – that Judas would […]

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The many ways to God

“I respect all people and all of the different religions and ways that God has spoken to them.” “I’m happy to learn about other religions, but you have your religion and I have my religion, you know. We can each follow our own way.” These are both statements that I heard this last week. The […]

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You do not belong to God

This is a difficult saying for me. I see it and it is clear to understand, but it is not easy for me to take on and digest…primarily because I don’t really want to. I want to believe, instead, that each person can simply come to God once they hear. Of course, I have no […]

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Confusion amongst the crowds

As Jesus was in Jerusalem at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles, we see a scene that seems very familiar to me. There is a great amount of confusion in the crowd: Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. John 7:43 We see that people say this about Jesus or that about Jesus, […]

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I’ll tell you upon what authority

Jesus healed a man who had been lame, unable to walk, for 38 years. He had been laying next to a pool in Jerusalem hoping that he would be healed by the waters there when Jesus arrived, asked him if he actually did want to get well, and then had him stand up and walk […]

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All the time in the world

As I was growing up, this was a popular saying: We have all of the time in the world. Of course, it simply means that there is no rush, no hurry. We can do whatever we want. We can take our time and slow down. We have nothing that we need to be concerned about […]

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Sentiero Natura Monte Nero degli Zappini

We took this trail over the course of two and a half hours, including a time to stop for lunch. There are nice views of the Etna peaks and a walk through both the lava fields as well as through the woods. This hike would be OK for our purposes with the people that we […]

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Ceremonial Washing and Baptism

In the Jewish law, ceremonial washing was required to allow a man or a woman to be ceremonially clean before God. There were several situations in which a person could be considered to be ceremonially unclean and need to be washed. Those might include: In addition, ceremonial washing was also frequently performed in advance of […]

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You are my refuge

David wrote these words in what is now Psalm 142 as he hid from the king, Saul, who was hunting him. David expresses this sentiment: Look and see, there is no one at my right hand;no one is concerned for me.I have no refuge;no one cares for my life. I cry to you, LORD;I say, […]