patmarrin's blog


Judas

“Surely it is not I, Lord” (Matt 26:22).

The scriptures for a third time linger on the betrayal of Jesus. He casts a deep shadow over their Passover meal by saying, “One of you will betray me.” In distress, they reply one after the other, “Surely it is not I, Lord.” Perhaps even Judas, to deflect attention, feigns innocence by asking the same question. But he has already determined in his heart to hand Jesus over to the authorities, and he already has the 30 pieces of silver in his pocket.

Betrayed

“And it was night” (John 13:30).

Betrayal is always an inside job. Someone with intimate connections or knowledge of another’s thoughts and intentions shares that insight with enemies, enabling then to gain access or the opportunity to take down their intended target. Betrayal requires deception, an outer face that shows loyalty while an inner face plots abandonment.

Battle Plan

"Though an army encamp against me, my heart will not fear" (Ps 27).

Man on a Donkey

“Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord” (Matt 11:10).

The utter improbability of the Gospel is apparently something the early church was eager to proclaim. By worldly standards, the arrival of the Messiah, hailing from Nazareth in Galilee, riding into Jerusalem on an ass to purify the Temple was a perfect parody of royal and imperial power. Behold, the clown prince of Yellow Dog, Tennessee, blowing into Washington, DC, on a tractor to clean up Congress and save the world.

Man on a Donkey

“Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord” (Matt 11:10).

The utter improbability of the Gospel is apparently something the early church was eager to proclaim. By worldly standards, the arrival of the Messiah, hailing from Nazareth in Galilee, riding into Jerusalem on an ass to purify the Temple was a perfect parody of royal and imperial power. Behold, the clown prince of Yellow Dog, Tennessee, blowing into Washington, DC, on a tractor to clean up Congress and save the world.

God's Genealogy

“The Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

Waiting in the dentist’s office this morning, I saw a magazine cover with a girl holding a picture of her mother holding a picture of her mother, the girl’s grandmother. Three generations in a family showing genetic characteristics passed down, the great continuity of the human race all the way back to the fossil remains in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya. What is individual identity if not participation in the evolutionary hand-off that reveals our shared genealogy?

Are You Still With Me?

“Before Abraham came to be, I AM” (John 8:58).

Go Free

“If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31).

Dying to Live

“He is not going to kill himself, is he?” (John 8:22)

John’s Gospel is the most mystical of the four Gospels, and it also has the highest Christology. In other words, Jesus knows he is the Son of God from the start, and everything he says and does is to deliberately fulfill the divine plan. The long discourses he engages in with his disciples and his opponents function like the speeches in a Greek play, while the narrator and the crowds act as Greek chorus to make sure the audience understands the meaning of what they are witnessing on stage.

Set free to sin no more

"I am completely trapped ..." (Dan 13:22).

A lifetime ago when I was teaching high school religion, my greatest success at getting my students to read the Bible was to tell them not to read certain stories because they were for mature audiences only. I am almost certain they all read Daniel 13:1-62, the fantastic story of Susanna in the garden.