Monday, March 23, 2015
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
For some reason while reading John’s account of the raising of Lazarus from the dead this morning, something suddenly bothered me about it…and I have to say, it bothered me a lot! I suspect many of you may have had the same thought, so I’ll share it and my journey to resolution about it.
You see, the only place in the New Testament where the raising of Lazarus from the dead is mentioned is in the gospel of John. His writings were circulated very much after the rest of the New Testament writings, and even the comprehensive history that Luke put together. So why would such a powerful story not be included with Luke’s gospel, or mentioned in Matthew or Mark’s letters? It brings into question the veracity of John’s writings.
After a good bit of thought and some research, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is a factual account. First, presuming this miracle was unusual in Jesus’ ministry is false. There are several accounts of his raising persons from the dead. We know of Jairus’ daughter and the son of the widow of Nain. Here’s the interesting part…John doesn’t mention either of these two miracles in his accounts! Matthew and Mark fail to mention the widow’s son. It is even possible, considering these failures to describe these events that even more people were raised from the dead that no account exists about them. John, in his gospel even says “there are many other things that Jesus did…” that aren’t written down.
There is also the possibility that Matthew and Mark were not present when Lazarus was raised. We have no complete accounting of the times the apostles were together as a complete group with Jesus, and no reason to believe they always were. We only know that Thomas was there from John’s account.
There is also the problem that this event was a focusing turning point for the Jewish leadership who we are told were present. Some of those leaders went back and “from that day on planned to kill (Jesus.)” Perhaps the other writers sought to protect Lazarus from the wrath of the Jewish leaders, and John didn’t need to any longer, since many years had passed and Lazarus and his sisters may have truly been dead by then.
There is also one other interesting feature to the story that was pointed out to me. Jews of that time believed that the spirit continues to come back to the body for three days after death and tries to go back into the body (bring it to life) until flesh disfigurement then makes it unrecognizable (See Genesis, Leviticus, and Ecclesiastes.) It explains why Jesus delayed in responding to the message of Lazarus being ill and even already knew he was dying or dead. He arrived four days after the burial, so there would be no question of it being anything but a true miracle of God.
Sunday, March 8, 2015
I couldn’t help but notice in the president’s recent speech in Selma that if he had chosen to use one-tenth the energy, emotion, and commitment in speaking about people who cut people’s heads off, who bury people alive or crucify children for their beliefs, we would have defeated radical Islam long ago.
I feel that celebrations like Selma are most often used to just fan the flames of racism rather than celebrating the extremely valuable and dedicated sacrifices of those who fought for equal rights. Along with positive comments about how far we’ve come, the president also clearly implied “those white racist MoFos are still out there.” I couldn’t believe that despite his own administration failing to find any civil rights racism in Ferguson (or Florida regarding Treyvon Martin for that matter,) he still chose to use it as an example of ongoing racism…if you ask me, I would agree there was racism in those towns…the people in Ferguson who are racist were Al Sharpton, Eric Holder, the President and the blacks who demonstrated and rioted in the streets, not the whites of that area. White Christians are on Obama’s hit list, even though it was white Christians who led the fight to abolish slavery in the 1860s and have fought for equal rights and continue to do so.
I have little respect for this president’s administrative skills, his lies, and his consistent efforts to undermine the constitution. He had a great opportunity in his Selma speech as well as in his presidency as a whole, and as far as I’m concerned, he completely blew it. Mr. President, you have two years to prove me wrong. It may not sound like it, but I would love it if you did.