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Tuesday, May 19, 2015
I’m always fascinated by what is NOT in the Bible sometimes as much as what is in it. It puzzles me often, and one of the things that I’ve always been curious about is the siblings that Jesus had. We are told that his brothers mocked him in one place and in another we are told that they were waiting outside with his mother to see him when he was speaking to a group inside a home. Little else is mentioned about his family.
What interests me about it is that I’m curious if Jesus had any sisters? Women are certainly not excluded from the Bible, though references to them are rare by comparison to men. Given the facts of life in Jesus’ times one would think he had at least a 50% chance of having sisters. Sadly, we know little about his family life. His father is not mentioned after Jesus is 12 years old. Likely Joseph, already established in his trade as a carpenter, was much older than his wife, Mary. Still, given the way of life then (lack of contraception and the desire for many children,) they could easily have had a half dozen kids if Joseph died immediately after Jesus was twelve. So, where are the three sisters--or two, or even one?
I guess we’ll never know, and really it is not essential. It is not the main story or reason for the New Testament accounts and perhaps would only serve to detract from the message that Jesus died for all our shortcomings, and that we have salvation and eternal life as a result if we choose Him.
Still, I’m curious!
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
I often read the Old Testament Bible and have real surprises. Sometimes they are perplexing and other times just weird. For instance, in Exodus chapter 3 we find Moses out tending a sheep herd in Midian. He sees a bush that is burning off in the distance, but it doesn’t burn up. I am a firefighter, and I often deal with burning bushes. Mine always tend to burn up...though I do my best to put an end to that. Moses, finding this extremely curious, decides to go closer and investigate. Now the part I find unusual is the passage says the Angel of the Lord appears to him in the midst of the burning bush, but when he’s closer it is God speaking in the bush. Kinda crowded in there. Was the Angel sort of the appointment secretary who set things up and then God came on the line? Why didn’t God just show up in the bush in the first place?
Now, there is nothing important about my musings on this subject. It doesn’t do anything the change the validity of the experience or the message from God to Moses to go and free the Jews from the Egyptian Pharaoh. But it just seems strange to have it be an Angel at first and then God speaking when Moses gets near the bush. We assume that Moses wrote this account. Perhaps he was saying he thought it was an Angel of the Lord and discovered later it was God himself.
Do you find passages like this that make you scratch you head? Let me know if you do and maybe we can figure them out together.
Monday, May 11, 2015
The Jews of Jesus time perplex me. They were so incredibly fanatical in their faith and yet, apparently, they were not looking at and investigating any of the prophecies of the Old Testament. In particular, Daniel 9:25-26 where he predicts (according to scholars who understand the Hebrew language better than I) that the Messiah will be killed in 33A.D. Then there’s the Bethlehem birth and about 300 other ones to take into account as well. Talk about failing to do your homework…and what does that say about Jews today who still don’t recognize Jesus as the Messiah?
I find it interesting that:
1. Doctors perform “fecal transplants,” where donated stool is injected into a person’s colon. More than 90% of the time, healthy bacteria from the donor stool start to grow in the patient’s colon. If this thought provoking procedure isn’t enough for you, then consider my question…what happens the other ten percent of the time?????
2. Also, I always wanted to know what on earth prompted A.A. Milne to name his famous storybook character Pooh Bear.