All posts tagged Jesus

Why Do I Have To Do It All?

Working Mom's Devotional

I was feeling pretty sorry for myself on Easter morning.  I stayed up late Saturday night filling Easter baskets and hiding eggs.  I got up early to make everyone breakfast, and I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off to make sure we were ready for church by 9:00 a.m.  As I rushed the family out to the car, I screamed at my husband, “Why don’t you help me?  Can’t you see that I can’t do it all?” Continue reading →

What If Jesus Was My Client?

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I’ve never met the perfect client.

But I’ve given some thought about what it would be like to have Jesus as my client. I like to picture Him walking into the firm’s lobby in His robe and sandals. The reception­ist would probably call security. Continue reading →

Talking to Kids About the F-bomb

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I didn’t plan to talk to Nick about the F-word.  Like most adventures in parenting, it just sort of happened.

I know what you’re thinking.  No, I didn’t “slip” at a weak moment.  (I reserve such moments for the office, remember?)

Here’s how it happened. Continue reading →

Would I Recognize Jesus?

Was Jesus just a good moral teacher, or is he really the Son of God?  Over 2000 years after his death, there is still debate about the true identity of Jesus.

Even in his own time, there was little consensus.

Surely, his own family recognized his true divinity, right?

Not exactly. Jesus’ family even questioned his sanity.

When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” – Mark 3: 21

But surely, the religious leaders recognized his spiritual authority, right?

Hardly. Rather than concluding he was crazy, they declared he was downright evil.

And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.” – Mark 3:22

No, it wasn’t the religious elite that recognized Jesus as the Son of God.  Instead, it was the unexpected – the uneducated, the fisherman, and even the prostitutes.  An unlikely group of followers.

I like to think of myself as educated. Even enlightened! Yet I wonder if I would have recognized Jesus 2000 years ago. If Jesus had asked me– as he asked Peter – who do you say that I am?  What would I say?

Many days, Jesus is right in my midst, but I still don’t recognize him.   There are too many distractions blinding me.  Work. Home. Errands. Relationships. Duties.  In the midst of it all, I even worry that I’ve lost my spiritual sight. 

But today, on Maundy Thursday, I’m going to try hard to see him.  I’m going to look.  I’m going to listen.  I’m going to think about the bread and the wine and ask God to open my eyes.

I want my heart to burn. 

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When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began  to give it to them.  Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.  They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us….?”  Luke 24: 30-32

Is It the Real Jesus or Fake Jesus?

Jesus enters Jerusalem with a bang.  After riding in on a donkey, did he keep a low profile and fly under the radar?  Not exactly.

Based on the gospel accounts, by Tuesday, Jesus was causing a scene in the heart of Jerusalem – in none other than the temple courts.

In fact, Jesus got angry, knocked over a few tables, and even disturbed the peace.

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. – Matthew 21:12-13

Ouch!  So much for not making waves.  Why was Jesus so angry?  Some would say that he was fed up with the religious system – a system that had become broken and corrupt.  A system that was charging the poor for “acceptable” temple sacrifices.  A system where the religious leaders made the rules and lined their own pockets.  A system where outward appearances had become more important than inward character. 

Sometimes I ask myself if our religious systems portray the real Jesus.
I’ll never forget the first time I watched our church’s passion play with my then 3-year-old daughter, Abby.  She was completely taken with Jesus.  And she kept asking, Is that the real Jesus or the fake Jesus?
It’s a good question.  I think Jesus asked the same question when he looked at the religious people of his day.  Were they real or fake?  Did they act religious on the outside, but on the inside, were they filled with selfishness and greed?

When we look at our own Christian institutions today, do we find piety for the sake of piety —  a set of outward “rules” and an obsession with appearances (while the inside of the cup is full of hypocrisy and greed)? 

Or, do we see something that looks more like Jesus – humility, grace, and generosity to those in need?

In Abby’s words, do we look like the real Jesus or the fake Jesus?