Tag Archives: Jesus

What Were You Expecting

John 6:16-29  (CEV)

Jesus Walks on the Water

16 That evening, Jesus’ disciples went down to the lake.17 They got into a boat and started across for Capernaum. Later that evening Jesus had still not come to them, 18 and a strong wind was making the water rough.

19 When the disciples had rowed for three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the water. He kept coming closer to the boat, and they were terrified. 20 But he said, “I am Jesus! Don’t be afraid!” 21 The disciples wanted to take him into the boat, but suddenly the boat reached the shore where they were headed.

The Bread That Gives Life

22 The people who had stayed on the east side of the lake knew that only one boat had been there. They also knew that Jesus had not left in it with his disciples. But the next day 23 some boats from Tiberias sailed near the place where the crowd had eaten the bread for which the Lord had given thanks. 24 They saw that Jesus and his disciples had left. Then they got into the boats and went to Capernaum to look for Jesus. 25 They found him on the west side of the lake and asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

26 Jesus answered, “I tell you for certain that you are not looking for me because you saw the miracles, but because you ate all the food you wanted. 27 Don’t work for food that spoils. Work for food that gives eternal life. The Son of Man will give you this food, because God the Father has given him the right to do so.”

28 “What exactly does God want us to do?” the people asked.

29 Jesus answered, “God wants you to have faith in the one he sent.”

Waiting in expectation,
waiting for Jesus to arrive.
What were we expecting?
Him to come in a boat?
The way we had?
The way that seemed obvious?

But that was not how it was,
not how Jesus came.

He walked,
through the choppy waters,
right to where we were
and climbed in our boat
with us.

He didn’t row alongside in his own boat,
however reassuring that might be,
he got into ours,
among us,
with us,
riding the storm.

It wasn’t what we expected,
we were terrified
of who and what was here,
but it was you.
You came to us
and together
we got
to the place we were headed.

Lord,
I have my expectations
of what you will do,
where we are going,
how you will work it;
may I be willing to let you surprise me
and steer me,
us,
to the place you are headed.
May I do it your way,
with you firmly on board.

I don’t need to be afraid,
trying to paddle my own boat,
for it is you,
you are here
with me.

The wind may blow
and the water be stirred,
but as I look
and wonder where you are,
you are here,
may I willingly take you on board
and let you steer

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Taking the Blame

You didn’t do it.  Do you protest your innocence?  Pass the blame to the person that did?  Or calmly take it, for the sake of the person that did?

1 Peter 2:19-25 (CEV)

19 God will bless you, even if others treat you unfairly for being loyal to him. 20 You don’t gain anything by being punished for some wrong you have done. But God will bless you, if you have to suffer for doing something good. 21 After all, God chose you to suffer as you follow in the footsteps of Christ, who set an example by suffering for you.

22 Christ did not sin
    or ever tell a lie.
23 Although he was abused,
    he never tried to get even.
And when he suffered,
    he made no threats.
Instead, he had faith in God,
    who judges fairly.
24 Christ carried the burden
    of our sins.
He was nailed to the cross,
so that we would stop sinning
    and start living right.
By his cuts and bruises
    you are healed.
25 You had wandered away
    like sheep.
Now you have returned
    to the one
who is your shepherd
    and protector.

This letter is written to encourage the Christians who were suffering and being persecuted for their faith.  Peter acknowledges that they are largely suffering for doing nothing more than following the way that Jesus had shown them.  Their treatment is unfair.  But, he reminds them, they are not the first to suffer unfairly – that is the way that Jesus went – and he really had done nothing wrong – ever!

They are suffering abuse and threats.  What they have to stand firm in, is that Jesus has been there, to the ultimate end.  He did it so that they, and we, know we are not alone.  Whatever we may be subjected to in the name of our faith, Jesus has been there.  His wounds, his scars offer us healing and his presence.

In the UK, we do not suffer for our religion.  Yes we may get the occasional funny look or be challenged, we may even be required to remove a cross as jewellery or a badge, but that is not suffering or persecution.  If we think it is we do a huge disservice to those who truly are suffering for their faith, places where people’s lives are in danger for what they believe.  In fact I think we do more persecuting of one another than we receive from others!

Yet there are things we have done, that we will not be punished for.  They are things we have got wrong, but yet we take no blame, because Jesus, the blameless one, has already done it.  We have wandered, we do deserve punishment, but we are saved from it.  He suffered and died, so that we might know life, freedom, a new hope and a new start.

So perhaps any time we think we’re suffering unjustly and feel like moaning; perhaps we should remember, not the things we haven’t done that we’re being condemned for; but the things we have done that we haven’t taken the blame for – quite a sobering thought.  And then thank God, that Jesus did.  The one who had never done any wrong took the blame of the whole world, of everything I have ever done wrong and offers me forgiveness, life and hope.

Unfailing Love

Forgive me Lord,
when I feel badly done to,
unfairly treated,
wrongly accused;
yet happily accept
not taking the blame
for things I’ve got wrong.

Thank you for Jesus,
who took the blame
for all I’ve done,
took the pain,
the insults,
the abuse
that rightly are mine.

Thank you for forgiveness
for freedom
for love
and for hope,
offered freely to me
at such great cost to you.

I pray for those who truly are persecuted today
for following you,
for safety,
security,
for strength
and hope

Where Have You Been?

Luke 24:13-35 (CEV)

Jesus Appears to Two Disciples

13 That same day two of Jesus’ disciples were going to the village of Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 As they were talking and thinking about what had happened, 15 Jesus came near and started walking along beside them. 16 But they did not know who he was.

17 Jesus asked them, “What were you talking about as you walked along?”

The two of them stood there looking sad and gloomy. 18 Then the one named Cleopas asked Jesus, “Are you the only person from Jerusalem who didn’t know what was happening there these last few days?”

19 “What do you mean?” Jesus asked.

They answered:

Those things that happened to Jesus from Nazareth. By what he did and said he showed that he was a powerful prophet, who pleased God and all the people. 20 Then the chief priests and our leaders had him arrested and sentenced to die on a cross. 21 We had hoped that he would be the one to set Israel free! But it has already been three days since all this happened.

22 Some women in our group surprised us. They had gone to the tomb early in the morning, 23 but did not find the body of Jesus. They came back, saying that they had seen a vision of angels who told them that he is alive. 24 Some men from our group went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said. But they didn’t see Jesus either.

25 Then Jesus asked the two disciples, “Why can’t you understand? How can you be so slow to believe all that the prophets said? 26 Didn’t you know that the Messiah would have to suffer before he was given his glory?” 27 Jesus then explained everything written about himself in the Scriptures, beginning with the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets.[a]

28 When the two of them came near the village where they were going, Jesus seemed to be going farther. 29 They begged him, “Stay with us! It’s already late, and the sun is going down.” So Jesus went into the house to stay with them.

30 After Jesus sat down to eat, he took some bread. He blessed it and broke it. Then he gave it to them. 31 At once they knew who he was, but he disappeared. 32 They said to each other, “When he talked with us along the road and explained the Scriptures to us, didn’t it warm our hearts?” 33 So they got right up and returned to Jerusalem.

The two disciples found the eleven apostles and the others gathered together. 34 And they learned from the group that the Lord was really alive and had appeared to Peter. 35 Then the disciples from Emmaus told what happened on the road and how they knew he was the Lord when he broke the bread.

We were walking along.  Still discussing.  Still wondering.  Still trying to work our what it was all about.  What a roller coaster few weeks, well years really I suppose, what a whole range of emotions.  We really needed to work out what this meant for the rest of our lives.

Then someone else appeared.  A fellow traveller, going the same way.  He asked us what we were discussing – seemed very interested (though I don’t know where he’d been because he didn’t seem to know anything about what had happened!).

So we told him.  All about Jesus.  What he had done and taught; what he had meant to us; how he’d been tried and sent to crucifixion; and then the tales of his resurrection.  We told him how our hopes had been dashed, how we’d hope he was the one to save Israel – from itself and it’s tyrants – but it wasn’t to be; then our surprise and our confusion.

This man seemed to know something.  He wondered why we were surprised, why we couldn’t understand what had happened, even realised it was part of the plan…  He certainly knew all about the Law and the Prophets, he gave us an impromptu bible study on everything written about The Messiah.  Well that wasn’t the end to the day that we were expecting.

We were drawing near to our destination.  Truth be told, we’d be glad to get there, sit down and have some sleep.  All this emotion is exhausting.  But it seemed rude not to invite him in.  Somehow we had formed a bond on the road.  He seemed to be going somewhere else, but we begged him to stay with us.  He came with us and we sat down to eat.

And then the penny dropped.  As he took the bread, it all became clear.  Only one person breaks the bread like that.

IT WAS HIM.

Jesus was still here with us.  On our journey.  In our home.  With us in our conversation and our wondering.

Jesus has not gone on.  He is here with us.

Be Known to us in Breaking Bread