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Archive for October, 2013

Strange Bedfellows

So the whole council got up and took Jesus to Pilate. They brought accusations against Him.

Sanhedrin: We have observed this man leading our nation astray. He even forbade us to pay our taxes to Caesar. He claims to be the Anointed One and a King Himself.

Pilate: Are You the King of the Jews?

Jesus: It’s as you say.

Pilate (to the chief priest and crowd): I find this man guilty of no crime.

Sanhedrin (growing more intense): He has been stirring up discontent among the people all over Judea. He started up in Galilee, and now He’s brought His brand of trouble all the way to Jerusalem!

Pilate: Just a minute. Is this man a Galilean?

When Pilate learned that Jesus was indeed Galilean—which meant He was officially under Herod’s jurisdiction—Pilate sent Him over to Herod, who was currently in Jerusalem. Herod was fascinated to meet Jesus for he had heard about Him for a long time. He was hoping he might be treated to a miracle or two. He interrogated Jesus for quite a while, but Jesus remained silent, refusing to answer his questions. Meanwhile the chief priests and religious scholars had plenty to say—angrily hurling accusations at Jesus.

Eventually Herod and his soldiers began to insult Jesus, mocking and degrading Him. They put expensive clothing on Him and sent Him back to Pilate. This ended a long-standing rift between Herod and Pilate; they became friends from that day forward (vv. 1-12, The Voice).

Interesting that it wasn’t until persecuting Jesus that Herod and Pilate could see eye-to-eye.

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Categories: herod, jesus, luke, Pontius Pilate

Outline of Luke 23

  1. Jesus is condemned by Pilate
  2. Barabbas is freed
  3. Jesus and two criminals are crucified
  4. Joseph of Arimathea requests Jesus’ body
  5. Jesus is buried

Jesus Mocked and Condemned

At this point, the men who were holding Jesus began to mock Him and beat Him. They put a blindfold on Him.

Men Holding Jesus: Hey, Prophet! Use Your prophetic powers to tell us who just whacked You!

They kept on with this sort of insulting, degrading treatment for quite some time. When dawn had given way to full day, the Sanhedrin council assembled, consisting of religious leaders of the Sadducean party, along with the chief priests and religious scholars. They took Him to their headquarters for interrogation.

Sanhedrin: If you are the Anointed One whom God promised us, tell us plainly.

Jesus: If I give you an answer, you won’t believe it. And if I ask you a question, you won’t answer it. But this I will say to you: from now on, the Son of Man will take His seat at the right hand of the power of God.

Sanhedrin: So You are the Son of God, then?

Jesus: It’s as you say.

Sanhedrin: What more evidence do we need? We’ve heard it with our own ears from His own lips (vv. 63-71, The Voice).

Categories: jesus, luke

Peter Betrays Jesus

They grabbed Him at this point and took Him away to the high priest’s home. Peter followed—at a distance. He watched from the shadows as those who had seized Jesus made a fire in the center of the courtyard and sat down around it. Then Peter slipped in quietly and sat with them. But a young servant girl saw his face in the firelight. She stared for a while and then spoke.

Servant Girl: This fellow here was with Jesus. I recognize him.

Peter (denying it): Woman, I don’t even know the man.

A little later, a man also recognized him.

Man: I recognize you. You’re one of Jesus’ followers.

Peter: Man, you’re wrong. I’m not.

An hour or so passed, and then another person pointed to Peter.

Another Person: This fellow is obviously Galilean. He must be a member of Jesus’ group.

Peter: Look, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

And he hadn’t even finished the sentence when a nearby rooster crowed. The Lord turned toward Peter, and their eyes met. Peter remembered Jesus’ words about his triple denial before the rooster would crow, so he left the courtyard and wept bitter tears (vv. 54-62, The Voice).

Categories: jesus, luke, peter

Jesus Is Captured

Even as He said these words, the sound of a crowd could be heard in the distance, and as the crowd came into view, it was clear that Judas was leading them. He came close to Jesus and gave Jesus the traditional greeting of a kiss.

Jesus: Ah, Judas, is this how you betray the Son of Man—with a kiss?

Disciples (realizing what was going on): Lord, is this why You told us to bring the swords? Should we attack?

Before Jesus could answer, one of them had swung his sword at the high priest’s slave, cutting off his right ear.

Jesus: Stop! No more of this!

Then He reached out to touch—and heal—the man’s ear. Jesus turned to the chief priests, the captains of the temple, and the elders and spoke.

Jesus: Do you think I’m some sort of violent criminal? Is that why you came with swords and clubs? I haven’t been hard to find—each day I’ve been in the temple in broad daylight, and you never tried to seize Me there. But this is your time—night—and this is your power—the power of darkness (vv. 47-53, The Voice).

Categories: jesus, judas, luke

In the Garden

He distanced Himself from them about a stone’s throw and knelt there, praying.

Jesus: Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from Me. Yet not My will, but Your will, be done.

[Then a messenger from heaven appeared to strengthen Him. And in His anguish, He prayed even more intensely, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.] When He rose from prayer and returned to the disciples, He found them asleep, weighed down with sorrow. He roused them.

Jesus: Why are you sleeping? Wake up and pray that you will not sink into temptation (vv. 41-46, The Voice).

Categories: jesus, luke

Reign of Error by Diane Ravitch

School reformers, particularly the bullies, will hate this book.

In it, Ravitch absolutely skewers the current infatuation with school closings and privatization.

It’s a stupid approach because students benefit from stable schools with caring, experienced educators.

Our country’s rapid-fire, inconsistent approach to school improvement is based on a business model which is appropriate for commodities, not human beings.

Would you regularly test your spouse’s loyalty and threaten them with divorce if they didn’t show continuous improvement?

Would you assess your children’s ability to follow directions and put them up for adoption if they didn’t pull their weight?

Then why would you support the insane school reforms encouraged by the US Department of Education?

Education is an incremental, loving, emotional journey, not purely an intellectual one.

The reformers send their own children to stable, test-free, accountability-free schools.

Why subject the rest of us to something different?

I give this book my highest recommendation.

Categories: book review
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