Ryan & Jordan

with Pioneer Bible Translators

Tag: The Gospel according to Luke

Good Friday

by ryan

Our Dear Readers,

This post will build off the last one—my main point in that post being:

“The fruit of disobedience is death”

(see last post if you want “What is the question?”)

It is fitting that it is Friday—even the 13th perhaps—because I will be reflecting on Good Friday.

The consensus among us, the American working class, is that Fridays are indeed good.  In fact, some people even thank God for Fridays. In related news, dogs who wear matching accessories might be learning this from their humans too.

image at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/37/2a/12/372a12856e686a6536e9e69d9db17f7d.jpg

It is remarkable that even restaurants have named themselves in honor of this weekly act of thanksgiving. Before I inadvertently begin advertising for restaurateurs, I will . . . beep de mee beeeeeeeeep meeedo lumpa grumpa DING!

Our Dear Readers,

It is now hundreds of years BC and we are in the Kingdom of Judah, and for some reason, I am still writing in English. Are you still reading in English? Latin? Hebrew?

This depiction of Isaiah looks very Roman if you ask me

This depiction of Isaiah looks very Roman if you ask me, but props to Michelangelo for the chapel, and of course props to God for Michelangelo and Isaiah and their moms too

Isaiah, a prophet of the Most High, is preaching. Even if you think he is crazy (or you think I am crazy), come listen to him for a minute.  Check it out!

Isaiah cries out something like:

“Indeed, who would ever believe it?

Who would possibly accept what we’ve been told?

Who has witnessed the awesome power and plan of the Eternal in action?

Out of emptiness he came, like a tender shoot from the rock-hard ground.

He didn’t look like anything or anyone of consequence—

He had no physical beauty to attract our attention.

So he was despised and forsaken by men, this man of suffering, grief’s patient friend.

As if he was a person to avoid, we looked the other way;

He was despised, forsaken, and we took no notice of him.

Yet it was our suffering he carried, our pain and distress, our sick-to-the-soul-ness.

We just figured that God had rejected him, that God was the reason he hurt so badly.

But he was hurt because of us; he suffered so.

Our wrong doing wounded and crushed him.

He endured the breaking that made us whole

The injuries he suffered became our healing. . .”

Jesus is the ultimate champion of obedience even though he was far from successful in the world’s eyes. As Paul, or Saul of Tarsus, addressed Students-who-do-too of Jesus,

“He humbled Himself, obedient to death—a merciless death on the cross.”

And again to followers of Jesus:

“But think about this: while we were wasting our lives in sin, God revealed his powerful love to us in a tangible display–the Anointed One died for us. As a result, the blood of Jesus has made us right with God now, and certainly we will be rescued by Him from God’s wrath in the future.”

He died the death of a criminal well before even being able to celebrate being “over the hill”; He died on that hill, naked and mocked, the wrath of the Almighty poured out on him. He was cursed, his lifeless body hanging from a tree.

Mysteriously, Jesus has invited us to die with him and commanded his disciples to teach this to all peoples.

Jesus said something like:

“If any of you want to walk My path, you’re going to have to deny yourself. You’ll have to take up your cross every day and follow Me. If you try to avoid danger and risk, then you’ll lose everything. If you let go of your life and risk all for My sake, then your life will be rescued . . . Listen, what good does it do you if you gain everything–if the whole world is in your pocket–but then your whole life slips through your fingers and is lost to you.”

Scripture translations were taken from the Voice Bible

Time for Faithfulness

by ryan

There are a lot of things we don’t have time for, and that is part of what it means to be a creature, a non-god.

We people are little; we are weak and quick to become frail.  Life is short they say.  And they are right.  In all this shortness, there is a whole lot of busyness we try to cram in.  Why?

People are little who yearn for big.

We were created this way, and I will mention two ways  we can respond.  The first extreme is to try to become a god, to transcend our littleness on our own.  Perhaps we try doing more than is humanly possible, cramming our schedules, skipping out on sleep, or neglecting the Sabbath.  Or maybe we go so far as trying to earn people’s worship.

An alternative to this is embracing our creatureliness, along with its limitations, while at the same time reaching out for God in faithful worship.  What does that look like?

I think of Jesus as he taught his students to feed the multitudes.  If they had tried to provide food for thousands on their own, they would have failed miserably.  But because they were with Jesus and they obeyed him, everyone was fed.

There is a big peace and rest that comes from realizing we are just people, while at the same time realizing that God is God.  And God is here, now.

Now, we have time for faithfulness.

Table Rock

by ryan


Jordan and I went up with my mom and watched the sunset over Boise.  There’s a big cross up there which is lit every night for the city to see.

Being on a rock like that brings much to mind: Mount Zion, the stone table in Clive Lewis’ Narnia, Jerusalem, and of course, Jesus.

Jesus wept as he approached Jerusalem.  The Gospel according to Luke reads,

Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation. (ESV Translation)

Jesus knows a lot about making peace and I am trying to learn from him.  How about you?  What do you like to make and who taught you how?