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Lessons without names

God puts us through life-lessons, the names some of which we fully don’t know yet. We only know common names such as patience, trust, exposure, truth, even the nearness of evil n deceit. But there are plenty more that don’t have such clear-cut names. These lessons are often learnt through the tortuous drag of time n experience, often in unconscious, subconscious ways. And even the brick n mortar of the familiar school-of-knocks can’t be clearly outlined. And these are all needed if you want to be the best! So? Patience. We need to, have to, be patient and allow God to finish his work with/in/on us. For there is no shortcut. Then we shall come through!

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Untouched

The religious leaders had arrested him for jealousy, the mobs wanted him rid for fun, Herod for fear, Pilate for coercion, the soldiers for orders, and even one of the thieves for spite.

But despite it all JESUS was untouched while only little more than a bloodied mess. Dignified in devastation, he commanded respect: One of the thieves begged to be remembered (by Jesus) in his coming kingdom; and when Jesus finally laid down his breath at will speaking the last of his peaceful words, even the callous soldier (hardened to emotion) remarked, ‘Surely He was the Son of God!’

Discover Life

To discover life, be honest.

Don’t be honest, don’t discover life. It’s really that simple!

Coz honesty is the rope that ties all of life together. And by grabbing hold of it you can find your way into ALL truth.

A willing Cross

Here is one more clue that Jesus laid down his life most willingly: He actively prepared for his own arrest! He asked his disciples if all the days he asked them not to carry a purse, bag or sandals they lacked anything. They replied with a stout ‘No!’ And then he announced, ‘Swift, take your purse! And don’t forget to take your bag. Most of all take your sword. And if you don’t have one, even put up your cloak for a price and with that money buy a sword.’ His disciples even crosschecked with him showing two swords and asking, ‘Is this enough?’ and he said ‘Oh yep!’

For this was the reason: it was not that they had need for them, but to merely assist/allow for the misinterpretation of the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law. No, to have more money in one’s possession, or even a sword didn’t at once make one culpable, but for the Pharisees it became one more circumstance to twist as evidence. Remember they said of Jesus he was trying to start a rebellion against Caesar? Remember they brought ‘many other’ lies against Jesus although none of them could be proved? Remember they went with spears and clubs and swords to arrest him as though they were going to arrest the leader of an armed rebellion? It was a refusal to be precautionary against the viles of his enemies, even playing into their hands, for it was a willing sacrifice, it had to be mission accomplished: the Cross.

Heartbreaking!

The pathway of the cross

The experience of all the sons of light is the same: a persistent discovery that this world ain’t their home, their home lies yonder. For this world’s ruler is the Prince of darkness. But no, they will overcome, although it will be through the pathway of the cross. But through that pathway, they will prevail!

Just deserts

It’s amazing how deep and thorough God’s justice will be in the final reckoning, especially as illustrated in the parable of the 10 minas (it should probably be called the parable of ‘the just deserts!’). This is how it goes:

A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then return. It appears he was confident of the bet despite some rabble rousers at home! Smart guy. So he called 3 of his servants (not ministers) and gave them each about 3 months’ wages (i.e. a mina – hence the name of the parable) asking them to do business with it and therefore multiply the money.

No sooner had he left, his opportunistic ministers (it appears these were privileged ones, not the servants who were given the minas) immediately tried to have the noble man ousted from his position. Crooks!

The noble man who knew what he was about, came back as king however.

He first called the servants to whom he’d given the minas.

The first one came and gave him back 10 minas in return! Way to go! TEN MINAS FOR JUST ONE HE GOT!?! Pleased, the king patted him with a ‘Well done, my good servant!’ And guess what he gave this man in return? TEN HUGE CITIES to administer in his new kingdom!! Woah! Honesty repaid beyond all expectation!

The second one came and gave him 5. Hmm…okay, decent enough! Could’ve done better, for there was one who could get 10. But happens. So here goes, he got his pat and 5 cities. Nice!

The last one came and gave back the same old mina. With an ingenious story besides! So he began, ‘Sir, here is you mina; I have kept it laid away in a cloth. I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man (what a lie when two others could do sooo much with it!). You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’ Eyes wide in bewilderment surely the king stood motionless: What an evil guy!! He’s been lazy for sure, and is caught for his unfaithfulness, but worst of all he is blaming me myself for his dishonesty! What nerve! So he regained his composure and spoke rather angrily but wisely: ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’ And raising his voice he bellowed to those near the liar, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’

‘What?’ those people wondered! ‘Why? But that guy already got so much for what he did!’ So they muttered: He’s got 10! Why not give it to the man with 5 cities? Afterall he might be even be free enough to spend this money usefully?

The wise king replied even more wisely: ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.’ Fair enough, but more than that, so true to life! For the one who was most hardworking will also be the most likely candidate to get the most even out of this single leftover mina.

And he thundered not fully done with the backlog: ‘But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be a king over them – bring them here and kill them in front of me.’ Abundantly fair for their callous evil against a just man.

Just deserts: meticulous and deep, supremely appropriate and generous. Abundant good for little good, and equally abundant payback for every evil: even ‘in good measure, pressed down and overflowing, cast into the lap.’

Ha ha.

One blind beggar

The blind man’s suffering surely seemed longer than his lifetime, for life without sight stretched his every minute to an hour, every hour to a day, even every day to eternal darkness! As he sat by the wayside begging, resigned to his fate, it must’ve been that word of a Jesus who healed the sick, raised the dead and calmed the storm touched his ears. Finally after all the wait, one day, that same Jesus was crossing right by his road! As the crowds milled, pushing past the blind beggar, following after Jesus the Galilean wonderworker, the determined beggar bellowed above the noisy crowds, ‘Jesus, Son of David – that means Messiah- have mercy upon me.’ Now, for the crowds, this blind fool was just one among many other blind sinners (quite likely punished either for his own sin or the sin of his fathers), and now a noisy interruption in their rare euphoria, but for the blind man it was the opportunity of a lifetime. It was now or never. The one moment to redeem all he lost! So he shut the crowd’s merciless hushes down by an act of will (surely even out of fretful desperation, lest they drown his cries for help!) and shouted all the louder, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy upon me!” His cries reached Jesus’s ears, Jesus stopped and had the beggar sent for.

I don’t need to narrate the rest, for you know what followed.

Only one chance, his first chance, even his last chance, the chance of a lifetime, but he successfully grabbed it! One blind beggar.