Saturday, January 28, 2012

Yes, your 'church' is about you - not Jesus

Ok – back to our chronological walk through the Gospels. We're seeking and finding the real Jesus as He presented Himself to us – and not in the sinful human ways those who've so long called themselves His "Church" have reinvented Him (as He warned us they would). 

As always, you can find all our previous posts in this series, going through the Gospels chronologically to find the real Jesus, here.

And as always you'll find the scriptures for today are here. (Note that you can change the human-translation version on this scripture page, as suits you. I have NO theological or other tie to the online-bible site I use for this blog – it just lists many human translations to choose from, including the NASB, KJV, The Message, and the NRSV, which are the ones mentioned by those I chat and email with.)

This week, we see Jesus back among those He grew up with – and we find them so ignorant of God's truth they not only refused to recognize God standing right in front of them, but also refused His blessing and healing. If we look, we can easily see the same thing in ourselves, and in what's most loudly called itself "The Church" through the centuries.

Now, at least partly we can understand their failure to really see who Jesus is. They had known Him when He was just a boy, watched Him grow up, known Him as part of His biological family and the social culture of this town. In some ways, it may have been harder for them to recognize who He really was and could do because they'd grown accustomed to understanding Him within a certain mold: son of Mary and Joseph, brother to His brothers and sisters, a craftsman low in social and financial status who made and sold simple, practical things of metal and wood with His family.

Indeed, when Jesus came back He was anything but the guy who used to sit in the dirt and repair plows for the local farmers. Now Jesus was a miracle worker and a wise man, far different from how they wanted to keep understanding Him. And they didn't just ignore or write Him off – they actually got offended. And as we learned last Gospel study, Jesus' healings and blessings matched what people were willing to believe about Him. Therefore, those who should have been closest to Him got almost nothing from Him at all.

Today we make huge mistakes like this all the time, with all sorts of people.
We often continue to understand people in the awful ways they were before, ignoring or getting crappy if they seem to be above and beyond that now. In some ways, it's offensive to us when someone stops boozing it up, or backbiting, or stepping on others to get ahead, or rejects living the materialistic lifestyle we're taught to see as "success" (and even as "God's blessing"), if that's the thing we still want to keep doing. Like, how dare someone prove what a life of falsehood and crud I'm choosing, by choosing what's better than that!

But there's another way we do this, a way easily far more dangerous to our souls, if we've been raised in what calls itself "The Church".

For those of us who've grown up in "The Church", or who came to it later and have embraced it long enough to absorb its way of interpreting Jesus, the message of the real Jesus can seem incredibly foreign – and even threatening.
We've grown up in the "hometown" of what most loudly calls itself "His Church", and we rest our whole identity on our "hometown" understanding of Jesus, certain beyond certainty that OF COURSE we understand Him better than anyone else – WE GREW UP WITH HIM!

But that understanding is just as flawed as was the understanding the people of Jesus' physical hometown had 2,000 years ago. And when we're confronted with the huge difference between the Jesus we think we know better than anyone and the real Jesus of power and wisdom, oh boy can we get offended! People of "The Church" have turned their backs on, kicked out, born false witness against, attacked, tortured, and even slaughtered people for centuries, all because these other people challenged their "hometown" understanding of Jesus Christ. Sometimes that's just been "hometown" people fighting other "hometown" people over some stupid theological doctrine that means nothing to God. But sometimes it's been "hometown" people just simply refusing to allow Jesus to be who He really is.

Why? Why would "hometown" people refuse to accept Jesus for who He really is?  
  • Sometimes we refuse because we like the gilded dirt hole we've committed years of our lives and our egos to. We like the human hierarchy, the remakes of the old covenant temple, the live-in-a-box spirituality that tells us we're doing God's work even though we're not doing it, or we're passionately doing it for all the wrong reasons (which Jesus says doesn't count). Those things make us "feel spiritual" and "connected to God" – even though they are exactly opposite anything Jesus and the rest of the New Testament said to do or live. We forget or ignore that all religions make their members "feel spiritual" and "connected" – so it isn't the feeling that saves us, but following the real Jesus and doing what He says, that actually makes us real Christians.
  • Sometimes we refuse because our "hometown" "church" has taught us to fear any thinking that would challenge its authority over our minds and hearts. We shake our heads when we hear of cults that have lead their members even to death – but then we follow, just like the people of 2,000 years ago, our "church" when it leads us even to spiritual death. 
  • Sometimes we refuse because if we accepted the real Jesus, and did what He really said, then we'd have to give up pretending to live godly lives, while our hearts were just full of ourselves. So-called "ministers" are most guilty of this. "If I actually accept the real Jesus, then I'll have to give up the position, authority, money, retirement fund, extra-respect, and extra-honor I went to minister-school to get!" But others do this as well, "If I actually accept the real Jesus, then I'd have to give up my pride of position in church, and I'd have to stop chasing money, and I'd have to do more than just kick in a few bucks in the collection plate to be right with God." In this case, we don't "get" the real Jesus, and we even get hugely offended by Him, because our worldly goodies depend on our not "getting" Him.
This is all just another reason it is SO dangerous to just join or stay in a "church", if what we want is the real Jesus. The "Church" we see most easily around us, with its "sanctuaries" and seminary-educated "ministers" and centuries of accumulated and trumpeted doo-dads, is simply a pagan remake of the old – and by Jesus' death on the Cross cancelled – Jewish temple. So it doesn't even have the real authority and God-connection the Jewish temple had!

Instead, the "Church" we see most easily around us, and which we may have spent many years growing up in, is a purely human reinvention of God's real plan. It uses Jesus' face, and pretends to do His work with His heart, but points those who live in its "hometown" to the Jesus IT knows, and the Jesus IT isn't offended by. If you want to understand why "The Church" so easily supports and participates in war, economic oppression, sexism, racism, homophobia, materialism, and more, the answer is here: that "Church" is not and never has been about the real Jesus. Instead, it's primary function has been to enjoy, pass on, and protect its own limited and sinful understanding of Jesus.

So it's no wonder this "Church" only gets and falls for "miracles" from the devil, if it gets "miracles" at all. It's no wonder its members feel so comfortable in a "faith" no different in real substance than any other pagan faith, full of good religious feelings but completely devoid of the real Jesus Christ. "The Church" today, whether it calls itself "Roman Catholic", or "Methodist", or "Baptist", or "Nondenominational", or whatever, is no less God-rejecting and pagan than is polytheistic "Mormonism", Jesus-denying "Jehovah's Witness", Bible-twisting "Christian Science", or New Age "Ascended Masters".

The real Jesus Christ offends these "Churches" – and so the real Jesus has nothing to give them.

What about you? Where are you in moving out of the limited and sinful "hometown" mentality that finds the real Jesus something to ignore at best, and offensive at worst?

In my own life, I spent a lot of years in that "hometown". I soaked in all the teachings of the False Church, in its various manifestations in Roman Catholicism and its Protestant daughters.

First, I didn't even know enough to realize I'd been duped. I was quite comfortable in what my human elders preserved for and taught me. Sure I was living the godly life, I was most in danger of hellfire at this time – not because God wanted me there, but because, despite my insistence to the contrary, I wasn't really choosing God. I was like someone who claims to be going to Boston, but keeps insisting on traveling a road that only goes to Sacramento.

Later, God blessed me with a growing dissatisfaction with "The Church". Something was wrong, though I couldn't figure out why. Something was "missing". I wasn't as "fulfilled" any more. At first, as you might guess, I thought the answer was to become MORE in and about "The Church". I didn't just do the learning, I learned it all. I didn't just do the Roman or Protestant rituals, I did them ten times over. I didn't just pray, I prayed all day. And at first, it seemed to work – but it would always fail again and that nagging dissatisfaction came back into my heart. I prayed for God to make it go away, even to restore my "faith" - but He proved His love for me by making it grow worse and even more nagging, with each passing day and year.

It was that blessed irritation, that sanctified dissatisfaction, that slowly began to make me realize my spiritual life and heart was full of human junk – not Jesus
. It was God's gift of stamina, and my willingness to go it alone at times, that helped me wander out of the gilded dirt hole of what most loudly calls itself "Christianity" so that I could seek and find the real Jesus Christ.

What about you? Are you still in the gilded dirt hole, or wishing you could be? I'd guess that if you're here, reading this blog, then you at least have a tiny bit of that blessed irritation, that sanctified dissatisfaction, that God's using to get you up out of the dirt and into Jesus' (real) arms. Otherwise, you'd be too offended by my "disrespect" for what claims most loudly to be "The Church" and its "ministers" to stay.

Are you afraid of going it alone? Of being without "a church"? Jesus said He would be with you always. He also said His real followers would have to give up even their closest relationships if those relationships block His followers from Him. Trust Jesus! And look for those others who are also wanting to be just about Jesus. They are His real church – they are your real family.

Are you still craving the religious doo-dads and goodies you get from only-faking-Jesus "Christianity"? Are you TRULY willing to trade eternal heaven with God because you like the pride, the trancing out, the rituals and do-goods you could get from participation in ANY religion (which means all your "godly" feeling is actually nothing special at all)? Jesus isn't kidding around – and neither is the devil. Drop those religious things and titles and so on like the hot hell-rocks they are, and fill yourself with the real Jesus!
If you'd like to talk more or pray about this, and you don't have a local no-junk-just-Jesus sister or brother to fellowship with, email me and let's talk. Going after the real Jesus can be a shorter walk when you don't have to find the whole way yourself without others who've already made more of the trip and can help you with the signposts along the way.

Jesus didn't come to earth and die so that we'd be stuck in fake temples and wearing Jesus-masks. He came to earth to completely shake things up – to heal people others don't believe worth healing, to put first people others think should be last, and to cancel religion and its inevitable path to forever-death.

Find and keep the real Jesus Christ.

He's waiting for you! 

This article written by Lynne at You can contact Lynne at

Friday, January 20, 2012

Best of / Q: "How can good people remain Christian?"

We seem to be starting a new tradition here at the blog. Folks have emailed to let me know that they are enjoying our Gospel study, but they are also enjoying the "Best of" posts I started several weeks back when I was still too under the weather to make a study post.

Many of you have been around for some time - in fact, I've known some of you for well over a dozen years. Some of you have been enjoying reading the older stuff again, like "reminders". But others haven't been around or visiting as long, and didn't realize the older stuff (some of which is more than ten years old, and was simply transferred over here when I moved to Blogger in 2009) was also here. But yes, it's true - I've been doing online ministry for many years. I started back when AOL was still THE place to be online, and my AOL profile indicated who I was (that was back when I was still spiritually immature enough to let myself be called "Reverend" and such) and that I was available to chat with anyone who was interested in prayer or healing. So I'd get between several and several dozen instant messages a week, and chat with each.

Thing is, I discovered very quickly that most folks had the same questions or issues they were struggling with, in trying to heal from bad "Christianity". And they often needed more stuff to read or think about than I could give them through an instant message. So I started writing longer things down and then started a web site posting them, so I could give folks links to those longer things, in addition to our prayer and chat. Then people started contacting me just to give me more questions to answer, so I'd write answers and post those, as well.

That's how all this got started more than ten years ago, and I'm currently working on a (non-profit) book to put this all together - something quality enough to last, but also cheap so it can be shared and handed around to people offline, as well (something else I've been requested to do). Please pray that God will give me strength and energy enough to finish it, with everything else I'm also doing right now!

So anyway - that's the medium-long version of why the older "Question" posts exist, and I'm happy to share them again, as long as folks are interested in reading them. I'm think maybe I'll do two Gospel study posts, and then a "Best of"/Question post? Let me know what you think.  

Today, because I've been getting asked this question a lot this week, I'm sharing "How can good people remain Christian?" And, as always, I welcome your comments, criticism, and questions. Prayer requests and just plain old friendly chit-chat continue to be welcome, as well :-)

Take care until next week!


This article written by Lynne at You can contact Lynne at

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Are you so smart you're stupid?

We're continuing on with our chronological walk through the Gospels, seeking – and finding – the (real) Jesus Christ, as He presented Himself to us (and not in the ways He's misrepresented even today by those who most loudly call themselves "Christian").

As always, you can find all our previous posts in this series, going through the Gospels chronologically to find the real Jesus, here.

And as always you'll find the scriptures for today are here.
(Note that you can change the human-translation version on this scripture page, as suits you. I have NO theological or other tie to the online-bible site I use for this blog – it just lists many human translations to choose from, including the NASB, KJV, The Message, and the NRSV, which are the ones mentioned by those I chat and email with.)

This week's scripture should be a warning to those who discount Jesus' ability to do miracles beyond what we normally expect from the standard "physics" of this world – and that's almost all of what calls itself "Liberal" or "Progressive" Christianity today. It also gives warning to those "Good Religious People" we've come to see so often in the Bible now, as well. 

In this week's scripture, two guys who are blind are following Jesus (and we assume the crowd of disciples, God-seekers, gawkers, etc also following Him), hollering out for help. Note that they call Jesus "Son of David", which meant they understood Him to be the Messiah promised to Israel (and the world).

They followed Him all the way into somebody's home (or other indoor place), still clamoring for Him heal their blindness supernaturally. They aren't asking Him for a pill, or a better doctor, or a good hospital, after all. They've heard from others that He can raise the recently-dead, throw demons out of people, heal disabilities, and more – and they want the same kind of miracle for themselves.

Jesus gives them what they want – but He first asks them if they truly believe He can do it.

If these men had been like many "Liberal" or "Progressive" Christians, though, they would have had to tell Him something like, "Well, Lord, since I'm a modern-believer, with science and reason at my disposal, I've risen above superstition and mythology. No, I don't believe you've actually done anything supernatural. But I do give you greatest honor as an awesome teacher whose teachings inspire me to live a loving, moral life. I also appreciate the lessons to be learned from the metaphorical or figurative 'miracle' stories told about you by well-meaning but backward human beings who lived in a pre-science culture. I suppose if my blindness is actually being caused by some psychosomatic distress, then you might be able to 'cure' it with what's really a spiritual 'sugar pill'. But if my blindness isn't purely psychosomatic, like I'm sure the so-called 'demon possession' of the guy behind me is, then, no, Lord. I know better than to believe you can cure me."

And, since Jesus healed the blind men in our scripture to the extent they believed He could, the literal-miracle-rejecting "Liberal"/"Progressive" Christian would get – what? Nothing.

Now, does this mean that every time someone prays for a blind person (or anyone with any kind of illness, disability, trouble, etc) Jesus will automatically heal them? No. The Bible itself shows us that Jesus walked all over Israel, and only a tiny number of the many, many who suffered there received healing. We might be tempted to say that people get healing depending on how close they are to Jesus Himself or to His praying-people, but the Bible never shows us 100% healing even of every believing-person. Timothy, for example, had gut and other problems that apparently were accepted as just a part of life to deal with. Paul, for another example, had some kind of ailment God simply wouldn't heal because otherwise Paul risked becoming as worthless to God as most "ministers" are today.

The Bible does show us that God acts supernaturally in this world when it works for His plan. Jesus acted supernaturally (in healing and more) 2,000 years ago – just as He does today – when that supernatural action illustrates God's power, His nature, or His intentions for our future, or when that supernatural action freed a "trapped" worker who was unable to continue working towards God's plan as s/he was. So, even if we do have big ailments or disabilities and don't get healing in this life, we know God has the power to heal, and that our healing will come – when Jesus returns for us, if not before.

If, that is, we are willing to believe He can and will.

  • Nothing in the Bible says science or reason should be thrown out - but everything in the Bible says that God isn't limited by anything we can understand. Are you able to appreciate and use science and reason in ways that benefit yourself and others, without denying that God can act outside the rules He created for this world when He created it? 
  • Have you had times of refusing miracles in your life because it didn't seem "reasonable" to expect them? What would it take for you to open up to God's ability to show His power, nature, and future intentions through your life, as fits His plan for the world? 
  • Since even Timothy and Paul (who were great workers of wonders in Jesus' Name) had ailments and other physical problems that were apparently never healed while they lived on this earth - and yet never believed that meant Jesus couldn't do supernatural things or that God didn't love them beyond measure anyway, why do we?

The scripture story today ends as they often do – with the Good Religious People accusing Jesus of using demonic power to accomplish what doesn't elevate and sanctify their way of being "godly". If you've been following along in our study, you can easily shake your head and say, "Same stuff, different day!" And truly, Good Religious People never change. Through the Old Testament, the New Testament, the centuries since, and even today, they proclaim themselves as God's People even as they reject living the way God has said His people must live. They also claim to be the one's He's using in His plan, even as they act against Him at work in the world when it doesn't please their own religiosity. An easy example today is the Holy Spirit action in the lives of Gay people today, as God heals more and more of them of the spiritually alienating and deeply wounding false-witness and intentional Bible-mistranslation Good Religious People have bludgeoned them with. Just as God called the Gentiles, even when it torqued off the Jews, God calls Gay people, even when it torques off straight people. And witnessing God at work, all Good Religious People today can do is screech "Satan's power at work! Satan's power at work!"

They truly never change.
  • What lessons has the Bible taught you so far about Good Religious People and the mistakes they make (intentional and otherwise)?
  • What dangers do we face when we do follow along with or let ourselves be guided by Good Religious People? 
  • Have Good Religious People spiritually injured you or someone you love? Are you more able now to understand their attack as part of Satan's work, and not God's? What help can you find today to get you the additional spiritual healing you still need, so you're no longer a trapped and inured worker who can't help in God's plan?

Until next week, and in His love!

This article written by Lynne at You can contact Lynne at

Friday, January 6, 2012

To hell with anyone who blocks your way to Jesus

A few posts away (I'm feeling much better with my allergies, btw – thanks for your prayers!) but now we're back to exploring who Jesus really is, outside how He's been so long defined by what most loudly calls itself "The Church".

As always, you can find all our previous posts in this series, going through the Gospels chronologically to find the real Jesus, here.

And as always you'll find the scriptures for today are here. (Note that you can change the human-translation version on this scripture page, as suits you. I have NO theological or other tie to the online-bible site I use for this blog – it just lists many human translations to choose from, including the NASB, KJV, The Message, and the NRSV, which are the ones mentioned by those I chat and email with.)

So far, we've seen from the Bible itself, without having to do any kind of monkey-plays or pompous theological arguments, that, despite how Jesus is interpreted even today by "Good Religious People" and Big-Words Theologians:
  • Jesus was always on the side of those who were abused, mistreated, and oppressed – never on the side of those who do the abusing, mistreating, and oppressing. 
  • Jesus was always on the side of the spiritual rejects and the sinners – and never on the side of those who make sure others know they are spiritual rejects, or the side of the Good Religious People. 
  • Jesus requires His followers to be so strong they refuse to do violence or hurt back, even if attacked to death – not so weak they worship violence, war, and domination. 
  • Jesus warned us repeatedly that most of those who claim to be His people will be spiritual liars and cheats, fooling even themselves all the way to hell – and He commands us to realize their error and not get caught up in it ourselves. 
  • Jesus never presented anything of God as requiring a seminary education or a "pastor" to understand (study, yes, using our brains, yes – but "church" related stuff? No). In fact, the Bible shows us that to truly understand what Jesus means has always required NOT having human theological ideas in the way of God's simple message. Jesus (and others in the Old and New Testament) show us again and again that – despite our belief that more theological ideas and degrees and titles means more understanding of Jesus – more theological ideas and degrees and titles means LESS understanding of the real Jesus. 
  • And more!

This week, our chronological Bible tells us about Jesus illustrating that death isn't how we usually imagine death at all, and, healing a woman who was sick in more ways that we can even imagine today. What do you learn about Jesus from these stories? Here's what I see:

When people – even people who normally refuse to believe in God – are desperate and hurting, there is always that tendency to turn to God and plead for help. The Bible doesn't tell us if Jairus and his family already believed in Jesus. Yet we can see that, even if he wasn't yet a believer, Jairus was desperate enough to reach out to Jesus – and isn't that how many of us come or come back to Jesus in the first place? 
  • Have you reached out to God in desperation even in times you didn't believe in Him? What happened? How (or did) it change your relationship with Him? 
  • The Bible doesn't tell us if Jairus came to Jesus for help because he believed He was a miracle worker, or if he actually understood He was God. If Jairus got through this whole event and only ever understood Jesus as a worker of supernatural things, he would have missed completely that God is on his side even through death. Have you or others you care about understood that Jesus could do supernatural things, but missed that Jesus is also God on your side?

Jairus thought he was going to lose his little girl – and, in fact, before he got Jesus back to her, she did, in fact, die. The people telling Jairus that his daughter was now actually dead told him not to bother Jesus any longer. "Death", they would have told us, "is the end. Miracle healings might happen here and there. But death is never undone."
  • What are the things you believe are just the end – never to be undone? Does God have power even other those things? In what circumstances might He change them?

On the news that his daughter was dead, Jesus told Jairus not to be afraid, but to believe, instead. After we've lost someone to death, we might understand the fear of having to live the rest of one's life without this loved one. We might also understand the fear that comes from being reminded of our own mortality. Jesus, though, offered comfort in belief. Like He could have also said, "No need to fear death – the answer to death is standing right here. So just trust that answer to apply, even now!"
  • Many of us have heard that the antidote to fear is to believe – but what does that look like in your own life? Does it mean letting go your natural fear of death? Does it mean giving over your worries over money or job? What are all the ways Jesus' comforting command to believe instead of fear might or does impact your own life?

When Jesus told the gathered crowd of mourning that the little girl wasn't dead but asleep, they laughed at Him. And I'd have to say that if some guy I'd never seen before walked into a funeral and told everyone there that the only person in the room not breathing any longer was just asleep and not dead at all, laughter would be the nicest reaction I might have. Yet I can't imagine how my reaction would change if the dead person suddenly woke up and got something to eat!
  • The Bible tells us that even Satan and those who work for him can do miracles at times, so it's not always safe to assume that because something miraculous is happening that means it's from God. What specific things can or do you do in your own life to keep from being fooled into following after lying signs and false wonders?

This scripture passage also talks about a woman Jesus healed while on his way to Jairus' daughter. If we don't know enough about the ancient Mosaic Law the Jews lived under, we won't realize that this woman's problems were threefold. Not only was this woman's health terrible (she's been having menstrual bleeding for twelve solid years), and not only had she wiped out her financial resources trying unsuccessfully to get healing from medical doctors, but also according to the religious law she lived under she was "unclean" because of her bleeding. All men and women were made religiously unclean at certain times and under certain circumstances (check out Leviticus 15, for example). If this woman had been having normal periods, she could have gotten "clean" again after a certain passage of time without bleeding. Since she never stopped bleeding, though, she never had that opportunity. That meant she wasn't allowed to touch anyone or anything, or they too would become "unclean" and also have to undergo purification time and rituals to keep from spreading "uncleanness" even further. Imagine living your life sick as a dog, being wiped out financially by doctors, and not being allowed to touch anything (not a person, not even the railings on the city bus) without possibly enraging people so much they might kill you for it. Now imagine living that way for twelve, long years, with no end in sight.

Until this miracle-guy shows up.
  • Since the Bible shows us that Good Religious People of all kinds have always followed or ignored parts of the law God gave them however they wished, should we be at all surprised that Good Religious People today also pompously bellow one part of God's law but explain away and hide others? For example, Good Religious People like to quote the Mosaic Law as if it condemns Gay people – but they explain away the parts that condemn their failure to follow the rest of the Mosaic Law (like men and women both needing to do ritual purification after having any kind of voluntary or involuntary "discharges"). What does that tell you about whether you should be getting your information about what God wants from you from Good Religious People? 
  • For centuries, "Christians" have been telling women they were "unclean" because they have periods, even telling them at some times in history that they wouldn't go to heaven if they died while on their periods! Yet all these centuries, no one ever told a man he couldn't get into heaven if he died while having a "nocturnal emission", or that men weren't fit for ministry because they become unclean by nocturnal emissions. Since so much human B.S. has always coated what most loudly calls itself "The Church", should we be surprised when that same "Church" continues today to trumpet its own highly intellectual and theologically "proven" versions of B.S. regarding God's supposed condemnation of Gay people, God's supposed support of war, God's supposed shoving women into the back of the church, and so on? 
  • Most Gay Christians can empathize with the woman in this scripture, having been exiled as "unclean" in a different way from their communities and being unable to perform any "purification" that would make them OK in the bigoted eyes of their straight spiritual "fellows". But others can also relate – even if their only "uncleanness" is a refusal to play the shallow Sunday-Dress-Up required to attend most "churches" even today. In what ways can you empathize with the woman in this scripture? But in what ways are you more like those who condemned or looked down on her, refusing to give her the basics of human touch and love because you didn't want to be "unclean" yourself?

One thing that can be said of this woman: she had guts. Unlike many who might undergo even less than she had, and who might have just given up and died, she clung to life. She clung to hope. She kept trying, and trying, and trying, even when trying just seemed to bury her deeper into trouble. This is yet another time when the New Testament Bible broke tradition by showing us strong women in a culture that ignored and even attacked strong woman.
  • Whether you are male or female, do you have this woman's guts in the face of trial and pain? Is she a great example to you, when you need to see that it is possible to keep going and keep trying even when all seems to have failed?

This woman not only had guts – she had gall. Maybe that gall, that bold, shameless behavior, was also born of desperation. Doesn't matter. This woman pressed her unclean self not only through a crowd, immediately "polluting" everyone she touched (who then immediately polluted everyone they touched, who then immediately polluted everyone they touched, and so on) – which could have started a riot and gotten her stoned – but she also crept up on Jesus, intending to touch Him in a way He wouldn't notice, even though it would also make HIM ritually unclean. All that in hope of being rid of her sickness and isolating shame.
  • Have you had this kind of gall with God? Have you ever pushed your way to Him, and to hell with anyone who gets in your way? If not – why not?

The woman felt herself instantly healed upon touching the edge of Jesus' cloak. Imagine her elation – and then imagine it turning instantly to horror when Jesus turned around and demanded to know who had touched Him. She knew she'd just made Him ritually unclean – even healed, the religious law she lived under still required time to pass and a ritual to be performed before she would no longer be "polluting" others. She must have believed her life at great risk when He and the crowd figured out what she'd done. All she could do was what all people in those days did when confronted by the power of one or more people who could hurt or kill if they only just chose to do so: terrified, she fell on her face and confessed, hoping for mercy in even the tiniest form.

But the violence – rage, fists, rocks – she could expect in her religious culture didn't come. Instead, Jesus congratulated her on her faith in His ability to heal her, and sent her off in peace, free from more suffering.
  • The Good Religious People of that day often stoned "unclean" women who touched others. In the centuries of what most loudly calls itself "Christianity", Good Religious People have burned people at the stake and otherwise tortured and murdered them, taught them to feel shame over who they are, and made war in "God's" name against people who weren't like them in one way or another. Not one bit of that is like Jesus anywhere in the Bible. Yet we too often continue being fooled by this false "Christianity". Why? 
  • Imagine being Gay and with shameless gall pressing through a crowd of "Christian" bigots to get to Jesus, sure that He can heal the hurt false Christians have done to your heart. Imagine fearing Jesus will turn on you like false "Christians" have – only to find He instead congratulates you for your faith and sends you off in His peace. Now read Revelation 3:7-13 and know that that's exactly what you're going to hear from Jesus, in the End.

Today we got to see Jesus' power at work – not just in healing death and sickness, but also in reorienting our religious thinking so that we can see past the religious nonsense we live under and even pass on to our children, thinking we're doing them a good thing.
  • What ways do you need to reorient your thinking about Jesus? Is Jesus like the supporter of war, supporter of sexism, supporter of homophobia, supporter of economic oppression, and so on that "The Church" has reinterpreted Him as all these centuries? 
  • Was Jesus at all prevented from being who He really is by all the Good Religious People and their dumb ideas while He moved around, doing His work? Why should we assume, then, that we can't find the real-Jesus today because "The Church" has done so much Bible-twisting over the centuries? 
  • What needs to change in your life this week? What can Jesus heal for you today, that you never imagined could be gotten rid of before?

Take care until next week!

In His love,


This article written by Lynne at You can contact Lynne at