Chapter 34

Matthew, Mark and Luke tell the story of Jesus in ways similar to one another (which is why they’re often called the Synoptic Gospels – with a similar optic, or viewpoint). Many details differ (and the differences are quite fascinating), but it’s clear the three compositions share common sources. The Fourth Gospel tells the story quite differently...

Chapter 32

Let’s imagine ourselves just outside Jerusalem. We are with Jesus and his band of disciples early on a Sunday morning. Jesus has walked many a mile since he taught us that day on the hillside in Galilee. He has told many a parable, answered many a question and asked even more. Earlier this morning, he did something really strange...

Chapter 31

Imagine that hillside in Galilee. Jesus is seated, surrounded by his disciples, a huge crowd circled around them. Perhaps it’s the rhythm and tone of his voice. Maybe it’s the pace of his words. Somehow they know he is building towards a climax, a moment of decision. He presents a series of vivid images, all in pairs...

Chapter 28

Anyone present that day would have felt some tension in the air. Many in the crowd stuck to the familiar road of tradition, playing by the rules, leading conservative, conventional and respectable lives. They were worried that Jesus was too . . . different, too non-compliant. Others ran on a very different road. Unfettered by tradition, they gladly bent any rule that got in their way. They were worried that Jesus wasn’t different and defiant enough.

According to Jesus, neither group was on the road to true aliveness....