Philippians 2:12

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF A SIGN

(May 21, 2022) Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, reminds us a great truth regarding our almighty God…

There are almost 40 miracles of Jesus recorded in the four gospels and John mentions seven of them. The miracle of the feeding of the 5000 is so significant that all four gospel writers mention it… but there are some notable differences between John’s account and that of the others.

What a crowd gathered on the hillside that day. In John 6:10 we read that there about 5000 men. In his account, Matthew’s adds that there were also women and children present (Matthew 14:21).

Jesus and His disciples had gone there initially to relax and enjoy some privacy. Can you imagine, therefore, the stress the disciples would have felt when this great crowd arrived? Despite this ‘inconvenience’, we are told by Luke that Jesus preached to the crowds and healed those who were sick (Luke 9:11).

That day an amazing thing happened. With five small loaves and two small fish Jesus fed the hungry crowd and when they had eaten their fill, there was a surplus of twelve baskets of pieces of the five loaves. John wrote, ‘The people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did’ (6:14).

When Matthew, Mark and Luke referred to  miracles, they used the Greek word dunamis whichrefers to an act of power and force and it is the root of our English word ‘dynamite.’  

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WHAT MAKES THINGS BREAK UP LIKE THEY DO?

(April 04, 2020) Brian Bell asks the question above

In my mid-teens I was studying for what was then an ‘O’ level in English Literature. In the process of that study I had to read William Golding’s book Lord of the Flies.

If you have read the novel or are familiar with it from some other source (such as the film version) then bear with me; however, for those who are not familiar let me give you a very brief summation…

The novel is set on an unknown, unnamed island on which a plane, carrying a group of choir boys, has crashed and none of the adults survive. It then describes how the boys form separate groups and their behaviour begins to disintegrate.

Two of the boys are Ralph and another referred to as ‘Piggy’ – as the process of disintegration takes place, Piggy asks Ralph the question, ‘What makes things break up like they do?’

It was this question of Piggy’s which at that time in my life led me to write an essay basically on the topic ‘God is Left Out. This was selected for publication in the school year book but its assertion that our brokenness resulted from leaving God out did not, so far as I recall, impress my English teacher, who was rather sceptical.

And so here I am, some 50 years later and ‘What makes things break up like they do’ is still a relevant question!

Why? The world is still disintegrating, presently in the grip of Covid–19. And so I share some brief thoughts on ‘break up’… (more…)