Painting Jesus

Have you seen a Jesus painting? How was it? Matt Law, who will also share during this series, recounted a couple months ago a Jesus painting that is common but likely isn't accurate. And the notion that his physical appearance has been extensively debated.  In this series we engage accounts of Jesus that inform our view of Him.

Watch last week's intro on Youtube here.

March Bible Study [Week 3]

A Sinful Woman Anoints Jesus’ Feet

Luke 7:36-50:

[36] Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. [37] When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, [38] and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.[39] When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is -- that she is a sinner."[40] Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you.”Tell me, teacher," he said.[41] "Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. [42] Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"[43] Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled."You have judged correctly," Jesus said.[44] Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. [45] You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. [46] You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. [47] Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven -- for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."[48] Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."[49] The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"[50] Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

  • Describe a situation where you were in a tense environment such as in the passage above.
  • How would you have felt watching this situation unfold? 
  • What does it mean to not just know God’s forgiveness, but to feel God’s forgiveness? Do we distinctly feel God’s forgiveness
  • What were the Pharisees concerned with and what was the woman concerned with? Discuss their general attitudes in this situation.

Increasing, faith, and sunglasses

sunglasses ,

J the B:  “He must increase; but I must decrease.”   John 3:30 KJV

“Increase” is also translated “grow”, keep that in mind.

 Imagine if every Christian actually lived this one verse? I’ve grown up in a world that’s focused on me increasing. I spent years giving up work to go to school, so that I could increase. Do I sacrifice work to increase Jesus? I spent tens of thousands of dollars in school loans (or should I say we, my wife and I, are *still* spending…), so I could increase. Do I sacrifice like that for Jesus? I bought a pair of $150 sunglasses in high school…so that I could increase…something that somehow made sense back then. LOL. Would I give $150 to increase Jesus? I spent gobs of time training and practicing racquetball, so that I could increase. Would I do that for Jesus? I’ve given up a night of sleep to work on school work or make money, to increase something in my life. Do I do that to increase Jesus? I give up hours a week on _______? And we do that because?  I am emotionally engaged and invested frequently with ________ ?

 John the Baptist makes statements that take us right to the purposes of God. “He must increase; but I must decrease.”  I’m struggling to regain and reclaim that language. It goes contrary to everything I’ve been non-verbally taught and surrounded by for decades. Let’s claim it.

 When Jesus says that with “faith as small as a mustard seed” (Luke 17:6) we can cause mulberry trees to toss themselves in the ocean, he doesn’t expect us to root up Mulberry trees like David Copperfield, but that sounds really fun. I plan to play an awesome game in heaven with mulberry trees and the Green Monster with a huge sea on the other side. You can be on my team. He expects us to trust him and obey in the every day things of life because He’s the savior of the world and we have His word. He doesn’t even worry necessarily about wasting time or spending $150 that I wish I had back on Killer Loop sunglasses. I tried to find a picture of them but I’m too old for even “vintage Killer Loops” to muster up the sexy orange accoutrements I wanted folks to see me wear. But man what a sermon this could be if I could find a pair! So let me know if you find any 90’sish orange Killer Loops in yard sales this summer.

Jesus may eventually have something to say about sunglasses, but not until we get who He is, sunglasses come later. The mulberry trees he wants me to move are those deeply implanted things, things ingrained, rooted in the soil of who I am that compel me to invest financially and emotionally in increasing myself and not Jesus. The mustard seed analogy isn’t meant to make our faith out to be even smaller than a mustard see – it shows how accessible God’s power is. Tiny faith starts with letting who Jesus is rock my world. Judging others and division aren’t an option, praying for people isn’t a substitute for leading, coaching, visiting, writing, and loving people means urgently engaging, investing, being there, encouraging, getting in the lives of people that don’t know Jesus, and spending my time, money, and self to make Jesus greater. Imagine if every person that went to church Sunday did that. Man that blows my mind. God would honor that TOMORROW CHRISTIAN. If each of us invested in eternally significant things like pointing one person to Jesus, what would happen? Things greater than mulberry trees would happen, things greater than amusement parks would happen, things greater than winning would happen, things greater than vacations would happen, things greater than the seasons would happen, things greater than a working PRT would happen, things greater than the Super Bowl would happen…although that one with TN was really good. All it takes is our obedience towards making Him increase because He is the hope of the world.


[Written by Gary Gross]