Tuesday, March 3, 2009
I used Illustrator and Photoshop to create the above image. The font is called Rad Std (I did not draw the characters). I expanded the font in Illustrator to vectorize the text, then in Photoshop, I colored in the areas using the paint bucket and brush (drawing in a few black lines here and there), added one word on one of the skateboards, and added a couple effects (drop shadow and emboss). Pretty simple and basic.
My previous articles on John have used the NIV (New International Version), which is currently my favorite version (I know some people do not like the NIV, but I do). For this particular article, however, I decided to switch things up and use a different version, just for variation (and I may use still other translations in the future, just to keep things interesting). The below verses are from "The Message," which is a version where the translator (Eugene Peterson) has strived for the spirit of the original manuscripts—to express the rhythm of the voices, the flavor of the idiomatic expressions, the subtle connotations of meaning. Some people like to read the Bible in Elizabethan English. Others want to read a version that gives a close word-for-word correspondence between the original languages and English. The goal of "The Message" is to engage people in the reading process and help them understand what they read. This is not a study Bible, but rather a reading Bible.
Even on the Sabbath
"Soon another Feast came around and Jesus was back in Jerusalem.
Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there was a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda, with five alcoves. Hundreds of sick people—blind, crippled, paralyzed—were in these alcoves. One man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, "Do you want to get well?"
(The above image is from Jesus-Explained.org)
The sick man said, "Sir, when the water is stirred, I don't have anybody to put me in the pool. By the time I get there, somebody else is already in."
(The above image is by artist Nathan Greene and a postcard, matted, unframed or framed copy of it can be purchased HERE. I don't get anything from this, and I don't even know the guy, but I just figured that if I used his image, I might as well help endorse him.)
Jesus said, "Get up, take your bedroll, start walking." The man was healed on the spot. He picked up his bedroll and walked off.
That day happened to be the Sabbath. The Jews stopped the healed man and said, "It's the Sabbath. You can't carry your bedroll around. It's against the rules."
But he told them, "The man who made me well told me to. He said, 'Take your bedroll and start walking.'"
They asked, "Who gave you the order to take it up and start walking?" But the healed man didn't know, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd.
A little later Jesus found him in the Temple and said, "You look wonderful! You're well! Don't return to a sinning life or something worse might happen."
The man went back and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. That is why the Jews were out to get Jesus—because he did this kind of thing on the Sabbath.
But Jesus defended himself. "My Father is working straight through, even on the Sabbath. So am I."
That really set them off. The Jews were now not only out to expose him; they were out to kill him. Not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was calling God his own Father, putting himself on a level with God.
What the Father Does, the Son Does
So Jesus explained himself at length. "I'm telling you this straight. The Son can't independently do a thing, only what he sees the Father doing. What the Father does, the Son does. The Father loves the Son and includes him in everything he is doing.
"But you haven't seen the half of it yet, for in the same way that the Father raises the dead and creates life, so does the Son. The Son gives life to anyone he chooses. Neither he nor the Father shuts anyone out. The Father handed all authority to judge over to the Son so that the Son will be honored equally with the Father. Anyone who dishonors the Son, dishonors the Father, for it was the Father's decision to put the Son in the place of honor.
"It's urgent that you listen carefully to this: Anyone here who believes what I am saying right now and aligns himself with the Father, who has in fact put me in charge, has at this very moment the real, lasting life and is no longer condemned to be an outsider. This person has taken a giant step from the world of the dead to the world of the living.
"It's urgent that you get this right: The time has arrived—I mean right now!—when dead men and women will hear the voice of the Son of God and, hearing, will come alive. Just as the Father has life in himself, he has conferred on the Son life in himself. And he has given him the authority, simply because he is the Son of Man, to decide and carry out matters of Judgment.
"Don't act so surprised at all this. The time is coming when everyone dead and buried will hear his voice. Those who have lived the right way will walk out into a resurrection Life; those who have lived the wrong way, into a resurrection Judgment.
"I can't do a solitary thing on my own: I listen, then I decide. You can trust my decision because I'm not out to get my own way but only to carry out orders. If I were simply speaking on my own account, it would be an empty, self-serving witness. But an independent witness confirms me, the most reliable Witness of all. Furthermore, you all saw and heard John, and he gave expert and reliable testimony about me, didn't he?
"But my purpose is not to get your vote, and not to appeal to mere human testimony. I'm speaking to you this way so that you will be saved. John was a torch, blazing and bright, and you were glad enough to dance for an hour or so in his bright light. But the witness that really confirms me far exceeds John's witness. It's the work the Father gave me to complete. These very tasks, as I go about completing them, confirm that the Father, in fact, sent me. The Father who sent me, confirmed me. And you missed it. You never heard his voice, you never saw his appearance. There is nothing left in your memory of his Message because you do not take his Messenger seriously.
"You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you'll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me! And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren't willing to receive from me the life you say you want.
"I'm not interested in crowd approval. And do you know why? Because I know you and your crowds. I know that love, especially God's love, is not on your working agenda. I came with the authority of my Father, and you either dismiss me or avoid me. If another came, acting self-important, you would welcome him with open arms. How do you expect to get anywhere with God when you spend all your time jockeying for position with each other, ranking your rivals and ignoring God?
"But don't think I'm going to accuse you before my Father. Moses, in whom you put so much stock, is your accuser. If you believed, really believed, what Moses said, you would believe me. He wrote of me. If you won't take seriously what he wrote, how can I expect you to take seriously what I speak?"
(The following is from Diocese of Portsmouth)
JESUS THE MIRACLE WORKER
The four gospels describe Jesus performing around thirty-six specific miracles and mention that he did many more. The miracles are of different types. Jesus healed people: he is described as restoring sight, healing contagious skin disorders, healing the lame, curing fevers, putting back a severed ear, stopping a haemorrhage and restoring a withered hand. The most extreme form of healing is provided by three records of Jesus bringing people back to life: Jairus’ daughter, a widow’s son and Lazarus of Bethany.
Jesus had an extraordinary power over nature: he miraculously multiplied bread and fish, changed water into wine, calmed a storm, walked on water and gave fishermen miraculous catches of fish. Jesus had miraculous knowledge and was aware of hidden facts and attitudes. Jesus also performed exorcisms of people oppressed by demonic powers.
The way in which Jesus did miracles is distinctive:
- Jesus often performed miracles in a quiet and unspectacular way. Sometimes he turned bystanders away in order to perform miracles; on other occasions he asked that his healings not be reported. There was nothing of the showman about Jesus.
- Jesus performed miracles with the minimum of actions and words, generally healing with no more than a few words and sometimes a gesture.
- The basis of Jesus’ miracles was his own personal authority. He is never recorded as praying for God to do a miracle, or even doing a miracle in God’s name: he did them himself.
- Jesus refused to do miracles on demand to prove who he was and he had little time for sensation seekers. He never did miracles for profit or publicity or even to save himself. Jesus’ motive in doing miracles is given as compassion.