The Most Important Question One Will Ever Answer: “Who is Jesus?”

In 1st century Palestine people were asking the same question people are asking today: “Who IS this guy??”

In his gospel, John records, “While some said, ‘He is a good man,’ others said, ‘No, he is leading people astray.” (7:12) Later, in 8:25, the Jews ask Jesus incredulously, “Who ARE you??” Again, in 8:48-53: “The Jews answered [Jesus and said], “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?…Who do you think you are??”

In their book, Putting Jesus in His Place, Robert Bowman & J. Ed. Komoszewski write, “Interpretations of Jesus are fraught with bias. He’s a powerful figure people want on their sides – and they’re willing to re-create him in their image to enlist his support….Frankly, it’s hard to escape the feeling that our culture has taken Jesus’ question, ‘Who do you say that I am?’, and changed it to ‘Who do you want me to be?”

Not sure who Jesus is? For one, he is a gentleman; he will not impose himself on you, but allows every human being to decide for themselves who he is.

Read Mark’s & John’s biographies (gospels) of Jesus in an easy-to-read translation. Try either the New Living Translation or the New English Translation. Both are solid. Then, check out Philip Yancey’s award-winning, The Jesus I Never Knew, Lee Strobel’s, The Case for the Real Jesus, or Josh & Sean McDowell’s short classic, More than a Carpenter. What you will find is a man so real, yet so fascinating, only God could have thought him up.

Set aside others’ opinions. Honestly investigate Christ’s claims, and see if you don’t begin to hear the Lion of Judah roar.

For Narnia, Nick

Preaching With the Listener in Mind

One very wise author once wrote, “Too often, preachers focus solely on whether or not there had been great Bible teaching on Sunday morning, when they should also be asking themselves whether or not there was any great Bible LEARNING.” ouch. Recently, I came across the following quote by the 19th century, British preacher, Charles Spurgeon.

“Some preachers, put the food so high that neither lambs nor sheep can reach it. They seem to have read the text, ‘feed my giraffes.”- Charles Spurgeon

The “Coz”

Bill Cosby was in Lubbock this past Tuesday to talk to high school & college students about the importance of education. (Cosby has a doctorate in eduction from the University of MA.)

When I think of Bill Cosby, I’m flooded with memories & emotion:

1. He has the same birthday as Jordan Blake Watts. (I know this because Jordan reminded me of it. Often.)

2. He knows what it feels like to lose a son. (Cosby’s son, Ennis, was murdered in 1997.

3. He affected so much of my “childhood comedic training.” I used to go to sleep listening to Cosby records. (A “substitute family” of mine, the Davis’, lived down the street and, more than once, “endured” my 13 year old self reciting lengthy Cosby monologues for them. I remember them actually setting up chairs in their living room like a real “audience.”))

4. EVERY Sat. morning as a child, I watched “Fat Albert & the Cosby Kids.”

5. Finally, i always laugh when I think of Michael Scott (The Office) doing his “Bill Cosby doing Fat Albert” imitation, advertising “Jello Pudding Pops.”

Love this quote Cosby gave while speaking at Texas Tech this past Tuesday: “One of the most important things in college is not to decide whether or not the instructions the professors give are necessary, but to put your full mind and heart into everything given.” (In other words, “Learn how to THINK.”) He also warned students not to simply “glide along with C’s and refuse to try.” Illustrating this point, he said, “You don’t want to be [in surgery] and hear the surgeon say they only know 74% of what they’re doing.” (Quotes taken from TTU newspaper)

Here’s a pic of one of the albums I used to listen to over and over again when i was a kid. I still have it. I remember me, Michelle, and all three kids lying on the floor listening to this album together. (I could do that because Cosby’s ingenious humor is always clean.) They LOVED it – just like did when I was a kid.

Bill Cosby Album