We’ve started a winter series at Reservoir, “Stories Jesus Told.” As I shared in our first talk, the idea is that the most striking thing about Jesus as a teacher is that he mainly taught by telling stories. I reminded us that of the many stories Jesus may have told, his four original biographers passed down 45 to us. And quoting my friend Carl Medearis, I mentioned that these 45 stories that Jesus told are stories we might want to listen to, to know, to tell to other people.
The second thing that might strike us is how odd and at the same time commonplace these stories are. Drawn from everyday working and family and social and situations, they seem to indicate that God doesn’t want to draw us out of our lives to a higher plane but to engage us in our ordinary lives with how we think and relate and manage them. The stories aren’t always clear, but they are ultimately pretty intriguing.
And maybe that’s the point – to intrigue us, to get us asking questions of ourselves and our community and God, to engage with Jesus as a teacher and to see what we learn as we do so.
In that spirit, I’ve taken quite a few liberties and rewritten Jesus’ stories in 140 character or less form. They’re going up daily on twitter, but in digest form, here are the second bunch. For the first batch, go here. The second bunch are here.
Stories About Returning Authority Figures
Boss w/ 2 workers leaves town-1 does all well,1 goes ape-sh*t. Boss comes back w/punishments and rewards. Who can God trust? (Luke 12:42-48)
Groom delayed til midnight.5 bridesmaids brought flashlights!Other 5 wanna share,but no luck-they’re lost and locked out. (Matthew 25:1-13)
Guy asks 3 people to manage,invest his assets. 2 risk much, win big: huge rewards. 1-paralyzed by fear-does nothing:fired. (Luke 19:12-27)
Some of you are good to the nobodies, some of you ignore ’em. Here’s the catch:I’m with the nobodies. This really matters! (Matthew 25:21-46)
Stories About Unexpectedly Good News
Two dudes owe a bank, one owes $1K, one $10K. The bank forgives both loans – who loves that bank more? It’s like this with me. (Luke 7:41-43)
A good shepherd does all for the life of his many sheep – they know his voice&listen. The rest are thieves&liars.
PS I’m not just the shepherd, but the gate – taking the sheep into safety & freedom and & the good places they want to go. (John 10:1-18)
A sheepowner is always happier about the one lost sheep found than the 99 milling about, safe and sound. Just like God. (Matthew 18:12-14)
Shepherd has 99 perfectly fine sheep,but just has to find that one he lost-then he’s happy. God and heaven work this way. (Luke 15:3-7)
That woman who stays up looking for her lost coin, then calls her friends at 2am to celebrate-God’s just like that. (Luke 15:8-10)
One dad, two kids. Kid 2 scandalizes with badness, dad scandalizes with goodness, kid 1 scandalizes with bitterness. (Luke 15:11-32)
Laborers hired for different jobs,all paid days wage,then argue about fairness. Boss says:don’t hate me when I’m generous. (Matthew 20:1-16)
Two people pray.Religious one thanks God for his own awesomeness.Irreligious one asks for mercy. God’s listening to #2. (Luke 18:9-14)