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11.03.2010

A REMASTERED VERSION

Over the years teaching classes at churches, and using a dialogue style approach, I would get some very interesting responses to questions posed by me.  The toughest thing to do was to judiciously and graciously tell someone they were biblically not correct without them feeling put down and belittled, to make it clear what truth was because you did not want other class participants to take what they said as what the Bible really was saying, and to creatively  find a way to get the class dominator to stop hogging the floor in sharing and responses so others could freely and verbally open up their thoughts to the class too.  I've had people say the funniest, most off base biblical statements to me over the years.  My dear friend is one of them.  I think it may have been the first week I met her.  She is telling me that she had read the Bible that morning and did I know that Peter drowned jumping out of a boat to see Jesus.  Well, I thought as she is joyfully recounting this biblical event and the fact that she felt like was reading it for the first time and never knew that...what was I going to say? (buzzer goes off indicating wrong answer in the show, "Name These Bible Story Events Correctly for 400)  "Well, " I say, "That is interesting.  Was Jesus on the shore cooking fish on a fire showing up after the resurrection?"  She smiles with confidence, "Yes, I think that was the rest of the story."  I told her, "Peter did in fact die, but it was some years after that day that he jumped out of the boat.  In fact, he did not drown that day or as the cause for his death in years to come.  That day he lived and swam to shore where Jesus asked him three times if he would feed his sheep/lambs?"  She sheepishly said, "Are you sure?"  "Yes," I say with gentle love for her off the beaten path biblical interpretation.  The next day she informs me she read it again, but this time not while sitting on the toilet early in the morning.  With a small sigh and smile she said,  "You were right, Peter did not drown and Jesus was waiting on the shore for him."  I told her though that I liked her creative though Biblically off version:)  In one of my former husband's first sermons he mixed up the story of the arrest of Jesus in the garden to say something like this, " ...and in anger Peter's ear was cut off by a sword."  I fought back laughing out loud and looked around at a few puzzled faces.  Corrected version reads, "And one of Jesus' companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear."   This phrase has been repeated as an actual Bible verse over the years many times, "God helps those who help themselves."    No where is that quote found in the Bible, but people from all different backgrounds claim its in there.  One day my friend's adult daughter was telling me about Jesus and said, "Jesus sinned while on earth."  I was a bit puzzled over that one, but decided to see where it went, "Heidi, you do know it is recorded in the Bible that Jesus though man, was God too and he did not sin?"  She said, "Well, I heard that somewhere.  Sunday School as a kid or something." Her mom, in the room with us as I answered, "Well, I can clearly see there is a genetic link here with both of your Biblical interpretations!"   Whenever i would teach a class that involved active discussion I would tell the class that if they wanted to share, or answer a question but weren't sure of the correct answer that they could always say "God" or "Jesus" as there was a 50/50 chance one of those would be in the ballpark of right.  So, if I asked a question and there was a long pause and no one seemed to answer, one borderline irreverent man would always yell out, "Jesus?" I loved it!

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