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Come and See

Yesterday, just before worship, a woman said to me, “I bought your book, and I am reading it. I mostly like it but there are two things that I don’t like.”

“Oh, and what are those? Maybe I can help.”

“Who the heck is Joshua?”

I responded, “I gave him back his name in an effort to make it so readers don’t simply gloss over the story thinking they know what it is all about and what it says.”

She said, “Was that really necessary?”

And I replied, “Well Bob, (her name was Sue) It made you stop and think and ask the question – who is this guy? And yes, I think it is important. It got you to not blow by a story that you have heard for years and probably never gave a second thought. So, in that regard, I have achieved one of the things I wanted to do. What was your second objection?”

She said, “What are interns?”

“There are several ways to talk about ‘disciples.’ A disciple is a student who sits at the feet of a teacher and learns all (s)he can. A person can be a life-long student and in the end, walk away none the wiser because (s)he doesn’t apply anything that was taught. And you can see from experience that there are a lot of educated ner-do-wells out there in the world.

On the other hand, an ‘intern’ is someone who studies to learn how to do something and perhaps even to do better. THAT is the reason for the different designations. The closest associates of Joshua were intended to not only learn from him but to take what he taught them and put it into action. And perhaps, if they were carrying on what they learned, they could teach others to do the same.”

Further, it is important to realize that what Joshua taught was not a philosophy. Rather, it is a lifestyle that is to be applied to the real world and lived in real-time.

I went on to say, “You might want to read the introduction because it explains a few of the basic points of view that I have offered up for conversation and reflection. From what you asked, I have succeeded in at least generating questions about him and his message.”

There are other little elements that I have written into the story, not necessarily to change it, but to give you pause to think about what was said or done that may put a different spin on the story than you have entertained in the past.

If you choose to respond to this blog, which is a first for me, be polite, don’t preach, and if you disagree (which you are entitled to do) don’t be disagreeable. So long as you are willing to abide by those strictures anything is fair game. On the other hand, if you decide to ignore them, then I will invoke the one-and-done rule.

Let’s have some fun.


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