Tag: faith

Summary:Jesus calms a raging storm while he and his disciples are trying to cross the Sea of Galilee. The event offers a stunning display of his power, yet it also exposes the faithlessness of his followers. It is a prime example of the Gospel of Mark’s tendency to depict Jesus as one who creates new, life-giving possibilities in the midst of circumstances that are full of danger or at the far edges of what might be considered predictable or secure locations.

I wrote this biblical commentary for those preparing to preach or teach on the passage. Read the commentary at Working Preacher.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers workingpreacher.org commentary

Summary: When Peter sees Jesus walking on the water and tries to do the same himself, it is fear that makes him begin to sink. Yes, Jesus saves him, but before rushing to the story’s happy conclusion it is worthwhile to dwell on fear. Fear can be paralyzing; insecurity makes people shun risks. The life of faith is never a worry-free existence. Getting out of the boat means getting to the places where Jesus is. And, unlike Peter, we rarely find ourselves doing that alone.

I wrote this article for those preparing to preach or hear sermons on Matthew 14:22-33. It was originally a guest contribution to the “Dear Working Preacher” series. Read the full article at Working Preacher.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers workingpreacher.org commentary

Summary: When Jesus tells a parable about a widow who engages in a tireless campaign to get the justice she deserves, he offers an illustration of Christian faith. In the parable, the woman continually beseeches an unjust judge who finally grants her requests because he grows tired of her endless appeals. The parable associates Christian faith with an unflagging commitment to see justice become a reality. Christian faith complains about injustice and advocates for those who need justice. Faith does so because it takes God’s promises seriously, believing that God is indeed a God of justice. This depiction of faithful advocacy is especially important to consider during election season. Christians can advocate for candidates who will create just laws and policies, but Christians also equip themselves to persist in advocacy after elections are complete.

Read the full article, which is part of the ON Scripture–The Bible project, on ON Scripture.

Bible commentary: general audience ON Scripture--The Bible

Summary: This piece reflects on faith and fear in the story of Peter asking Jesus to call him to walk on the stormy Sea of Galilee. How might faith like this exercise itself in the midst of America’s economic woes?

Read the full article, which is part of the ON Scripture–The Bible project, on The Huffington Post and ON Scripture.

Bible commentary: general audience ON Scripture--The Bible

Summary: This article is more academic than most of the other things I’ve written that are accessible on the Web. In it, I explore the story of a woman who asks Jesus to drive a demon from her daughter, but Jesus initially refuses. It’s a fascinating, troubling story. My article explores the deep, persistent, and even argumentative faith of this admirable woman who ultimately persuades Jesus to grant her request.

Read the full article from the journal Word & World. It was originally published in the Winter 2006 issue.

Journal articles